Paver patio strong enough?

Hello Everyone! We have a concrete paver patio where the pavers are laid on top of around 4 inches of “crush and run”. Would this be strong enough to support brick oven construction, or would we need to pull up the pavers and pour a concrete pad where the oven will go? Thanks in advance for any advice!

Hello @bwilliby!

Here’s a FAQ article about that very question:

Building an Oven on Top of an Existing Concrete or Paver Patio or Slab

From what I know of pavers, the strength is going to be in the pavers, not in your crushed gravel underneath. The gravel is for drainage, not support.

Your pavers probably do not have any kind of support matrix inside them, either. Though the weight will be somewhat distributed, it’s still a lot of mass to be parking atop an individual paver block.

Contrast that with the recommended concrete slab. It’s sitting atop crushed gravel (like the pavers), but unlike them it may also be sitting atop concrete footings sunk into the earth for frost-proofing, depending on your region. The concrete is 4,000- or 5,000-psi rated, and it has a rebar matrix embedded to help distribute stresses and reduce the possibility of cracking.

It’s more work than stacking concrete blocks on top of your pavers (and you still have to anchor those blocks), but you’re assured of an utterly stable and level base for your oven. And it’s what’s on top that counts. If it were me, I’d take out the pavers and install a proper base. I don’t want to come out after a season or two and discover that one corner of the base dropped down because a couple of pavers cracked under the stress.

Hope this is helpful, and good luck with your build!

Thank you very much for the detailed explanation! I definitely want to do this project right so we can enjoy it for a long time…sounds like the concrete pad is the best way to ensure that. Thanks again!

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