Decorative stones are a popular landscaping choice for many homeowners. They add beauty and texture to outdoor spaces, whether used in gardens, pathways, or around water features. However, it is essential to prepare the area properly before laying down decorative stones to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. One crucial step in the preparation process is determining what to put under decorative stones. This article will explore various options and provide insights into the best choices based on different circumstances.
1. Landscape fabric
Landscape fabric, also known as weed barrier fabric, is a popular choice for placing under decorative stones. It is a permeable material that allows water and air to pass through while preventing weed growth. Landscape fabric acts as a barrier, preventing weeds from sprouting up and competing with the plants or flowers in your garden.
When using landscape fabric, it is essential to prepare the area properly. Clear the area of any existing weeds or vegetation, level the ground, and remove any debris. After that, lay the landscape fabric over the prepared area and secure it with landscape fabric pins or staples to prevent it from shifting. Finally, place the decorative stones on top of the fabric, ensuring they are evenly spread.
2. Geotextile membrane
Geotextile membrane is another option to consider when deciding what to put under decorative stones. This synthetic material is designed to provide strength and stability to the ground. Geotextile membranes help to prevent erosion and stabilize the soil, making them an excellent choice for areas that are prone to heavy rainfall or have loose or sandy soil.
Similar to landscape fabric, geotextile membranes should be laid over a prepared area. Clear the area of any vegetation or debris, level the ground, and compact it if necessary. Place the geotextile membrane over the prepared area, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Secure it with pins or staples to prevent movement. Then, lay the decorative stones on top of the membrane.
3. Crushed stone or gravel
Crushed stone or gravel can also be used as a base material under decorative stones. This option provides excellent drainage and helps prevent weeds by creating a barrier between the ground and the decorative stones. It is important to use crushed stone or gravel with small particle sizes to ensure stability and prevent the stones from sinking into the ground over time.
To use crushed stone or gravel as a base, prepare the area by clearing it of any vegetation or debris. Level the ground and compact it if necessary. Then, spread a layer of crushed stone or gravel of about 2-3 inches thick over the prepared area. Use a rake to even out the surface. Finally, place the decorative stones on top of the crushed stone or gravel, ensuring they are evenly spread.
Concrete is a durable and long-lasting option to consider when deciding what to put under decorative stones. It provides a solid base and prevents the stones from shifting or sinking over time. Concrete is especially suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic or where the decorative stones will be used as a pathway or patio.
To use concrete as a base, prepare the area by clearing it of any vegetation or debris. Level the ground and compact it if necessary. Then, mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions and pour it over the prepared area. Use a trowel to spread the concrete evenly and create a smooth surface. Allow the concrete to cure before placing the decorative stones on top.
Choosing the right material to put under decorative stones is crucial for their longevity and effectiveness in landscaping projects. Whether it is landscape fabric, geotextile membrane, crushed stone or gravel, or concrete, each option has its advantages and is suitable for different circumstances. Consider factors such as weed prevention, drainage, stability, and intended use when making a decision. By properly preparing the area and using the appropriate material, you can ensure that your decorative stones will enhance the beauty of your outdoor space for years to come.