Can I put pavers right over concrete walk?

kim31kimJune 16, 2003

I would like to spruce up my front entryway by adding pavers. I was just wondering if I could somehow affix them on top of the current sidewalk rather than ripping up the sidewalk? My husband is concerned that it would make the walk to high up, but couldnt I just pile the mulch along side the walk a little higher? (right now its bordered with monkey grass/mulch.)

How tough of a project is this?



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What kind of pavers?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 8:54AM
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I am looking at something like this:

I love that brick/stone walkway look, but don't know if I am strong enough to remove teh sidewalk myself.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 9:02AM
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Rocky Grewal

yeah you can put pavers directly on top of the sidewalk but you will have to use mortar. I wonder if their are thinner pavers that you can use. I know that you could cut the pavers thinner, but it might be tough to get them all the exact same size and I've never heard of anyone doing that. yeah, you could just pile the mulch up higher.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 2:34AM
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Thanks funkmetric! As it is now, the sidewalk is a little bit too low anyway, when it rains it puddles. The only place that I would be really concerned about the height of the bricks/pavers is at the very end where it meets the driveway. I don't want to cause people to trip because its not smooth there. Any ideas on how to fix that?

Also, is there any specific kind of mortar I should get? Are some mortars easier to work with? Is this something I can get at HD or Lowes?


    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 8:16AM
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Janine Starykowicz

If it puddles, the sidewalk may have settled and is no longer level. Check that, also check that it still slopes away from the house.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 12:33AM
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I wouldn't think you would necessarily need mortar just because it is placed on concrete vs. gravel or sand. The main issue would be the finished height. If the paver tops are much higher than the surrounding soil, the path edges will tend to separate over time, unless something is done to firmly hold them in place.

Mulch is not a very good option for that purpose. It might look ok for a while, but mulch is temporal stuff that decays and has little mass to hold the pavers in place. If possible, I would try to build up the soil around the path so that the ground is flush with or higher than the top of the pavers. You can also buy a special kind of (nearly invisible) paver edging that holds the outside pavers in place, or even make your own border using pressure-treated lumber. BTW, not all pavers are of equal height... I have seen some that are pretty thin, no more than 1-1/2 inches. Seems like the thinner the pavers, the better, in your case.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 9:20PM
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I did this: The sidewalk was too narrow, so I dug out soil, about 6" or so deep, to the desired width, filled in the trench with sand just a little higher than the sidewalk to allow for settling (it takes a LOT of sand!), laid the pavers over the sidewalk & the sand,poured sand over them to fill in the seams,built up the flowerbed on the side with the concrete underneath, & put metal edging on the sand side, pounding it down even with the pavers, & then built up the soil on that side. I never did figure out a really attractive way to blend the area where the driveway meets the walkway, I just added a little soil & let the bermuda grass fill in a "slope". I probably should have used cement or quik-crete. The city is using slopes instead of angular curbs on new streets at people's driveways now, & it looks much gentler. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 5:01PM
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Thanks for the replies! I am glad to know that it can be done without mortar. I suppose if I have some really strong edging that is worked in tight that the pavers will have to stay in place. (no where to move to) I found some pavers that I like that are only about an inch or so thick, I might try those. I think I forgot to mention that my walk is also lined with really thick monkey grass, so that will help hide the edge as well.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 10:17PM
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hybridtufa(8b TX)

I covered my concrete patio slab with concrete pavers. I used a notched trowel to spread thinnset on the slab to adhere them. It went real quick and nothing moves. No edge constraint to worry about either. I've set thousands of feet of pavers on sand, but since you are using thin pavers over concrete, I think you should thinset them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 9:10PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

If there is nothing wrong with the concrete, you can use concrete stain as a faux finish of sorts to create the effect of pavers.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2003 at 4:05PM
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princess_mimi(z5 6 OH)

I was going to cover my walk and front stoop with natural rock pavers that I picked up last year for a song. I'm pregnant with boy #5 this summer so the project will have to wait until next year.

Anyway, I spoke with a mason about how to do it. here is what he said:

1. Be sure that your existing concrete is perfectly clean. A pressure washer should do the job fast and easily.

2. Use concrete rather than mortar to set the stones in. It is harder and more durable than mortar or grout products.

3. Use a trowel to apply a thick enough coat to a limited area so that you push the stones into it and it squishes up to fill the cracks. He said that setting them and trying to fill the cracks aterward is a major problem involving painting all of your rocks with a releasing agent so they don't get covered with the cement.

4. Since I want to make this surface match a small walk that I dry laid nearby I will then scatter pea gravel over the surface and gently push them into the cement in the cracks. This will help with traction during icy and snowy times.

Hope that this helps!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2003 at 11:03PM
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Concrete pavers tend to effloresce. This is a problem for most manufacturers of concrete products. Attaching concrete pavers using grout or a concrete mix will trap water (when it is applied) in between the pavers causing the paver to turn white, especially around the edges of the pavers. My experience with an "overlay" has given me a new approach. I suggest to cut holes in the existing concrete walkway where the water stands or puddles for a drainage effect before you start your project. Next, lay a filter fabric over the areas you have cut. Then you need to install some (course) washed concrete sand. This allows for proper separation of moisture so the paver doesn;t wick the moisture causing the surface to effloresce. Then lay the paving stones over the screeded sand using an edge restraint along the edges to keep the stones together. You may need to build up to the edges dus to the height difference. This is the only way the you will ensure that you will not get ugly white stains on the surface of the paving stones. Water is the biggest threat to any paving job.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2004 at 11:04AM
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I have old victorian sears home and in the front yard area I have a concrete slab walk way that is approx 40 feet long two feet wide that leads up to a concrete set of steps (five wide steps) that is connected to the front porch area. I want to lay a nice looking stone over the concrete and steps. How do I do it without breaking up the slab of concrete?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 3:45PM
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lland(z6 PA)

We just pulled out our concrete walk and replaced it with pavers rather than just place them over the concrete. We did this so the pavers would be level with the lawn and also (mor important) so we could change the shape fo the walk. Rather than the straight concrete with a right angle bend, it now curves gracefuly and looks much better. Pulling out the old concrete is not as hard as you would think.

We also covered the porch with pavers and added a step...but went right over the concrete there.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2004 at 6:55AM
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didgeridoo(z7 SC)

To eliminate the height difference between the new pavers and the existing driveway, you could cut and remove the last 4 feet or so of the sidewalk, then build a form and pour a concrete bed sloping down to the thickness of the paver. Then when you set your pavers, they will come out flush with the driveway. If it is a thin paver, you may be able to grind away the difference.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 10:36PM
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we used travertine pavers right over our driveway and walkway. you can just take off the area where the walkway / driveway merge with street. I don't know which area you are located but some sites have the spec you can use. We use carrera international for our pavers. They emailed us the installation guide for our installer.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:21PM
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I just had someone who put pavers over my concrete patio. The pavers look like bricks and they are interlocking. The problem is that when it raisn, I get the sand all over and there are spaces that the sand is missing. Can I put concrete or any other product to hold the sand in and avoid the dispersion of sand all over??

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:53AM
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Homerva had asked about going over concrete steps with pavers, but there was no response. Does anyone know if that is possible? We have concrete stairs going out the back of our house and it goes to a small concrete pad, then there's yard. We want to put in a patio and go over the steps with pavers to match. Is this possible, or should we try to remove the stairs? Is there a way to easily do that without spending a ton to rent equiptment?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:23PM
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I am about to have someone do work on my patio but he doesn't specialize in this so I'm trying to learn more myself first! I want to have brick pavers put on top of the concrete slab (if possible) on my back patio AND have the pavers extend into the yard a few feet to enlarge the patio. Is that possible? How will the pavers stay flush? Would it be best to rip up the existing concrete? If they put the pavers on the concrete, how should it be glued??

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 1:37PM
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We are doing a job at the moment laying travertine over an existing concrete driveway. The GC just finished fixing the cracks on the concrete and we are planning to lay the pavers over top. It's much cheaper than ripping up the driveway and starting from scratch.

We will set the pavers with concrete for the border (to hold everything in place) and sand set the rest. The client wanted to mix chiseled gold and chiseled ivory together to form an "L" shaped pattern. We also ordered the pavers from travertine mart. With the shipping it is still cheaper than ordering from most of the places around here in Va Beach. I hope to share the pictures when we are finished!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 1:20PM
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My wife and I have juts purchased a home, and out back there is a large patio with 8 of 8'x10' precast slabs, 8" thick in very good shape (5yrs old) sloping away from home. Was going to rip them up and lay stone instead, but the amount of material and work to remove those slabs scares me. I've seen postings saying that you can lay stone or tile on top of the concrete, but I want to be absolutely sure about the method of how I adhere the new product atop of the existing??

Would appreciate any feedback..Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:05PM
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