How to Lay a Stepping-Stone Path
A pathway made of stone pavers is a great way to save your lawn from being trampled and compacted by foot traffic
Q: We want to lay a stepping-stone path in our yard. Can we do it ourselves?
—Lorraine Idson, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Roger Cook replies: Absolutely. A pathway made of stone pavers is a great way to save your lawn from being trampled and compacted by foot traffic. And it certainly is an easy, one-day project for most DIYers. The hardest parts of the process are the labor of mixing the wet stone dust that serves as the pavers' base and then lifting and moving the stones.
Go to your local stone yard and look for pieces at least 1 1/2 inches thick and about 24 inches wide. Pieces that size aren't likely to crack, and no cutting is required; you simply adjust their spacing to fit a natural stride and to make the path curved or straight.
Once you determine the spacing, the digging and the setting go quickly. Start in the morning, and invite guests over that evening for a stroll across your handiwork.
Shown: Roger Cook determines the spacing between each stone before doing any digging.
Establish the Grade
Drive one stake next to the path's starting point and another a few feet beyond its end. Tie a mason line around the first stake where it touches its connecting surface—a patio, in this case. Pull the string to the other stake and tie it off about 1/2 inch above grade. Now you have a fixed reference for the pavers' height.