How to design a stepping stone path

A stepping stone path is designed to be visually pleasing, to lead you on an unhurried journey through your garden, or more practically help preserve your garden lawn from frequent pedestrian traffic.  Here are some handy tips to consider in the design of your stepping stone path:

  1. Style v Utility– a key factor that will determine your stepping stone design is to decide if style and intrigue is more important than utility. A utility only path will involve a simple arrangement of square or circular stepping stones laid to create the shortest travel towards your destination.  A winding, meandering path will create more interest and invite you to appreciate certain elements of your garden space, with thought and intrigue;
  2. Shape– there is a large choice of stepping stone shapes, including square, circular and irregular shapes. You will also need to consider the texture of the stepping stone;
  3. Spacing– it is a good idea to arrange the stepping stones loosely first to test the arrangement and the space between each stone, and ensure the space is comfortable between each step;
  4. Grass pathways– remove the turf, and cut following the shape of the stepping stone, to a depth of the stepping stone plus 25mm. Unless the ground is very soft, then there is usually little need for a mortar base, and 25mm of compacted sharp sand will be sufficient; and
  5. Gravel pathways– stepping stones will need to be laid on a 25mm bed of mortar, mixing 1 part cement to 5 parts sharp sand. It is a good idea to have the mortar base slightly larger than the stepping stone, with the stone laid in the centre.

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