How to Lay a Walkway with Slate Pavers

What You'll Need
Tape measure

If you want to lay a paver walkway, one of your options is to use slate pavers. Slate is actually one of the most expensive materials from which pavers can be made, and it is also very fragile. In addition, slate pavers can become very slippery when wet, a possible safety consideration. They are, however, quite striking in a landscape. If you decide to go with slate pavers you could install them using mortar, although this is a tricky job. A good alternative is to use a layer of sand with gravel as a base for your slate pavers.

Step 1 - Mark off Your Walkway

You should now decide where you want the walkway to go. Take a pair of stakes, and drive them into the ground where the walkway will begin. This could be the side of a house, or the end of a driveway. Take a tape measure, and measure the distance that you want the walkway to cover. Add a second stake at the end of the line. If the path has to deviate to avoid an obstruction, you should also place stakes where the walkway alters its course. Connect your stakes together using a piece of string. This will give you a better idea of how your finished walkway will look.

Step 2 - Prepare the Ground

You should then be able to start digging out your ground. Take your spade, and remove the top soil to a depth of around 6 inches. Only cut along the marked out area, as this will be the basis for your walkway. Once you have dug the hole, you then need to compact the soil. This can be done by banging the ground with a rake, or stamping on it with your feet. A good idea is to rent a compactor, which will press the ground for you. When the soil is compact, add a layer of sand, and compact again. Then add some gravel, and compact some more. This will give you a good draining basis for your slate pavers. Press the ground down.

Step 3 - Fit the Slate Pavers

Take some sand, and lay out an inch upon your compacted gravel. Take your slate paver, and lay it at the edge of the walkway on top of this sand. You need around a quarter of an inch gap between the slate pavers, and you also need to check as you are laying out the parts, in order to ensure that they actually fit. You can then add more sand between the pavers. Once you have finished laying out all the slate, you can then wet the surface of the walkway. This will help to pack down the sand tightly between the pavers. Leave the walkway to dry.