How to Use Decomposed Granite for Walkways


Decomposed granite, an organic material that forms when granite stones break down, is an attractive and affordable option for walkways. Decomposed granite comes in a variety of sizes, from 1/4-inch pieces to grains as fine as sand. Screening ensures that the granite you choose is a uniform size. It is available in colors from rich brownish-red to a dark charcoal-gray. Using decomposed granite creates a natural look that you don't get from brick pavers or concrete.

Step 1

Lay out the walkway shape. This is the time to experiment with how you want the walkway to look. Use wooden stakes, spray-paint lines on the grass or even drag a water hose out and use it as your guide. A straight walkway looks more formal, while a curved walkway creates a relaxed appearance. Try several layouts until you are happy with the look.

Step 2

Dig out the topsoil where the path will go. The granite walkway should be flush with the surrounding soil, so it is necessary to dig up several inches of topsoil before you add any stone. Save this soil and add it to your compost pile, garden or to fill in uneven spots in your yard.

Step 3

Lay 3 inches of gravel on the walkway and compact it until firm. Laying gravel underneath the decomposed granite will speed up drainage during wet weather. Compact the gravel with a compacting machine such as a hand tamper or vibrating plate tamper.

Step 4

Install edging to prevent the decomposed granite from filtering into the yard. While it is not necessary, edging will extend the amount of time you can go between additions of decomposed granite. Place the edging along the side of the walkway and pound firmly in place.

Step 5

Lay 3 to 4 inches of decomposed granite to the walkway. Use a rake to level the decomposed granite. If you want a loose surface, compact the granite lightly. More intensive compacting will result in a hard, almost asphalt-like surface. The firmer the surface, the longer it will last.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Compacting machine
  • Edging


  • This Old House: How to Lay a Gravel Path
  • Collier Materials: What is Decomposed Granite?
Keywords: decomposed granite, granite walkway, building a walkway

About this Author

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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