Curves can add to your paver project and help you to make your project match the architecture surrounding it or to just stand out from other projects with the custom nature of it.
However, curves will no doubt add to the cost of the project. This requires more materials because of the waste that the curves will make after cuts and more time and labor for the cutting and cleanup. They are also not as easy to complete when compared to a straight cut. There are tips and tricks to ensure you get the best quality in your cut and to reduce the amount of time required to complete these cuts.
How to Cut Curves in Pavers
It is definitely more difficult to cut a curve in a paver than it is to make a straight cut. That is because a saw blade is (generally) straight and you cannot bend the blade to your curve.
So to complete these cuts, you need to angle your saw away from the patio for convex curves and make multiple cuts for concave curves. The greater the radius of the curves and the smaller your blade, the easier these cuts will be. The smaller the radius of the curves and the larger your blade, the more difficult these cuts will be.
Start with a quick scoring of the pavers with your blade on the first pass so you do not lose your line that you marked. Then you can take your time on the second cut running all the way through to the depth of the pavers. Angling your blade will help you follow that curve.
Along with angling your blade, you can cut through the scrap side of the paver that will not be used for the project. this will give you some room to continue your curved cut. And for sharper curves, you can make multiple cuts on a paver in order to achieve that curve. You can score the surface of the paver as the curve that you want and the angle your blade to cut the remainder of the paver that does not need to follow that same curve. You will only see that score on the paver.
When it comes to actually marking your cuts on your paver project for a curve, it is helpful to initially lay your pavers past your final border stone. This will give you a platform to lay your border stones to follow the curve that you want them to on top of your pavers that are already laid. Now you can simply mark your pavers for cuts by following this curve on the inside with a marker.
Then, push those border stones out of the way and use your demo saw to follow the curved line. This will produce more waste than cutting each stone piece-by-piece and possibly re-using cut pieces in other areas, but it will save you time in the cutting process. You can still mark a portion of your patio this way, complete your cuts on that portion, and then pick up those cut scrap pieces and use them in another area of your patio when continuing your marking for your curve.
How to Cut Border Pavers on a Curve
Once you have cut a curve in your paver project, you may also need to cut your border stones in to follow that curve. Most pavers come in square or rectangular shapes that may not be suitable for a curved outside edge of a patio. You could lay your pavers on a soldier (long side-by-side) or sailor course (short end-to-end) along this curve, but it will expose large gaps between them on the inside or outside edge of the border. This is going to be too large for not only the strength of the patio, but it will also ruin the appeal of the project itself.
In this case, what you need to do is cut each and every border stone to follow that curve and preferably two cuts per piece. In order to complete this, you would lay two pavers following the curve that your project follows. This will reveal that gap between the two. Now you will measure that gap from the corner of one paver to the other.
Divide this gap by two and apply that measurement to the opposite side of each of those pavers and draw a line to the corner where you measured from. When you make those cuts, those pavers will now follow the curve that you are looking for. Continue this same process, placing the next paver in the border, measure, mark, cut, and continue.
Curved Paver Edging
Alternative to cutting in your borders, you can choose a border that works with curves without needing to cut. There will be some gaps, but it is part of the appeal with this product.
With those gaps along the outside, you may want to tape the outside border after installing an edge restraint prior to installing your jointing compound so that the compound does not spill over the edge of the border. Once the compound has cured, you can remove the tape and backfill with topsoil to the edge to complete the project.