Tips for Creating a Level Walkway when Working with Old Cobblestone

Tips for Creating a Level Walkway when Working with Old Cobblestone

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An old cobblestone walkway adds beauty and charm to your landscape, but can also be difficult to walk on. Learning how to make a cobblestone walkway can seem more challenging because of this unusual trait. Cobblestones are notorious for being uneven, and can therefore pose a tripping hazard. An extremely rough surface is also challenging to push a wheelbarrow or ride a bicycle over. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure your DIY cobblestone walkway is as level as possible. Learn about building a level cobblestone walkway below.

Sorting your Cobblestones

Before you start building a stone path, begin by sorting your cobblestones into groups that are approximately the same size. Make one pile of smaller stones, another of medium-sized ones, and yet another of thicker cobblestones. This will make it easier for you to keep your cobblestone path as even as possible while laying them.

Once you have sorted your cobblestones, place them right side up so that you can easily find the right sized stone when you need it.

Building a Stone Path

Dig your path approximately three to four inches deep. This will allow plenty of room for your cobblestones, fill dirt, and drainage materials. Level out the bottom surface, then place a thin layer of pea gravel over it, ensuring there is a slight grade to allow for water runoff.

Place weed barrier cloth over top of that, followed by a layer of construction sand. Next, tamp the sand down until it is packed firmly and as evenly as possible.

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Laying the Cobblestone

Look at the piles you have previously sorted to determine if you have enough of one size to complete your project. If not, you will need to “stagger” the sizes for visual interest.

Begin laying out your stones on top of the sand, alternating between the different sizes of cobblestones. Once you have filled your pathway, step back and view your creation from afar. Don’t worry about whether or not the cobblestones are even-right now you are just checking to see that they have a pleasing appearance. Continue making adjustments as needed until you come up with the combination that best suits you.

Ensuring Pavers are Even

Now comes the hard part, and the most time-consuming aspect of your project, which is ensuring your pavers are even. Using a rubber mallet, tap each stone gently into place, making sure it is level with the other stones around it. Add or remove a bit more sand underneath each cobblestone if needed until your pavers are precisely the right height.

Keep in mind that it will be next to impossible for all your cobblestones to be perfectly level. Even after adjusting the amount of sand underneath, your walkway may still contain imperfections. This is completely natural, and in fact only adds character to your garden path. The idea behind leveling your stones is not to create a smooth surface, but rather to ensure they do not vary significantly in height or present a wavy appearance.

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Finishing the Walkway

Once your stones are the way you want them, fill in the gaps surrounding them with mason’s sand. Pack the space in between each stone tightly so that your cobblestones are unable to shift. Once this is done, spray gently with a garden hose, taking care to completely soak the mason’s sand. Allow the solution plenty of time to set, usually between 24 and 48 hours. If needed, you may repeat the process again after that time.

Building a level cobblestone walkway can be time-consuming, but well worth it in the long run. If you are planning a project and are in need of materials to complete it with, please contact us. We specialize in genuine antique materials that have been reclaimed from historic streets and buildings, and will likely have just what you are looking for.