Walkway stone advise?

berrymerryAugust 6, 2011

Hi ,

Im laying sod (Bermuda) & I want to make some walkways (maybe 3 ft wide). Im using Texas flat rock that I already have lots of, its about 1 sq. ft or larger surface size & maybe 1 or 2 inches thick. I know I can lay the sod then trace the stones, cut the sod out & then place the stones in the hole(right)? But I like the idea of a solid walkway (mortared in-between the stones). Can the stones be set in a shallow bed of concrete & mortared or better yet, just mortar between the stones? I want to do this myself so is it possible to get a decent looking walkway like this or not? Has anyone got pictures of a similar walkway jobs they can post? I dont live in nice neighborhood, Im literally set way back in the woods so perfection isn't to important (the walkway is going to my CHICKEN PEN & to the car. Im walking thru red mud now so anything is a huge improvement! I have all the materials (the stone, concrete mixer etc). Id like to see what others have done themselves using stones so I can get an idea on whats possible. Hiring a crew isn't an option unfortunately & concrete trucks cant get up to the house & Im on a budget (Im the free labor & Im a girl on top of that) LOL. Iv got to do this myself if its going to get done so please help with any advise, I want it as nice as possible. Im laying all the sod by myself too, have 3 more pallets to do next week then its on to walkways :) I dont have to have it mortared but Id like the stones as close as possible to safe walking & so I can pull my little cart (chicken food bags etc.) but I really would like to have it mortared if at all possible because I like the look, its more solid looking. Thanks for any ideas, pictures & experiences you might have!

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In a nutshell there are two types of paving: flexible and the other sort. If you use mortar (a non flexible material) on a flexible walkway it will crack and crumble. In other words what you plan won't work.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 11:26AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Since you've given no climate zone, it's hard to tell... Ink is right if you live in a cold climate, although you can make it work with more investment in the preparation. Even if you live in a warm climate, where there is no frost heave, better base preparation will increase the chances that your path will remain solid.

Look into how to lay a mortared flagstone walkway - on the internet or in a book. You will find something along the lines of digging down a bit and laying some gravel and/or sand (climate-dependent) and compacting it (even with your feet is better than not at all), and then putting your stones and concrete on top of that, perhaps within a frame, which can just be boards set on edge.

The point is to make the base less flexible. If you don't want to do all that but still want your walkway to look reasonably solid, then just fit your stones together so the gaps are pretty narrow, and put mortar in there. It will crack, but will also reduce weed growth, and you can fix it from time to time.

Also, pay attention to the drainage, as the more water can pool under your walkway, the more it will heave when it freezes.

And can I just make a plea for the use of paragraph breaks :-)?? Maybe you did mention your location in there, but I might have missed it!


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 2:20PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Would it be possible to create a non-flexible walk -- one section at a time, with standard expansion joints -- by pouring a layer of concrete over the appropriate gravel base, then setting the stones in mortar on top of the concrete? Or something along that line....

It might help to know how much concrete the OP's mixer can make at once.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 4:37PM
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If you are laying rock in Bermuda, be prepared to spend a lot of time removing Bermuda from the walkway.

You can't just slosh mortar between the rocks because it will crack and crumble .. either dig down and do a proper job of concrete base (with leveling, base material, remesh) and lay the rocks on the base with a mortar bed
have the rocks laid on dirt. If you are growing Bermuda grass there's not going to be a freeze problem.

It's easier to prep the sod area, lay the rock path, making them as close as you want them, and then sod around them, cutting chunks to fit around the rocks.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:29AM
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