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Calculating the material needed for a garden path - tips and examples

A precise calculation of all required materials is essential for the success of a garden path project.

This is the only way to control costs and ensure that everything necessary for execution is actually available.

Calculate garden path with many materials

In this article we explain how to calculate the material for your planned garden path exactly.

1. Identify the information you need

First of all, all important key data must be established:

  1. Length and width of the garden path
  2. Material thickness - e.g. gravel layer or height of the slabs
  3. Calculate surcharges - for waste, arching, settlement, etc.

1.1 Calculation for slab coverings

For slab coverings one calculates:

Garden path with concrete slabs

number of plates

From the dimensions of the plates and the path area.

joint material

Sand or grit for the joints.

edge attachment

For example, concrete blocks for edging paths.

1.2 Calculation examples for the most popular materials for garden paths

Calculate amount of gravel for garden path


Path area (m2) x planned gravel layer thickness (m) = volume (m3)

bark mulch:

Path area (m2) x 0.05 to 0.1 m = volume (m3)


Path length (m) x path width (m) = m2

Wooden planks per m2 according to manufacturer information

natural stones:

Path area (m2) / stone format (m2) = number of stones


Path area (m2) / stone format (m2) = number of stones

concrete slabs:

Path area (m2) / panel format (m2) = number of panels

Good to know - for everyone: allow for a surcharge for offcuts/waste!

Calculate substructure, edging etc. separately.

More guides for creating the garden path yourself

2. Determine additional materials for the garden path

Consider additional accessories when planning

Measure geotextile

Fleece as a separating layer under the gravel. These are particularly worth comparing. Look in the prospectus of all DIY stores, there is usually always an offer with them.

edge attachment

  • stones
  • palisades or other enclosure.

3. Calculate quantities for substructure

Also for substructure you need:

  • Base layer - Made of crushed stone or grit.
  • Drainage - If drainage is required.
  • Floor Application - For raising the floor to the final level.

Buy a cutting disc for cutting stones when building a garden path

Material lists and ordering

Create a material list for the correct calculation

The calculation serves as a basis for:

  1. Lists with all positions - List all materials in detail.
  2. Round up quantities - it is better to calculate generously when ordering quantities.
  3. Order early - consider delivery times for material.

Tips for correct calculation of the order

  • Better to calculate too much than too little
  • Allow for surcharges for waste and settlement
  • Consider all the materials you will need
  • Calculate surcharges if you are unsure

Conclusion - Before creating a garden path, calculate the required amount exactly!

Careful calculation avoids nasty surprises and additional costs. The exact determination of all required materials requires care, but it pays off.

The most common questions when calculating the amount of material needed for a garden path

1. How can I tell if my surface is suitable for the garden path?

The subsoil should be compacted, load-bearing and as level as possible so that the path is stable and no subsidence occurs. If necessary, it must be improved with a substructure.

2. How do I calculate the material requirements for a paved garden path?

First determine the area and stone format. This results in the number of stones. Add approx. 25% of the area for joint material.

3. How much more material should I plan for?

Calculate about 5-15% surcharge for waste, arching, settlement and unforeseen additional requirements.

4. How do I find out the correct layer thicknesses for the substructure?

As a rule of thumb for the grit substructure 10-15 cm, for the base layer made of crushed stone 15-25 cm. If necessary, consult a structural engineer.

5. Where can I save material?

Rather save on the substructure and the bedding layers, not on the main covering. Inferior cover material is regretted later.

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    Jürgen Kleis

    "With my many years of experience in the tool industry, I can give you helpful tips and tricks for DIY and handicrafts".

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    I try to give the community at all available levels tips for building a house, renovating or gardening.