Building a Cobblestone Patio Building a Cobblestone Patio

If you want the Old World look of a Roman village street or a French chateau, a cobblestone patio is the way to go. In Old World Italy or France you would have gathered round stones from a riverbed or quarried and "cobbled" them, then laid them on soil where Roman soldiers might have marched. Today you can buy these stones, or faux stones made out of concrete to resemble cobblestones. You can lay them on your existing concrete patio deck. But, as in the old world where you would have needed to know how to install these stones, so will you need that knowledge today. Here are a few things you'll need to know:

Things you'll need:

  • Broom
  • Knee pads
  • gloves
  • Sketch Pad
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Concrete cobblestones
  • Goggles
  • Circular saw
  • Thinset mortar
  • Trowel
  • Sand

Step 1 – Preparing Your Patio Space

You will need a clean, flat surface to lay your cobblestones on. This means you'll need to sweep off all leaves, twigs, sand, or other debris that might have found its way onto your patio. If you want to avoid sore knees and worn-through-the-knees pants, you'll need to wear knee pads. And, unless you already have callused hands, wear a pair of gloves that will be good for gripping.

Step 2 – Creating a Design

Decide the design you'll want to create. Will you want your stones to alternate in position, some turned sideways, other turned lengthwise? Would you prefer a more casual, random look? Want to intermingle short stones with longer ones? Do you want them to form circles or semi-circles? Patterns such as a sun stone? Stars? Mountain silhouettes? Draw your design on a sketch pad, using a pencil so you can erase and make changes. If you will need to re-size you stones, be sure you have a table saw with diamond-tipped teeth to cut them. And, don't forget to wear goggles.

Step 3 – Establishing a Straight Line for Your Cobblestones

When you are ready to begin, establish the pattern you'll use by deciding where you can set up your first row of pavers against an edge that is secure and straight, such as an exterior wall of your house, or a concrete retaining wall. These stones will need to be arranged this end to end and butted tightly against your pattern edge. This will be an effective start to keep each of your cobblestone rows straight.

Step 4 – Applying Mortar and Stones

Onto the surface where you'll lay your first row of stones, place a layer of thin set mortar with your trowel. Position your stones along this mortar line, pressing them into the mortar. Continue laying the mortar and stones in the pattern you designed. When finished, allow it to set (about 24 hours)

Step 5 – Applying Sand Between Stone Joints

Spread polymeric sand across your new cobblestones, and use a broom to sweep it into joints between your stones. Wet the sand down with water from your garden hose. When the sand is dry, use the same procedure to dampen and let dry, dampen and let dry, until the stone joints are packed with sand.

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