Pavers Steps: How To Build Paver Steps Into A Hillside 

Build Steps Into A Hillside

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

One approach to how to build paver steps into a hillside that is both appealing and practical is constructing paver steps into the slope. This is a win-win situation. When correctly installed, stone or brick pavers do not require mortar, which means that the amount of effort necessary to install them is far less than that needed to pour concrete. That is not to imply that there is no effort involved because there is, but rather that the majority of the labor consists of excavating level terraces in preparation for the pavers. However, after that is finished, there is no need for mixing or pouring. It is possible that this will take a number of days or even more time, depending on the slope's height and the path's breadth. It's possible that it may be done on a weekend if the homeowner is determined and the weather cooperates.

Determine The Sequence Of Events

Build Steps Into A Hillside

After you have acquired all of the necessary materials and they are ready to be built, the first thing you need to do is plan out the path that the pathway will travel up the slope. It may curve, or it may go straight up. That relies on your aesthetic preferences as well as any landscape features that you might have to go around. After this has been decided, place stakes at the beginning and end of the path that the pavers will travel all the way up the slope. If it is just going up in a vertical line, then two stakes on either side will do. You may use a line strung in between them as a marker for your work. If the trail is curved, you should place stakes every few feet and then thread the string around each stake as you climb to the top of the incline.

Dig Up The Terraces. Put On Your Rubber Boots And Shovel

Put on your rubber boots and shovel.

After the path has been designated, the following stage is to dig out the terraces, which will be the final phase. This will consume most of your time and call for some careful planning. As a riser between each row of pavers, you will insert a piece of cedar 1x6 that has been treated under pressure. It will be buried approximately half an inch into the earth, leaving about five inches above the surface visible.

When you are digging the terraces, you should keep between the markers, and the maximum height of each rising span should be five inches. The width of the tread, and the horizontal area in which the pavers will be placed, should be anywhere between 12 and 16 inches and should be determined by the size of the pavers. The ascent, the tread, and the height of the slope are the three factors that combine to determine the number of steps you take. While you work, use the level to check that the tread is level, and be sure to add a couple of inches in both the lengthwise and widthwise directions to allow space for the pavers to settle in the gravel.

Building Stone Stairs: A How To Build Stone Stairs

Build Stone Stairs

For the typical homeowner, building stone steps can be a little intimidating. Building stone steps require much labor, starting with digging up the ground and transporting many concrete blocks. Not to mention the kind of specialized tools needed to construct stone stairs. But you can build stone steps by following these straightforward instructions!

  • First, create a plan.
  • Select Your Materials in Step 2
  • Step 3: Calculate the Height and Depth
  • Start with the foundation step in Step 4
  • Lay the remaining steps in Step 5
  • Secure the stones in Step 6

Make The Cuts And Adjust The Risers

Make the Cuts and Adjust the Risers

Take a measurement of the distance that each step has dug out. After marking the wood to an appropriate length, cut it with the circular saw along the line. Place the first riser such that it is centered between the path's two edges. Pound it evenly into the ground with your rubber mallet until approximately an inch of it protrudes over the tread level directly above it. Take individual readings for each riser before doing any necessary cutting or setting.

The Use Of Gravel And Pavers

Gravel and paving stones

Once all of the cedar risers have been installed, fill the spaces between the risers on the treads with pea gravel. Level off the surface once the area has been filled up to just below the top of the planks.

After the gravel has been laid down, you may start putting the pavers in position in the tread area. The span must be broad enough to accommodate pavers of a particular size. For example, three pavers measuring 1 foot by 1 foot may be placed side by side in an area of 13 inches by 38 inches, which allows for some wiggle room. Place the pavers in the gravel until the point where they are immobile. To further secure them in place, you may use the rubber mallet to give them a few gentle taps.

An eye-catching route up a hillside has been created for you as a result of laying pavers in the gravel. Check your work carefully and make sure the cedar risers are firmly planted in the earth where they go. It's possible that if you press the pavers up against them, it will assist in holding them in place. Building paver steps into a hillside is a way of building paver stairs into a hillside that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional.

Brick Paver Cleaning: Common Errors to Look Out For

The chore of cleaning brick pavers should be performed consistently. Pavers made of brick are utilized in a variety of locations, including patios and driveways. They are subjected to more dirt simply because they are outside, in addition to the fact that if the area is utilized for entertainment or for automobiles, then more residuals will be left on the pavers. There are instances when we may have a tendency to participate in fundamental cleaning procedures that are not really appropriate for brick pavers in particular. The following is a list of errors that you should make every effort to avoid.

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

The Product Called Paver Cleaner

On the market, you may find a wide variety of paver cleaner products. Nevertheless, the applicability of some may be lower than that of others. Keep an eye on the comments and reviews that previous customers have left, and take into consideration the reputation of the particular brand. In addition to this, you need to make sure that you apply the cleaner in the precise consistencies, as specified by the specific instructions. In addition to this, you need to determine whether or not the brick pavers you are using are constructed of clay or cement. Some cleaners are more suited for bricks that are mainly built of cement, while others are more perfect for brick pavers that are primarily composed of clay. Both types of bricks may be cleaned using these different types of cleansers.

How to Build Flagstone Steps

build flagstone steps

Natural stone is appealing if rustic, material to utilize for garden steps. Stone is ideal for a decorative meandering path with grades or a second set of steps to access a separate part of the garden. However, it won't work in every case.

Make sure you have enough support to move the flagstones properly or use a patchwork of smaller stones since they can be cumbersome.


It is preferable to source your stone before you begin to prepare the ground for the steps because stone sizes can vary greatly. If each effort is made of one enormous stone, remember that each step will be stabilized by the one below if the stone is large enough for the step above to overlap. You must place smaller rocks into a mortar bed if you're utilizing them.

To determine how many steps and what size steps you need, see our project on building garden steps. You can also use the illustration below as a visual reference for laying the stairs.

As soon as you acquire a stone, organize your steps by arranging the rocks and estimating the approximate amount of digging required for each step. Dig out the general contour of the steps and mark them with string lines. To guarantee a firm footing, you may wish to create a concrete foundation for the first step, regardless of whether you use large or little stones for your efforts.

Dig a trench around the front and sides of the space that is approximately 200mm (8") wide and 150mm (6") deep, marking the location of your first step. With a club hammer, compact 100mm (4") of hardcore into the trench, then mix up and add concrete up to the top of the track. Visit our Mixing Concrete project for assistance with the concrete. Before continuing, let the concrete dry for a few days.

Constructing The Steps

The weight of the stone itself will hold huge flags placed one step in place; all you need to do is make sure each stage has a solid base to prevent it from sinking into the earth. Laying each stone on a layer of scalpings or hardcore that has been well compacted can help achieve this.

Mark out the second step by laying the first one on the concrete foundation and overlapping it by at least a fourth of the stone's overall depth. Dig the step area to a depth of around 100mm (4"), then fill it with hardcore and compact it with a club hammer. Cover the hardcore with a layer of sharp sand or mortar to ensure a flat base before setting the second stone. For each step, repeat this.

To ensure that smaller stones remain fixed and don't shift, mortar them into place is necessary. Dig a hole inside your concrete foundation, fill it with hardcore, compact it thoroughly, and then cover the hardcore and foundation with a layer of mortar. If you need help mixing mortar, check out our project on Mortar Mixes.

Carefully place the stone pieces, so they are all level with one another and do not pose any trip hazards. Use a pointed trowel to add more mortar between the stones for a smooth finish.

Next, dig out and fill with hardcore once more, taking care not to disrupt the mortared stones from the previous phase. Before continuing, you might want to wait for the mortar to harden. Although your second step should slightly overlap the first step, there is no benefit to doing so more than is necessary because you are using numerous little pieces of stone rather than one large flag. Over your hardcore basis, add a layer of mortar, then place the stones and mortar in according to the first step. Continue doing this until you are done with all the steps.

Before using the procedures, give the mortar a couple days to dry.

The Working Method

When cleaning brick pavers, the process that you employ should be designed in such a manner that the dirt is adequately eliminated rather than spread across the paver surface. It is possible that you could cause more harm to the pavers if you do not sweep the floor well before applying the paver cleaning. It is imperative that you begin by sweeping it well since neglecting this procedure might be a significant error in judgment.

The frequency Of It All

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

Allowing dirt to accumulate is a grave error that should be avoided at all costs. It is in everyone's best interest to sweep the floor on a consistent basis. Spraying the brick pavers with water at least once a week is an effective method for preventing buildup. By doing so, you will avoid the accumulation of dirt, particularly in the spaces between the pavers. This is of the utmost significance in the event that the brick pavers have not been sealed.

Although it is simple to seal engraved brick pavers, you will need a specialized sealer applicator in order to get a thin covering on the imprinted regions. Here is a step-by-step guide on sealing brick pavers, beginning to end.

Instruments And Components

  • Detergent
  • Oxygen
  • Bleach
  • Stiff
  • Floor Brush
  • Acetone Stripper
  • Garden Hose
  • Joint Stabilizing Sealer (or Penetrating Sealer)
  • Mask
  • Tape for Masking
  • A Paint Roller with a Long Handle
  • An Applicator Made of Microfiber

First Step:

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

Clean the Bricks. Remove any weeds and vacuum away any dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the bricks.

Brick pavers are often set in a method that allows them to interlock with one another, and joint sand is typically placed below the bricks to act as a substance that binds the bricks together. In light of this, when cleaning the surface of the brick paver, do not make use of a power washer. A standard garden hose will do the trick. The pressure from the power washer may wash away the sand that is located below the bricks. In order to level the surface, you may need to restore the sand that was washed away, which will require more labor.

You may make a soap solution by mixing water and detergent at a ratio of 50:50. Add oxygen bleach to the answer to assist in the killing of algae, molds, and other live creatures that are growing on the surface of the bricks. These organisms can be found living in the solution. To remove all traces of grime, oil, and stains from the floor, scrub it well using a floor brush with a firm bristle setting. Water should be used to rinse. Let it dry completely before proceeding. If the brick paver has not been used before, you can move on to Step 3 now. Proceed with the instructions that follow, even if there is an old sealer still on the surface.

The Second Step:

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

Additional Surface Preparation. You will need to purchase an acetone stripper and then use a paintbrush or roller brush to apply it to the surface. After allowing it to sit for 5 minutes, brush the area with a floor brush that has a firm bristle. It is necessary to rinse the surface in order to remove any chemical residue and flaking old sealant. Before sanding the surface using a block of sandpaper with medium grit, make sure it has had ample time to dry completely. Repeat the process of vacuuming the whole area to remove any sanding debris.

Third Step:

Put a Lid on It

First, don your mask, and then get the micro-fiber applicator and the sealer that goes with it. Start by applying the sealer to the parts that have been etched. When applying sealers to engraved regions, the micro-fiber applicator is the ideal instrument to use since it allows for the application of a skinny coat, which is the desired result. Allow the item to dry for between two and four hours. During the time that the parts that were engraved are drying, you may immediately start applying sealer to the sections that were not impressed.

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

Get out the paint roller and roll a layer that is medium to thick over the portions that are not etched. Only one way should be rolled on the sealer. This is done to prevent the roller from lifting the joint sand, which is something that typically occurs when rolling a paint roller on brick stones above joint sand. This may be avoided by doing as described above. Allow the item to dry for between two and four hours.

Apply a second coat using the microfiber applicator to the parts that have engravings, and use the paint roller to apply the skin to the regions that do not have engravings. If you intend to apply a second coat, wait two to four hours for the first one to dry. It should be allowed to dry for forty-eight hours before the normal traffic flow in the region may be resumed.

The cleaning of engraved brick pavers can provide a number of challenges. In addition to cleaning them like you would smooth pavers, you will also need to address the etched sections.

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

You Are Going To Need

  • The broom
  • The bucket
  • The scrub brush
  • Cleaning products for the home
  • White vinegar Scrub brush Power washer Bleach

The First Step Is To Prepare.

Keep your engraved brick pavers spotless at all times by sweeping them. It's possible for dirt and debris to get lodged in the engraving, where it can then either collect water and develop mold or mildew or darken as the junk rots away. It is much simpler to maintain them clean by just sweeping and hosing them down sometimes, as opposed to having to scrub each one separately or use a pressure washer.

The Second Step Is To Clean.

In the event that was hosing down your pavers is not sufficient to clean them, the engraved portions will need to be scrubbed clean in order to restore their beauty. Scrub them with a solution consisting of one gallon of hot water and one-eighth of a cup of household cleanser. Scrub for as long as necessary after dipping the scrub brush into the mixture.

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

If there are stains in the engraving that are difficult to remove, you may need to add a quarter cup of bleach to the combination of hot water and thoroughly soak the paver. After allowing it to sit for a few minutes, clean it well. Proceed by rinsing with fresh water.

For this task, you may want to consider using a power washer to save time if you have a large number of pavers to clean. Start the cleaning process by setting the pressure washer to a medium setting.

When putting brick driveway pavers, one of the perks is that individual bricks may be easily replaced or repaired in the event that any of the bricks get damaged. Because the bricks are not grouted and are not attached to the ground in any manner with mortar, it is simple to remove and replace them.

Paver Steps Into A Hillside

Instruments And Components

  • Bricks that have been replaced
  • Wooden mallet
  • Sand Gloves and Wooden Floats
  • Wet saw
  • Brush with wires
  • Tongs for removing paver stone
  • Pry bar

First Step: Take Away The Bricks That Are Damaged

take Away The Bricks That Are Damaged

Remove the sand from the spaces between the grout lines by using a wire brush. After the sand has been removed from the edges of the brick paver, place the paver extraction tongs on top of the brick paver and adjust the clamps so that they fit the size of the paver. Once a secure grasp has been achieved, squeezing the device's handles in order to raise the paver off of the ground is the next step. Giving up your hold on the paver will allow you to let it free. Put the brick that's been damaged to the side. Move on to the subsequently damaged brick and remove it using the same method as before. Make it a point not to get rid of the bricks just yet before you have measured how big they are.

It is also possible to use two (2) little pry bars as an alternate method for removing the damaged bricks from the structure. Put one pry bar into the crack on one side of the brick and the second pry bar into the break on the other side. To remove the brick from the driveway, carefully scoop it up and pull it away from the surface of the driveway.

The Second Step Is To Clean The Cavity

 Clean The Cavity.

To remove any extra sand from the cavity's inside borders, use a wire brush to scrub the area. Add some sand to the bottom of the hole where the new brick will go, then use a wood float to level it off. Only then should you insert the new brick. It is imperative that the sand be brought up to the same level as the bases of the other pavers in the area.

Step 3: Obtain Substitutes For Your Items

It is essential to acquire the appropriate replacement for the one that was destroyed. When developing replacement bricks, it is necessary to take into consideration the color as well as the size of the broken ones and to utilize those exact requirements. Bricks come in a wide variety of dimensions, styles, and hues, which allows them to be used to pave some driveways. In the event that this is the case, make a careful record of all of the brick pavers that were removed and check to be that each replacement has the appropriate size, color, and pattern. After the reserves have been put in, the driveway will continue to give the impression that nothing has been altered as long as the replacements are done correctly.

Install The Replacements As The Fourth Step

Install The Replacements As The Fourth Step

Place each piece of the replacement in the appropriate cavity. Before you proceed, check that the base of the crater is correctly aligned with the headquarters of the other pavers and that they are all leveled to the same height. Place each individual paver, one at a time, into the respective cavity. If the replacements are going to be put along the borders of the driveway, you should cut them to the appropriate size and angle using a wet saw. The pavers can be driven deeper into the hollow by tapping them with a wooden mallet until the top sections of the pavers are even with the surface of the driveway.
Sand should then be poured around the replacements, and, using a tiny brush, the sand should be swept into the joints. To get the sand to go even deeper into the joints, you can use a wooden float. Check to see that all of the replacements have been leveled and grouted appropriately.