Properly Lay Patio Stones

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
String and stakes
Shovel or flat-bladed shovel
Hoe and/or rake

If you are looking for ways to fully utilize your outdoor space or create a patio, then you may want to learn how to properly lay patio stones end to end. This is a great and fun summer project that is not as difficult as it may sound. Before you begin, you will need to come up with a design based on the space available and shop around to decide on the type of stone you like best.

Step 1 - Plan Your Patio Area

You will have to use your design to measure out the area in the yard that you will use for your new outdoor living space. Once you have made the precise measurements, use the stakes and string to keep the space clear and creat a "floorplan." You should also be ready to purchase the appropriate amount of stones and other materials you will need. 

Step 2 - Clear the Area

Clear the measured area to a depth of 4 to 5 inches. It may be easier to clear if you use a grass and weed killer ahead of time. It’s also a great idea to use the extra dirt you just removed (if you haven’t used a toxic weed killer) to create a raised garden or flower bed. Using your level, make sure cleared area is as level as possible.

Step 3 - Finish the Foundation

Fill the cleared area with some medium filler rock to within 1 inch or so of the edge of teh cleared area, depending on the thickness of your patio stone. After filling with rock, use the sand to completely fill the area. Use the rake or hoe to level the area again. Spray with a hose to settle the sand. 

Step 4 - Lay the Stones

It is now time to lay the stone in the pattern and design you have chosen. If the stones you have chosen are consistent in shape, then start laying end to end in your desired pattern and design. 

If the stones you chose are randomly shaped, begin along the outer edges with the larger stones and work inward to the middle.  Fill in spaces with smaller or broken stones until the fit is tight.

Step 5 - Fill the Cracks

Once you have your stone completely laid you will need to spread sand again to fill in all cracks. Spray with a hose and repeat process until all cracks are filled and sand has compacted. Allow a few days for patio to set and then enjoy!