Instructions for the Installation of Interlocking stone Steps

in General Outdoor Advice


Have a free weekend and an unsightly hill in the yard? Interlocking stone steps are excellent additions that augment the varying elevations present in yards, door landings, and retaining walls. The interlocking process in building these steps ensures strong structural stability for a lifetime. Basically, the following row of stones will be centered over the previous row’s joint, similar to how people build brick walls.


NOTE: The first three steps should be completed at least three days before starting the project

  1. Ensure access to a shovel, power compactor, hammer, mallet, chisel, hard-bristled broom, soft brush, hose, measuring tape, and a can of spray paint. A power compactor could usually be rented from many home improvement stores.
  2. Take careful measurements of the area where the interlocking steps will be installed and mark the area with spray paint.
  3. Call 811 or the local alliance that can mark the underground utility lines and inform them of the location of the project. Within a few days, a locate crew will come to find, label, and mark the lines. This step prevents unintended damage ad injury to the property and neighborhood that could lead to excess fines and costs.
  4. Within the marked area, use a shovel and dig nine inches into the ground, removing all dirt and debris from within the area.
  5. Clean and level the area.
  6. Place and smooth out a layer of filtering black membrane inside the hole.
  7. Layer and level two inches of gravel into the hole, ensuring to cover the entire area.
  8. Run a power compactor over the area, while spraying the gravel with water, thereby pushing the gravel into the ground and firming up the foundation of the steps. A strong and level foundation will allow the steps to remain level for many years.
  9. Repeat steps seven and eight with another four inches of gravel.
  10. Place the first row of stones on top of the gravel and around the edge of the area, using a hammer and chisel to remove any lips on the bottom of the stones. A hammer and chisel can also be used to cut the stones to size.
  11. Ensure that the stones are level, tapping the stones into the gravel with a rubber mallet.
  12. Brush the tops of the stones, removing the dust and debris.
  13. Apply some construction adhesive to the tops of each stone and place the following row of stones in an interlocking fashion over the previous row. Be careful so that the construction adhesive does not seep out of the sides. The following row of stones should be placed further back than the previous row, creating the steps.
  14. Smooth out another layer of filtering black membrane over the gravel behind the placed stones. Fill, level, and compact the gravel until it is level with the top of the placed stones.
  15. Repeat steps ten through fourteen, filling the area with more leveled gravel after every two rows. The steps placed on the gravel will not require construction adhesive and take care to ensure that all of the gravel is covered with stones. Keep placing the stones in an interlocking fashion.
  16. Before laying the final step, place some capstones around the edge of the structure, allowing these stones an overhang of one inch. NOTE: The capstones are solely for the edges of the steps, not for the central area.
  17. Place the normal stones within the center area on the final step, using the same procedure as detailed above.
  18. Sweep and brush the entire surface, removing all dust and dirt.
  19. Use the power compactor to further compact the surface.
  20. Apply construction adhesive onto the stone steps and adhere the capstones onto the glue.
  21. Dry the entire surface before covering the entire structure with polymeric sand, placing and sweeping the sand into the cracks between the stones with the hard-bristled broom.
  22. Sweep away the excess sand, ensuring that the sand is only between the cracks and not within any crevices and craters of the stones.
  23. Wet and dampen the entire structure for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  24. Wait and do not use the steps for four hours, allowing the sand and structure to dry, locking all of the stones together.
  25. Congratulations! The steps are complete! Image Credit:

Author’s Bio:

Peter Ann is an outdoor decoration enthusiast. Also being a creative writer he likes writing articles that are related to landscapes and nature.

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