Hot Topics: Using Pavers for a Shed Floor or Foundation

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A DIYer wants to make use of leftover pavers as a floor and/or foundation for a small shed they're constructing. The question is, will pavers be able to stand up to the wear and tear of a storage space? Moreover, are they strong enough for a foundation? The forum gets to the bottom of this issue.

Original Post: Pavers for Shed Floor/Foundation?

oguruma Member

I want to add a 6x8 or 8x8 (can't decide ideal size) shed to my back yard. I have a bunch of 12x12 and 14x14 pavers that I need to get rid of. I am thinking they would make a nice and durable floor for the shed. I also have pea gravel to get rid of as well.

I was thinking of digging out 4-6 inches, filling it with the pea gravel, and then laying the pavers. Then, bolt the 2x4 frame for the house to the pavers with sleeve/bolts. Would this be feasible? Or would it make more sense to go with the standard plywood floor and rest on cinder blocks?

stickshift Group Moderator

Pea gravel is a horrible base material since it won't compact.

XSleeper Member

Anchoring to pavers is pointless. Check with your permitting department to see what they require. Any new building usually requires a permit. If you are buying a prefab shed they might treat it differently than one you build.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Locally, you are allowed to build a shed under 100 square feet without a permit. Not all jurisdictions are the same, so it's something to check on.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with building a shed (or getting a store-bought metal shed) and using the pavers for the floor. As XSleeper said, you can't use the pavers for the foundation.

oguruma Member

In my locality, over 144 square feet or 10-foot peak height trigger a permit, so I should be good.

So, I put the pavers down over dirt, and then what? Leave it freestanding on top of the pavers?

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

What type of shed do you intend to erect? If using 4x4 posts sunk in the ground, you'd build the shed first and then lay the pavers down for the floor. The shed should be anchored to the ground in some manner—just setting it on top of the pavers won't do.

Norm201 Member

I must disagree with Marksr. Don't use pavers for a storage shed. They will easily crack if putting in heavy equipment like a riding mower or if you should drop a piece of equipment. It will also be harder to sweep out when cleaning. And unless they are set in sand with a proper base, they will tend to move and shift. But if that does not bother you, then go for it. My suggestion is to use treated plywood for the floor.

oguruma Member

It would be 2x4 with something like a 4x12 shingle roof and t1-11. The heaviest item to be stored would be a push lawnmower—maybe my telescoping ladder is heavier. Either way, nothing as heavy as a riding lawnmower.

Is laying pavers and anchoring the shed to the pavers not an option? Wouldn't this be similar to anchoring to poured concrete?

aka pedro Member

I'm not going to say that I agree or disagree with either because I generally tend to agree with a lot of what both Mark and Norm say, but in general, I don't see anything wrong with the notion of a paver floor in a shed. Along the lines of what Mark said though, regardless of how you go about it you have to look at the shed and the floor as two distinct entities.

You need to build a shed that is somehow supported and anchored either post-construction or with a perimeter footing. Anchoring to the pavers is not an option. Then, inside the shed you would prepare a proper base, removing the sod and topsoil to a proper depth, adding compact gravel and sand, and then laying your pavers.

A properly prepared paver floor would support way more than enough for what you are going to put in that size shed. To Norm's point though, and I may be off-base here, I do not think of 12x12s and 14x14s as pavers. I assume those are something around 1" thick, intended more for walkways. From what I have seen those are way more susceptible to breaking, cracking, etc., and I would expect to see them do just that over a period of time.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Somehow I missed the large size of the 'pavers.' I still think they'd be OK, but even more attention would need to be paid to the base under them because, as mentioned above, they are more prone to tip/crack than regular pavers.

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

Where are you located?

Pavers over a properly prepared and compacted base are a wonderful and attractive surface. Concrete squares plopped down on bare earth...well, you get what you pay for. The problem is worse if your ground can freeze.

As for anchoring a shed, you can't do that to pavers as you'll be anchoring your shed to something that is not anchored. Actually, you "can" do it, but it probably won't have the effect you want if you are trying to prevent the shed from being blown away in a strong wind. If you can bend over and pick up a paver, it's not a good anchor point.

Norm201 Member

NO! You don't want to anchor to the pavers—they are not solid or attached to the ground. They're OK to use as a floor as you stated, but I would not tie the shed to the pavers in any manner. You can use 4x4 or bigger ties on the ground, with or without crushed stone for drainage, and tie the shed to that. Or, you can sink cement piers (I used foundation blocks) in the ground and put your sleepers or 4x4 ties on that. But if I understand you correctly, putting pavers on the ground will leave the shed wall in contact with the ground. You don't want that, if possible.

XSleeper Member

It really does not make any sense to build a shed that small. You will likely spend more in materials than it costs to buy a small prefinished shed with doors.

If you are insistent on using the pea gravel and pavers that's fine, but just buy a shed, plop it down, and anchor it as instructed, but NOT to the pavers. Anchoring to a 12x12 paver or two is not remotely the same as anchoring to a 2,000 pound concrete pad.

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