Replacing stepping stones in your garden requires a few basic steps. Keep in mind that once replaced, the new stepping stones will enhance the beauty of your home and your outdoor area. Stepping stones need replacement if you notice that they are damaged or dull. If you want, you can also change the location of the path and install the new walkway in another area of your garden.
Step 1 – Removing the Stepping Stones
Remove the old stepping stones by breaking them into manageable pieces with a sledgehammer. Use a shovel to throw the broken stepping stones into a wheelbarrow and carry them out of the outdoor area. You can either keep the broken stepping stones to reuse in another project or else dispose of them accordingly. Check that the spots for the new stepping stones are level and if you find that a spot is a bit deeper than the others, fill it with dirt and check again until you are satisfied.
Step 2 – Installing the Stepping Stones
Place the stepping stones in the shape of a path installing one stone at a time. Start from one side of the path and keep an appropriate distance between the stones as you install them. As a general guideline place the stepping stones so that the center of each stepping stone is about 18 inches away from the next one.
Step 3 – Filling the Holes with Sand
Mark the outline of your first stone by using a shovel or a trowel. Use the shovel to lift the stone and remove the dirt from the edges. Make sure that the hole has an appropriate depth so that the stepping stone will stay about an inch above the soil. Add an inch of builder’s sand before installing the stepping stone to help it settle better in place.
Measure the thickness of each stepping stone in order to prepare the holes in case your new stones are not of the same height as the old ones. Use a level to confirm that the stepping stones are level after you have added the builder’s sand. Use the level again (a long wooden board would do as well) to check that the stepping stones are all set at the same height. In case you find that some stepping stones are not properly set, add some more sand around the edges of the stones and tamp them down gently to set them properly into the ground.
Step 4 – Adding Gravel To Your Path
Now fill any uncovered openings on your stepping stone garden path with gravel. Hide the dirt around the stepping stones with gravel as well. The gravel will also provide the garden path with a solid walking surface in case you did not keep an appropriate distance between the stones when you installed them.