How To Laying and Paving a Garden Path in 8 Easy Steps

Our step-by-step guide shows how to build and paving a garden path in eight steps – from digging out the path bed in the garden to shoveling off the grouted path.


How Do I Paving a Garden Path?

If you want to build and paving a garden path, for example, to the gazebo or carport, the first step is a carpet pad with gravel and gravel of a suitable thickness. An understructure with borders and beds makes the path robust and weatherproof. Next, lay the pavers, cut the curbs precisely to size, and add them to the laying pattern. Finally, grout and thoroughly compact the new garden path with a vibrator.

The depth of the subgrade in the garden depends on the climate. The colder it gets in your area, the deeper you should lay the substructure for the garden path. If the path is to be passable for motor vehicles later, when choosing the stones, you should consider not only the desired appearance but also certain minimum thicknesses.

Before buying the pavers, you should also think about the laying pattern. For example, you can lay your garden path as follows:

  • Simple, functional laying
  • Herringbone pattern
  • row pattern
  • creative combination pattern
  • wild band

If you want to design your new garden path ecologically, preferably use ecological, seepage, or drainage paving. These special pavers are permeable to water and counteract the sealing of surfaces. An ecological garden pavement helps protect the environment and soil quality of your garden. Some municipalities even reward ecological designs with lower sewer fees.

In all the steps, make sure the garden has a stable and settlement-free surface, which you can then compact with a vibratory block. This will ensure the stability of the area later.

Tip: If you only want to build a small path in a little-used part of the garden, a path made of bark chips or gravel is suitable.

How to build a garden path and what materials and tools you need can be read in how to laying and paving a garden path in 8 Easy Steps below :

How To Laying and Paving a Garden Path in 8 Easy Steps

1 Step: Plan The Path And Remove The Sod

First, start planning to buy the right amount of material. Our garden path will be 130 cm wide. The width consists of one meter of the path and 2 m x 15 cm of backing. Adjust the width of the backing individually to your path. This means that the wider your garden path, the wider the backrest.

Mark the path with forest marking spray. First mark individual outside points along which the garden path will later run and then connect them. When marking, make sure that you maintain the indicated width at all points; check this with a folding ruler.

Now remove the turf. To do this, first, prick the spade into the marked course all around. Then cut a second line on the inside parallel to the mark. In this way, you can divide the sod into individual sods and easily dig them out with the spade. Set aside some of the sod, as you will need it later for the edge of the garden path. The rest can be used as biomass.

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2 Step: Digging out the area


Then you remove the excavated material for the base layer. We excavate the path to a total depth of 30 cm and check in between with the thumbstick. The depth of 30 cm is constructed as follows: At the bottom, there should be a 20 cm high soil layer of crushed stone, followed by a 4 cm high leveling layer of crushed stone, and finally the 6 cm high pavers are placed.

However, the depth of the excavation depends on regional weather conditions, the planned use, and the thickness of the pavers. Thus, this may vary for you.

Next, compact the foundation surface with a vibratory plate or hand tamp. Always work in circular motions from the outside in and remember to wear safety clothing. If you don’t have a vibratory plate, you can borrow one from the rental service in your OBI store.

3 Step: Laying out a basic course


To lay the base, apply the layers one after the other and finally press them down. First spread the gravel evenly with a shovel and then compact it with a vibratory plate. When spreading, keep in mind a 2% slope, i.e. 2 cm per meter. This allows rainwater to run off and not collect on the garden path.

Tip: To check the 2% slope, lay a ruler lengthwise across the path. Place a spirit level on the ruler and hold a folding ruler vertically on the ground. Then move the level up 2 cm along the ruler and check that the water level is now level. If it is, the slope is 2%.

4 Step: Creating A Leveling Layer

Apply crushed stone with a small grain size of 2 mm to 5 mm as a leveling layer to eliminate any unevenness in the gravel layer. To align the pavers at the end, the chippings are not compacted but only spread with a shovel. Before leveling the layer, make a cutting window to make sure the path will be level. To do this, pound cord irons into the ground in all corners of your garden path. Be sure to keep a little distance from the edge of the path. Connect the irons, placed in front of each other on one side of the path, to the masonry line using a tension knot.

Place the tie pipes right and left in the leveling layer as an aid to later level the layer. To do this, press the pipes evenly into the layer and then check the distance from the top edge of the pipe to the leveling line. In our case, the distance is 4.5 cm. Do not forget to keep the slope. In our case, the distance is because our adjacent pavers are 6 cm high and we need a little more room to vibrate the stones later. If necessary, add some more chippings to get the right height everywhere.

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Now level the crushed stone with a level or plank. Then carefully remove the extraction pipes before filling the recesses with some crushed stone. When the foundation bed is level, it should not be walked on after removal.

5 Step: Laying Paving Stones

First, cut some pavers in half so that you can lay the garden path in an offset pattern later. Mark the center of each stone with chalk. Put on suitable protective clothing, attach the marked pavers to your surface with the screw clamp, and cut them in half with an angle grinder. If you are using a wooden board as a base, make sure that the wooden gap extends under the raw edge so that you do not cut into the wood.

Next, start paving the garden path. In our case, we are laying a curved course of pavers. To achieve this effect, place only “whole stones” in front of each other in the middle of the path and place the cut stones all around in an offset pattern. The small spacers at the edge of the pavers ensure that there is some space between the stones and that they do not rub against each other during subsequent shuffling. From the halfway point, turn the stones slightly inward to achieve the desired curved path.

In the last row, carefully cut the pavers so that the joints are not too large. To do this, place the bricks that need to be shortened side by side in the gaps, then use a level and chalk to draw a straight line on the pavers to shorten them.

Number the bricks on the bottom edge so you can position them properly after cutting them. Cut the bricks to size with a screw clamp and an angle grinder. Then place the bricks. If a paving stone still overhangs a bit despite cutting to size, mark the line again with chalk and cut again.

6 Step: Supporting Curbs

Stabilize the path with a backing so that the stones do not slip later. To do this, remove the chippings from the sides of the garden path with a trowel, as the backing will be built directly onto the base layer. You do not need to dispose of the excess chippings but spread them evenly over the stone path as joint material.

Mix the curb support with garden concrete. Before you begin, put on protective clothing. Then pour the concrete and the required amount of water into a bucket and mix everything with the mixer until the concrete is moist. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the concrete evenly across the path at the curbs. Smooth out the backing at an angle with the trowel. Leave about 4 inches of space from the top of the curb to lay the turf at the end on the backing. Moisten the surface of the concrete with a little water; this will cool the concrete and ensure that it dries evenly. Finally, allow the concrete to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

7 Step: Grouting And Vibrating


Now fill in the path. To do this, spread some crushed stone evenly over the path and work it in with a broom diagonally toward the joint. You do this to prevent the bristles from getting stuck in the joints and pulling out the chippings. Grouting prevents weed growth and shifting of the stones. Remove the residue with the trowel and wipe the path thoroughly before vibrating.

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Carefully drive the vibrating plate back and forth along the path so that the stones settle. In between, check with the level that everything is straight. Then tap the first and last rows of stones with a soft hammer. Then fill the joints a second time with crushed stone. Sprinkle the chippings over the path, moisten them with water and work them in with a broom. The water will help compact it and wash away the rest of the path. For individual joints where there is still a lot of air, press the chips with your fingers. Then sweep the path thoroughly and finally clean it with a garden hose or watering can.

8 Step: Laying The Edging

Finally, beautify the edge of the garden path by laying the sod on the back support. Lay the sod on top of the edge, making sure that it rests against the edge of the stones. Finally, cut the overhang of the sod with the router.

What You’ll Need For Your Project :

    • Forest marker spray
    • Gravel
    • Chippings (2 mm to 5 mm)
    • Pavers
    • Mason’s twine
    • Cord iron
    • Pipe pulling
    • Board
    • Chalk
    • Wooden pallet
    • Garden Concrete
    • Bucket
    • Sponge
    • Broom
    • Spade
    • Shovel
    • Folding Rule
    • Vibratory plate
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Level
    • Straightedge
    • Screw Clamp
    • Hand mixer
    • Angle grinder
    • Trowel
    • Soft hammer
    • Watering can

Other Materials For The Garden Path

In addition to a paved path, there are other options for constructing a garden path. When choosing the material, your first consideration should be the future load on the path and, of course, your visual preferences for the garden design.

Gravel paths are less durable than paved garden paths, but they fit well into the garden design. You can also choose a combination of gravel and flagstones – that way you will always have a solid surface thanks to the flagstones, but you don’t have to give up the look of gravel.

Tip: How to build a garden path with gravel, gravel honeycomb, and profile slabs, read our video tutorial on the subject.

An ideal option for laying paths in natural gardens is bark mulch. However, garden paths made of this natural material are not designed for daily use or heavy loads. On the other hand, they fit particularly well into the natural atmosphere of the garden and are generally less expensive than paved paths.

Garden paths made of gravel or bark mulch are also ideal for laying around flower beds. That way, you always have a firm foothold when working in the garden, without having to build a garden path – and such a border is also visually appealing. If you need a tips how to maintenance and clean a pavers here the tips to clean pavers. Find a more interesting article about small backyard patio ideas and read laying patio slabs cost if you want to know the cost of laying patio and saving tips for laying patio. Find more about stone patio design in the articles backyard stone patio design ideas.  Also read 3 ideal paving for driveways, backyard path, and terraces.