How to lay paving stones

Paving stones are an inexpensive, easy, and attractive option for making paths and walkways through your yard and garden. They do not require mortar to install properly, making them one of the easier landscaping projects for you to do on your own. They are more practical than concrete pathways because they can be easily removed and reused elsewhere in your yard if your landscaping plans change over the years.

Dig a hole as wide as your paving stone and 3 inches deeper than the stone's depth.

Fill the hole with 3 inches of gravel. Tamp it down lightly, then use your level to make sure the surface is even.

Set your stone into the hole and press it into the gravel to settle. Make sure there are no unfilled spaces under the stone, or it may crack as it settles.

Lay abutting stones by excavating an area as large as the finished pathway will be. Leave a 1/8 inch space between stones as you lay them.

Pour sand into the cracks between stones. Sweep the excess sand away and water the cracks with a hose to help the sand settle solidly. Apply more sand every few days until the cracks stay filled.


For large areas, garden edging can be placed around the stones to prevent shifting.


If frost upheaval is an issue where you live, excavate below the frost line and fill the extra space with gravel to prevent the stones shifting in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Paving stones
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Broom
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About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.