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Project Walkway: Researching Options

by - Monday, May 18, 2015

We're on to the next step for Project Walkway. Now that we have our plan figured out, over the last few weekends we've been making stops into The Home Depot to research stone options. Luckily, The Home Depot has experts in every department so recently we consulted with the garden experts at the Leaside store to get their recommendations on plantings and pavers.

First off, we found out that not all Home Depots will have the same inventory of stones. Some of the larger stores, like the new Vaughan store, have more selection so it pays to visit a few sites. For our exterior makeover, we're looking for a few different types of stone: pavers to create the herringbone walkway, edgers for the front garden retaining wall, and a larger stone for the step and to cap off the retaining wall.

red brick paver The Home Depot

Our initial thought was to do the walkway in a classic red stone. Now one thing we do when we're looking for tile or stone is to lay it out right on the store floor. You can't tell if a pattern will work just by looking at a sample; you need to lay the pattern out and see it at scale. Home Depot is really fun for this - just grab individual tile pieces from the bins and mix and match until you find something you like. Just be sure to put all the pieces back and make sure no other customers trip over your mockups ;)

brick paver The Home Depot

We tried the stones in various colour ways. This one was the Autumn Gold paver which looks more grey in person. We also had to look at how the stones correlated to one another and determine where we would use them. Would we use the same walkway stone for the perimeter or do it in a different colour? What height would the garden wall need to be relative to the walkway? Did we want a smooth stone for the wall or a rough stone? Lots of questions, lots of options. 

walkway mock up stone paver

This was one option we really liked. The paver and the edger both come from the Valestone line so they already "work" together. The paver has a rough surface and rounded corners so when you fill the paver joints with sand, you'll end up with a slightly more rustic country look as opposed to the clean-lined pavers above.

walkway mock up stone paver

Here you can see a mockup of the garden wall which will be either two or three layers stones high. We like the look of having a cap stone that sits slightly proud of the wall stones. Again, we tried it with the classic brick pavers. The Autumn Gold on the left is still looking like a good option.

While we were confident we could figure out the stone options ourselves, the in-store experts told us about things we weren't aware of. For instance, when building a retaining wall, set the stones back a 1/2" each layer up to create a strong structure that won't fall forward. We also learned about paint that can be applied to our concrete steps.

Our trips to The Home Depot were really informative and I think we've narrowed down our selections. Chloe couldn't resist getting in on the mockup fun either and built this little walkway on her own. It turns out that the kid isn't afraid to do some heavy lifting herself. That's a good thing because we're going to get this project underway really soon and can use her manpower!


Disclosure: I'm completing this project as a member of The Home Depot #HDBlogSquad. Materials have been provided but all the DIY labour, frustration, elation, and sore backs will be our own.

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