Laying a garden path can be done quickly and easily with our step-by-step guide. A well-planned garden path not only makes roaming through the garden easier, but also accentuates the beauty of your garden.
You may have already found inspiring garden path designs and ideas and you can’t wait to create your own path, or you may be wanting to find out more about our wide range of garden paving slabs to use for your project.
To show you how to lay a garden path in the correct way, we’re sharing inspirational ideas as well as tips we’ve learned through the decades. This is an in-depth and thorough guide for beginners looking to start their first garden project.
See our full range of garden paving slabs for sale here.
Planning your Garden Path
If you haven’t properly planned your garden path yet, you’re in the right place. With plenty of garden path ideas to follow, let’s dive into all that you will need to get started with the laying of your garden path.
Tools you will need to lay a Garden Path
First, you will need a shovel or spade to clear the way for your garden paving stones. Whilst not a requirement, we recommend having a wheelbarrow, along with a cement mixer, large trowel for spreading mortar, a small trowel for pointing, a rubber mallet and a cut-off saw. A ball of string, wooden pegs or steel pins, a spirit level, and a tape measure or ruler may also come in handy.
Staying safe whilst working
When laying your garden path, we recommend wearing protective footwear such as steel toe-capped boots, as well as gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask when you are mixing up concrete. If you intend on using a vibrating plate compactor, be sure to wear ear-plugs to guard your ears.
Wet or dry cement should be handled carefully, as it can cause irritation and burns. We suggest covering your skin and washing off any cement immediately if it makes contact to the skin. When lifting any patio slabs, take caution and if the slab is too heavy ask somebody for help.
Tips Before You Start Laying Your Garden Path
Before you begin laying your garden path, it may be helpful to draw up a rough sketch of your home and garden to visualise the best layout for your path, and identify the areas you would like to be paved.
Once you have established your plan, we recommend marking out the areas you have visualised your garden path to cover with a string, to outline the dimensions of the proposed sections of the path. After this, once you are happy with the layout you can begin your garden paving project.
If you’re going to be removing any turf from your proposed paths, make sure you save some and keep it to the side during your paving process, as you may want to fill in any gaps between the paving stones or around your new path at a later stage.
Oxfordshire Garden Path Ideas
Mull Cobble is an innovative, contemporary paving ideal for pathways. Mull cobble paving is a classic option to give your garden path design a neat, attractive look and is the ideal choice when looking to create low maintenance paths which add character to any garden design.
Yorkstone Riven Path
Yorkstone Riven Paving Slabs are a charmingly attractive, versatile paving slab renowned for its durability and quality. With rough riven texturing and irregular edges adding to the character of these slabs, Yorkstone Riven Paving is the ideal choice for a natural and authentic garden path suitable for both quaint cottage gardens as well as grand modern estates.
Minster Flagstone Garden Path
Minster Flagstone paving is a modelled look on the contemporary limestone paving. The large oblong size of Minster Flagstone Paving Slabs can be used to create pathways which give a clean and contemporary look and feel to your garden design.
We have several other paving stones available to use for your next garden pathway, with each offering a unique look and features. Many of our paving stones can be placed in various ways to suit your landscaping ideas, whether your choice of paving is square, rectangular or plank shaped, the possibilities are endless with our range of garden paving.
Differing paving slabs can be placed either joining closely to one another, as well as with gaps in between to incorporate decorative aggregates or creative planting to form a unique look within your garden.
Stepping Stones for Garden Paths
Protect your feet from the great British weather and create an attractive feature at the same time. Stepping stones can be used to create pathways, and look great winding across a lawn or placed surrounded by decorative aggregates.
We have many garden stepping stones to choose from including:
Path Edging to Complete Your Garden Pathways
Edging is perfect for keeping the shape of your garden immaculate, or for adding a finished look to your garden path. We offer many different types of edging products; including brick edging, chamfer edging, rope edging, and several other options too.
How to Lay Garden Paving Slabs in Seven Steps
Step one – Measurement
The first step should be to measure the area that is to be paved and calculate just how many paving slabs will be required, by calculating the square inches of paving slabs as well as the total square footage of the proposed pathway. To calculate how many paving slabs you need for your project, divide your total project area by the total area of your paving slab. For example, a 150 sqft pathway divided by 1.25 sqft pavings slabs equals 120 pavers required.
Minster Tip: we recommend adding 10% to the total amount of pavers you intend to purchase, this will account for any broken slabs and any that need to cut to fit corners etc. If you need further assistance, Minster Paving can help you with this by recommending materials and suggesting a selection of sizes that can be combined to best cover the area.
Step Two – Layout
The next step is to choose a layout for your pathway, and an appropriate choice of paving stone to suit your chosen layout. Garden paving stones can be sourced in a huge range of sizes and dimensions.
Step Three – Mark Out the Area
Step three is to mark out the area and remove grass and topsoil from the area to be paved by digging down 150mm. For some working room, add an extra 150-300mm to the area, and then rake the ground. Next, mark out the path edges by knocking pegs into the ground and fastening string to them at the height you’d like the slabs to sit. Pull the string taut so that you have straight lines to guide your work.
Step Four – Lay a base
Step four is to lay a path base by creating a support layer, consisting of a 75-100mm thick layer of hardcore such as crushed concrete or stone, and spreading the hardcore out and levelling it off. Minster Paving Tip: Compact with a vibrating plate compactor until it lies 50-75mm below the level at which you want the finished path to sit.
Step Five – Mortar
Add a mortar bed, designed to stabilise the slabs. Make the mortar by mixing four parts of sharp sand with one part cement, then adding water, little by little, ensuring the mortar is damp, but not runny. Spread it out and level it with a trowel. The mortar bed needs to be 30-40mm thick and should enable the slabs, when positioned, to sit 6-10mm high.
Step Six – Position the slabs
Now you’re ready for the final layer, the paving slabs. Aim to leave an 8-15mm gap between slab and with a rubber mallet, tap down each slab, using the string to guide you. You might want to place a thick piece of wood beneath the mallet in order to protect the slabs. Minster Tip: Make sure that you don’t accidentally stand on the slabs while you’re working. Use a long spirit level to check that they slope and create an even surface on which to walk.
Step Seven – Secure the slabs
Twenty-four hours after the paving slabs are laid, the mortar bed should have set, and you can fill in the gaps with mortar. This is called “jointing” and prevents the slabs moving. You can either mix a cement mortar (three parts sand and one part cement, plus a little water) or use a resin mortar such as Geo-Fix.
Cement mortar should be pushed into the gaps between dry slabs with a trowel, compacted, and then smoothed with a pointing bar. Resin mortar requires wet slabs and should be brushed into the gaps. Give this mortar a further 1-2 days to set.
Final Tips When Laying Your Garden Path
As with most DIY and construction tasks, learning to lay a patio is best achieved by preparing properly. Thorough preparation will help you create a pathway you’ll be proud of and be able to enjoy for years to come.
Now that you know how to lay a pathway, see our Garden Paving page for handpicked content and more helpful advice to get you started on your project.
We also have a handful of excellent ‘How to’ guides to help you create the perfect garden. Have a look at our How-To page to gain more skills from our garden experts.