Pebble paving

One of the most favored paving methods is to press stones into a concrete base. This paving holds up well and is easy to reset should any of the stones become dislodged. There is no limit to the size, color, or texture of the stones you can use. Many building supply yards carry a wide variety of stones to choose from, ranging from the size of peas to double the size of a fist.

Pebble paving provides a texture quite different from that of the usual exposed aggregate finish ; you add the pebbles or smooth rocks after the concrete is poured-something like pressing raisins into a pan of dough. How far you press them determines the smoothness of the finish.

Of all the paving examples pebble paving offers the greatest possibilities in design, since each stone can be hand-placed. You can make swirls, circles, even whimsical forms using stones collected on a vacation trip or carefully selected at the stone yard. Since placement of each stone into a design is time-consuming, you may want to confine pebble paving to a relatively small walk or patio section.


Probably the easiest approach to pebble paving is to simply press large cobbles or stones into a wet concrete base. Be sure to press or pound them far enough down that the concrete grips the stones. This surface usually is not intended for foot traffic. Let the paving harden for several days and then clean the stones with a 10 per cent solution of muriatic acid to remove excess mortar and to bring out the pebbles’ colors.


With this method, the concrete is laid down as for any walk or patio slab and then selected pebbles are sprinkled over the surface and wood-floated into the soft concrete. Before the concrete sets up, the pebble surfaces are re-exposed by hosing and brushing just as you do with concrete paving to produce an exposed aggregate surface.

The tricky part of this procedure is choosing the exact time of exposing the pebbles while the concrete is hardening.


If your paving is likely to be subjected to heavy traffic, wear and tear, or erosion due to garden sprinkling or rain runoff, you will achieve greater stability by setting the pebbles in mortar over a concrete slab. Mix your mortar with 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, and enough water to give you a mix that doesn’t run but spreads easily. Spread a Vi-inch layer of the mix over one section of the concrete at a time, placing or sprinkling the pebbles into the area. The pebbles must be wet to give a good bind. When the pebbles have been in place 2 to 3 hours, tamp dry sawdust over the area. After an hour or two, brush off the sawdust with a broom.


Set up edgings for area to be paved after ground has been graded. Use tamper to pack soil level 31/i Inches below edgings.

Lay down concrete base between edgings. Use 2 by 4 to screed the concrete level, then wood float the surface.

Sprinkle pebbles carefully over the concrete surface so that you will get an even distribution and a smoother walking surface.

Press pebbles into the concrete using a wood float so that the concrete comes to the surface. Let mixture set up a few hours.

Use brush to remove ioose mortar while concrete is still crumbly. Brush carefully so that pebbles won’t completely dislodge.

Alternate brushing and washing (use nozzle with fine spray) until the seeded pebbles have been exposed to the desired depth.