Installing a patio stone walkway in Plymouth is a great way to tie your landscaping together and make your yard look more welcoming. However, choosing to install a patio stone walkway, and more specifically, wanting to do the work yourself, is going to take some elbow grease, attention to detail, and patience. Read on to learn the best tips and tricks for installing a patio walkway in your yard.
Decide on Materials For Your Patio Stone Walkway
The first decision you need to make is the kind of stone you want to use for your walkway. Most homeowners decide between the following five options:
Brick is an extremely versatile and relatively durable stone. Depending on the surrounding structures, brick can look modern or take on a dated appearance. Brick won’t fade in the harsh sun, so it’s ideal for a patio walkway that will get a lot of direct sunlight. Brick can shift without cracking and requires little upkeep, so it’s cost-effective in the long run. However, heavy foot traffic on a brick patio walkway can cause chips and cracks, so you should consider the number of people who will be consistently walking over your brick patio walkway.
Patio pavers are stone made from concrete and can be cut in a variety of shapes and sizes to create intricate patterns in your patio walkway. Patio pavers are highly durable and are weather and slip-resistant, so they are ideal for walkways leading to a pool or water feature. Patio pavers are easily replaced and interchangeable and tend to be extremely affordable.
Contrary to popular belief, bluestone is not blue. Instead, it ranges in color from brown to green and is an excellent option for a natural-looking patio walkway. Bluestone is porous and can hold a large amount of water, so it’s essential to seal your bluestone before laying it in the ground. Otherwise, moisture can cause cracking and make the color fade. Bluestone is found in quarries and manufactured in block form, but homeowners can choose to cut it into just about any size or shape. Many homeowners opt for an irregular or broken look that creates a naturalistic effect.
Limestone only comes in light colors, so it’s an excellent choice for hot climates as the stone is kept cool for bare feet. Limestone is highly durable but reacts poorly to anything acidic, so you must be careful about the cleaners you use as a high acidity level will erode the stone. Avoid using limestone around fruit trees, as the acid in the fruit can stain the stone. Like bluestone, limestone is porous, so you need to seal the stone before installing it. It also can be cut into any shape or size and is often used to create intricate patterns.
Fieldstone comes in a variety of colors from browns to lilac hues, so it is perfect for homeowners who want more color options. This kind of stone is typically found around gardens as it tends to contrast nicely with mulch and the surrounding vegetation. Fieldstone has a unique texture and is durable, but the shapes of the stones are rarely consistent, so they are ideal for homeowners who want a more rustic, naturalistic look.
Decide on the Base
Now that you have chosen the stone you wish to use for your patio stone walkway, you need to decide the base you will lay between the ground and the stone itself. Homeowners typically choose from the following options:
Gravel is the traditional choice when it comes to laying a base for your patio walkway. Homeowners will typically dig down 6 inches and lay an even layer of compacted gravel that the stone can sit on. The gravel must be compact as this creates a barrier so moisture cannot escape.
Paver Base Panels
Paver base panels are made from lightweight polypropylene and “snap” together with tongue-and-groove edges. The panels have an insulating layer that protects the stone as the ground freezes and thaws throughout the year. Paver base panels have tiny holes throughout the material that allows drainage. To properly install paver base panels, you will need landscape fabric, leveling sand, and the pavers themselves. The fabric keeps the soil and the sand separate, where the sand provides a level base on which to lay the panels.
Installing a patio stone walkway in your backyard is a relatively simple process that requires quite a bit of manual labor. Once you choose the stone that best matches your needs and the climate you live in, you have to decide on the base you want to use and then get out there and do the work! You will love your new, beautiful stone walkway that complements your home and takes your landscaping to the next level.