Paver Digging Depth: Installation Guidelines - TRUEGRID Pavers

The Digging Dilemma: How Deep to Dig for Pavers?

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You’ve probably seen a paver patio before; you’ve likely admired one, eaten dinner on one, and even grilled on a paver patio, but have you ever stopped to consider how it was built? More specifically, have you ever wondered how deep to dig for patio pavers?

Paver Digging Depth

Building a paver patio is not rocket science, but there are specific steps you need to follow and certain tasks that need to be achieved, the first of which is excavating your proposed patio area.

To properly install a paver patio, you must first excavate the area so that you can build the appropriate base layers. The base layers provide proper drainage and help prevent substantial movement and heaving in the patio, to help ensure that you get a high-quality finished product that lasts a lifetime.

So how do you know how deep to dig for pavers? Several factors need to be considered to answer this question adequately.

What are Pavers?

The term “paver” typically refers to a man-made masonry product, usually manufactured from concrete. Pavers come in specific and consistent geometric shapes, most often squares and rectangles.

Pavers come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, in order to provide a wide range of products to match or complement any home, landscape, or design choice.

How Deep to Dig for Pavers?

To determine how deep you need to dig for pavers, you need to determine the following factors;

  1. What is the thickness of your paver?
  2. What is the required thickness of your bedding material?
  3. What is the required depth of your base material?

1. Thickness of Your Paver

Measure the thickness of the paver and record your measurement.

2. What is the Required Thickness of Your Bedding Material?

The bedding material is the thin sand or stone dust layer used to level the pavers on top of the base material. This layer is typically screeded to a height of about one inch.

3. What is the Required Depth of Your Base Material?

The base material typically consists of gravel or crushed stone and must be thoroughly compacted to ensure a high-quality installation. If your project requires a 6” base of gravel, that means 6” after full compaction.

Although codes and regulations vary across locations, a good rule of thumb is that you need between 4-6 inches of base material for patios and walkways and between 6-12 inches of base material for a driveway.

So how deep do you need to dig for pavers? Just add up your measurements.

(Thickness of your paver) + (Thickness of bedding material) + (Depth of base material) = How deep to dig for pavers.

Using TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers

A great alternative to traditional pavers are TRUEGRID permeable pavers.

Using TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers

Unlike standard concrete pavers that are impervious to water and can be susceptible to heaving, cracking, and movement, TRUEGRID permeable pavers are 100% pervious, will never crack, and are virtually maintenance-free.

Benefits of Using TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers:

Stormwater Management

TRUEGRID permeable pavers allow water to pass through them and back into the groundwater supply, so they can help reduce flash flooding and alleviate pressure on overworked storm drain systems.

Low Maintenance

TRUEGRID permeable pavers are immune to cracking, heaving, lifting, and splitting. By filling permeable pavers with gravel or grass, you will never need to worry about replacing broken or damaged pavers or resetting pavers that have come out of place. TRUEGRID permeable pavers are virtually maintenance-free.


Made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic (HDPE), TRUEGRID permeable pavers have kept millions of pounds of plastics out of waterways and landfills.

By creating a grass patio, walkway, or driveway reinforced with permeable pavers, you can also help to alleviate the heat island effect in your local area.

Additionally, by allowing stormwater to be returned to the ground, you are helping to replenish vital groundwater supplies.

Easy to Install

TRUEGRID permeable pavers are considerably easier to install than their rigid, concrete counterparts.

With TRUEGRID you have to dig even less than for concrete pavers.

TRUEGRID permeable pavers do not require a bedding material, so to find out how deep to dig for pavers, just measure the thickness of the permeable paver and add it to your required base material depth. Add an extra quarter-inch to half- inch so that the top of your permeable paver sits below grade.

Want an even more straightforward installation process? Check out the TRUEGRID ROOT® system to create structurally reinforced grass living spaces with no excavation whatsoever!

Choose TRUEGRID for an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Concrete Pavers

Since 2013, TRUEGRID has been developing environmentally-friendly and structurally superior paving alternatives that will help the planet.

Providing the PRO PLUS with industry-leading compressive strength for industrial applications, the versatile PRO LITE for patios and walkways, and the ROOT® for effortlessly reinforced grass landscapes, TRUEGRID has what you need for your next project.

View the entire lineup of TRUEGRID products, or get an online estimate today and discover how you can be true to your project and true to the environment with TRUEGRID.

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