There is nothing like the rugged beauty of a patio or walkway built with pavers. Especially when taking the time to create curves that contrast the square or rectangular materials. A curved path draws and entices you to follow it. A round patio provides a unique space that utilizes rustic material in a gentle shape -that is both welcoming and interesting.
Creating this curvature, however, can be challenging and take some time. We’ll be looking at some tips and tricks for making curved pavers cuts to achieve a custom outdoor space that stands out and makes an impact.
Do You Need to Cut Pavers to Make Curves?
It isn’t always necessary to cut pavers to make a curve. It depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.
For a rustic appearance in broad spaces, you can create shapes by varying the spacing of pavers. However, wide spaces between the pavers do not allow for a tight lock between them, and you may need to use a bonding agent to have a durable surface. Read our article about how to make a curved pavers walkway without cutting for more details.
Cutting a curvature into the pavers will create a more uniform appearance which indicates more care and craftsmanship. It also may withstand weathering and traffic better because of the tighter bond created by close-fitting pieces.
What Is the Best Tool for Cutting Pavers for Curves?
You can use a variety of tools to cut curves. Traditional methods such as a hammer and chisel, can be used with some patience. However, we’ll be looking at a more efficient way to save time and energy.
There are a few power-tool options that could be used. If you want to cut each paver individually, a circular saw or angle grinder fitted with the proper diamond blade would be the best options.
If you are laying the pavers in place and cutting the curve afterward, a portable gas or electric cutoff saw or a wet-saw could do the job. This option may disrupt or damage the surface, and these industrial tools may not be readily available.
So, let’s talk about cutting pavers for curves with the versatile, easy-to-use angle grinder.
Safety Tips and Getting Started
Before getting to the actual cutting, keep the below safety precautions in mind:
- Cutting pavers will produce dust and debris, so take the precaution of wearing eye protection.
- Cutting with an angle grinder requires your hands to be near the blade, so take it slow and steady -and wear protective gloves.
- Using a grinder to cut the pavers can create a lot of dust, so wearing a quality dust mask is recommended during the cutting process.
- Lay the paver on a non-slip surface or clamp the paver to a workbench, table, or plank to keep it steady and avoid breaking.
How to Cut Pavers for Curves
With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual cutting process.
Step 1: Mark your layout on the ground as a general reference. Set your pavers in the pattern you prefer, overlapping your ground marks enough to make the actual cut marks on
the top of your pavers once they are in place.
Step 2: Mark the pavers that run along the border of your space. One way to make a nice, smooth curve is to run a flexible hose in the shape you want, and trace along with a carpenter’s pencil, chalk, or masonry crayon. Once the shape is completely marked, you can remove and cut each paver, replacing it before moving on to the next. This way, you won’t misplace any pieces.
Step 3: Time to cut the pavers. With your paver set or clamped securely and your angle-grinder running, gradually cut along the curve mark with the top of the grinder on the inside of the curve this helps to follow the line smoothly with a natural motion. Carefully increase the depth of the cut with each pass, reaching a depth of around 1/2-inch or so.
Step 4: For the best results, flip the paver over and bring your marks around each side, then mark the curve to repeat the cutting process on the back of the paver.
Step 5: Once each side is cut, you can either tap the scrap portion with a hammer or tap inside the cut line with a chisel, and you should have a clean break along your cuts. You can always clean up the curve with the grinder if there are any sharp or jagged portions. Just be sure the paver is secure to avoid unwanted jostling or sudden kicking of the paver.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
Lastly, here are some additional things to keep in mind to make the process easier:
- A 4-inch blade will give you more mobility within the curve. A larger blade will not allow you to follow the curved lines easily.
- Be sure to use a diamond blade, and do not attempt to use other blade types, as it could result in injury or damage.
- Don’t attempt to cut the full depth on your first pass, that will create straight lines instead of a curve. Gradually increasing depth as you run along the curve will allow for a smooth cut.
- If you encounter a lot of resistance while cutting a circular shape, try cleaning out some space around the area before proceeding. If you get the grinder blade into a bind, it could cause a loss of control or it may break the paver unevenly.
Cutting pavers may require patience and care, but the results are worth the effort. Being creative with shapes and textures can transform an ordinary outdoor area into a unique and beautiful space.
While making your patio or walkway with pavers, keep in mind that it will have a rustic beauty that allows for some imperfections in shape and texture. The rugged materials will allow space for some variance in perfection. Keep this in mind while making your cuts. Slight imperfections will not ruin the project.
However, one issue you won’t want to overlook is safety. Take time to be cautious while working with the pavers not only will you get better results, but you may prevent injury and have less material waste.