How-To-Lay Stepping Stones

Guidance on how to install your new paving or flagstone products

Whether you are planning to do the work yourself or employ a professional to do it for you, this guide covers all the essential points you need to know about.

What you’ll need:


  • Straight-edged spade or turf edging tool
  • Spirit level
  • Rubber hammer or mallet
  • Rake
  • Wheelbarrow


  • Sand or crushed stone for base
  • Sand
  • Cement

The Four Simple Steps

Step 1

Space out your chosen flagstones in the direction that you want the path to go. Walk the path, adjusting the spacing until you arrive at a pattern and spacing that suits everyone. If you are restricted to a certain length make sure to space the flagstones correctly so that you don’t have to cut the last one. To create a curve, tighten the space between inside corners and open it up on outside corners.

Step 2

Cut the grass around the flagstones using a sharpened straight-bladed spade or turf edger. Lift the flagstone and remove the turf without damaging the surrounding grass. Dig out the topsoil (and any stones) to the depth of the flagstones you are using, plus at least 50mm. Example: if you are using our Canterra flagstones which are 40mm deep, you will need to dig out at least 90mm (2.5 inches).

Step 3

Unless the ground is very soft or loose, there is little need for a deep hard-core base. The path can only be used by pedestrians, so a 50mm layer of compacted sand or half an inch of broken stone will form a suitable base.

Step 4

Place the stone into the sand base and pound it with a rubber mallet. Use a level to ensure the flagstones are all level with each other.

Where the stepping stones are being laid in gravel, spread the dry mortar 2 – 4 inches beyond each flagstone and rake the gravel over it. The flagstone should be at least 1 inch above the level of the existing gravel, this will help eliminate the scattering of gravel over your flagstones.

NB. Stepping stones are not suitable for steep slopes.

Where a path is made through a lawn, the flagstones must be laid flush with the soil surface, thus allowing the mower to pass straight over when cutting the grass. 

On the other hand, when flagstones are set in a gravel area, they work best if slightly proud of the surrounding surface, reducing the likelihood of gravel being scattered on them.