Flagstone is one of the most popular and versatile landscape materials for landscaping projects,
Flagstone is one of the best materials for patios primarily due to its narrowly packed joints that allow water to permeate instead of run off. Flagstone patios also have a natural and organic look due to their irregular shapes, and the earthy colours.
The large, flat slabs of stone come in a variety of thicknesses of ½ to 3 inches. Their natural texture offers a slip-resistant surface, especially when wet, making flagstone an ideal choice for outdoor walking applications.
Benefits of a Flagstone Patio:
- Natural look
- Can be laid dry for a permeable surface
- Moss, grass or a hardy ground cover can be grown between the stones (if desired)
- Rich color with natural variation
Different Types of Flagstone
The most commonly used types of flagstone are sandstone, slate and limestone. Colours range from gray, buff/beige, and black.
Flagstone Patio Patterns & Layout
For a casual, organic looking patio, select irregular flagstone pieces and have them laid randomly. This type of pattern emphasizes the natural shape of the stone. Use mortar or Gator Dust to fill the variety of sized gaps between your pieces. Be aware that this layout may be more difficult to sit patio furniture on because of the rough texture and the series of joints.
For a formal, clean cut look, select square cut flagstone and have them laid in a repeating pattern. Rectangular and square pieces provide continuity in conjunction with the staggered joints that beak up the monotony. The joints on these patios tend to be fairly thin, as all edges are cut in a clean straight line, unlike random flagstone. When the joints are filled, it makes for a smooth surface for moving chairs and furniture on, due to the calibrated thickness of each piece.
How to lay your Flagstone
- Dry-Laid Flagstone
Dry-laid flagstone simply means that the flagstone pieces are placed on a compacted gravel base of sand and gravel. It is recommended that a patio base be at least 3” of packed A-gravel, and a 1” layer of coarse sand leveled on top. The flagstones are then placed in the desired “pattern” on top the sand, starting at the perimeter and working inward. Once laid, the joints can be filled with a variety of materials, such as planted ground cover. If you prefer no weeds or growth, you can use mortar or Gator Dust to essentially create a concrete barrier.
- Mortared Flagstone
If you wish to permanently set your flagstone, then set each piece with mortar to the prepared sub-base. To install flagstone in this method, wet mortar is applied either directly on a sub-base of compacted gravel and sand, or to an existing concrete slab. The flagstones are placed in the bed of mortar and then the joints are filled with either sand or additional mortar or colored grout.