How to Harden Sand for a Path

Written by elyse james
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How to Harden Sand for a Path
Lay down a hardened, level layer of sand before adding any patio stones or rocks. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pathways are not only a practical addition to your lawn and garden, but they can also add a decorative touch and give your outdoor space an organised look and feel. Sand is a common material used to build pathways because it prevents bricks and patio stones from sinking down into the earth underneath. Whether you are building a sand pathway, or a brick pathway, you will need to flatten down the sand using a hand tamper---this will harden the sand together making the pathway flat and safe to walk on.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Hose and water supply
  • Hand tamper
  • Level

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  1. 1

    Lay the sand down in the desired area for the path. The best way to lay a path is to dig a trench where you want the path to be; the trench provides support on either side of the path material and helps keep it in place. If your path is just sand, fill the trench to the top with sand. If you are planning to lay brick on top, just put a few inches of sand into the trench.

  2. 2

    Sprinkle the sand with a small amount of water to moisten it. Sand will flatten much easier when it is wet because the grains of sand will stick together.

  3. 3

    Flatten the sand using a hand tamper. This tool has a large flat square on one end that flattens the sand out evenly. Push down hard onto the hand tamper to make sure the sand is as compacted as it can be.

  4. 4

    Work your way along the entire length of the path until the sand has been completely compacted.

  5. 5

    Use a level to determine that the sand is level along the entire length of the path. You don't want the path to dip down or have uneven bumps. When the sand dries, it will be hardened because it was packed together using the hand tamper.

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