How to lay a cobblestone path

The cobblestone pavement in St. Petersburg, Russia image by Arkady Chubykin from

Laying a cobblestone path can be very time consuming and requires some physical stamina, but the process itself is relatively simple. You can buy cobblestones at your local home centre or at a sand and gravel yard. Cobblestone paths are decorative but must be installed correctly to minimise risk of injury to yourself and others.

Dig out your pathway to a depth of 15 cm (6 inches). Use a tamping tool to level the bottom of the pathway. Place 5 by 15 cm (2 by 6 inch) boards along the side of the path to shore the sides and keep them from caving in.

Layout the cobblestones along the side of the path so that they are ready to be placed where you want them. This can be the most time consuming part of the job. You can sort the cobblestones by size or place them randomly to suit your taste.

Fill the pathway with 5 cm (2 inches) of sand and level it. Mix and pour concrete in to fill the pathway. Optionally, you can mix gravel in with the concrete. This will help shore up and sturdy the areas between cobblestones.

Begin at one end of the path and start placing cobblestones into the mix. Closer is better for a sturdy walking path. Use a trowel or a 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) to level the concrete as you work. The concrete will be displaced by the cobblestones and you will need to clear it out of the way. Shovel excess concrete into a wheelbarrow.

Lightly spray the path with water, when finished to clean off excess concrete mix. When the concrete has set, remove the wood shoring on the sides and back fill with soil.

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