Pavers over concrete?

ranchrenoMarch 10, 2007

We're getting different opinions on whether or not paver bricks should be installed over concrete. We have an existing concrete slab patio in our yard that either has to be (a) dug up (more expensive than you'd think) so that we can install a paver brick patio over it with sand/stone base, or (b) added to with more concrete and covered with brick pavers.

The guy who I think has more experience advises against going over the concrete. We're in Chicago and the harsh weather can cause the pavers to separate from the concrete. I'm guessing there are various options for *how* pavers are installed over concrete - some better than others.

We do have pavers installed over our concrete porch and steps which seems to be pretty common. But I don't know anyone that's actually done it for their patio.



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The need for brick pavers is drainage - deep enough that frost will not affect the patio surface. I too live in the Chicago area and have approximately 8" of stone below my pavers. For that reason, in my opinion, installing pavers over your concrete patio is not a good idea.

Regarding ones on your porch, they may be split pavers (a half to an inch thick) and mortared onto your porch and steps in effect making all of this one entity. You could mortar split pavers onto your concrete patio if it is in good condition but that would be a major effort.

Are you a DIY'er? Rent a jack hammer and a contractors job-site dumpster and take out the old patio yourself. Sweat equity and you'll enjoy your new patio more. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 7:54PM
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How set on the pavers are you? If it is just that the concrete is boring, have you considered using some kind of stain on it? I did that last summer to my back patio/previous owner's dogrun. There is no way I could deal with a jackhammer.

If you added concrete, is there someone in your area who does stamped/colored concrete? I'm seeing that on a lot of driveways, and it looks good. I don't know how the layers wear, though.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 12:40PM
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I don't know if this is helpful or not, but 23 years ago we moved into our home that had cement walks and had brick put over them. Then were laid in sand. It has worked out beautifully. We live in Massachusetts so I think we have the winter weather issue as well. We've never had a loose brick of any kind.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 4:39PM
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They install pavers over concrete with a 1" sand bed here(LI,NY)all the time on driveways. Pour the concrete first and then lay the pavers. Driveways look fine years later. You get to see alot of work close up when you walk the dog all the time.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 4:06PM
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How about just laying some sand down on top of concrete and setting the pavers on top of that and be done with it. Would that work for a patio? I'm in a condo with a 10x15 front concrete patio. I can't go tearing out the concrete, but I'm bored with the plain concrete look. Weather in this part of NorCal is fairly mild all year long. This was just an idea that came to mind for a summertime project.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 7:46PM
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I have 3 year old house with a boring concreate sidewalk & driveway. I was thinking of spliting paving blocks down to 1 1/2" thick, so it would not rase the driveway up to high, and eather gluing them over over the concreate ? Will this work ??? Should I lay sand instead ? I am open for ideals.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:57PM
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You can lay pavers over a GOOD concrete patio. I am doing this. I researched this extensively and found out that you can either lay the pavers right on the concret or lay a thin layer of sand first. The edge pavers must be thin set mortared so that the rest will be locked in...But DONT mortar the whole thing. I live in Minnestoa where it got to -30 f this year. I am not worried about water getting beneath the pavers because everything that I read from actual Paver companies say that the water actually washing right off the top just like a concrete patio. This is done when the sand is properly swept between pavers! Don't worry about the weather and do this project! However, don't forget to make sure you have enough room for your door!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 9:22PM
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I plan on laying brick over an existing covered concrete patio. I was going to 'raise' the patio by laying 2 courses of solder bricks and holding them down with thinset and then filling the area with sand 1 brick layer high and then setting the rest of the brick within. My question is should I leave a 1/2 inch gap between the bricks in the lower course of the solder bricks at the edge of the patio where the grade is lowest to allow for drainage? Would the 1/8 inch space between the bricks already be enough to allow drainage for water that got underneath the bricks?


    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:48AM
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I had flagstone installed over a decent (but 30 year old) concrete patio and the results have been good so far. I live near Washington, DC. It was some sort of concrete mix over the old concrete and flagstone on top of that.
As for pavers---I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that sometimes sand is used because it's less costly and easier, not better. Over time, sand will start to settle and the surface can become irregular in some cases. Concrete is a solid foundation that shouldn't settle---unless the entire slab settles in one direction---but that's different.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 8:22PM
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