Step 13: Compact the Cobbles

compacting a cobblestone driveway apron with a plate compactor
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Mist the cobbles with water and run the plate compactor over the surface to settle them into the leveling sand. Check to make sure that the cobbles are now flush with the asphalt and the edge of the street, and that there are no high or low spots on the apron. If you see a spot that needs adjusting, lift up that mat and either excavate or add more leveling sand, then compact it with a hand tamper. Apply a strip of duct tape along the perimeter of the apron to prevent these surfaces from being stained by the grout in the next step.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      tape measure
    • finish nails, various lengths
      nails to stake the chalk line in asphalt
    • chalk line
      chalk line
    • safety glasses
      safety glasses
    • ear muffs
      hearing protection
    • concrete saw
      14-inch gas-powered concrete saw with segmented diamond blade
    • garden hose
      garden hose
    • hammer drill
      hammer drill with chisel bit to break up the driveway surface
    • cutter mattock
      pick mattock to remove broken-up chunks
    • gloves
      work gloves for handling asphalt and cobbles
    • garden stakes
      stakes
    • mason's line
      mason's line
    • iron rake
      bow rake
    • plate compactor
      plate compactor to tamp base and pavers
    • side-cutting pliers
      side-cutting pliers
    • chalk
      chalk stick
    • mason's chisel with hand guard
      mason's chisel with hand guard
    • sledge hammer
      hand sledge
    • brick hammer
      brick hammer
    • tamper
      hand tamper to fix uneven spots during installation
    • duct tape
      duct tape
    • concrete mixer
      cement mixer
    • Squeegee
      double-foam squeegee to spread grout into joints
    • push broom
      push broom to remove excess grout

    Shopping List

    Cobblestone mats with cast-in grid
    Have your supplier help determine the amount you need.

    Permeable epoxy grout

    Leveling sand.
    A ½-cubic-foot bag covers 6 square feet at 1 inch deep.