Make treadplates yourself and lay in the grass

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Material for foot plates
Suitable materials for tread plates are:

  • ready-mixed concrete
  • Fine concrete screed
  • Wood
If you want to make massive treadplates yourself, it is a good idea to mix the cement and sand concrete yourself. For this you need four parts sand and one part cement. Mix the two dry ingredients in a mortar bucket before gradually adding water. As a rule of thumb, one half liter of water per kilogram of cement is needed. The exact amount of water depends on the weather and the humidity of the sand. The finished mixture must be slightly shiny and pulpy.
Molds for the stepping stones
You can pour your plates in plastic containers such as buckets or mortar tubs. A simple method is it...
  • ... dig a shallow pit into the ground and lay it out with foil. The depth of the mold should be about 3 cm.
  • Take advantage of this method and shape the outlines of the shapes differently. That brings variety to your garden.
  • For the design of the tread plates are sheets with strong trained leaf veins, colored gravel or broken colored glass suitable.
Pour and shape the stones
So that the stones come out of the mold well later, coat them with oil. You have the choice between two design options. Place the decorative material in the bottom of the mold to lay the stone later with the bottom up or decorate the top of the wet concrete immediately after casting. When you make the top, you can see how the stone will look later as you make it. The other method is suitable for casts of leaves, which contains the resulting pattern anyway a random element. To ensure that the panels are smooth and firm later on, fill in a two-centimeter thick layer of concrete without bubbles. After filling, pound loosely on the ground, so that any air escapes. When pouring in a pit, you must make sure during filling that no air is trapped. After casting, the cast bricks need seven days in a shady place to cure.
Determine the correct arrangement of the foot plates
Think about where you will probably step when walking across the lawn. Lay out the plates according to this concept. Now check critically whether you and other family members can walk comfortably on these plates. Ask yourself if there must be places where two people pass each other or what the return route looks like. Depending on the arrangement, the tread plates can sometimes be used in one direction only, correct the position of the plates until a comfortable path is created. It's better to pour a few more platters than to compromise on walking comfort.
Lay the tread plates correctly
Now you know where the plates need to be laid. Note: Tread plates that protrude above the ground make it difficult to mow the lawn. In the high grass, these stones can become "knife killers", because no lawn mower knife can bounce on these stones. Protruding stones also pose a risk of injury to bare feet. Proper installation is therefore of utmost importance. Peel the turf in the area where you lay a stepping stone. Dig a hole of 20 cm depth in the form of the plate. Fill in 15 cm of gravel over which you distribute three inches of sand or grit. Compact the substructure and check with a spirit level if the surface is level. Lay the corresponding footboard on this layer. By compaction of the substructure, this should now be flush with the earth's surface. If this is not the case, remove something from the top layer of the substructure. Check again with the spirit level, if the plate is horizontal. This is the only correct way to lay finished boards safely and securely.
Alternative: Pouring and laying in one operation
Unless you pour the stones in a solid mold, it may be convenient to lay and cast the tiles at the same time. Because you do not have treads that allow you to test the pathway design, you will need to make an initial dummy test with cardboard or newspaper dummies. As soon as the position of the stepping stones has been determined, peel off the sod at the designated place and raise the ground 20 cm deep. Fill in fifteen inches of gravel and three inches of sand. Compact the substructure before filling the concrete with a trowel. Smooth the surface and decorate it according to your wishes. To harden the concrete slowly, cover the casting area with a jute sack. Since the liquid concrete always aligns horizontally, eliminates the control with the spirit level.
Worth knowing about foot plates soon
Well-planned and carefully laid footboards are as functional as a garden path, but disturb the appearance of a lawn but much less. After the methods described, home improvement and hobby gardeners can easily produce the required plates themselves and relocate safely.
Treadplates continue to offer a good alternative for a clean and careful entering of beds. They protect the footwear in wet weather from moisture and dirt. Treadplates for the lawn are available in different variants, so that they can also set beautiful accents on the lawn. Above all, they offer a price advantage:
  • If you opt for a paved path, you often have to dig deep into your pocket and, moreover, a paved path is not necessarily something you would want as a lawn enthusiast in your lawn.
  • Tread plates require less space, are easy to lay and are already low enough to fulfill their purpose. A narrow row is usually sufficient to set up a suitable path across the lawn.
  • A very simple and inexpensive type of tread plates provide wood panels or discs. These can even cut themselves from a tree trunk, but are very smooth in rainy weather. Nevertheless, they are often used as tread plates.
When choosing treadplates, you should make sure that they are non-slip and that they have as uniform a surface as possible. The tread plates should not be laid directly on the lawn, but best on a layer of sand, which has the size of the stone. To avoid pitfalls, the treadplates must be laid at the same height as the lawn:
  • Just lay the stone on the lawn and use a spade to cut out the outline of the stone about 10 cm deep.
  • How deep the hole must be, results from the thickness of the stone and the underlying sand layer, which should be about 10 cm.
  • After the sand has been filled, put the footboard on it and tap it with a rubber mallet.
  • Then check if the tread plate is straight. A spirit level provides good service here.
  • After this check, the insertion of the footboard is completed. With all others you act the same way.

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