Grey stepping stones placed on top of grass.

How to lay stepping stones

Darius Negahbani Darius Negahbani Friday 20th October, 2017

Creating a path in your garden will get you from A to B – whether that’s to the compost heap, herb bed, washing line or greenhouse. But as well as being functional, a stepping stone path will also add an attractive feature to your garden, giving it shape, focus and symmetry. Laying stepping stones is a relatively simple and low-cost way to enhance your outdoor space.


  1. Decide where you’d like to position the stepping stones
  2. Make sure there’s an equal distance between each
  3. If you want your path to be straight, line the stones with string
  4. Spray paint around each stone to mark their positions
  5. Remove the stones and dig space for each of them to sit
  6. Create a mortar mix using water and 3:1 sand and cement
  7. Put the mix in the hole you’ve dug for each stone
  8. Lay stepping stones into the mix, making sure they’re aligned
  9. Make sure they’re level using a spirit level
  10. Leave to set for 24 hours

What tools do I need?

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Sprit level
  • Club hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Protective gloves
  • Spade
  • Spray paint
  • String line
  • Rubber mallet

What materials do I need?

  • Sand
  • Cement mix
  • Gravel (optional)
  • Stepping stones


Get into position

Place your stones a stride’s length apart on the ground. Move them around until you’re completely happy with their position.

Keep your distance

Use a tape measure to make sure the stones are exactly the same distance apart. This will make the final result look neater.

Set in stone

If you’re putting your stones in a line, make sure they’re straight by lining them up with string.

Spray of the land

Spray paint the ground around the corners of each stone to mark their positions. Be careful not to get any paint on the stones themselves.

Dig in

Remove each stone and put them to one side. If you’re laying stepping stones on grass rather than gravel, dig a hole in the ground for the stepping stones within the sprayed area, making sure each hole is at least 20mm deeper than each stone’s depth.

Mix of the trade

Mix your mortar using three parts sand and one part cement. Add enough water to the mortar so it sticks to a spade.

Fill the gap

Using the spade, fill the holes with 20mm of mortar.

Let it lie

Lay each stone on the wet mortar mix. Use string to make sure they’re neatly aligned.

Find your level

Use a spirit level to check the stones are level with the ground. If not, tap them into place with a rubber mallet.

Lay in wait

Leave your stepping stone path to set for 24 hours before you walk on it. If you’re laying a stepping stone path on gravel, you can now surround the stones with gravel.

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