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How to Add Stepping Stones Pt 2

Step 1: Planning
  • Before you hack up your yard, lay out the paving slabs in a pattern that is appealing to you. Also consider the stride of the person who uses the path most often. If stones are placed in accordance to this, less surrounding foliage will be mashed. 
  • If desired, can add smaller stones in between the keystones to accommodate different paces.

Step 2: Digging Turf

  • Once you've positioned all the slabs, use a spade to cut into the earth around the edges.
  • Move the slab to the side, then dig out an area a little wider than the slab (to give your fingers room to insert the stone later).
  • Dig out about 2 inches worth of turf and soil, or deep enough to account for the thickness of the slab and a shallow bed of sand.

Step 3: Laying the Slabs

  • Spread a thin layer of sand across the bottoms of the slab beds. It's OK if the stones move a bit after they're laid, since slabs in a stepping stone path are isolated from each other, so you probably don't need to lay a mortar bed. You may do so, however, if the ground is wet or loose, in which case you would replace the sand with hardcore and a weak mixture of sand and cement. To accommodate this, dig down an additional 3 inches.
  • Place the slabs
  • Use a club hammer or maul to rap against a block of wood on the slabs until the slabs are flat with the lawn. Don't leave any upward tilted edges that people could trip on.
  • After all the slabs are placed, fill around the edges with soil and grass seed if necessary.

Source: Garden Surfaces

Introduction & Tools for Installing a Stepping Stone Path


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