Laying stepping stones

In terms of creating a simple path, it doesn’t come much easier than laying some stepping stones. They can be made from slabs as shown here or you may wish to use some purpose-made decorative varieties.

Removing turf for stepping stones 1. Decide on the direction of your path before arranging the slabs on the grass. Cut accurately around the edge of each slab using a spade. Remove the slab, then turf and soil to allow for 5cm of gravel and the slab depth, plus 15mm.
positioning stepping stones 2. Pour gravel into the hole to a depth of 5cm and compact – stamping it in or using the head of a sledgehammer is ideal. Replace the slab and check it sits level and around 15mm below grass level, to make mowing easy. Repeat with the rest of the slabs.

Stepping stone tips

  • Spacing between slabs should be around the size of a person’s pace/stride. You can get the tape measure out to do this, but a better tip is to lay the slabs out on the grass and stepping from one to the next is as good a positioning technique as any.
  • Using the gravel base makes it very easy to level each slab and prevents rocking, as well as allowing for some simple drainage. Another option is to use some sharp sand as bedding.
  • For lighter weight stepping stones, you can get problems with movement. In which case you can choose to lay them on a bed of mortar rather than the gravel option shown here.

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