- Grout Sealer
- Iron Rake
- Compactor (or Sod roller)
The first step is to prepare the surface
Use a shovel to remove any large rocks and fill any holes from the area to be covered. Then use the iron rake to make the soil as even a possible.
Next, use the compactor (these can be rented from any equipment rental dealer) or sod roller to compact the soil.
Then use the shovel and iron rake to lay down a uniform layer of sand anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of an inch deep.
Then use the compactor or sod roller again to compact this into a smooth surface.
Use a large level (three to four feet in length), to ensure that this surface is even. If it is not add more sand to low areas to generate a smooth level surface.
Once the surface has been prepared, it is time to lay out the stones
If the stones are square and there is an obvious place to start, such as the end of a driveway, the side of the house, etc., it is best to lay those stones first.
If there are no boundaries, as for example a patio set in the middle of a lawn, it is best to start in the center of the area to be covered.
In either case, it is important to use the level to make sure that each stone is not only level but the same height as the previously laid stones. Use additional sand to bring the stones to the appropriate level if needed.
When laying the stones, make sure to leave some space between the stones. The space between stones could be anywhere from ¼” to 1″ depending on the type and size of the stones used and the builder’s preference.
But it is important to use a ruler to ensure that the spacing is uniform on all sides of all stones.
Laying and filling the molds
Once all of the stones are in place, pour the grout powder into a bucket and add the appropriate amount of water.
Mix thoroughly with a stick or a trowel. Note, make sure to prepare no more than be can lie out before it starts to harden.
Once the powdered grout and water are a thick uniform paste use the trowel to pack the space between the stones. Use the edge of the trowel to remove any excess grout.
Use a damp rag to remove any grout from the surface of the stones before it hardens.
Once the grout has been placed between all the stones let it dry or cure for at least 24 hours.
Complete the project the following day by applying a uniform layer of grout and stone sealer.