How to Lay a Flagstone Walk in 8 Easy Steps
by Julie Lohmeier
Description: Easy tips for laying a flagstone walk.
Years ago, we had a house that had flagstone flower bed border
that was in disrepair. And we had ripped out an old broken walk
from the curb to the front porch. We needed something, but
concrete sidewalks aren't cheap. So we took the flagstone from
the back and put it in the front for the walk. It wasn't hard
and it was very inexpensive since we already had the stone. Two
We liked it so much we had it done when we remodeled our current
Here's what you do:
1. Mark the walk boundary with spray paint. It helps to know
exactly where you want it before you get started. Even if you
have a landscaper do the work, this will communicate exactly
where you want your walk and how you want it to be done.
2. Take up the sod - if you have it. Cut it around the edges with
a shovel or spade. You may also be able to rent a sod cutter.
Then gently dig under the sod to pull it up. You only need to go
a few inches. Smooth the dirt with a metal garden (not leaf)
3. Lay weed wrap. Weeds will inevitably grow between the cracks
of your stone, but this at least buys you some time.
4. Lay the base of 2 inches of sand or crushed limestone.
Limestone is better because it inhibits weed growth; sand is
5. Compress the base. Use a lawn roller filled with concrete or
water or rent a compacter. This is machine that has a large plate
that compacts the base. (Wear ear protection and take some pain
reliever - your arms and ears are due for a work out.)
6. Lay the stone. There's no precise way to do this other than
to make the stone fit without leaving really large gaps. You will
have some gaps, and that's fine. If you carefully arrange (and
rearrange) your stones, you should not have to worry about
cutting them. In fact, you want to avoid cutting the stones as
that requires another rental and ruins the natural look. Firmly
press the stones in the base so it's set.
7. Fill the gaps with sand or limestone. Sand is most common, but
again, crushed limestone will inhibit weeds. Leave a layer of
sand or lime over the stones. Water with a hose or sprinkler to
let the sand/stone work into the gaps. Or just wait for gravity
and rain to do the trick. Apply more as needed.
8. Install an edge if you want to clean up the boundary. You can
simply use the black plastic edging available at any hardware or
garden store. Or don't use any at all. The stone isn't going
anywhere. You may also choose to do this between steps 2 and 3
While shoveling a walk like this in the winter can be tricky, it
offers a natural, warm, and friendly feel. If you don't have
flagstone, use bricks or pavers. The process is the same.
Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous home remodeling and building projects. From working hands on and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors and construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home improvement. She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating ideas, and other various rants at http://www.myhomeredux.com. Subscribe to her free newsletter at: http://myhomeredux.typepad.com/blog/2005/09/get_my_home_red_2.html
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