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How to Install a Cobblestone Patio

Learn how to create a lovely outdoor space by laying a new cobblestone patio.

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finished pad for cobblestone patio Watch Video
  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Measure the Space, Cut and Lay out 2x4 Forms

Measure the area for your patio. On the project shown, the area is about a foot larger on each side than the finished patio, which made it easier to create a hand-laid look around the edges.

With measurements in hand, you can determine how much sand, pavers and mortar you'll need for your project.

Cut two 2x4s the proposed width of the patio; cut 2x4s for the long sides of the patio (you may have to spline two 2x4s together end to end to reach the lengths you desire. Place the 2x4s around the perimeter of the area, and nail them together. To make sure the rectangular space is perfectly square, check all corners with a carpenter's square before measuring diagonally corner to corner. When the numbers are the same, the space is squared. You will want to stake the 2x4s in place to hold the lines square.

Step 2: Lay Out Landscape Fabric, Add Gravel, Compact, Sand, Compact

Make sure there is some slope to your patio area to avoid puddling rainwater. The slope can be from side to side or from one end to the other, depending on your specific situation.

First, lay landscape fabric across the space to keep weeds at bay.

Spread crushed gravel on top of the fabric across the entire area, about 2 inches thick.

Compact with the power compactor. Wet with a house, compact again.

You'll need at least 2 inches of sand after it's been compacted. Spread sand across the entire area and distribute it evenly (Image 1) to the top of the forms. Drag 2x4s across the sand to ensure a level surface.

Use the power compacter to compress the sand firmly in place. Spray sand with a fine mist of water and repeat process until sand is packed tightly.

distribute sand base evenly on leveled site

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 3: Begin Laying the Cobblestone

Before laying out the cobblestones, you can leave the 2x4s in place or remove them. If you remove them, mark the perimeter lines with chalk or string.

Beginning at one corner, lay a border of cobblestones into the area in the desired pattern you want. The border pattern should differ from the pattern you've chosen for the field. Press each cobblestone firmly into place (Images 1 and 2). A rubber mallet can be helpful as well, but be gentle. Repeat around the entire perimeter, making sure to keep a level handy at all times, checking in both directions.

Then lay the field of cobblestones working from one end to another, checking on fit from end to end and side to side, and checking for level. Keep grout lines relatively consistent across the field.

Step 4: Add the Epoxy Mortar

Mix your epoxy mortar in the cement mixer per the manufacturer's directions. The mix used in this project includes mortar, sand and water. Only mix up what can be used in 15 minutes at at time.

Lightly spray the cobblestones (and the squeegee) before spreading the grout.

When mixed, pour the epoxy grout mix over the cobblestones, and use a squeegee to spread it out, making sure to press between the joints of the stones (Image 1). Draw the squeege diagonally across the cobblestones. When the joints are filled, run the squeegee across the stones to remove excess grout. Rince the squeegees frequently to keep them in good working order. Be careful not to use too much water on the patio while the grout is setting, just enough to clean it off the top.

Avoid walking on the patio for at least 5 hours; many experts say to allow 24 hours for the mortar to cure before you walk on it.

brush mortar over stones and press between joints

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

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