I'm thinking of replacing the uneven pavers leading to my front door, but wasn't too sure what the correct way to do so was. I've lifted up one of the pavers, and it seems like they were just laid on top of black plastic. The ground under the plastic isn't really flat, which explains why the uneven pavers. Here are some photos:
I was thinking of replacing them with round-ish stepping stones similar to these: https://www.bunnings.com.au/tuscan-path-30-x-30cm-grey-granite-stepping-stone_p3452458
Would I need to cut out the black plastic, dig down, fill with sand, compact the ground, then lay the stepping stones on some mortar mix? Or can I do without the digging and compacting and just cut out the black plastic, use a spade to somewhat flattern the ground, then lay the stones directly on some mortar?
Also, because its a curved path, how would I go about making sure each stone is at the same level? Or is it less of an issue for stepping stones like this, and more for pavers that are butting up against each other? Thanks!
Thank you very much for sharing your question about replacing your uneven stepping stones. Replacing the existing steps without levelling the ground might damage the round steps as the weight of the person stepping on them is not evenly spread. The step would keep tilting and anyone stepping on it might slip. I suggest removing the black plastic and digging down and preparing the area for paving.
In order to keep them uniform in height, I suggest using a builders line and running it across at different angles so that You'll know that they are all at the same level. Re-levelling the soil without compacting it will re-create the same condition that you are experiencing right now. Water will enter the soil and will soften parts of the area creating low-level spots.
Here is a handy step-by-step guide: How to pave a pathway.
If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.
Thanks for the info Eric!
If I compact the ground, can I just do it where the new stepping stones are going to be, or do I need to compact a whole pathway to the house? Also, what should I be using, would sand work, or would road base be better? Lastly, would me stomping on the sand be enough to compact it, or would I need to use a tamp (seeing how a plate compactor seems a bit of an overkill lol). Thanks!
There's no need to do an entire pathway, I only placed that guide to give you an idea of what's involved with preparing the paving area. Using road base or gravel and sand should be sufficient for your project. A tamper should be more than enough to prepare the ground you'll be using. You're absolutely right using a compactor is overkill. I'm afraid foot stomping will not be enough to give you a flat surface area.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.