Paver Edging – All Need to Know About Installation, Borders & Restraints

Paver Edging – All Need to Know About Installation, Borders & Restraints

Mar 28, 2023

Soldier Course Border Pattern

Augmenting the natural beauty is the prime reason that homeowners are looking for natural stone pavers at World of Stones USA (WOSU) and its distributors across the nation. Paver edging offers an immense opportunity to enhance the natural beauty of natural stone pavers and secure the structure. Let’s dive into details about paver edging installation, border options, and restraints to make it safe and durable.

Susan & James have laid a driveway path from their garage door to the main gate crossing the landscape in zigzag layout. The DIY project lasted for weeks, and they have used the best quality pavers to give it an aesthetic appeal.

Unfortunately, after several months the interlocking designed was ruined, and pavers started leading to create gaps due to movement on the edges both sides. They consulted World of Stones USA and asked for help.

When our consultants had examined the site, they realized the issue with paver edges. The overenthusiastic couple was not aware of paver edging technologies and techniques prevailing in the market. Moreover, they didn’t consult our stone consulting services prior to jumping on DIY tasks.

We have noticed the gap of knowledge regarding paver edges and edge restraint installation process. So, we have decided to provide working knowledge through the current post.

Fundamentally, the paver edging is the structural element in outdoor paving projects. However, it has aesthetic, functional, and decorative aspects if you think it creatively. Let’s see different aspects of paver edging to make the next project unique and durable.

Paver Edging – Paver Border Patterns

Technically, paver edges need a typical paver border to define it visually. Paver edge restraints are structural elements and support the paver border elements to stay against the load and pressure onto the paving structure.

It means paver borders are capable of adding new dimensions in your paving design, be it a patio, walking path, or driveway in your landscape. Typically, four types of paving edge/border patterns used in practice across the globe.

Soldier Course Border Pattern:

Soldier course means stones or blocks laid side-by-side or parallel to form a distinct and consistent border design. In most cases, rectangular stone pavers are lying at the edge of paving, and colors of border pavers are usually in contrast to the rests of pavers. It helps in defining a soldier course border visually.

Sailor Course Border Pattern:

In contrast to the soldier course, the sailor course border pattern contains edge pavers laid lengthwise in one or more rows. Smart designers choose border or edge pavers differing in textures as well as colors to make them visually distinct.

Inlaid Border Pattern:

Inlaid means one more border within a border at the edge. Usually, designers apply both, solder course and sailor course at a time. It becomes more visually appealing than only one kind of border pattern.

Banding & Ribboning Border Pattern:

When a paving project consists of bands or ribbons in between the paver pattern, it garners a visually alluring appeal. The designer used to use a band or border pavers matching or similar to the border’s pavers to make it more interesting and eye-catchy. Of course, it demands creativity, planning, and hard work, but it proves worth to spend all.

Customized Border Pattern:

If you wish to have an artistic approach with full of creativity, customization is the way to go.

Paver Edging – Paver Edge Restraints

The prime role of paver edge restraints is to hold the laid pavers within a limit and prevent unwanted expansions due to living/dead pressure, moving/standstill load, wind, water, and snow-like factors natural factors. Edge restraints also help in giving the paving project a shape like a curved path/driveway or patio with odd designs.

There are two kinds of edge restraints use in practice:

  • The first and old method is concrete curbing by manual or troweled method, and machinery aided or poured concrete methods.
  • The second is the manufactured edge restraints, which are mostly L-shaped & made of PVC, steel, or aluminum like materials with commendable strength.

Paver Curbing by Poured or Troweled Concrete

However, it is not an ideal method in the moist climate and soil dominated with expanding clays, It is ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute) approved, and many contractors favor due to varying reasons.

  • The argument in favor of poured concrete edge is its stability. There is a possibility of spikes move due to ground heave in the case of manufactured edge restraints.
  • Moreover, concrete is handy material, and contractors can use it with reinforcing steel to give additional strength to the structure.
  • A contractor needs not to wait to place the order and dispatched at the working site because of poured concrete demands minimum preparation and time to erect and go ahead in the paving project.

Apart from concrete (precast or poured) curbing, timber/wood, brick, and natural stones also used as paving edge restraints. For instance,

Brick Edges

In brick paving, brick edges are a norm.

Timber or Wood Edging

Walking paths and some low traffic driveways can bear timber or wooden edge restraints.

Paver Edging by Manufactured Edge Restraints

Manufactured edge restraints mostly made from heavy-duty PVC or sturdy metals. So, it can withstand the load, pressure, and climatic forces. The manufactured edge restraints have certain benefits viz.

  • Injection Molding design offers strength and stability.
  • The back walls reinforced with buttress provide additional support and strength against horizontal pressures.
  • When a spike holds strong interlocking joints together, it creates a highly secure connection with additional strength.
  • Joints and material used in manufacturing edge restraints offered enough flexibility.
  • Open base design in the edge restraints allows the growth of grass and plants to make it invisible structure buried in the ground.

There are three kinds of edge restraints used in the paving industry.

A – Snap Edge Restraint

As its name suggests, it snaps to the stone paving layout/design and offers flexibility in creating complex curvatures.

  • Snap edge restraints are contractor grade products in the market, and designed to use with natural stones of 2” – 3 1/8” thickness.
  • It has 1 7/8” back wall height & 2 7/8” width of the base.
  • It is available in the market in 8’ pieces.

B – Barrier Edge Restraint

As its name suggests, it creates a permanent barrier between the paving area and ground to prevent mixing due to the expansion of pavers. Thus, it holds pavers in the place.

  • In the market, barrier edge restraints are available in 6’ 8” pieces.
  • It has 1 7/8” back wall height & 2 7/8” width of the base.
  • It is a reusable and convenient solution.
  • Contractors can use it for a straight run, tight bands, and sweeping curves.

C – Low Profile Edge Restraint

It is perfectly engineered for the natural stone paving with slabs and blocks. It designed to be hidden/buried in the ground, so it has less than 2” height. That is why it called low-profile edge restraints and contractors love this non-intrusive design a lot everywhere.

  • It has 1 3/8” back wall height.
  • It has 2 7/8” wide base.
  • It also comes in 6’ 8” pieces.

Paver Edging – Paver Steps Coping

Many walking paths are in slops when uneven landscape design is in-place. These stone paving paths are in multiple and large steps. These steps have edges at the front and require edge restraints or step coping design to secure the stability of stone pavers.

Let’s see some standard and typical steps and coping design ideas prevailing in the industry.

Retaining Wall Blocks as Step Edge

Stone blocks are acting as retaining walls for smaller height steps. These blocks also act as stepping edges for step paver projects in your walkways.

Retaining Wall Caps as Stepping Edges

When retaining wall has caps formed by the extended edge stone pavers, it acts as normal wall cap edges in stepping paver projects.

Bullnose Paver Step Edging

Additional bullnose stones have laid here to protect the retaining wall beneath and step pavers on the top. Bullnose design is an innocent and good-looking option. It looks decent when different stone colors have used as bullnose caps from the rests of pavers in your stone paving design.

Paver Edging – How to Install Paver Edge Restraints

Installation of paver edge restraints either can take place before the stone paver installation or afterward.

We have seen the basics of Natural Stone Installation for Walkway and Patio in detail. That means the steps of paving installation are also common for the edge restraint installation, like creating a paver base and top sand base. The difference remains only when you want to go for low-profile or hidden edge restraints, which need to install on a paver base at the required depth to keep it below the paving surfaces on the top layer.

For snap edge restraints or barrier edge restraints, the installation procedure is akin except you have to make the placement of edge restraints according to types of edge restraints.

Step 1 – Take measurements well before the installation of edge restraints and prepare ground accordingly.

Step 2 – Insert spikes at 8 to 10 inches intervals. Be careful in the selection of non-galvanized spikes because galvanized coating prevents rotting or the oxidation process, which ensures additional grips in the ground.

Step 3 – Use an electric hammer drill or hand hammer depends on the length of the project and time, as well as the efforts needed.

Step 4 – Cover the edge restraints with pavers at a side and loam or mulch at another side. Allow grasses to grow in backfilled areas around the perimeter with topsoil to create a strong grip and dead load. The roots of grass beneath the soil create the solid grips for edge restraints and provide additional support against the horizontal load/pressure.

Where to Get Reliable Pavers & Edging Materials?

World of Stones USA (WOSU) is an ideal place to obtain high quality stone pavers at competitive rates. Besides the stone paving products, you will avail of free consulting services from the stone experts on various projects.


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