A cobblestone walkway is a durable and attractive alternative to concrete or sand paths. Cobblestone adds charm to a yard or garden and may increase the resale value of your home. Cobblestone walkways can be straight or winding, and you can use a mixture of stone sizes and colors to create visual interest. Laying a cobblestone walkway is fairly simple and most homeowners can complete the project in a single weekend.
Outline your walkway using a garden hose or stakes and string. Precise measurements are more important if you are planning a straight walkway as opposed to a curving one.
Clear the pathway of rocks, roots and other debris, and then excavate the soil using a shovel to allow for the height of the cobblestone pavers. If you intend to lay sand or gravel beneath your walkway, factor in the height of these materials when determining the excavation depth. Typically, 2 inches of gravel and 2 inches of sand is adequate. The finished walkway should be about 1 inch above the surrounding ground to prevent water pooling.
Lay a gravel base by pouring approximately 2 inches of gravel and then tamping it with a trowel to compact it. Repeat this process until you obtain the desired depth of gravel. Areas with poor drainage may require 2 or more inches of gravel.
Pour sand on top of the gravel until the sand bed is approximately 2 inches deep. Thoroughly tamp the sand to remove air pockets. Construction sand works well beneath cobblestone pavers.
Select a starting corner, and then begin laying your stones one at a time. Make sure the stones are flat, and remove or add sand as necessary. Check to make certain your stones are level periodically throughout the process by using a carpenter's level. If you are using stones of various sizes, try placing larger stones first and then filling in with smaller stones.
Tamp the cobblestones with a rubber mallet to ensure they are secure in the sand bed. Evaluate the stones to determine if you need to make any changes to their arrangement.
Sweep sand into the cracks between the stones to fill them completely. The sand must be dry to do this. Once the cracks are filled, wet the sand to compact it, then allow it to dry completely. Add any additional sand as needed.
Apply a sealing product to your walkway to increase durability and prolong its life. A sealant will also help prevent weed growth and will hold the sand in place. Follow the application instructions listed on the sealant packaging and only use sealant products recommended by your cobblestone manufacturer.
Things You Will Need
- String and yard stakes for outlining walkway
- Crushed gravel
- Construction sand
- Rubber mallet
- Carpenter's level
- Stiff broom
- Garden hose with spray nozzle
- You can place edging along the borders of your walkway to help prevent the cobblestones from sliding around.
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