Flagstones are versatile sedimentary stones normally used to make outdoor paths and patios. They have natural nonslip surface, normally broken into irregular bits which create a striking, random pattern.
Some common types of flagstone include bluestone, volcanic stone, limestone and sandstone. As well, there are several specific types of flagstone found in specific regions. New Mexico buff flagstone has a soft brown color and it is easy to cut. Arizona flagstone usually comes in many colors which range from vibrant red to soft buff. Pennsylvania flagstone is popular for its striking blue color. Colorado flagstone often has a red hue although it can also have muted beige tones.
Flagstones come in a range of colors. The color is determined by binding materials which are part of their natural formation, therefore, flagstone colors differ by region. For instance, if the dominant binding material is iron oxide, flagstone will have reddish hue. Common colors of flagstone include brown, red, white, grey and gold. They can even have lighter tones like pink and lavender.
Choosing the right thickness of flagstone is very important. The thickness depends on your base. When installing flagstone over concrete, they can be thinner. If you lay flagstone over a base of sand, it should be thicker to prevent breaking. Flagstone installation is not a complicated project provided that your underlying base is flat and adequately prepared.
Depending on the shape of stone, flagstone patios and paths have a formal look. Cut the stone in a foursquare block when you want a more formal appearance, and break the stone into irregular bits when you want a more rustic appearance. Put dimensions on paper then mark the ground with spray paint or even stakes. Place flagstones within your measurement to establish the finest arrangement. Number the stones so that you can put them in the right order when installing.
You can install the flagstones over concrete, or on sand bed, or even on bare ground. The base should be level as well as flat. When you install over concrete you will ensure that the base foundation does not sink or become unlevel. When preparing a ground base, dig the region until it is roughly two inches deep then level it. For the sand base, dig approximately four inches deep and level it. If underlying soil is extremely moist, add crushed gravel. Then fill it with about two inches of sand. Compact the whole base using a plate compactor or hand tamper.
Start in one corner. Work with small parts at a time. When you labeled the flagstones, continue in that order. Place the flagstone and trim them well with a chisel and a hammer. Draw a line to use as your guide on the stone. Laying flagstone over the concrete will need a mortar layer beneath and between every stone. Laying it on sand base or bare ground will need polymeric sand between the stones. When differences in the thickness of stone cause the path to appear unlevel, hit the flagstones into place using a hammer. Also know that you can utilize mortar on concrete and topsoil on sand to boost the flagstone and level it. As you finish every section, try to check it using a level and fine-tune it as necessary.
When the flagstones are in position, scatter a sand layer over the whole area and spread it into spaces between the flagstones. Sprinkle water over the stone and leave it for about 24 hours then walk on it. Sweep the flagstone on a regular basis and clean it occasionally using natural stone cleaner.
If you need help with your flagstone installation, give us a call and get your free estimate for your project (888)330-8818