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Concrete Walkway Design

See how this modern concrete walkway was designed and learn about walkway rhythm and texture.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

For this project, we chose a really sort of simple, honest material, which was integrally-colored concrete. The color is a simple beige. It could be winter beige, or you could go with a pebble or a sandstone. We wanted something that would be very neutral. And then for the walkway, we have a very long stretch between the driveway and front door, and without doing a really weaving type of a walkway, we decided to keep it very linear and architectural. But to keep it from being just a runway, having the squares instead of a solid surface creates a segmented line, which is visually more pleasing. It creates a bit of rhythm as opposed to just a straight shot. The jog you see behind me is a nice touch to offset the entryway and provide a little more interest, a little more pause as one comes to the front door.

Sandwash finishFor this project, we did a concrete with what we call a sandwash or a light-wash finish, and this finish involves troweling the concrete with a steel trowel to the point where it sets up quite a bit. Once it's fairly hard but with a top layer of cream just being fairly soft, then the finisher can wash it off with a waterjet. We might need a bit of a broom to assist, but the idea is to let it harden enough so that when you wash it only the finest in sand grains are exposed and you don't get any large grains or pebbles showing.

Segmented designWhen you're doing a walkway like this, where you have a segmented rectangles or segmented squares, there are different options. You frequently see squares done. If you do a rectangle that's got a shorter profile in the direction that you're walking, it creates sort of a nicer segmented line. There are two ways you can form this. One is to form them individually as individual squares, individually reinforced with dirt between the form boards. The other way, the way it was done in this particular case, it was formed continuously in a linear fashion with the rebar and the concrete running underneath the dividers, and then gravel and mulch was filled into the dividers later to give it an individual paver look, even though the entire walkway is connected and reinforced.

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