Installing cut stone for your path..

Setting cut stone in sand.

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Installing cut stone for your path

 

Cut stone originates from the same natural rock as flagstone. The different is in their shapes. Flagstone edges are natural and irregular. Cut stone is uniform with straight edges and square corners. Cut stone pieces range in size from about 1 to 4 feet and come in different thicknesses. Get paving at least 2 inches thick to avoid breakage under traffic. This material lends itself to the same kind of installation as flagstone, as stepping stones, in sand or mortared to concrete. It is most often found set in sand for paths.

Because of their regular shapes, however you can lay out cut stone patterns on paper before setting them. You may need to make minor adjustments as you lay the stones, but planes on paper will save you from having to conduct major experiments on site.

 

 

 

 

Setting cut stone paths

 

Whether you fill the joints between cut stones with sand or mortar depends in part on how you want the finish path to look and how the edges of your stone are cut.

Stone cut with precise edges such as stone tile looks best with narrow joints, about 1/16 inch. Mortar is too thick for such narrow joints, but you can still mortar the pieces to a slab and finish the joints with fine sand. You can also set the stone in a sand bed and finish the joints with sand. Most cut stone looks better finish with sand because close spacing enhances the pattern. If you do make mortar joints, space the stones no closer than 1/8 inch and consider using mortar tinted to closely match the color of the stone. You can also set cut stone as individual stepping stones, following the same procedures used for flagstone. Don't forget to use landscape fabric.

 

                              Tools needed to install stepping stones

 

·          4 foot level

·         Wheelbarrow

·         Round and square nose shovels or spades.

·         Garden rake

·         Tamper

·         Saw, for cutting drain pipe

·         Scissors, for cutting landscape fabric.

·         Tape measure

·         Hammer

·         Garden hose.

·         Push broom

 

 

 

 

             Setting cut stone in sand

 

·         1.     Sand laid cut stone requires a solid base and a level sand bed. Lay out the path and excavate to a depth that will put the paving surface about ½ inch above grade. Add 4 to 6 inches of gravel for the base, depending on drainage requirements for your soil. Level and tamp the gravel. Cut landscape fabric to size, lay it on the gravel base, and position the edging, if you are using any.

 

·        2.      If the path runs along a perennial bed, consider setting cut stones on edge to create a low border along your path. Setting these stones tightly together will help keep soil in the bed from spreading onto the path.

 

·        3.      Lay the sand bed: Shovel in and spread about 2 inches of washed sand. Dampen the sand, screed it level and tamp it.

 

 

 

 

             Setting the cut stone in sand

 

·        1.      Cut stone is rarely produced in identical sizes and shapes, so try to lay them with an average spacing that will look consistent over the course of the path. For narrow spacing, keep the stones ¼ to 3/8 inch apart. Your path will look tightly laid if the average spacing doesn’t exceed ½ inch. Large gaps can cause the sand to migrate out of the joints and be tracked into the house.

 

·        2.      When you have the spacing correct, push and rock the stones down into the sand bed. Check them for level in several directions with a 4 foot level. Continue setting the stones in sections, making sure the surface of each section lies flush with the previous ones.

 

·        3.      Fill the gaps: Shovel sand between the joints and brush it between the stones with a push broom. When sand nearly fills the joints, dampen it. Top off the joints by sweeping in more sand from all directions, leaving the sand ¼ inch below the top of the stones. The small recess will reduce the amount of sand displaced or tracked into the house.

 

 

 

 

 

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