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Best Base for Pavers

Installing a proper base for pavers

Pavers are slabs and blocks made from a wide variety of materials such as brick, concrete, flagstone, marble, travertine, porcelain, rubber and even plastic to create driveways, patios, pool decks, etc.

Pavers can be a versatile, attractive addition to any outdoor residential project. Their ease of installation makes for a simple and efficient way to transform your home’s outdoor space. To reap the full benefits of your hardscaping installation for years to come, it’s essential to select and use proper paver foundation materials.

beautiful backyard patio with an outdoor firepit

A paver base encompasses several different material layers with varied support functions. The support system under pavers consists of three different levels:

  • Subgrade: The deepest level, composed of the compacted soil beneath the installation site
  • Subbase: The middle support layer applied on top of the subgrade soil
  • Base: The topmost material pavers are installed into

When selecting a base, you’re choosing the materials that will anchor your pavers. Each material exhibits properties that either helps or hinders your paver arrangement. For long-lasting, resilient pavers, consider the different types of paver bases to make the best decision for your budget and project.

Types of Base for Pavers

Why is the base for pavers so important? First, your base will determine whether your pavers remain smooth and level or grow uneven with time. Qualities of a suitable base material include factors such as:

  • Allowance of proper water drainage
  • The durability to support the weight and force the pavers will endure
  • The appropriate thickness for your subgrade material

Hardscape installation professionals use a variety of materials underneath pavers. If you’re attempting to do a DIY job, it’s important to consider the costs of issues that stem from improperly laid pavers. It’s always best to consult with an experienced landscaping professional. 

paver patio with front steps

Here are some things to know about the most common paver bases and their properties.

1. Sand 

Among the best base for pavers is sand. It’s ideal for two main reasons including:

  • Accessibility 
  • Spreadability

Sand is not an ideal base on its own. Over time, sand shifts and can create an uneven foundation. If your foundation is anything but level, your pavers will show it. Concrete sand, also known as bedding sand, is coarse and doesn’t trap excess moisture beneath the paver surface. This allows pavers to drain after a heavy rain and maintain their structural integrity over time.

2. Crushed Stone

If your new patio installation will be used more extensively, a crushed stone base would be a good option to go with. This base material is great for all kinds of patio pavers, but you should make sure to pick crushed stone specifically meant for paver installation.

3. Compacted Soil

This is definitely one of the best base for pavers and a good idea only if you’re installing a patio for just one season. This is because a compacted soil base can allow the pavers to shift or sink unless the soil is properly compacted and cleared from weeds and grass.

4. Stone Dust

A base material that you should avoid if you can due to several reasons. The main problem with stone dust is its fine texture that can’t be compacted properly which leads to shifting and sinking. A professional hardscape service provider like Scenic Landscaping can provide guidance on proper installation for stone dust as a base for pavers. 

paver walkway with surrounding low maintenance garden beds

If traditional surfacing materials leave you feeling as flat as poured concrete, consider pavers—concrete pavers. More affordable than stone, more colorful than brick, and more durable than asphalt, concrete pavers are a practical yet attractive option anywhere on the property. And because they’re modular, they’re easy to install and fix. 

Are Concrete Pavers Right for You?

Concrete pavers can be an excellent material for your outdoor paving projects if you want something more elegant and attractive than poured concrete, but are not enthused about the high cost of natural stone cobblestones or clay brick pavers. And they can be a good choice if you are a DIYer willing to spend time in exchange for saving money on professional labor.


Hardscape to include paver installation helps give perspective and definition to existing structures and features. Knowing the best base for pavers is not always straightforward and we can help. 

We can hardscape-install steps, pavers, walkways and pathways to ensure proper access to your patios, gardens, or other outdoor spaces. If there aren’t those structures, we’re happy to add them, too!

Regardless of the landscape services you need, Scenic Landscaping can help. We work with you to understand your objectives and vision. Our landscape professionals can provide key direction on design and materials used. 

Contact us today at (860) 656-7440 for a direct quote. 

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