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Building a well-made walkway or garden path is a great do-it-yourself project to enhance the natural landscape and complement a home’s exterior features. While traditional walkway materials like brick and stone have always been prized for both appearance and durability, they’re often expensive and difficult to install. As an easy and inexpensive alternative, you can build a new concrete path using QUIKRETE® WalkMaker® forms, which are available in a variety of brick or stone patterns. Once you’ve laid out the path, you simply mix the concrete, set and fill the form, then lift off the form to reveal the finished design. The result is a beautiful pathway that combines the custom look of brick or natural stone with all the durability and economy of poured concrete, and fits your budget and skill level.
Before starting, prepare the project site by leveling the ground, removing sod or soil as needed. For a more durable base, excavate the area and add 2-4” of compactable gravel, the grade and compact the site. Mix a batch of concrete for the first section, following package directions. To estimate correctly, make sure that you have enough bags of concrete by calculating how many 2×2’ sections you need to complete your path. Each section will use approximately one 80-pound bag of pre-mixed concrete. At this stage you may also add a QUIKRETE® Cement Color to the mix according to the directions. Coloring gives molded concrete a more natural, consistent looking finish and is great for blending your path or walkway into your landscape design.
One you have finished mixing, place the WalkMaker form on the ground and fill with concrete. Use a concrete margin trowel to fill any corners and smooth the surface of the form before the concrete hardens. Once finished, remove the form and rotate a quarter of a turn before starting the next section of the path. You can create custom surface finishes by pressing small stones or pea gravel into the wet concrete, or by brushing on a layer of sand. Apply any desired stones or gravel after the concrete has reached its initial set (push your thumb into the concrete lightly to test—if it’s hard enough you won’t leave a print). At this point the concrete is still damp but hard to the touch, usually about one hour after placing.
To mimic the look and durability of hand-laid stone or brick, fill walkway joints with sand or mortar mix, then sweep into the section contours and spaces between sections. When using mortar, mist the joints with water so they harden in place. Once the sheen has left the surface of the concrete, begin damp curing immediately with a fine water mist, and continue for a minimum of 3 to 5 days. If curing conditions are less than ideal, apply QUIKRETE® Concrete Cure and Seal with a roller or sprayer to ensure slow, even curing.
In no time, you can enjoy a beautiful walkway or garden path that will last for years to come, with the help of a QUIKRETE® WalkMaker® form and a few hours of work around your home.
For more in depth product information, visit Quikrete.com.