How Thick Should Driveway Pavers Be

How thick should driveway pavers be? In case you don’t know what pavers are, they’re basically that outdoor floor or group of stones, tiles or brick-like pieces commonly used as exterior flooring. You surely know, or own one, but simply knew it by a different name. What you don’t know, however, is how thick the paver base should be and if yours has the correct thickness. 

Believe it or not, unlike your average concrete walkway, pavers sit on a strong base with a sand-locked position, and because they must endure all kinds of weight throughout time, you need to check that your paver block thickness in millimeters is the ideal thickness to support everything that passes through. In order to prevent future cracks and other decaying damage, it’s time to examine the thin pavers vs thick ones and determine which is the one that you need.

How Thick Should Driveway Pavers Be?

How Thick Should Driveway Pavers Be
How Thick Should Driveway Pavers Be

This article will present you the math behind the paver block thickness in mm and explain to you how thick should your paver base be on your driveway. If you own a hard driveway surface, regardless of whether it’s made of pavers or not, it’s essential that you read all about thickness in order to avoid floor damage that can severely affect your house, your car and even the residents’ safety.

How Thick Should Driveway Pavers Be?

For most garden pathways, pavers should be around 60 mm (or 2 3/8 inches) thick. In order to achieve this, you need to ensure that the excavated soil site, filled with crushed concrete and bedding sand, creates a paver base that distributes the weight evenly. If pavers are at least 50 mm (2 inches) thick, this will be enough to prevent damage.

Although thin pavers are more affordable, those will eventually crack and pave way for weeds to appear and populate the walkway. They can also get loosened, but this can easily be fixed if you know how to fix loose pavers

How Thick Should the Paver Base Be?

For a stable paver pathway, the crushed concrete base should be 100-150 mm (4 to 6 inches) thick. First, you need to level your soil, spread a 2-inch-deep layer of crushed concrete across the site and, with a plate compactor, vibrate the pieces until it locks them into their place. Afterwards, add a second layer and repeat the process.

You’ll know you did a good job if the ground contours don’t appear at the paver surface level (they’re a sign that the area below the pavers wasn’t leveled or compacted correctly). In order for pavers to remain stable, the base must be 100% solid; even if you use the proper paver thickness, an unstable base will bring everything down in a second.

How to Bed the Sand?

Add a 1-inch-deep layer of bedding sand over the crushed concrete – the pavers will lay directly over it. Once you place the pavers, vibrate them again with the plate compactor so that the various sizes of sand grains don’t create a jostle between them and the pavers so you can create a permanent walkway appearance. You’ll know the project is officially over when the joints are full of sand: even if pavers were slightly thicker than 50 mm (2 inches), the sand will prevent them from rubbing against each other and distribute an even weight across the surface.

Thin Pavers vs Thick Pavers: Is Thick the Real Winner?

Even though 25-30 mm (1-1 1/4 inch) thick pavers are fragile, you can still use them for walkways, providing that their concrete base is a firm concrete slab rather than concrete pieces. As a matter of fact, thin pavers have the advantage of needing less work in order to establish them: you don’t need to remove the original concrete to make way for the pavers. So, if you distribute weight across the thin pavers and the concrete slab below them, this will reduce the risks of getting cracks.

Last Considerations

Do pavers make a good driveway?

They are, providing they’re interlocking (this strengthens the surface). Also, because they are small, concrete pavers are the best material to create a driveway from scratch.

Is it cheaper to lay concrete or pavers?

It is, but in terms of long-term maintenance, pavers are a more affordable option, considering that concrete can get (costly) damage over time, depending on the environment. You can also remove tough stains such as oil stains from pavers rather easily if you know how to do so. 

Bottom Line 

So, to summarize, what are pavers? They’re the hard flooring composing of brick-like pieces that, with the proper foundation, can last longer than your average concrete driveway, providing they’re thick enough for the task. Pavers are also very popular for backyard and pool landscaping ideas. But then, how thick should driveway pavers be? The recommended paver block thickness in mm you should consider ranges between 50-60 mm, although there’s no real difference between thin pavers vs thick ones, as long as the base is solid enough. Finally, how thick should the paver base be? We say 100-150 mm (4 to 6 inches) thick is enough.