installing flagstone patio

Image from Pixabay

One of the most inviting places in any home is the patio. The lighting scheme, the furniture, awnings, features, and décor all make that place your favorite spot around the house because of the natural beauty of the outdoors coupled with the comforts of a relaxing environment.

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If you don’t have a patio and want to build one yourself, you can use flagstone pavers to create a gorgeous, welcoming patio in a fairly short amount of time.

If that’s your goal, we’ve got two types of flagstone patio tutorials, and some info you’ll want to consider before you get started.

Gardener's Supply Company Recycled Rubber Flagstone Stepping Stone

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Choosing Your Flagstone for the Patio

Before you get started with the actual project of installing your flagstone patio, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen the right kind of flagstone for your needs and wants. Flagstones come in either a fractured or cleft slab of various lengths, and will be two inches thick, or more, with random edge shapes.

The commonly used types of flagstones for patios include:

  • Redstone
  • Sandstone
  • Limestone
  • Granite
  • Bluestone
  • Slate

Flagstones will have irregular shapes, or come in cut stone, meaning they have a finished, straight edge and square corners. Irregular flagstones are great for either casual free-form patios or formal geometric designs, while the cut stone is better for squared and straight shapes.

Whatever kind of flagstone you choose, just make sure it’s at least two-inches thick, or it’s likely to break in short order. And be sure to over-order by 5%, since some of the pavers will break before you’re finished installing the patio.

Larger stones will cover the area more quickly, but they will be harder to move, design, and cut, so keep that in mind as you decide on your stones as well.

If budget is an issue, remember that a ton of flagstone covers about 120 square feet, so you’ll need to go with whatever options fit your price range.

As you decide on your flagstone options, be sure to look for a variety of visuals to inspire your final patio design. Check out sites like Pinterest and do some Google searches for “flagstone patio images” if you’re feeling a little stuck on the exact shape and style of patio you want.

Basic Ways to Install a Flagstone Patio

flagstone patio

Image from Pixabay

There are a few different ways to install a flagstone patio. You can either use sand or mortar, as well as a few other options. We’ll focus, however, on these two choices, with a step-by-step tutorial for both.

Step-by-Step Instructions: Sand Method

Before you get started, thoroughly read the instructions and materials list to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared to make this awesome and simple sand method flagstone patio.

1. Determine the Size of Your New Patio

2. Gather Your Supplies

3. Remove the Old Patio or Prepare the Area

4. Excavate the for Drainage

5. Add the Base and Tamp

6. Add Sand for the Drainage

7. Install the Edging

8. Add the Pavers

9. Fill the Spaces with Sand

Step-by-Step Instructions: Mortar Method

Completely read the instructions before shopping for supplies, to ensure you have everything you need. Read them completely through a few times before beginning the project as well, just to make sure you have a firm grip on what you’re doing.

1. Determine the Patio Size

2. Gather Your Materials

3. Create Your Trial Run

4. Mix the Mortar

5. Place the Flagstones

6. Cut the Stones

7. Level and Cure the Patio

8. Fill the Joints

Creating Your Perfect Patio

You can easily build a flagstone patio in a single day, whether using the sand method or the mortar method. Of the two, the sand method is quicker, but the mortar method requires less maintenance once it’s installed.

If you’re interested in other methods as well, you can check out the mulch method from the DIY network.

Whichever plan you choose, you can recruit your kids, spouse, neighbors, or friends to help out and make an enjoyable day of creating the ideal place for relaxing evenings for many years to come.

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