Merging Paver Walkway Into Concrete Pad

How to Merge a Paver Walkway Into a Concrete Pad

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: I have a question for you regarding paver walkways. I have cast concrete stairs at my front door. A concrete pad was poured as a foundation for the stairs. How should the walkway pavers approach the concrete pad? I am actually having a paver walkway installed now, and the contractor installed the pavers below the grade of the pad, effectively making the pad a small step.

This was unacceptable to me. I thought the pad should be cut flush to the first stair riser (so the paver would go right up to the first step), but the contractor said that this was not possible (he didn’t explain why).

Answer: Usually pavers are installed approximately 1/2″ above the border, be it metal / plastic border or even granite steps / cement steps / surrounding slab. The reason for this is that overtime the pavers will settle a little, even if the sand/gravel base has been tightly packed.

By installing the pavers approximately 1/2″ above the border (in this case the cement stair landing), they will ideally wind up settling to a flush level with the border over time.

I agree with you that aesthetically it would make more sense to trim the concrete pad flush with the edge of the bottom stair riser, however I can understand the contractor pushing back. To do this properly, he would probably have to temporarily remove the cast concrete stairs to make a clean cut. Not an easy task.

The other advantage of installing the pavers slightly higher would be that it would enable you to temporarily fill in the gap between the elevated pavers and the first stair riser with slices of pavers (e.g. 1/2″ thick) or some other stone product (slate pieces).


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