Building a Stepping Stone Walkway

Stepping stone walkways are great to have in a landscape. They are not only functional, but they also look beautiful and add texture to the overall design. In this article, we will discuss how to build a stepping stone walkway. With this guide and some equipment, you will be able to create your own stepping stone walkway!

1. Clear the Area

In order to begin installing your new pathway, the entire area needs to be cleared. At Park Landscaping, we use a bobcat for this job, but it can be done with digging tools! You can clear the grass and topsoil from your yard using a pick and a shovel.

Stepping stone path

Marking the area to be filled with stones is crucial to seeing the bigger picture.

 2. Delineate with Spray Paint

Once the area is cleared, outline the paths with spray paint. This is important to do before building the path because the spray paint will help you see the bigger picture. Also, it is not permanent so if you decide to change the layout of the path, all you have to do is shake up the spray paint and try again.

3. Road Crush

After the paths are delineated, road crush needs to be spread on all the prospective paths. Tamp down the road crush as much as you can because this is what provides stability and a compact base. Road crush is just a mixture of sand and small rocks (gravel). For those who do not have access to actual road crush, the best thing to do is to obtain small (20mm) sized gravel and mix it with sand.

stone walkways

Edging keeps walkways looking need and clean. Stones in front have had building sand poured beneath them for further stability.

4. Edging

Once the road crush is in place, the edging needs to be installed. Edging keeps walkways looking crisp and adds a great aspect to the landscape design. Aluminum edging is most often used because it does not rust and is simple to work with because it bends nicely to whatever shape you may need.

creating stone walkways

Pathway project in process

5. Fabric and Sand

On top of the road crush, there needs to be a heavy-duty fabric placed. This will serve as a weed barrier and separator between the stones and topsoil. After the fabric is laid, we pour building sand on each area where the stepping stone will be laid. This provides maximum stability for each stone and prevents them from moving around.

6. Lay the stones and rock bed

Once all these steps have been taken, we can finally place the stepping stones and the decorative rock. Most stepping stone walkways we create have a rock bed as the path around each stone. Lay the stepping stones on the sand then finally spread the smaller decorative rock around the stones. Rock beds are not only pleasing to the eye, but also important for support.


creating a garden pathway

Wood and stone mix nicely to give this garden pathway a softer look

And there you have it! A step by step guide for how we install stepping stone walkways. Walkways add an incredible aspect to a landscape design. If you’re thinking of changing up your landscape, consider installing stepping stones! They not only look crisp and refined, they also make the entire design more interactive! Guests can follow your walkway to a destination such as your patio or pool, or can be guided throughout the yard and garden. Do not hesitate to get creative with your stepping stone walkway!


stone walkway

Practical uses of stepping stone walkways abound! No need to track mud into the house when you have a pathway like this.

Guest Blogger Bio

This article was provided by Laurel from Park Landscaping. Park Landscaping is a commercial and residential landscaping company that not only creates beautiful landscaping designs, but also brings them to life!

For more ideas on building garden walkways, visit this post on Creating Garden Pathways.

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10 Responses to Building a Stepping Stone Walkway

  1. Graciebelle February 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Thanks for this, particularly the hint about pouring sand under each stone to keep it more stable. I’ll be trying that this summer.

  2. Garret February 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Thank you so much for providing those pictures. I can’t say enough about how the pictures helped me really understand how the project was accomplished. Keep up the good work!



  3. katie February 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m so glad I found this article! We have recently tried putting stepping stones on top of rocks, but sand is definitely a better idea! I’ll have to try this out and see how much easier it is to level my stepping stones. Thanks for this!

  4. John March 23, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    My wife has been wanting me to put a stone walkway in our yard for quite some time now. I like how detailed the article was in laying out the steps for building your own walkway since I definitely have no idea what I’m doing! What stone type would you suggest using? I want something that’s durable and will last a long time.

  5. Your Easy Garden Team March 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    John – We have found that Granite pavers work well. We have also used Pennsylvania Bluestone (when you can find them) and they work well.
    Hope this helps and good luck!

  6. Justin August 13, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    This is almost exactly the project we are planning to undertake. We were wondering if you have suggested guidelines for the depth of the road crush to use as well as the depth of the rock bed?

  7. Your Easy Garden Team August 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Hello Justin, We would recommend at least a 1-2″ layer of road crush. When purchasing your materials, your best bet may be to give your pathway dimensions to your stone supplier and ask for their recommendations.

  8. Finley Moreira August 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    I’m looking at building a stone pathway in my backyard, so this is really good to know. I noticed in the article that you mentioned how it’s important to put sand down as a base before putting the stone down over it. I’ll be sure to do this since you mentioned that it helps keep the stepping stone stable which is something I’m worried about considering how much it rains where I live.

  9. J January 29, 2018 at 12:17 am #

    My husband and I are about to start this project! Are there special kinds of stones I should be looking out for when building a path? I don’t know what I’m doing!

  10. Your Easy Garden Team January 29, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

    There are a lot of different varieties out there – from manufactured pavers that you can purchase from your local home & garden center, to bluestone, Pennsylvania fieldstone, brick and slate. The prices often vary depending on your location and the type of stone that is more local to your environment. The best bet would be to check with a local stone mason or supplier. Regardless of what you use, it’s important to use stones that have at least one flat side.

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