How to Install and Maintain a Cobblestone Walkway
The old-fashioned look of cobblestone can make your old home even more charming. Installing cobblestone, or repairing the existing cobblestone, is not as challenging as you might think.
How to Install and Repair Cobblestone Walkways
Installing a cobblestone walkway takes a bit of measuring, patience, and an eye for detail.
- Dig the Space. If you already have a walkway where you want to put the cobblestone, you have to remove the old material before placing the new. Once you've done that, dig down to the approprite level, taking into account the depth of your cobblestone pavers. One to two inches should be fine for most walkways.
- Level it Out. Level out the surface and ensure a slight grade to allow for water drainage. Make sure the bottom is smooth! Any small variations in the surface now can lead to big variations in the finished project later.
- Lay the Gravel. To futher enhance drainage, lay limestone gravel on the base of your freshly-cleared path. Cover the gravel with a sturdy weed barrier cloth and then top it with sand. Tamp it all down until the surface is level and ready for the cobblestone pavers.
- Lay the Cobblestone. Working with a rubber mallet and lots of patience, lay the pavers over the sand, making sure they are level with one another. You can always adjust the amount of sand underneath each paver to make them level.
- Fill in the Holes. Using dry mason's sand, pack the spaces between the pavers. Be generous with the mason's sand--this is what prevents your cobblestone from shifting. When you've filled it in, spray it generously yet gently with water to set the walkway. Once it dries, apply more mason's sand if necessary.
- Maintain It! Watch for weeds, loose pavers, crumbling pavers, and other problems that you should address immediately. If you have a broken or crumbling paver, gently tap it out and replace it with new cobblestone. If the walkway loosens and begins to shift, repair it by working in another application of dry mason's sand.
When Cobblestone is Not in the Cards
Is cobblestone too expensive for your budget? Consider asphalt that looks just like cobblestone for a much nicer price. Asphalt cobblestone is a flexible yet continuous walkway option that is manufactured to look like the real thing, yet doesn't have as much potential for the damage and plant growth that can plague even the best-laid cobblestone walkways.
Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.