Flagstone is one of the most popular outdoor building materials in the US. Many homeowners choose flagstone because of its natural beauty, ease of use and design flexibility. From patios and walkways to planters, retaining walls and exterior facades, flagstone provides many opportunities to add a touch of natural beauty to the outside areas of your home. Flagstone is a particularly popular choice for use in patios. Flagstone patios are easy enough to install that homeowners can take on the project themselves though they’ll do well to research and take the time to install one properly. This natural stone patio can be installed on a dry bed of sand and gravel or it can be mortared on top of an existing concrete slab. Where you have different options for varying joint fills with dry-laid flagstone (over sand or gravel), joints over concrete are generally filled with mortar. The following instructions will guide you through the proper installation of a flagstone patio on a sand and gravel base:
- Determine the shape and size of the patio, taking careful measurements and purchase the stone in the color, shapes and size that you prefer.
- Level and compact soil to the proper level, leaving several inches for sand, gravel and the flagstone itself as to ensure that it is level to the height you prefer.
- Layer 3 to 4 inches of gravel and compact. Cover compacted gravel with a layer of course sand.
- Begin placing the stones by starting at the house or nearest structure side, working around the perimeter and in towards the center. Secure stones with a rubber mallet and check that each and every stone is level. Try to keep the size of the joints between the stones uniform for the best look. A chipping hammer can help you cut and shape stones as needed.
- Finish the joints with sand and sweep clean. For a more natural look, plant moss in the joints.