How to construct a cobblestone pathway

One of the most popular and common materials used in constructing walkways is cobblestone – a small paving stone with rounded edges that has been used for paving streets and walkways for centuries. Not only are cobblestone walkways extremely durable, but they also exude a vintage, rustic and elegant look and feel for your garden.

Choosing to construct a cobblestone pathway yourself can save you a good deal of money but will take several days or a couple of weekends to complete. Below I will outline, step for step, the process of constructing a pathway of cobblestone;

1. Decide where and at what width you would like your walkway. Once you have done this, make an outline of it by placing wooden stakes in the ground and connect them using string. Make sure you know the measurements of the whole walkway to ensure that you purchase the right amount of cobblestones and other necessary materials.

2. Prepare the ground inside the string for the installation of the cobblestones by clearing the area of any debris, rocks, weeds or roots. When determining to what depth you should excavate the area, it is important to consider the necessity of allowing for 2 inches of both gravel and sand, and so excavate to a depth of 4 inches. It is important that the walkway is at least 1 inch above the ground to avoid water pooling, and so excavation depth should not take into account the depth of the cobblestones.

3. Lay approximately 2 inches of gravel in the excavated area and tamp it with a trowel to compact it. This will eliminate any air pockets and compress the gravel. Continue this process until you achieve the desired depth of the gravel – for adequate drainage, 2 or more inches is recommended.

4. Pour a layer of quality sand on top of the gravel to a depth of about 2 inches. Again tamp the sand with a trowel and ensure it is 2 inches thick and level.

5. Starting from one corner, lay your stones one at a time. Place the bigger stones first and then fill the empty spaces with smaller ones. Make sure each is level and positioned firmly in the surface.

6. Secure the cobblestones in their place using a rubber mallet. Use a level to determine that not only each stone is flat and horizontal but that the whole walkway is as well.

7. Once you have laid all the cobblestones and ensured they are all level, fill the empty spaces between them with dry sand using a broom or brush. Once all the cracks are filled, wet the sand to compact it, then allowing it to dry completely. After it has dried, add more sand as needed and repeat the soaking process.

8. Once you are completely satisfied with your driveway, apply a sealant appropriate for cobblestones to increase your pathway’s durability and life. This will also prevent any unwanted plant and weed growth and hold the sand between cobblestones together. During application, follow the instructions provided on the sealant’s packaging.