Placing stepping stones across a garden lawn is a great way to create easy access to sheds, flowerbeds and patio areas, with the minimum of disruption to the lawn itself.
From this short guide you will learn one of the most popular methods for building a decorative or functional path across an established lawn.
First, walk the route you want to use for your path and leave a marker at each step. This gives you the number of stepping stones you will need for the project and it creates a guide for laying the paving stones later.
Now you know how many paving stones you need, it’s time to visit your local DIY store or garden centre to choose some suitably coloured/shaped paving to suit your taste and garden.
To lay the stepping stones start by placing each one in the positions you have already marked out. Walk across them in case any need adjusting to suit your length of stride.
When you are happy with their position cut around each one with a spade and remove the turf and soil to a depth of three times the thickness of each of the stepping stones/pavers you have chosen, eg if the paving stone is 1 1/2″ ( 38mm) thick, dig down to 4 1/2″ (114mm).
At the base of each hole try to dig under the turf with a small trowel, at least three inches (75mm) as shown in fig 1, this will create a wider base for the stepping stone/paver and therefore reduce the chance of it wobbling when it is stepped on, as it will be standing alone rather than being ‘locked’ in to other paving that would normally surround it, i.e. on a driveway.
Use a cement mix (see mixing cement post) with a little aggregate added (stone chippings are good) at the base for each stepping stone/paver.
When the stepping stone/paver is in place, you typically want the top of it to be flush with the lawn or surface around it, so when you’re adding the cement, leave enough space at the top of each hole to create the finish you want.
Tap each stepping stone/paver down using a rubber mallet (ornamental paving can crack if hit too hard) until they’re level.
You may get a few gaps around the stepping stones/pavers, if you do, fill the space with some of the previously excavated soil.
Let them set in place for 24/48hrs and you will have a lovely new stepping stone path.
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- Spot board (for mixing cement)
- Rubber mallet
Check out this list of useful DIY tools.
*If you were to lay the stones/paving directly on the soil they will more than likely start to rock when they are stepped on, especially if the ground has a tendency to hold water due to its composition or poor drainage.