How to lay a flagstone path in gravel

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to lay a flagstone path in gravel
Surround a flagstone pathway with gravel. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A flagstone path can be a rustic and natural walkway that adds beauty and charm to a landscape. With the proper preparation of the pathway's surface, laying flagstone is not a difficult or time-consuming process. Gravel is a particularly good base for flagstones because it will hold the flagstones securely as well as serve as a decorative element around the large stepping stones. When you finish the flagstone path project, your walkway will exude old-fashioned style.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Edging boards (1-by-4)
  • Wood stakes (12 inches long)
  • Hammer
  • 2-inch-long nails
  • Gravel
  • Rake
  • Flagstones
  • Level
  • Broom

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  1. 1

    Dig the pathway with the shovel. Make the pathway 4 inches deep and at least 3 feet wide. Ensure that the base of the pathway is level and that the sides are straight.

  2. 2

    Insert the edging boards along the outside edges of the pathway to serve as a barrier between the pathway and any surrounding grass. Place the boards along the outer edges of the pathway with the 1-inch sides at top and bottom, butting each board end-to-end snugly.

  3. 3

    Secure the edging boards with wood stakes. Position a stake snugly against the wood edging on the outside edge of the pathway and pound the stake all the way into the soil with the hammer. Drive nails through the wood edging and into the stakes to secure the edging to the stakes. Position the stakes about every 3 to 4 feet along the pathway.

  4. 4

    Pour 2 inches of gravel into the pathway, spreading the gravel with the rake so that it covers the pathway in an even layer.

  5. 5

    Position the pieces of flagstone over the gravel to form the path. Mix and match the various flagstone shapes and sizes on top of the gravel until you have a pleasing arrangement. Try to allow about 1 inch of space between each piece.

  6. 6

    Ensure that the flagstones are levelly set by checking each one with the level. Add or remove gravel as needed from the path to level the stones.

  7. 7

    Secure the flagstones in the gravel beneath them by walking on each stone and pressing it down securely. It is essential that each flagstone sit securely on the gravel without shifting as you walk on it.

  8. 8

    Pour an additional inch of gravel over the pathway.

  9. 9

    Use the broom to push the gravel into the crevices surrounding the flagstone pieces. Continue sweeping until both the flagstones and the areas around them are even with the surrounding soil.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of using 2 inches of gravel as the foundation of the pathway, pour 2 inches of sand as the flagstone foundation. Set the flagstones into the sand and fill in the spaces around the flagstone with gravel.
  • Consider laying down a layer of landscape fabric beneath the gravel or sand foundation to prevent weed growth in your pathway.

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