Hi, you could use a sealer of your choice to prolong the life of the wood enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about it rotting for a long time
There is usually a code on the side of pallets that indicate whether or not the wood is treated. HT means heat treated = good. Stay away & I mean STAY AWAY from pallets with MB on them. Methyl Bromide (Bromine?) is a chemical that can be absorbed into skin & can also be inhaled, it is very poisonous. ALWAYS wear gloves when pallet hunting. If there is no code I'd rather be safe than sorry & leave those alone. Definitely use a good wood sealer on all sides, this should help stave off warping & rotting & you should be good to go, they should last several years. If using them for a garden do not seal! Accept the fact your wood, depending on weather conditions, will last about 2 years, maybe more if you're lucky & enjoy the spoils of your work.
What do you use to keep the wood from moving? Are there some sort of ground stakes?
Hi, I would think you use some steel rebar, maybe 12 to 18 inches long, and put them every 5 or 6 feet on each. But if you dug a trench to lay your 2x4’s or whatever would use in the ground just a few inches deep, then nailed the pallet on those runners I wouldn’t think that it would move
I'm not a rebar fan but your wood runners underneath will keep slats from moving. To keep the pathway itself from moving you can leave the pallets as is & add more slats to fill in the gaps so you have little to no spaces, then attach/nail pallets together. Or see picture #3, this method should keep pathway very stable. If you want to disassemble the pallet to use the bottom slats to fill the gaps, you can: 1- use wood runners nailed to both sides, 2- use decorative brick edging which will cost you but is easy & quick to lay plus attractive, 3- use medium to large stones which can be a fun endeavor with a partner. This would mean a drive to the country where there's woods and creek beds, preferably on public land. You'll need permission from a land owner to remove anything! I found an OLD cobblestone smoke house that was falling down & the land owner let me have the stones free! I had to borrow a pickup truck & brought my cart, heavy work but well worth it. Good Luck!
Don't forget! You will probably need a sander to smooth the wood from the pallets so you don't get a splinter when walking barefoot, yes even if you seal it! I made my pallet pathway mostly due to my dogs. They had made their own dirt path in my backyard, as most dogs do, which became a huge long mud pit after rain. First I tried a basic mulch path which looked so nice. I did end up removing some splinters from paws, not cool, but eventually the mulch just mixed with the mud. Then I tried a pea gravel path, ouch, not comfortable to walk on at all barefoot & the dogs agreed eventually going around it! But it also eventually mixed with the mud the few times they did use it. The pallet path has been the best so far & it did need a bit of sanding before I sealed it. Great for bare feet & dogs too! Yes I know I should have laid plastic sheeting on the aforementioned paths but I was in a hurry & cut corners, my bad, either way they both had their downsides, splinters & uncomfortable on bare feet.
Is there an easy way to remove the screw nails they use on pallets??? I'm trying to figure out a how-to cheap patio like this, any suggestions???