If You’re Laying Landscape Pavers, You Need This Easy Trick

Updated: May 15, 2023

Planning to spruce up your yard this summer with some concrete landscaping pavers? We review a popular TikTok hack claiming to make the job easier.

With summer just around the corner, homeowners everywhere are thinking about backyard BBQs, campfires and quality outdoor time with family. Backyard decor and features can go a long way to enhance your experience this summer, and masonry pathways made with concrete pavers are one touch that improves both yard function and appearance.

Trouble is, digging out a large swath of your yard for pavers is a lot of work, and leaves unsightly grassless areas that can take months to grow in. That’s where this popular TikTok hack can help. It’s a great way to install pavers with minimal time and effort. The idea is to dig out only the sod necessary to install your pavers and no more. No extra work or topsoil is needed, and no need to wait for grass seed to sprout.

@aarongould #lifehack #milwaukeetools #tooltips #georippernation #sawzalleverything #sawzall #diy #landscaping #paver #dotyourself #learnontiktok #ilearnedontiktok ♬ original sound – Aaron Gould

What’s the Best Way to Install Pavers?

To properly install your pavers, you’ll need:

  • A cordless reciprocating saw with a large, coarse blade
  • A straight-mouthed shovel
  • A supply of 3/4-inch gravel screenings
  • A handheld tamper tool

The TikTok hack above shows how to minimize digging, but skips a few important steps, which I’ll explain here.


  • Lay out your pavers exactly where you want them in your yard. Take some time to ensure you’re fully satisfied with their location.
  • Use your reciprocating saw to cut carefully through the sod around each paver, using the edges of the pavers as a guide for your saw blade (this is as far as the hack goes).
  • Remove the pavers, placing them on one side. Use a straight-mouthed shovel to carefully dig out the rectangles of sod you’ve separated with your reciprocating saw. The result is a neat rectangular hole where each paver will be installed.
  • Use your shovel to make the holes deep enough to accommodate the pavers plus an additional 4 inches of material. As you work, take care not to enlarge the perimeter of the holes.
  • With all the holes complete, fill them partway with 3/4-inch gravel screenings. Level and compact the screenings with a tamper tool, aiming for 4 inches of compacted gravel in each hole.
  • Carefully place each paver in its hole on top of the compacted screenings.

Other Tips and Tricks for Installing Pavers Easily

Worker Hammering The Stone Plates To Install Footpath At GardenBrilliantEye/Getty Images

  • If your soil is exceptionally hard, you may be able to get away without adding and compacting screenings. Just be sure the soil in your holes is firm and unfluffed by your shovel before paver installation.
  • If you plan to install multiple pavers close together and don’t want grass and weed sprouting between them, use hardening paver sand to keep the unwanted vegetation at bay.
  • Ensure your pavers sit flat by using a 6-inch torpedo level during installation.