While doing landscaping, you might need to do a stone path. This can either be done at the front of your house, back of the house or along the side. Apart from using the stones for the walkway, another option that can be used is the bricks. In this article, we shall be looking at the simple steps on how to lay a stone path.
Why design a stone path?
By having a stone path, you will be saving the lawn from being compacted by the human traffic as well as from being trampled. If you are looking for a pathway to be used by one person; width approximately 30 inches should be fine while for two persons, it need to be around 45 inches.
Another reason that might make you need a stone path is to turn your muddy narrow side yard into a very inviting passageway.
What do you require?
If you are looking to lay your stone path, here are some of the tools that you might need:
- Rubber mallet
- Balls of strings
- Tamping tool and;
The process of laying a stone path- how to lay a stone path is relatively simple and can be done at home by the homeowners. The part that might prove hard is the mixing of wet stone dust plus moving the stones. Remember, the wet stone dust will serve as the paver’s base. In order to protect your hands, you will need leather gloves.
When shopping for these stones, make sure you get stones that are not likely to crack.
How to lay a stone path- Design
One can either design the path in a straight line or a curved path.
The first thing that you need to do is to design the path. Where do you want to have the path? Designing the path can be achieved by using a spray marking paint.
After marking the path with the paint, cut the sod using a sod cutter- this is not important if you have a smaller path. Set the sod cuter to maximum depth and dig up to 5 inches for better results. The 5 inches include 3 for sand and 2 for laying the stone.
You might be wondering if you have the skills needed for this kind of task. Well, the work can be done without hiring a professional.
A wheelbarrow and a shovel would be needed since you will be moving a lot of stone and dirt.
I have seen some stone paths having a 1 ½ inch thickness. When preparing the base, the same procedure is similar to what you would do when doing bricks or cut stone. The process involves laying out the path with stakes and string. The next step is to dig or excavate the base for settling the stones. This could be around 10 inches. Add gravel into the dug area and compact after having the surface smooth. You can use plate tamper to compact. For the hard to reach spots, use the hand tamper.
The next step is to cover the gravel using fine builder’s sand of around 1 to 2 inches. Get a rake to smoothen the surface. Mark the alignment of the pathway using a string.
Place the stones while fitting them close to each other as possible. Make sure that they are on track with the string that you used to mark the alignment of the path. Pick shapes and colors as you like depending on the design that you would like to achieve. Do not try to force the path look perfect, the more irregular the spaces are, the more natural will the path look. Try to have the stone achieve the same height.
If the stones don’t have the same height, add or remove sand in the paths to achieve this.
Add rock dust between the spaces left by the stones. Moisten the dust using water and add some more filler. To finalize this, plant a durable ground cover. Before purchasing ground cover, consult with the local nursery to get the best for your climate.
You will need a garage broom to sweep the soil mixture into the cracks.
Would you rather have a curved walkway or straight one?
This will depend solely on one’s needs, taste and preferences. However, the curved walkways provide an aesthetic landscape design purpose. Where the walkway will be cutting through will also determine the type of walkway to design. Take this scenario for an instance, would you rather have a curved or straight walkway running through an area with great visual interest? The answer is simple- a curved pathway, right? It would look and feel nice walking through a pathway cutting through flower beds, shrubs, water garden and rock garden.
If the pathway will run through the lawn, you need to understand that you will be extra careful when mowing and especially along the path.
As seen from the above post, the process on how to lay a stone path is very simple.