How to lay garden tiles

Written by nicole galipeau
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How to lay garden tiles
Garden tiles can improve the look easily (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Hand-laid garden tiles offer an easy, yet attractive, means of forming a walkway or rustic patio area in your garden. Laying your own tiles requires little more than a few pavers, some imagination and your bare hands. When using precut garden tiles, the work is simple, opening the door to a host of creative options that let you customise your path or patio exactly how you want.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Landscaping plastic
  • Gravel or sand
  • Rake
  • Garden tiles
  • Level
  • Broom

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    Garden tiles can be laid easily for an improved garden look

  1. 1

    Establish a layout for your garden path or patio, and mark the shape with string.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Mark the layout with a string (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Approximate the surface area the tiles will cover by measuring the overall width and length between your string markers. Purchase the appropriate amounts of garden paving tiles.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Measure the overall surface area and purchase the tiles (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  3. 3

    Dig the foundation for the tiles at least 1 inch into the earth. A square-edged shovel works well for creating level planes. Remove any protruding roots, rocks or other debris. If your path or patio sits on a slope, create several flat terraces rather than an incline. This prevents your tiles from slipping over time.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Begin by digging level foundations (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Lay your landscaping plastic over the foundation site. This prevents weeds and grasses from growing up between your tiles.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Lay plastic sheets over the foundation site (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  5. 5

    Cover the plastic with 1 inch of crushed gravel or sand for drainage and stability; rake the gravel or sand level.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Rake gravel or sand level over the plastic (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  6. 6

    Place the garden tiles on the foundation bed approximately 2 inches apart. Walk over the tiles as you lay them to ensure that they settle, and check often to make sure the tiles are level.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Place the tiles on top of the foundation site (Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  7. 7

    Fill the gaps between the tiles with gravel, and sweep your finished path or patio area clean.

    How to lay garden tiles
    Fill the gaps between the tiles with gravel and sweep the excess away (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • For a more rustic or aged look, leave out the landscaping plastic and gravel. Instead, lay down a 1-inch layer of topsoil before you place the garden tiles. Top off the area with more soil once the tiles are down, and plant the gaps between the stones with low-growing plants, such as baby's tears or mosses. This look is especially pleasing when you combine it with natural paving tiles, such as flagstone. You can even use broken concrete pavers.
  • Always be careful when lifting heavy objects, such as paving tiles. Bend at the knees to prevent back strain, and, if in doubt, enlist the help of a friend.

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