How to Lay a Flagstone Walkway Using the Dry Method

Lay a Flagstone Walkway Using the Dry Method
Lay a Flagstone Walkway Using the Dry Method (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Basically there are two ways that you can lay a flagstone walkway. You can use the wet construction method meaning you will set the stone in concrete or mortar or you can use the dry construction method meaning you will lay the stones on a sand base.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray paint, string or garden hose to mark the path
  • Flat edge shovel or tiller
  • Steps for Building a Pond
  • Compact-able gravel
  • Fill sand
  • Level
  • Large flagstone pieces

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Decide where you want the walkway in proportion to the rest of the yard area. A good idea is to put a path directly to your garden or detached shop building.

Use spray paint to mark the desired pathway. You may also use string or a garden hose. Spray paint works best. A curved design will add more interest than a straight path.

Use a flat edge shovel to remove the top layer of sod, working within the boundaries of your drawn path. This is a difficult process. Edge the shovel far enough under the sod to get the bulk of the roots then press the shovel forward. A tiller can also be used for this step, but then the grass will need to be hand picked out.

Load the sod into a wheelbarrow so that you can use the sod in other areas of the yard that may be in need of extra grass.

Once the sod has been completely removed, lay old shingles or compact-able gravel into the area. Use enough to cover the cut-out area completely, less one inch, from the top. (Remember that you will want the existing grass level to be level with the stones once they are set. This makes for easy mowing. Be sure to account for this.)

Lay the flagstone pieces out so that each one can be easily seen. A good idea is to lay out the pieces next to the pathway to see how you will want them to lay. This way you can rearrange to fit them before you actually set them.

Begin to add some sand to the spot where the first piece will lay. Lay the first flagstone piece. Use a level to check for levelness and add more sand underneath the stone as needed. Be sure the stone is the same height as the existing sod next to your path. Make sure to place the flagstone about the same distance apart as your walking stride.

Continue working, adding sand, flagstone and checking the level as you work.

Once all the stone is set, sweep extra sand into the cracks between the stones.

Before long grass will begin to grow between the flagstone pieces adding a more natural look to your path.


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