The use of railroad ties for decorative or landscaping purposes makes it much easier to care and maintain the grounds surrounding your home or business property. Not only does it add a distinct look of natural beauty, but it is also a very affordable way to take on a outdoor reconstruction project.

Walkways made from railroad ties are a great way to provide structure to an entrance and they can also create a beautiful garden walkway. In fact, building a walkway out of railroad ties is becoming a more and more popular way to create a unique but functional aesthetic to your home or business property.

One of the many benefits of using railroad ties for your walkways is that they are simple to build and install. While the materials required will depend upon the specific project, most railroad tie walkway projects require little more than a few bags of gravel, a sturdy saw, landscape fabric, stakes and of course, the ties themselves.

As you create the walkway border with railroad ties, you can shorten some of the planks with a saw to fit your exact measurements. But keep in mind that sometimes cutting into the wood, especially treated wood, leaves the wood more vulnerable to the elements. It is therefore best to choose heavily creosoted railroad tie, in order to preserve the wood's integrity. Creosote is a material that preserves and protects the wood.

The ties, which will bound the walkway on either side, are typically placed horizontally between the path's border. They should be positioned every three to five feet, depending upon the length of the planks and the length of the walkway. The open spaces between the ties can then be filled with the gravel. When finished, they add a rugged texture to the appearance of your home as well as structurally sound design to your grounds.

You can also use railroad ties to create a bridge-like walkway by affixing the ties together to make a plank board. The walkway can either be linear, or you can create sections along your walkway, separated by step-down angles. In this manner, your walkway becomes a tiered path that provides an elegant and safe walkway that is perfect for sloping lawns or subtle bends.

Using these old (or new) sleepers leftover from the countryside's railways is an affordable, fairly simple and unique solution for enclosing a lawn or creating a border along a piece of property.

When it comes to using railroad ties for walkways, let your creativity side marry with your technical side. Because of their rustic look and often un-uniform appearance, you can preserve or even play up this look through the selection of planks you choose, their size, their shade and wood type. Also, choose ties that are of a high grade or quality. This will ensure that they are strong, durable and be able to support their intended landscaping purpose.

R+R's railroad ties are lightweight, can be nailed without drilling and can be painted or stained to compliment the color scheme of your outside scenery. Once they are installed, they require virtually no maintenance.

Whether they are used as a walkway, fence (link to fence article), low border, flower boxes or retaining walls, railroad ties are a cost-effective and beautiful solution to your outdoor decorative projects. The use of railroad ties will enhance the design of your outdoor grounds, reduce your labor costs and maintenance fees and as a raw material, they are easy to work with and install.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact R+R. Our timber and landscaping experts can help you select the best ties for your walkway needs.