Project Guide

How to Build a Walkway

1
PLAN YOUR WALKWAY
PLAN YOUR WALKWAY
  • Lay out the course of your walkway with two long pieces of rope.
  • Use a tape measure to check the width of your path and adjust accordingly.
  • Once you’ve got the correct dimensions, mark along the entire perimeter with a shovel.


Tip: To build a walkway that will allow two people to walk comfortably side by side, a width of 35 to 40 inches is recommended.

2
DIG OUT THE SOIL
DIG OUT THE SOIL

Tackle building your walkway in sections in order to account for changes in elevation.


  • Remove all of the sod, rocks and dirt down to a depth of about 7 inches.
  • Using a hand tamper, compact the soil throughout the section.
  • Your goal is a firm, even surface.
3
BUILD THE GRAVEL BASE
BUILD THE GRAVEL BASE

A layer of crushed gravel provides a stable base on which to build your walkway.


  • Pour at least 2 to 3 inches of crushed over the compacted ground.
  • Use a metal rake to spread it around evenly.
  • Wet down the gravel with a hose and compress it thoroughly using the hand tamper.
  • Add more crushed gravel as needed and tamp it down until the gravel base is slightly below grade.
4
ADD PAVER SAND
ADD PAVER SAND
  • Add a layer of paver sand approximately ½-inch thick across the entire section.
  • Use a finishing trowel to smooth out the surface.
5
LAY PAVERS
LAY PAVERS
  • Spray the sand with a fine mist of water.
  • For a simple running bond pattern, use half blocks to begin each alternating row.


Tip: A running bond pattern staggers the joints and allows you to make slight adjustments when needed to create a nice gentle curve.

6
PUT IN STEPS
PUT IN STEPS

As a general rule, steps should be built approximately 7 inches high and installed at regular intervals to minimize tripping.


  • When building a step, dig back into the slope about 10 inches.
  • Fill with crushed gravel up to the level of your base.
  • Wet and use a wall block to tamp down.
  • Lay 10 ½- x 7-inch wall blocks side by side in the trench up against the walkway.
  • Check with a level and add sand if needed to keep everything in line.
  • Dry fit a second row of blocks using different sizes to stagger the joints.
  • Once you get the pattern worked out, go back and add a bead of construction adhesive between the rows.
7
PREPARE THE NEXT SECTION
PREPARE THE NEXT SECTION

Repeat steps three through six for the remaining sections of your paver walkway.

8
LAY STEP TREADS
LAY STEP TREADS
  • When adding step treads, use the same thickness as your pavers so everything remains on an even plane.
  • Attach these directly to the top of the wall block using construction adhesive
  • Continue laying the pattern in the next section over a smooth layer of paver sand.
9
CUT PAVERS
CUT PAVERS

When you need to cut pavers to fit into your desired pathway pattern, measure, mark and use a concrete saw or a wet saw outfitted with a concrete blade.


Safety: Wear safety googles and work gloves when cutting pavers.

10
SECURE THE EDGES
SECURE THE EDGES
  • Once all the pavers are laid, add paver edging to keep from shifting, or use a brick trowel to trench along the outside.
  • Fill it with cement to keep the pavers from shifting over time.
  • Cover with mulch or soil.
11
ADD POLYMERIC SAND
Add polymeric sand

Tip: Before adding polymeric sand, check the weather forecast to ensure no rain is coming in the next few days.


  • Pour a liberal amount of polymeric sand onto the walkway and sweep into the cracks. The sand works as a binding agent helping hold all of the pavers in place.
  • Carefully blow off any excess sand with a leaf blower.
  • Spray the walkway with a fine mist. The moisture activates the polymeric sand and binds the pavers.


As a finishing touch, adding some landscaping and creative lighting will help turn your new walkway into a beautiful addition to your home.