Installing Decomposed Granite: Stepwise Guide for Homeowners

When building a new deck or patio, look no further than decomposed granite. Decomposed granite is easy-to-install travertine and available in many colors and patterns. It makes it an excellent material for outdoor living spaces. It’s also easy to cut into smaller pieces if you need to make changes or upgrade your patio area later. This article will help you in installing decomposed granite guide step-by-step.

decomposed granite

Start by measuring your area and the materials such as mortar, granite slabs, crushed rocks, and scoring tools. Please clean up your area, spread decomposed granite over it, and let it dry. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to install decomposed granite so that you can create the perfect space for entertaining friends or family members!

Installing Decomposed Granite

A decomposed granite patio is an easy way to create an attractive and tidy space for outdoor living.

decomposed granite patio

  • Purchase the necessary materials. You’ll need some form of mortar, such as cement or sand, a bag of crushed rock from the hardware store; some scoring tools (if you don’t already have them); and the decomposed granite slabs themselves. Follow these steps for a beautiful and functional result:
  • Once mixed thoroughly, it should be ready to apply the overtop of one side of each slab using either trowels or hands/fingers only—no tools required here! Wait until everything has dried well before continuing with the step below.

Plan the Project

The first step in a successful project is planning. This can be the most important part of your installation, as it will help you avoid mistakes and save time and money.


  • Plan by deciding what materials you need for your project. You may need to buy more stones than initially planned. If possible, get quotes from multiple companies, so you’re not stuck with just one option. Everyone wins if they don’t come through with their price tag on time! This way, there’s no risk of being short on materials or having leftover pieces sitting around unused afterward.
  • Make sure all workers know their roles before starting work; this will ensure that everyone knows what they must do at each stage along the way (and prevent confusion).

Clear and Level the Area

The first step in installing decomposed granite is to clear out any debris, weeds, or grass from the region where you plan to build your patio. This will enable you to create a level surface for laying the stones and level them so that they sit flat when finished.


Next, use a rake or similar tool to remove rocks and other obstructions from underneath your patio area as needed.

Outline the Area by Using a Rope, Garden Hose, or Paint

You can use a rope, garden hose, or paint to outline the area. If you want to ensure no cracks in your tiles, use a garden hose to wash them down with water carefully, so they will not have any cracks when you apply the concrete sealant later on.

construction of boundary

You may need an assistant if your arms are full of heavy materials like bricks and stones because these things tend to be hard on our backs!


Dig up eight inches of dirt, place it in a wheelbarrow, and then spread it evenly over the rest of the area.


When installing decomposed granite, you need to dig up eight inches of dirt and place it in a wheelbarrow. Then spread evenly into the rest of the area you will use for your countertop. Make sure there’s enough room for this process. If not, it won’t look good when it’s finished!

Compact the Soil

Next, you will use a tamper to compact the soil. Use a roller to do this, not just your hands or feet. You want to ensure that there is no air between the surface of your stone and its base—if there is any space, water may seep through and leave behind stains from mineral deposits (which are not removable).

compact the soil

To be safe, only compact enough so that you can push into it with one hand. Otherwise, you could damage your granite with too much pressure!

Spread a Five-Inch Layer of Decomposed Granite Over the Area

Use a tamper to ensure that the decomposed granite is evenly distributed. It is not advisable to use a roller because it will compact the decomposed granite. It may leave unwanted holes in your flooring after installation and is the most important step of installing decomposed granite.

spreading decomposed granite

To avoid leaving any large holes in your flooring, use a flat-head screwdriver (or similar tool) instead of a shovel or hoe when spreading decomposed granite over an area. Use a garden rake if you want to move some of it around manually rather than with tools; be sure not to compact any areas where there are no cracks or valleys between pieces of tile!

Spread Several Bags of Decomposed Granite

Spread several bags of decomposed granite over the prepared surface, raking them out evenly as you go. Use a rake to spread the decomposed granite and remove any lumps or bumps.

adding more granite

Next, use a tamper to compact the decomposed granite into an even layer about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure that your tamped-down material is level with each other. It doesn’t slope away from where it needs to be for proper drainage later down the road (and don’t forget about this step!).

Compact Down with a Tamper

To compact down with a tamper, you’ll want to use one that is made of steel or aluminum. 

compact the granite

  • Place your tamper on top of the rock you’ve cut out using an angle grinder. Press it firmly until you have a flat surface (the goal is to have no bumps). 
  • Use sandpaper on both sides of the stone until they are smooth enough that they won’t leave marks when wet. Use water pressure washing pads (available at most hardware stores) to gently scrub away any remaining dust particles before applying sealant.


Add potted plants to create more color and interest on your new decomposed granite patio! This is an optional step when installing decomposed granite.

adding plants

Potted plants can be a great way to add life, color, and texture to your new decomposed granite patio. Before buying them, you can best read their care instructions to ensure they will work well for you in your space.


How is decomposed granite set?

One of the traditional ways to set decomposed granite is to lay it out and expect it to stay in place as it is walked on and driven over.

Why should you compact decomposed granite?

Decomposed granite lasts longer when compacted.

Is a stabilizer required for decomposed granite?

Using a stabilizer ensures that the decomposed granite is more durable.

Can decomposed granite be installed on a slope?

Yes. You can install decomposed granite anywhere.


Decomposed granite is a great material to use when you want to create an outdoor space that looks like it was always there. It’s also fairly easy to install and maintain. You don’t have to spend much time or money maintaining your new patio. Follow these steps for a beautiful result!

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