How to Install a Slate Sidewalk


Concrete can be an ugly building material. Dull-colored, uniform in shape, it can clash with a more rustic house design. Slate is a stone made of clay or volcanic ash, which has a dark color and a smooth to craggy surface. Slate pathways add a classic touch to your home design. Slate is also robust, surviving years of harsh weather without dulling or cracking like some concrete sidewalks. Do-it-yourselfers can install slate sidewalks.

Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Spade
  • Loppers
  • Steel edging
  • Steel spikes
  • Hammer
  • 2-by-4
  • Jigsaw
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Pea gravel
  • Rake
  • Slate pieces
  • Rubber mallet
  • Run string along the intended walkway line. Make the pathway 3 feet wide.

  • Plunge a spade into the ground along the string marker to create a guideline.

  • Dig the entire pathway down 3 to 4 inches. Cut through any large roots with loppers

  • Set long pieces of flexible steel edging along the edge of the pathway. Slide a spike into the metal clip on the back of the edging and pound the spike into the ground with a hammer.

  • Cut two notches with a jigsaw 3 feet apart on a two-by-four and place it over the steel edging to keep the steel in place.

  • Unroll a sheet of landscaping fabric into the walkway to keep roots and plants from growing up into the stone.

  • Spread a 4-inch layer of pea gravel into the walkways, spreading it even with a rake.

  • Place the slate onto the pea gravel, best side up. Wiggle the slate into the pea gravel, then hit it with a rubber mallet to work it into the stone. Repeat with each stone in the walkway.

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