How to build a stepping stone path

Stepping stone

A stepping stone path is a fantastic addition to any garden…

As well as the attractive look, stepping stones also serve the important purpose of protecting your grass, gravel or any other areas you wish to protect from foot traffic. As for the work involved, installing a stepping stone path is actually easier than you think…

Step 1: Pick out your stepping stones

Look for a stone that complements the area it will be laid in. We love the warm, colour of the natural stepping stone, which looks great on both grass and on all types of gravel.

A stepping stone path is meant to have a rustic feel, so try to find a set of stones with slight variations in shape and size. This will add to the overall appearance of the stone pathway.

Step 2: Get the grade right

Drive a stake next to the path’s starting point and another a few feet beyond its end. Tie a line or string around the first stake where it touches its connecting surface.

Pull the string to the other stake and tie it off about 1/2 inch above grade. Now you have a fixed height reference for the stepping stone path so you can lay the stones evenly.

Step 3: Arrange your stones

Now you’re looking to arrange your stones, ensuring there is just the right amount of space between each one.

Use your own stride and walking pattern to determine how far about the stones should be. If you’re looking to lead the path around a curve then remember to tighten the space between the inside corner of the bend.

Step 4: Dig out the path

You want your stones to be set and remain fixed in their right place. So whether on grass or gravel, use an edger to mark their place and dig out a depth that’s equal to the thickness of the stone.

This will give you a perfect base to set the stones in.

Step 5: Set your stones in place

Once you have dug out the position for each stone, you can fill the space underneath with grit sand for a stable base.

This will give you a perfect base to set the stones in.

Add the grit sand into the space making sure to fill enough so that the stone itself reaches the line you have tied. You can then set the stones on top and pound down into position with a rubber mallet.

It’s also a good idea to pound one side of each stepping stone so that it is pitched slightly down, allowing water to easily run off the surface.

If you’re looking for more information or advice on stepping stone paths, Natural Stepping Stone or any other garden project, get in touch at, give us a ring on 0161 627 2020 or leave a comment below…

Timber and Building Merchants

George Hill is a leading independent timber merchant and building supplies provider in the North West, with branches in Oldham, Manchester, Bolton and Nelson. Founded in 1919 we’re family run, and have been for 99 years.

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