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How To Lay Stepping Stones For A Patio

Remove The Gravel Where The Slabs Are To Be Laid And Compact The Area Down

How To Lay Patio Stones

The first two stepping stones we lay are at either end of the area we are going to pave. We lay the two stepping-stones on the outside first so we can fix a string line between the two points. This then allows us to level the remaining slabs in-between the slabs on the gravel.

We need to remove the gravel from the area we are going to lay our slabs. Save the gravel to replace around the paving slabs once they have been laid. You can remove all the gravel if you wish. It is sometimes beneficial if you do. But for this job we took the easier option of just removing the gravel where the stepping stones were going to be laid.

When the gravel as been removed we then need to compact the area to stop the area from sinking. You could use a metal tamper as we have done here or you could firm down with your feet, a hammer and piece of flat wood or any other method you see fit. You need to be confident the ground below the slab has a solid and firm foundation.

How To Ensure The Success Of A Diy Paver Patio Project 30 Inspirational Ideas

The patio is not something you replace or even repair often in most cases. Its usually a sturdy and durable structure that, once built, can last for many years to come. You still have to tend to it every once in a while, but thats just maintenance.

The hard part is removing and replacing a paver patio or basically any other type of patio for that matter, but even this task can be successfully completed by just about anyone that is given a proper tutorial with detailed instructions and, of course, the right tools and materials. Check out these tips to make your DIY paver patio project a success!

Material Type For Paver Joints

When youre gathering your supplies, youll want to consider the type of material that will fill in the gaps between the concrete pavers.

Here are some of the gap fillers you might want to consider for your project:

  • Moss: This can be transplanted from your yard or purchased like sod from a nursery.
  • Grass: Let grass grow naturally. The drawback here is you may be end up fighting with weeds
  • Fill the paver joints with your choice of pebbles. These can be a natural stone color, or brightly colored.
  • Glass stones: For a really glamorous look, use sanded glass pebbles.
  • Sand: Sand is simple and budget-friendly. I recommend using polymeric sand which will seal and harden the sand so you wont track it.

Quick Links In Post

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Ping Stones Laying Tips

1: Dry lay to measure up

Stepping stones don’t always have to be laid to any particular pattern or strict spacing, for example it may actually add to the ambience of a traditional cottage garden to have random and uneven spacing between the stepping stones. Before picking up the spade it’s good practice to simply lay stepping stones on the ground and standing back to take in what they add to the setting. In a more contemporary garden design it may be more important to work to accurate sharp lines.

2. Spacing between stones

There is no written rule for the spacing between stepping stones, simply because there is huge difference in stride length between someone tall and someone short. For example, a 100mm gap would be perfect for infants but a 6ft tall man would need a gap of around 450mm to keep a consistent stride. When dry laying the stones in step 1 make sure the people using the garden walk over the path and note how they feel about the spacing between the stepping stones.

3: In the ground, not on the ground

However tempting the quick fix of simply laying stones on the floor can be, for the best results it’s really important to lay the stepping stones on a proper bed in the ground. As a rough guide it’s wise to dig a hole roughly 2cm deeper than the thickness of the stepping stones.

4: Sand or cement?

5: Under the floor level

6: For super secure stones

Acquire Or Create Stones

Installing Patio Stones  5 Easy Steps  Shaw Brick

Before you move forward, you need stones for your path. You have a couple of options. The type of stones you need may be purchased from a landscaping supplier or you can find them yourself in the wild. Depending on how many stones you need for your walkway, transporting the stones to your home and moving them around your yard can be an additional burden they can be heavyand expensive.

The other option is to make them yourself using concrete mix and some type of mold. The Quikrete® Walkmaker® is a reusable plastic mold specifically for DIYers to create their own pathways. You can also build your own mold to shape the stones to your liking, using scrap pieces of wood or an old baking pan.

To build a mold from wood, you can use 2x4s and a sheet of plywood, cut in your desired dimensions, such as 13 a side. Connect the pieces at each corner with wood screws and an electric screwdriver. Then cut a piece of plywood to fit and screw it to the 2x4s to create a back panel. Make a handful of these forms to speed up the stone-making process.

Helpful Tip

Circular or square baking pans can make great molds. Before filling the pans with concrete mix, be sure to coat the inside of them with some type of lubricant, such as cooking spray for easy removal of the stones after they set.

Mix concrete with water in a wheelbarrow or large bucket, following all package instructions. Wet your mold with a little bit of water and then pour the concrete mix into it.

Safety Alert!

Also Check: How Many Bags Of Concrete For Patio

And How To Use Them In The Yard

  • Working Time: 2 – 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 wk, 3 days
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Concrete is sometimes poured into a mold to make garden stepping stones. Others, more interested in saving time and energy than money, buy pavers suitable for use as garden stepping stones. Some people use logs cut up into medallions to make garden stepping stones, although wood certainly wouldn’t be a quality choice for damp climates.

Snap A Base Line And 2 Perpendicular Lines

Snapping chalk lines directly in the sand is the best way to keep your bricks running straight. For the running bond pattern, youll only need a baseline and two lines perpendicular to the baseline, offset by half the width of a brick. Mark the rough center and snap a line at right angles using this method:

  • Measure out an equal distance from the center and make two more marks .
  • Cross two tapes at the same measurement .
  • Snap a chalk line from point D through point A.
  • Then snap a second line half the width of a brick from the first line.
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    Materials For Your Concrete Paver Patio

    Project specific supplies:

    *Some Important Notes About Your Project Materials

    A 16 x16 paver is actually 15 ¾ x 15 ¾ and just over 1 ½ thick . This is important to know when it comes to sketching out your design so it fits the space well.

    If you are using larger pavers and installing the patio yourself, you may want to take weight into consideration. I used 16×16 pavers, which weighed 36 lbs each! I could carry only one at a time, so this made the project more time consuming.

    Instead, you can opt for the 12 x 12 pavers. Or if you have a little four-wheeled wagon and dont have a hill to go up to, that will make things much easier!

    When it comes to base layer and top layer materials, a landscape supply company in your area will know the best base material for your patio pavers.

    For instance, if you live in an area that has a high amount of clay in the soil, plan on using extra gravel in your base layer. Clay has draining issues and larger gravel will help with this.

    In my area, the base layer material is known as crusher run. A crusher run has granite dust and coarse and fine angular aggregate and the gravel is about ½-4 in size.

    For my top level, I used paver dust, but in your area, sand may be recommended. Again, trust the guidance of your local supplier.

    What Are Stepping Stones

    How to Lay down a Stepping stone Patio

    One of the main purposes of stepping stones is to protect your plants and the entire garden. They serve as a solid place where people can step in to avoid damaging your lovely plants and grass. You can even use it to separate zones in your garden.

    Likewise, you can create a practical and safe walkway for you and your guests that can lead everyone to the front door of your garden. Another one of its functions is as a decorative element if you want to give your outdoor area a unique personalized feature.

    Stepping stone materials are available in different types, which means you will be able to find one that suits your landscape design, taste, and personality. Natural stone is one of the most popular materials for installing stepping stones because of its extreme durability and ability to withstand various weather conditions.

    Flagstone, granite, sandstone, and slate, are some of the most common natural stones used for stone paths. There are many ways on how you can design your gardens stepping stones. You can create larger paths, group smaller stones together, or line up their straight edges. If you want something distinct, you can even ask your stone supplier to customize a cut that is suitable for your needs.

    Also Check: How To Build Steps Out Of Pavers

    Secure The Concrete Pavers In Place And Fill The Gaps

    Once you have finished each section and the pavers have all been laid, make sure none of the paver stones wobble. Youll want to check this before filling the joints.

    I had about five that had some wobble and just about every time, the culprit was a raised bit of larger gravel that had been pulled near the surface. The concrete paver stone was resting awkwardly on the raised gravel.

    The way to fix this is to gently remove the paver and check for the larger gravel that is raised. Remove it and fill in the hole with sand. Carefully place the paver back down into position.

    If you dont see any gravel, then something in that spot isnt level. It could be that theres a bit of a bump, or just one edge needs a little more sand. Use the float to level it and place the paver back into place.

    With all the pavers set as you need them, you can start filling in the gaps. Use the square nosed shovel to scoop the sand or paver dust and place it into the joints, but only add about ½- ¾ of the paver dust/sand.

    Try to distribute it evenly between them. You can use a hand spade and/or a broom to help with this.

    Now finish filling in the gaps with your decorative top layer. I used marble chips.

    Spread these evenly throughout, but be sure to leave them recessed about ¼ from the top so you dont end up with a big mess of overflowing joint filler.

    Those are all the steps! Now youll be ready to entertain on your new concrete paver patio!

    Use A Sledge Hammer To Remove Old Concrete Slabs

    Before you get to plan and install your new and beautiful paver patio you might have to remove some concrete slabs first in order to make room and to be able to prepare the foundation for the new structure. The best way to remove old concrete slabs is, from our experience, with a sedge hammer. Its lighter than a jackhammer and a lot easier to operate as well. Its also very effective if youre dealing with a standard patio.

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    Add Sand To The Proper Height

    At the bottom of your hole, add a 1/2-inch layer of sand. The sand provides some drainage. Sand is also easier to work with than soil as a base, should you have to make height adjustments over time. Such adjustments are often necessary, as the level of concrete stepping stones will change over time as a result of foot traffic and the freeze-thaw cycle. At some point, you may have to add more sand, as the old sand works its way into the surrounding soil.

    Tap Down The Stepping

    How To Install A Flagstone Patio (Step

    Once you are confident that the slab is in the correct place you need to gently tap down the slab to level it up.

    Begin to gently tap down the surface. Make sure you dont tap the edges. But tap from the centre out to a third from the edge of the slab. This also helps spread the mortar mix underneath the slab as well as bonding the mortar and slab together via the PVA.

    Periodically check the level of your slab. The bubble in the spirit level should be within the two marks marked on the level. You can if you wish, put a fall on the slabs if your stepping stone is laid on a slope. t you have large slabs and want to ensure the water runs off the surface. This small type of spirit level we have used is often referred to as a boat level.

    Place the spirit level in both directions to make sure the slab is level both ways. Keep tapping the slab gently until this is achieved. Remember! Tap the slab towards the centre of the slab avoid tapping the slab on the edges.

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    Why Use Stepping Stones To Build A Path

    Why are garden stepping stones such a popular material for building paths? To answer this question, let’s first look at some of their characteristics:

    • Garden stepping stones are easy to make. If you can mix concrete, then you can make garden stepping stones.
    • When you make garden stepping stones, you can exercise creativity, ranging from the use of stains to the assembling of mosaics.
    • You can thus add a decorative element to your yard by using homemade garden stepping stones. Natural rock affords less opportunity for creativity but can be just as aesthetically pleasing.
    • Whether laying natural rock or homemade garden stepping stones, the process of building the path is easy, as is maintaining it.

    How To Make A Patio Using Stepping Stones

    15 May, 2010

    Stepping stones, commonly used to create a path through your garden, can also be used to make a patio. This project requires two main decisions size and shape of the patio, and the type of stones. In addition, you also need to decide on the material to use to fill in the gaps between the stones. Common fill options include fine-crushed stone, paver sand, pea gravel and moss. This project can take several days depending on the design of your patio. For example, installing a rectangular patio with square or rectangle stones cuts down on the time required to fit the stones, while an odd-shaped patio with irregular stones requires more time to shape and fit the stones together for the desired look.

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    Loosely Lay Out The Stepping

    Once the PVA has dried, lay out the stepping-stones and check the distance you need to lay them apart. The distances dont have to too accurate.

    Everybody has different sized strides. You dont want to be stretching or taking little strides when walking on the paving slabs. You need to be able to comfortably stride from center of one to the centre of the next. Please remember its not just you who may walk on the stepping-stones. If you have children or an elderly parent then place the slabs closer together.

    Once you are comfortable with the distance the paving slabs are apart, measure the distance for future reference when you start laying the slabs. Keep the stepping stones straight with a spirit level or straight edge when measuring to get a true uniform measurement.

    Excavate The Patio Paver Area

    Pavestone Patio Stone Installation
    • Remove grass or other vegetation and skim off 2 to 4 inches of soil.
    • Pro tip: You can speed up sod removal by renting a sod cutter.
    • Pro tip: You also must remove soil evenly and leave a flat surface, as theres no thick layer of gravel to make up for uneven ground. After digging and grading, there shouldnt be more than about 1/2-inch variation in flatness over the area.
  • Use a plate compactor to tamp down the soil.
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    Order The Base Materials And Stone

    It’s what’s underneath that counts. Stone and brick are what you see, but the landscape fabric, gravel and sand are what hold them together and make your patio last.

    Landscape fabric stabilizes the soil underneath the gravel base by keeping them apart while allowing water to drain through. We used 12-1/2 ft. wide, heavy, woven stabilization fabric purchased from our stone supplier. If this isn’t available, use the widest landscape fabric you can find.

    Class V limestone forms the foundation of our patio, but there may be different materials available in your region. Any granular fill will work as long as the size of the granules ranges from 3/4 in. down to a powder and they’re angular, not smooth and round. These qualities allow the fill to be tightly packed for a firm base that allows water to drain through. A mixture of recycled concrete and asphalt is widely available and is a good substitute for Class V.

    Depending on your soil, you’ll need a4- to 10-in. thick layer of gravel. Sandy soils require less gravel than soils with organic matter or clay. Gravel is sold by the ton or cubic yard. One cubic yard covers about 50 sq. ft. at a 6-in. depth by the time it’s compacted and weighs 1-1/2 tons. We used 12 tons of gravel.

    Coarse washed sand is spread over the gravel in a 1-in. layer to form a setting bed for the stone and brick, and later to fill the cracks between the bricks and stone. We used 5 tons of sand.

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