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How to Update a Stone Walkway

Replacing a simple stone path with a sturdy flagstone walkway will enhance any landscape and last for years.

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Highlights:

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Plan Out the Path

The first step is to lay out the flow of the walkway and to dig out a path approximately 6" deep. Always check for underground utilities before digging.
Installing form boards with their tops at the same level defines the shape of the walk.

To cut stone, mark the stone with a carpenter’s pencil, score along the line with a chisel and sledgehammer, then place the stone on a piece of wood with the cutting line on the edge and sever the piece with a single, solid blow.

Step 3: Pour a Layer of Concrete

Pour concrete to the top of the forms to create a 4" thick slab allowing 2" for the mortar and stone. Running a straight 2x4 along the surface helps to smooth and level the concrete bed. After the concrete has dried, a 1" layer of mortar is spread. The stones are positioned with the flattest side up and straightest edges along the sides and then tapped into place using a rubber mallet. Before applying any mortar, dry lay the stones in the desired formation and number them with chalk to keep track of where they go.

Step 4: Lay the Stones

When laying stone, every 4 feet or so, place a straight 2x4 on the stones to check for high or low areas; add or remove mortar for any trouble spots. Once all the stones are laid, use mortar to fill the joints and wipe the excess clean with a damp rag. When the mortar has cured, usually after 2-3 days, your beautiful new walkway is ready for use.

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