A walkway in the garden fulfills various functions. On the one hand, it gives people a secure step, on the other hand, it protects the lawn from human footsteps, which quickly look unsightly.

Tread plates on lawn

garden path with steps is always recommended when there is a risk of footpaths forming in the lawn. Since they are laid at ground level, they can easily be driven over when mowing. The plates should also not be an obstacle for the robotic lawnmower. Another advantage of stepping stones is that they do not need a complex substructure, which is good for beginners when it comes to putting them on.

Note: For your own safety, stepping stones should be non-slip.

materials and tools

In addition to the panels, you will need:

  • spade
  • Handstampfer
  • trowel
  • Zollstock
  • level
  • Rubber hammer
  • broom
  • Construction or filling sand

Instructions for beginners

1. Place panels

To ensure that the slabs are in the right places in the garden, you should first walk along the sidewalk. You lay out the individual footplates in such a way that you can easily step from one to the next.

Then measure the distances between the tread plates and calculate the average value. This results in the distance at which you lay them.

Tip: As a rule, the distance from the middle of the board to the middle of the board corresponds to an increment of 60 to 65 centimetres.

2. Mark and dig holes

Now place the footplates on the lawn at the correct distance. To mark the outlines, pierce the edges of the slab vertically with the spade in the turf. Then remove the plates again.

The holes are dug within the individual markings. It is important that they are dug a few centimeters deeper than the slabs are thick.

3. substructure

Once the holes have been dug, you can compact the subfloor with a hand tamper so that the panels do not sag after laying. Now put a three to five centimeter thick layer of sand as a substructure in each hole, which is leveled with the trowel.

Tip: You can also use chippings for the substructure. This has the advantage that no ants settle under the stone or concrete slabs.

4. Check

When checking the panels laid in the garden, you should pay attention to two things so that they do not become a tripping hazard or an obstacle when mowing:

  • horizontal position of the step plates (spirit level)
  • ground level finish

If the test result is not satisfactory, you should remove the tread plates so that you can adjust the substructure, i.e. the height of the sand or grit layer.

5. Fast knocking

To ensure that the footplates do not wobble (tilt) when you step on them, you should carefully tap them down with a rubber mallet. This also closes small cavities between the slab and the stone, which improves their position.

Tip: Use a white rubber mallet to tap to avoid staining.

6. Fill in the gaps and sow the lawn

In the penultimate step

  • Fill gaps between plate and lawn with soil
  • press or rub in lightly
  • sweep clean with a broom

So that the transition between the slab and the green in the garden is seamless, sow grass around the edges of the slab and press the seeds firmly. For good germination, you should keep the lawn seed moist for the first two weeks after sowing.

Paving slabs on gravel and grit

While stepping plates have a distance between the individual plates, sidewalks form a closed surface that can also be driven on without any problems. However, so that the path does not become a stumbling block, a substructure must be created. In addition, beginners should first think about

  • the laying pattern,
  • the foot design and
  • the Randgestaltung

make, because these criteria are crucial bases for the garden path.

laying pattern

It is up to you which laying pattern you choose. However, for more complex patterns, you should create a laying plan to achieve the desired result.

Rectangular / square association:

  • Equally sized rectangular or square slabs in the same lanes or staggered
  • Lanes of different widths
  • Combination of squares and rectangles (rectangle-square lattice)
  • diagonal connection
  • herringbone bandage
Tip: For visual reasons, straight lines are laid at right angles to the direction of the path in the garden.

Roman Association:

  • solid pattern of squares and rectangles
  • varied structure by repeating the pattern
  • gives the garden path a Mediterranean flair


  • polygonal panels of different sizes
  • Laying according to the natural shape


The joints are traditionally filled with quartz sand or decorative chippings. Grass grouting is currently in trend for the sidewalk in the garden. However, this is not suitable for all laying patterns, such as the Roman bond. You also have to reckon with the fact that the lawn will yellow in the joints and the garden path will become unsightly.

edge gestaltung

Edging the wayside is not absolutely necessary, but offers certain advantages:

  • better hold of the laid surface
  • prevents individual panels from sagging or slipping

As with the laying patterns, there are also various options for the edge design:

  • Precisely matched edging or edging stones (finish like “from one piece”)
  • intentional difference to the sidewalk slabs (“eye catcher”)
  • metal rails (“invisible” bezel)

materials and tools

In addition to the slabs, for laying you will need:

  • wooden pegs and string
  • Zollstock
  • spade and shovel
  • Shaker (possible to borrow from hardware store) or hand tamper
  • Rubber hammer
  • grit/gravel
  • Sand
  • material for grouting

To mark

To ensure that the sidewalk runs the way you need it later, determine where it should go. In addition

  • Mark out the path with wooden stakes
  • Stretch the string between the pegs
  • if necessary, take the width of the border into account
Note: Determine the joint width when staking out so that there are no nasty surprises afterwards.


Once the path has been marked out, you can dig out the path surface. The minimum here is a depth of 20 centimetres. The exact calculation results from

  • plate thickness
  • Sand layer (5 centimeters)
  • Gravel layer (for sandy soils 20, for loam and clay soils 30 to 40 centimeters)


When creating the substructure, you should incorporate a gradient of two percent with the help of a guide line so that rainwater can run off easily and does not accumulate on the slabs. In terms of the order of sand and gravel (gravel), there are different variants.

Variant 1: gravel-gravel

The layer of gravel comes directly to the ground. In this case, it is advisable to proceed in individual, thin layers, each of which is shaken. This increases the stability of the substructure. The top layer is filled with sand and then shaken again. The substructure is completed by removing the layer of sand so that a smooth, horizontal surface is created.

Variant 2: Sand-Gravel

As the name of this variant already implies, the sand is placed on the ground as the first layer. On top of that comes a layer of coarse gravel, which acts as drainage and is compacted (vibrated). The finish here is a layer of fine grit that is shaken. As with variant 1, a smooth surface must be created.

Lay and grout panels

The paving slabs are laid according to the basics of the laying pattern / plan:

  • insert plates
  • tap with a white rubber mallet (to avoid traces of paint)
  • Specify the joint width or distances with joint crosses or spacer wedges

Depending on the selected joint design, fill the joints with the appropriate material or sow lawn seeds.

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