How to Build a Curved Patio Block Walkway

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Whether simply for the aesthetic look of it or because your landscaping demands it, a curved patio block walkway creates a softer more flowing look that appeals to the eye. With the variety of blocks on the market to use in your project, installing curves versus straight lines isn't as difficult as you might think. Blocks with one rounded edge fit nicely up against the straight edges of inner walkway blocks, creating the curved affect you want with little fuss.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood stakes
  • Twine
  • Garden hose
  • Flat-edged shovle
  • Measuring tape
  • Gravel
  • Tamping tool
  • Landscape edging
  • Hammer
  • Sand
  • Broom
  • Outline the area for the walkway. For straight areas, use wood stakes and twine to mark the borders. For the curved areas, use a garden hose or spray paint. It sometimes helps to place the pavers in the walkway area to get the proper spacing, being sure to account for a one-eighth-inch gap between blocks. Mark the ground for the edges of the walkway with the blade of your shovel, then remove the blocks.

  • Cut the grass into grids with the blade of a flat-edged shovel and the scoop out the grass along with 1 inch of soil for the roots. Set the grass to the side to patch bare spots in your lawn.

  • Measure the height of your patio blocks. Add 6 inches to that measurement; this is the depth you must dig to lay your walkway. Since you removed 1 inch of soil along with the sod, some of your work is already done.

  • Dig out the rest of the soil to equal the depth of 6 inches plus the height of your blocks, minus the inch you already dug out. Use a flat-edged shovel for the sides, creating straight walls. In the curved areas of the walkway, carefully scoop the edges to maintain the proper form.

  • Fill the walkway area with 2 inches of gravel and pack down with a hand-tamping tool. Repeat with 2 additional inches of gravel and pack it down again.

  • Place landscape edges along the inside walkway walls. Insert the stakes that come with the material through the holes and tap them into the soil. The metal or plastic edging material is pliable enough to mold to the curved areas.

  • Fill the area with 2 inches of sand and tamp it down.

  • Starting at one end, place patio blocks on the sand, checking to ensure the blocks' top surfaces stay even with each other by placing a level over several at time. Leave a one-eighth-inch gap between blocks.

  • Set curved edged blocks along the walls of the curved walkway areas as you come to them. These blocks need to match the color and style of the other blocks that follow the edges of the walkway. The inner walkway blocks can match as well or differ if you prefer a contrast and a defined border.

  • Spread sand over the surface of the blocks once you have laid the last one in place. Sweep the sand over the surface and work it into the gaps. Spray the walkway with water to settle the sand in place, then add additional sand to completely fill the spaces.

Tips & Warnings

  • As an alternate method of creating a curve, you can set straight-edged blocks next to each other in the curved area, then spread apart one end to create the curve. In this case you will have a larger gap between blocks on one end than the other. Keep the distance of the larger gap to no more than 1 1/8 inches.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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