How to Build Steps from Sandstone Slabs

What You'll Need
Sandstone slabs
Tape measure
Spirit level

If you want to use your sandstone slabs to make an interesting feature in your garden, then you should consider using them to make sandstone steps. Using stone slabs to make garden steps is not a difficult process, and they can look a lot better than concrete or wooden steps. when you are ready to start making your steps, choose sandstone slabs which are whole, without cracks or marks. Purchase enough of the slabs to ensure that you have enough for your steps, and one or two extra in case of mistakes. You can then purchase the rest of the necessary materials. Building steps from sandstone slabs is not a very difficult process, and you should be able to manage this in one day.

Step 1 - Preparing the Slabs

Once you have purchased the slabs, lay them out in the garden on a flat area. Taking the first slab, run your sandpaper over the edges of the slab, making sure to create small lumps and dips in the slab. The idea is to create a slab which has slight texture on the surface, so that it can not only grip hold of the concrete, but also provide a secure step during wet or icy weather. Texturing can also create an interesting effect on the sandstone itself. When you have done this, you should then apply a single-coat sealant to the surface of your sandstone slabs. This will help to protect the slab against rain damage.

Step 2 - Cut the Steps

Decide where in the garden you are going to have the steps, and then cut out the soil for this area. Use your lumber to create a stable frame around the edges of the soil, and cut out the earth until you have risers of around 7 1/2 inches in height. You should also allow a slight tilt for each tread, in order to allow water to run off of the slabs.

Step 3 - Add Concrete

Around the edges of the bottom riser, dig a small trench. Fill up this trench using concrete, and then smooth down the top using a trowel. This will help to keep the treads in position. You can then repeat this process around the edges of each of the risers, digging a shallow ditch in the middle of each tread cut.

Step 4 - Add the Slabs

You should then lay a pair of bricks together on the concrete, and place the sandstone slabs above these, sealing them in with mortar. Use a spirit level to make sure that these are laid completely flat. Tap down the slabs so that they settle into the mortar, and then place a slab on the concrete below the bottom riser, so that it is about half-way towards the first tread. This will help to secure the steps in place. When you have done this, leave the mortar to dry thoroughly before using.