How to Install a Walkway

Install a flagstone, gravel, or paver walkway in a weekend or less! Use these three DIY walkway ideas to add interest to your yard -- our easy how-tos walk you through every step of the process.

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    Flagstone Walkway

    Use flagstones to bring natural beauty to your walkway. This handsome and durable flagstone walkway makes a great addition to any yard.



    Expert Advice: Choose flagstones that are at least 3/4-inch thick; thinner pieces crack more readily. Purchase stones of fairly uniform thickness so they will be easy to lay evenly. Buy about 10 percent more than you think you'll need to allow for waste and breakage.

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    Step 1

    Using a masonry drill bit, cut paving stones to the desired shape by drilling a series of small holes in the stone, about 1 inch apart. Use a hammer and chisel to gently break away the unwanted section of stone.

    Expert Advice: When you're moving rock, watch your back. Remember to bend at the knees. Also, safety goggles, gloves, and sturdy shoes are a must.

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    Step 2

    Use a garden spade to edge the perimeter of the path. Excavate the area (depth will depend on height of the pavers) and level the surface. Bend plastic edging to conform to the shape of the path and secure with rods.

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    Step 3

    Lay down a sheet of permeable landscape fabric to prevent weeds from sprouting. Rake about an inch of sand over the fabric.

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    Step 4

    Move paving stones into place, keeping gaps between stones 2 inches or less. Wiggle stones into the sand so they are at the same height.



    Expert Advice: Many rocks have a dull side as well as an interesting one. Show off the best face of each stone.

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    Step 5

    Fill gaps between stones with decorative landscape rock, which is less messy than sand and more stable than pea gravel. Use graduated sizes (to ensure they fit together well) that are 1 inch or smaller in diameter.

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    Gravel Walkway

    This gravel walkway is an inexpensive and informal option for getting around a yard. You can make a gravel path any width, depending on whether it will be used for solitary strolling or for walking side by side.

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    Step 1

    Dig out the walkway to a depth of 2-4 inches.

    Expert Advice: Gravel walkways are best suited to low-traffic areas and flat ground, where the gravel won't migrate downhill.

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    Step 2

    Place large stones single file along both edges.

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    Step 3

    Unroll landscape fabric and cut it a few inches wider than the excavated area. Underlaying the gravel with porous landscaping fabric ensures that the walkway will stay weed-free and mud-free.

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    Step 4

    Tuck the fabric edges under the stones. Fill the walkway with gravel and smooth.

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    Paver Walkway

    This paver walkway provides a clean and attractive route through the yard.

    Expert Advice: To determine how much sand (or gravel) you'll need for a paver walkway, multiply the path length (in feet) by width (in feet) and then multiply by the desired depth of sand (in feet) to determine cubic feet. Divide by 27 to determine cubic yards.

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    Step 1

    Lay out a row or two of pavers to determine a configuration that won't require much cutting. Once you've determined the width (remember to account for the edging), mark each border with a string attached to stakes. Mark the borders directly onto the ground with chalk or spray paint.

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    Step 2

    Clear the area of plant materials and debris. With a shovel, dig a level trough approximately 6 inches deep. Slope the surface of the trench slightly away from structures to facilitate drainage (approximately 1 inch every 4-8 feet). Spread landscape fabric across the trench and up the sides. Add a 2-inch layer of gravel and tamp.

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    Step 3

    Install plastic edging designed for pavers along the trench. Fasten the edging with metal spikes.

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    Step 4

    Fill the trench with coarse bedding sand, leaving enough depth for the pavers, and rake smooth. Dampen the sand, then level it by dragging a 2x6-inch piece of wood (width of the path). Add sand to low spots and remove sand that builds up.

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    Step 5

    Starting at the corner, lay the first few pavers snuggly against the edging. Use a rubber mallet to tap the pavers into place. Every few feet, use a level to check that the pavers are set at the same height. Make sure paver edges and joints are aligned.

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    Step 6

    Rent a masonry saw to cut pavers if you lay them in a staggered pattern or if the path is curved.

    Expert Advice: Always use safety glasses, earplugs, and a face mask when operating a masonry saw.

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    Step 7

    Pour fine silicate sand in the joints and more on top of the pavers. Use a broom to sweep sand into joints. Tamp the surface periodically. When the joints are nearly full, sweep off excess sand and dampen the filled joints.


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