Natural Stone Walkway, Need help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by bmoorefield, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I salvaged some flat rocks from a customer’s property and they would like them to be used as a walkway approximately 60’ long. The rocks range in thickness from 1”-4”. How do I make the surface of the walkway flat with a solid base? I have experience installing pavers with the usual materials (base material, bedding sand, edge restraints, etc…) but this project is out of the norm.

    I am assuming that I will have to hand tamp the base material depending on the thickness and contour of each rock. Would I just leave out the bedding sand? Or place sand where needed?
     
  2. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Throw out the 1" thick as they are too thin for dry set. Post an image of the material. Lay your base, plate compact(if you do that), then do your layout, and set your stones level to the grade you want. Your base should be at least 6" thick. NO SAND as it shifts, use gravel with fines.
    By the way this project is not 'out of the norm' for hardscapers. If this is outside the scope of your services and abilities, recomend someone who can be successful for your client. Give your client an asset, not a liability.
     
  3. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I have made a stone walk out of purchased stone, but the big difference was the stone thickness was consistent. Thanks for the help and I will post a pick this weekend. I also use 6" bases for walking surfaces. If I plate compact the entire area the same level...the issue will be making the stone a flat surface to walk across. For instance, I lay the first stone that is 4" thick and then the next is 2" thick. This will cause an uneven surface to walk across (That is why I referred to hand tamping the depth of the base material according to the thickness of the rock). To help clarify the question further, how will I make the end result flat and still have a solid base?
     
  4. FLCthes4:11-12

    FLCthes4:11-12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Compact base, 1/2 layer of m10 sand, lay your thickest stone, then add more sand as needed to make stones level. I personally would set each stone on mortar with wide gaps and put screened topsoil with ground covers in between.
     
  5. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Don't use mortar or sand. Dig each stone down until it is level and flush with the grade your project needs. We quarry stone all the time for this. Each stone needs to 'packed' until it is solid. I do this with a piece of 5/8" rebar 16" long, and my stone is a minimum of 12" x 16" on the smallest side. I like an 1 1/2" of crushed limestone or granite below the stone also. It takes time to make it look good, and be level. Sand will always shift, and the mortar will always crack/break and look terrible in a few years.
     
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594

    you dont compact the top layer. Leave yourself some loose material to work with on the leveling.
     
  7. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    Yea, that’s what I was planning for...A time consuming job. 4Russl5, I’m not clear where you are using the rebar…for compacting the gaps maybe?
     
  8. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Put the rebar in your hand, and pack the gravel and fines under each stone until it doesn't move. It would be a great discussion to hear everyones different technique for setting stones. You arms get pumped, but it works great.
     
  9. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    That makes sense, cant wait for the arm pump...I agree with 4Russl5, it would be nice to hear the different techniques to set stone.
     
  10. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    If you think about your foundation, the most important aspect is considering the water drainage, grading the water towards the drainage, then a stout foundation for it to rest upon. I use 6" of 5/8" minus(which has fines), then 1 1/2" of 1/4" crushed granite or limestone, and then 1 1/2" to 6" thick stone for my surfaces. Not all quarried stone is fit for walkways/patios/drive ways. We split this stone to thickness for the edge of a walkway which ends into side the driveway.

    Spliting Stone.jpg
     

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