How to Level a Stone Walkway

What You'll Need
Rubber mallet
Screwdriver or metal scraper
New stones
Garden hose

A stone walkway is not only a practical but also provides an attractive decorative element leading to your patio or yard. However, it is very important that you make it a point to regularly maintain your stone walkway to keep it in good condition and to avoid lengthy or costly repairs. One of the main problems with stone walkways is that in time they may develop bumps and irregular areas. These should be corrected because apart from being unattractive, they can also create a dangerous tripping hazard. Here are the main steps involved in doing such a task yourself.

Step 1 – Inspecting

Start off by carefully inspecting the walkway and identifying the areas where you need to correct unevenness.

Step 2 – Removing

Some of the stones may be uneven due to the fact that they are broken or damaged in some way. Hence they may need to be replaced. Some others may still be reusable to patch up smaller areas, so do not dispose of them for now. Use a flat screwdriver to remove stones on narrow parts, or a metal scraper with a flat edge on wider parts.

Step 3 – Levelling the Base

Once the stones have been removed, you will have exposed the base underneath. The main work lies here, as to achieve a more level walkway you have to do a good job in levelling the base where the stones will be laid later on. In order to level the base you have to start by removing any excess elements which are currently hindering the smoothness of the surface. These could include foreign objects like twigs and pebbles. Use a trowel to remove them, and then it is best that you remove the sand and any excess soil to replace it with newer sand. Smooth the sand with a trowel until you gain an even result. Afterwards use a construction level to check whether the surface is level. Repeat this process for any areas where you removed stones, or where you notice unevenness.

Step 4 – Placing the Stones

Once your work with the base is done, you can start to place the new stones in place. Place each stone carefully, and check whether it is as level as can be with a construction square tool so as to achieve a satisfactory alignment. By tapping each stone with a rubber mallet you will achieve a better positioning.

Step 5 – Spreading Sand

Finally spread some fine sand over the walkway as this will fill in any small gaps in between the stones, and help to achieve a more level surface.

Step 6 – Final Step

Finally sweep away any excess sand and using a garden hose, spray the walkway with some water so as to wet the sand’s grains and lock them together more effectively.