How to Build a Bluestone Walkway
Replace a crumbling, uneven concrete walkway with handsome bluestone built on a rock-solid base
When Roger Cook arrived at Dave Marr’s home outside of Boston, the walkway had seen better days. The 15-foot-long strip started as flagstones set in soil, a method that never stays put through freeze-thaw cycles. A little farther up the walk, the stones had been set in concrete, which had cracked. Roger’s solution: Rip out the old and renew with a layer of 1 ½-inch-thick, natural-cleft bluestone pavers supported by a good base—one that’s firm but drains so it won’t hold water, freeze, or move over time. “Hardscape is like any other home project,” he says. “It all starts with the right prep.”
Walkways are usually as wide as the stoop they lead up to—about 54 inches in this instance. Roger used a mix of 18-by-18-, 18-by-24-, and 18-by-30-inch paver stones to match that width and reduce the need for cuts in the field. Before you start digging, your first call should be to 811 to have the locations of all the utility lines marked. When that’s done, follow Roger’s path to learn how to build a bluestone walkway.
A walkway made of natural bluestone is a surefire way to enhance a home’s curb appeal. This walkway rests on a layer of compacted stone dust and crushed stone that won’t heave when the ground freezes. And joints between the stones are filled with hardened polymeric sand, which prevents ants from nesting underneath and weeds from growing through.
SATURDAY: Demo and lay the base (Steps 2-9)
SUNDAY: Set the pavers and fill the joints (Steps 10-16)