After we extended our patio in 2017 we realized that we had everything EXCEPT a {semi-}permanent home for the grill. After a lot of brainstorming & planning, we decided to make a grill landing pad.

We didn’t want a patio that spanned the length of our home or anything that couldn’t be changed later if we wanted to.

In our previous home we extended our patio with pavers & let the grass grow in between for an English garden look & feel. We decided to use a similar technique to make a grill landing pad.

How To Make A Grill Landing Pad

Using pavers & lava rocks. This method also works for creating or extending a patio.

1. Start with a plan.


First I mapped out the space. Using the gazebo frame that we already had in place I measured the space underneath knowing that we’d add a roof to it later.

I gave my Mr. 2 options – 12″ pavers or 16″ pavers. We’d already nixed the idea of flagstone or or shaped pavers since we want a clean modern look.

He chose 16″, great choice!

We drew our plan out & measured the space in between so we’d know exactly how much material we needed AND exactly where things would go when we get to that part of the project

Order & pick up your materials. This is best during these times and always order a little extra.

We didn’t account for breakage & after a happy accident, had to head back to the store for an extra paver or 2. And more rocks.

2. Get the grass out

how to make a grill landing pad - remove the grass & grade the area

Sorry but you can’t skip this part. If you have grass in the area, dig it out completely to at least the thickness of the paver. Our’s are just under 2″.

We used a combination of a square & pointed digging shovels – pointed to start the process of getting through the clay dirt & square (shovel or spade) to get under the grass in mostly even “strokes”.

This left us with a fairly even dirt pad to start with.

how to make a grill landing pad - lay down a grass/weed barrier.

Normally you would tamp down at this point, start back filling & leveling.

But here’s where we did things a little differently than I’ve seen before & differently from what we did in our previous home…

The clay underneath is serving as our base.

Lay out weed block fabric and/or heavy duty black plastic. Pull it fairly taut & secure with landscape pins. Bricks or other heavy objects will work in a pinch to hold everything in place.

3. Back fill & start leveling

how to make a grill landing pad - add topsoil

Now add your choice of top soil, sand, or a combination in a thin layer. Start by filling in the low spots left from the initial dig.

Use a garden rake to spread the dirt & a board the width of the landing pad to smooth & level it out.

You WILL have lots of extra dirt using this method because it’s basically just filling holes at this point.

Once the 1st pass is complete, set a paver in place & check for depth (or height, depending how you look at it). Take note of how much space you have left to fill.

Continue back filling & leveling until your test paver is exactly perfectly level at the exact height that you need it – whether it’s even with the grass or an existing patio (like our’s) or any other structure.

** Note: The other way I’ve done this before, and seen other’s do it, is to tie string or rope to posts in a grid pattern over the area to be paved & use that as the leveling guide. **

4. Start placing the pavers

how to make a grill landing pad - lay out the pavers

You started with a plan right? We drew our plan out & measured the space in between on paper before we began. So this part of the project is purely execution 

As you lay the pavers, be sure to use your trusty level to get each individual paver level, and then level with it’s neighbors. Add or remove dirt as needed.

Also, depending on the location of your landing pad, you will want to pay attention to grading. Ours is adjacent to the existing patio which slopes slightly downward to allow for drainage.

So our pavers had to slope ever so slightly as well.

5. Check & double check your work.

how to make a grill landing pad - lay out the pavers

After all the pavers are set in place according to plan, go back & check both the spacing AND the leveling of the entire thing. Better safe than sorry – you don’t wanna have to redo all of this later.

6. Add decorative rock.

add lava rock, river rock, grass or herbs between the pavers of the grill landing pad

Fill in all the gaps with decorative rock of your choice – we chose red lava rock for its color & anti-erosion properties. The combination of the grey pavers & red rock compliments our home perfectly and blends right in with the existing patio we had extended.

add lava rock, river rock, grass or herbs between the pavers of the grill landing pad

Try to keep the rock at or slightly below the level of the pavers. And make sure there are no sharp edges facing up – that would not feel good underfoot.

7. Clean up.

grill landing pad ready for the grill

Trim any exposed edges on the landscape fabric or plastic.

Hose down your new lading pad. We hosed our’s quite a bit just to be sure that the drainage was dead on perfect. Again, better safe than sorry. Plus this makes the rocks really stand out.

8. Put the grill in place and test it out!

Finished grill landing pad

Surf ‘n’ turf is a great way to test out your handiwork!

Up next… accessories & a roof! Stay tuned!!!

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  1. Great idea! I was looking for ideas for a small grill area for my husband for Fathers Day, and this is perfect. Thank you for our time and for posting this!

  2. I have experience (three houses) building paver patios and spaces between the pavers only produces weeds (slave to maintenance), a unstable area to place anything and a poor flow in your design. The last one I had redone to push the paver s together and it made a great design ; especially for a grill to roll away for winter.

    1. Hi Ken! Thanks so much for visiting and for your comment. We have been very fortunate with the weeds in this area, thanks to the layers of heavy duty black plastic and/or weed block. Weed block does not work normally, at least not here in SE TX. But in this use case, the weeds can’t get a strong foothold so it hasn’t been an issue in the 4 years we’ve had this landing pad. When we see the occasional weed, we just hit it with a spray of vinegar and it’s done for!

      We also never have to put our grill away because we don’t have true (prolonged) winters here or snow/ice. We have moved the grill(s) without issue though & I like to think that’s because of proper planning from the start.

      Lastly, I think it’s a matter of personal preference but we don’t love the look of this type of paver “pushed together”. We’ve done it in our previous homes with grass in between as well as with fragrant groundcover & love it done that way too. Again, the key is proper planning.