drainage-under-pavers
May 17, 2023 7:58 am Published by Leave your thoughts



Whether drainage under pavers is required is answered only with consideration of the type of pavers you’re using, the slope of the surface you’re installing them on, and the likelihood of freeze and thaw during winter. Generally, yes, you need drainage under pavers.  


Pavers are popular for creating patios, walkways, and driveways because of their versatility and durability. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at whether or not you need drainage under pavers and what factors you should consider when making this decision. 


What are pavers?

In the landscaping business, pavers are commonly known as “interlock.” See our interlock page.

  • They are blocks made from materials such as concrete, clay, or natural stone that are used to create a variety of outdoor surfaces. 
  • They can create patios, walkways, driveways, and even pool decks. 
  • Pavers are known for their durability and can withstand heavy foot traffic and vehicular traffic.


Sub-layers mean pavers are correctly installed and last a long time. 
Sub-layers provide drainage under pavers.

Sub-layers provide a stable base and help distribute the weight of the pavers evenly. They also help prevent the pavers from shifting, cracking or sinking over time.


Here are the materials typically used in sub-layers for paver installations:

1. Base Material: The base material is the bottom layer of the sub-base and is typically made of crushed stone or gravel. 

  • The base material provides stability, distributes weight evenly, and helps prevent erosion. 
  • The depth of the base material will depend on the soil conditions and the expected traffic load. 
  • Typically, it’s recommended to have a base layer of at least 4 to 6 inches.

2. Bedding Sand: The bedding sand is the next layer above the base material. 

  • Bedding sand is fine-grained sand, typically 1 to 1.5 inches thick. 
  • The bedding sand provides a level surface that allows the pavers to settle evenly. 
  • It also helps to fill any small voids between the pavers.

3. Joint Sand: Joint sand fills the joints between the pavers. 

  • Fine-grained sand is typically swept into the joints after the pavers are installed. 
  • Joint sand helps to lock the pavers together and prevent them from shifting. 
  • It also helps to prevent water from seeping under the pavers and causing damage.

4. Edge Restraints: Edge restraints hold the pavers in place and prevent them from shifting.

  • They can be made from various materials, including plastic, aluminum, or concrete.
  • Edge restraints are typically placed around the perimeter of the paver installation and are secured to the ground with spikes or stakes.


Do you need drainage under pavers?

Firstly, sub-layers provide a stable base for the pavers to sit on. Without a stable base, pavers can shift, crack, or sink over time, causing uneven surfaces that can be dangerous to walk on. Sub-layers also help distribute weight evenly, preventing any area from taking too much weight and causing damage.

Secondly, sub-layers help to prevent erosion. The base layer of crushed stone or gravel helps to promote drainage and prevent water from pooling under the pavers. The bedding sand also helps with drainage, allowing water to flow away from the pavers and preventing erosion.

Lastly, sub-layers help to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the paver installation. Joint sand and edge restraints help to lock the pavers in place and prevent them from shifting or separating. 

  • This creates a clean, uniform appearance that adds to the beauty of the outdoor surface.
  • Sub-layers’ materials include crushed stone or gravel, bedding sand, joint sand, and edge restraints. Properly preparing the sub-layers is essential to ensure the outdoor surface’s longevity and durability when installing pavers.
  • Additional sub-base materials may be required in areas with poor soil conditions to provide extra stability.


The proper compaction of the materials is important. 

Each layer needs to be compacted properly to ensure stability and provide an even surface for the pavers to sit on. Improper compaction can result in the layers settling unevenly, causing damage to the pavers and an uneven surface.



Ensure proper drainage when installing sub-layers. 

Drainage is necessary to prevent water from pooling under the pavers, which can cause damage over time. The base layer should be sloped away from buildings or other structures to ensure proper drainage.



In addition to providing a stable base, sub-layers also play an important role in the longevity of the paver installation. 

Properly installed sub-layers can help prevent damage to the pavers and extend their lifespan. This can save money on future repairs and maintenance costs.

Installation done by a professional landscaper or hardscaper can help ensure that sub-layers are laid correctly so that the paver installation will last for years.



Types of Drainage Systems

There are two main types of drainage systems that you can use under pavers: 

  • Surface drainage involves creating a slope where the pavers will be installed so water runs off the surface and away from the area. This method is effective for flat surfaces such as patios but may not be sufficient for sloped surfaces.
  • Subsurface drainage involves creating a system of pipes or channels underneath the pavers that collect and direct water away from the area. This method is more effective for sloped surfaces because it can prevent water from pooling under the pavers.

Contact London Snowplow & Landscape at (519) 619 0495 or online.


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Published by
May 17, 2023 7:58 am