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» Installing Paving Stones

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Installing Paving Stones
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Take your choice – Paving stones for paths and patios come in brick, flagstone, slate, bluestone, cobblestone and simple clay or granite. Belgian Block and ceramic tile complete the choices, and your selection of the surface that will provide the durability and style that you need and will go well with your garden style.

Setting down a walkway of stone or brick between flower gardens, or through the back yard gives style and a unique look,

and it will also save a great deal in cleanup when the walkway prevents the dirt or mud from the garden from being tracked inside.

The Wet Test:

Spray a paving stone with water before you purchase it. You can then check the slipperiness of the stone and see how it will change color when it is wet.

Surfaces:

Surfaces that are uneven such as those created by Belgian Block may well be very attractive, but how will they feel if you spend a lot of time in your garden or yard?

They are not easy on the feet. If your garden or path is a high traffic area then you should probably opt for a smooth and level surface such as brick or pavers stone.

Installation:

Make a Base.

Prepare the ground properly before setting down any paving material. Dig to a depth of about eight inches and tamp the soil until it is absolutely level.

Be sure to slant the surface away from any buildings to provide for water runoff.

Lay down 3 to 4 inches of gravel and top with a two inch layer of sand.

Don’t just “eyeball it, but mark off straight edges with a string and stakes when prepareing your base and setting the stones.

Paving Stones
Paving Stones
You can install paving stones in a bed of either sand or mortar . Mortar will work best for holding small or irregularly shaped materials in their place. If it good if you have a clay or sticky soil to use mortar as well, particularly where the frost will cause the ground to heave and cause the stones to lift. In climates where the frost is lighter sand will hold the stones well enough.

To Set in Sand:

Lay stones butted together or spaced with a gap or up to 1/2 inch all the way around.

Pour sand on top and work it into the cracks of the stones well with a broom and water it to settle the sand.

The more sand packed into the joints the tighter the hold of the stones will be.

To Set the Stone in Mortar:

First spread strips of mortar over the base where the stone edges will sit.

Lay down the stones leaving a 1/2 inch space between them, or use spaders to insure they are even

Tamp the stones into the mortar and check for levelness.

Fill joints with more mortar, removing the spacers before it hardens.

Smooth and recess the joints slightly by running a stick over them.

Remove excess mortar from teh stone surface.

Moss:

Although moss and lichen is very attractive on paving stones, in this instance you will want to prevent the formation of moss as it is very slippery and can be dangerous. Remove it by treating it with a chemical eradicant and a stiff brush.

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