How to Lay Yorkstone Paving

Written by dena e. bolton
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Yorkstone is a type of sandstone quarried in Yorkshire, England. This sedimentary rock is famous for, among other things, having been used at one time to pave the streets of London. Yorkstone is a very hard, tightly grained and durable stone, which makes it a very popular paving stone for both new construction and remodelling projects. The flexible method of laying yorkstone is most commonly used for patios and walkways and is the method most easily accomplished by the average homeowner.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Backhoe
  • Compactor
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Broom
  • Crushed granite
  • Coarse sand
  • 2" x 2" post or piece of straight lumber

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Instructions

    How to Lay Yorkstone

  1. 1

    Dig out the area in which you wish to lay your yorkstone. Small areas -- for instance, a short pathway -- can be dug out by hand using a shovel. For bigger projects such as a patio or large pathway, you need to rent a backhoe. (If you cannot run the backhoe yourself, most equipment-rental places will have a staff member do the digging for you -- for an extra fee, of course.) To determine the depth, allow 2 inches to 4 inches for a base of crushed granite and another 2 inches to 3 inches for sand. (Walkways usually will not need to have as deep a base as a high-traffic patio with furniture and a grill.)

  2. 2

    Lay your crushed granite base, using 2 inches to 4 inches of crushed granite, which can usually be purchased at any stonemason. Use a rake to spread the granite evenly over the surface. Finally, use a compactor, which also can be rented from any equipment-rental store, to tamp down the crushed-granite base.

  3. 3

    Top the crushed granite with 2 inches to 3 inches of coarse sand. To level, use a long post, usually a 2" x 2" piece of lumber. Start at one end of the site and pull the post along across the sand, holding the post as level as possible.

  4. 4

    Determine the type of pattern you would like. Lay a few stones together, away from your site, until you have the desired pattern.

  5. 5

    Lay the yorkstone. This can only be done by hand -- one stone at a time. Use your rubber mallet to hammer stones down and to keep the next stone level with its neighbour. If a stone is not as thick as the one next to it, simply push some sand under it to raise the level of the yorkstone.

  6. 6

    After you have laid all of your yorkstone, firm up the patio or walkway. Pour some of the coarse sand over the patio or walkway. Using a broom, sweep the sand into all of the cracks. Sweep any remaining sand off the project. Use the compactor one last time to tamp down the stones. Finally, pour more coarse sand onto your project and sweep it into the cracks to fill any remaining gap. Sweep off the remaining sand. Your patio or walkway is ready for use.

Tips and warnings

  • If building a patio, you will need a slight slope to allow for drainage. Simply cut one end of the post that you are using for levelling the sand a quarter-inch thinner than the opposing end.
  • Do not use any type of sand other than coarse sand for your base. Other types are too soft and will not hold up well to traffic.
  • Larger projects using yorkstone, such as a driveway, may require a different method of laying the yorkstone. You should consult a professional for larger projects.

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