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How to lay stepping stones on different surfaces

Garden advice
How to lay stepping stones on different surfaces
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Landscaping supplies
All Green
All Green
January 6, 2021
minute read

The steps to laying stepping stones in your garden

Stepping stones aren't just great for crossing rivers and creeks. They're also a fantastic addition to the decor in your garden. They're cheaper than full pavers, and there are some pragmatic benefits as well.

Looking to get some stepping stones for your garden, but don't know how to lay them out? Never fear, we're here to help with a handy guide to laying sensational stepping stones. We'll show you the steps to lay a stepping stone path on many different surfaces, like:

  • Lawns
  • Gravel paths
  • Mulch
  • Concrete

And we will also answer some common stepping stone questions like "how much space should I leave between stepping stones?" and "what should I put around stepping stones?"

At All Green, we stock a wide variety of different landscaping supplies and have the expertise to help make your garden dreams a reality. Find out more about our extensive range of garden decor products, including stepping stone concrete slabs and natural edge steppers.

What should you put around stepping stones?

There are so many different options for the materials which surround stepping stones. If you're using them aquatically, there's a straightforward answer: water. But what about stepping stones on the land?

The right ground to surround your stepping stones will vary depending on the intended purpose, and also on your personal aesthetic preferences. And no matter what ground you end up working with, we can give you directions to set out your stepping stones. Additionally, you don't have to use actual stones for stepping! These tips will work especially well if you're looking for how to lay concrete stepping stones.

How much space should you leave between stepping stones?

How far should the gap be between stepping stones? The key to this one is in the name; they're stepping stones, so you'll want to leave them about a step's distance apart.

The average human step is about 75cm — but the needs for your family might be very different. What if you're an enormously tall person with the longest legs in the southern hemisphere? Conversely, what if you're a little person or a person living with small children?

It's your house, so the best way to do it is to measure out the distance that works best for you and your family. Start by eyeballing the distance, putting the stones on the ground (this is called 'dry laying'), and walking over them. Then, you can easily adjust them to get the right length.

How to lay stepping stones in gravel

Many people prefer to lay concrete slabs as stepping stones in gravel, for a flat, sturdy, drainable and easy to walk on a surface that looks great. To do this:

  • Start by clearing the gravel area where you're planning on putting the stones.
  • Then, dry lay the stones on the gravel to establish the right distance between them.
  • Measure the distance on either side of the stones, to help you make a neat and uniform gravel path.
  • Make a string line from the start of the path to the end. Then, line up the stones so that they're uniformly placed.
  • Mark the position of your stone with some spray paint. Take some care not to mark the top of the stone, unless you're planning on painting them!
  • With the markings you've made in place, remove the stones and dig holes inside those markings. Dig slightly deeper than the width of the stones.
  • Mix the mortar, using 1 part cement to 5 parts sand. Add water until the mortar becomes sticky enough to hold to your mixing shovel.
  • Fill the holes with mortar, and make it level; this will be the base for the stones.
  • Lay the stones in the holes, and use a spirit level to get them even.
  • Back fill around the stones, and leave them for 24 hours before you let people start walking on them.

How to place stepping stones in the lawn

The method for placing stepping stones in the lawn is much more straightforward. Just place the stones on the lawn where you want them and cut around the edges with a serrated knife. Dig a hole to those dimensions, leaving a few extra centimeters depth, and pull out the turf. Then place the stepping stones in the lawn, and voila!

How to lay stepping stones in mulch

Laying stepping stones in mulch is very straightforward. Just place the stones on the ground where you want them, fill the area surrounding area in with mulch, and you're done. If you want to, you can go further and add things like edging to keep the much in a neat line, or use a string line to make sure they're perfectly level, or anything else you'd like. The only limit is your imagination.

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