How to Build a Flagstone Walkway?

A flagstone walkway is a nice way to personalize your yard or garden. These walkways are durable and usually able to resist weeds. Building a walkway allows a homeowner to design it to suit his needs as well as his preferences.

Choosing Flagstones

When choosing flagstones, there are a few things you must consider. It is important to purchase enough stones to cover the entire path you plan to create. Choosing stones that are roughly the same thickness will make laying them easier. Although the stones will not be completely flat, it is better to choose those that are at least somewhat even, since they will be harder to crack and will not trip those that walk on the path.

Marking the Path

When you know what kind and how long a path you want, it is time to mark the future path. Straight walkways can be marked with twine and stakes. One person should stand at the beginning of the path holding the end of the twine, while another takes the rest of the twine and walks to the end of the path. Both ends may then be tied to stakes, which can be placed in the ground. If additional support is needed for the twine, more stakes can be added. Measure out how wide you would like your path with measuring tape. Once you have your second starting point, repeat the process to mark the second side of the path. It may be a good idea to measure both ends and a couple spots between them to be sure that the width of the path stays consistent.

When marking a curved path, most use garden hose. Simply take the hose and walk from one end to the
other while creating the desired curves. Use a second piece of hose to mark the other side and match the curves created with the first hose. It is usually best to make sure that the width of the path is relatively consistent, although this is not as noticeable as it would be on a straight path.


Preparing the ground

At this point it is time to remove the grass and enough soil to hold the sand and flagstones. This can be done with a spade. In most cases you will want the path about five inches deep. The hole needs to be even, so use a level to check it. A piece of wood can be used to help check and level out the surface. Then use this wood or a tamping tool to tamp it down. If you would like to use landscape fabric to suppress any weeds, put it down on top of the soil. Pour about two to three inches of sand, depending on the size of your flagstones, on top of the soil. Moisten the sand with a hose then level and tamp it down.

Laying the Flagstones

Arrange the larger stones on the path starting with the edges then filling in the middle. Once the larger stones are in place, put the smaller stones between them. Adjust the stones as needed. Test to make sure the path is level. Pull some sand out from under stones that are too high, and add sand to those that are too low. Carefully walk across the walkway to be sure there are no large gaps. Apply sand to the gaps remaining between the stones and tamp it down if possible. Gently spray the walkway with a hose to moisten the sand and rinse off any excess. Add sand one more time to fill in any cracks and rinse the walkway once more.

These steps will allow you to create your own flagstone walkway. These are a beautiful addition to one’s home. Designing the walkway will allow a personal touch to be added to your yard.

References:

About.com: Stone Walkway
About.com: Flagstone Patio and Walkway Video



Kelly

Author: Kelly

Kelly Hurston has been a professional writer for 10 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in May, 2010. Kelly enjoys cooking, doing DIY projects, and is an avid reader.

2 thoughts on “How to Build a Flagstone Walkway?”

  1. Thanks, Kelly, for the succinct yet clear instructions, the encouraging tone for newbies, and the male-gaze avatar. I’ve heard that some people use gravel under the sand. When would that be necessary? Is it more needed on a hill or in an area that gets much rain?

    1. Richard, many people recommend using gravel under the sand when laying flagstones. The gravel is mostly used to prevent the sand from washing away during a rain shower. So gravel should be used in rainy areas. And since water runs downhill, it’s also a good idea to use gravel on a hill too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *