How to lay paving stones in gravel

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Laying paving stones or concrete pavers in gravel creates a pleasing effect and is ideal for areas with a lot of rain or wind. Use gravel when laying stones in random patterns or in arrangements with spaces between the stones.

Remove all turf and topsoil to the depth of the stone plus 3.75 cm (1 1/2 inches).

Build a retaining border to keep the gravel from migrating into flowerbeds or your lawn. It can be made of weather-treated wood, brick or plastic edging.

Lay a shallow layer -- about 2.5 cm (1 inch) -- of sand. Spread it with a rake.

Level the sand with board by dragging the board's edge across the sand and frequently tamping it down.

Arrange the stones in a suitable pattern, keeping the smaller ones towards the centre and the larger ones at the perimeter.

Tap each stone as you go with a mallet buffered by a block of wood. You want to make sure each stone is set evenly and isn't going to wobble.

Use a board and a spirit level as you go, making sure the stones are level.

Pour gravel in small piles along the drive or path and sweep it between the stones with a broom.

Sweep sand -- matching the colour of the gravel -- over the top of the surface and water thoroughly.

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