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HOW TO INSTALL A FLAGSTONE PATIO
- Decide if you want patterned, a.k.a square cut flagstone, or irregular flagstone.
- The most common flagstone in our area comes from Pennsylvania. It seems to match most people's homes and taste. It is also the least expensive as the shipping cost is lowest.
- Other flagstone comes from Arizona (red), India (Indian Teakwood), China (looks like PA stone but brighter), Tennessee (browns and tans), just to name a few.
- Keep in mind that flagstone is a natural product; therefore, the colors are not consistent from job to job. There are 7 colors in Pennsylvania Flagstone: blue, gray, green, brown, tan, orange, and purple.
- You can also specify Pennsylvania Blue Flagstone. Basically, they take only the blue stones and separate them out. That would be an up-charge from the stone supplier.
- Most patios are a random combination of colors. If you desire specific colors to be included or excluded, you must make that choice when signing a contract.
- Decide if you want your patio to be rectangular or curved or a combination of the two.
- Should you raise it above the ground?
- Consider extras such as seating walls, which are typically 18″ tall x 12″ wide, fireplaces, outdoor grills, pergolas, and trellises.
- What type of lighting will you utilize, low voltage or line voltage?
How to Install a Flagstone Patio
- Step one is to call Miss Utility to make sure there are no underground wires or utilities.
- If your existing concrete patio is in good condition, you can install new flagstone right over top of it.
- Lay out the patio by spray painting the design on the grass or using a garden hose to get a good feel for how the client wants it to look.
- Remove the grass with picks and shovels, store it until the project is completed and put some back against the patio for sod.
- Frame up the design with 2 x 4′s or flexible plywood for the rounded corners.
- We require out clients to approve the forms before we pour the concrete.
- Flagstone patios should be installed on a minimum of a four inch concrete base made of 3500 psi concrete with fiber, otherwise known as fiber-crete.
- When installing flagstone, it is crucial to find the starting point or the high point on the grade to allow the water to flow off of the patio, typically at a 1/4″-1/8″ per foot drop.
- Install real flagstone (not colored concrete "faux flagstone") on a mortar base and then install the same mortar in the joints.
- Install square cut flagstone in one of many patterns available or you can invent one of your own.
- There are also different types of borders, or again, you can create one yourself.
- To install the flagstone use a total of approximately 2″ of flagstone and mortar. The flagstone is approximately 3/4"-1-1/4" with the remainder being mortar.
- Level the flagstone by using string lines and a mallet to force the stone to its final resting place.
- Then install the mortar in the joints and clean the wet joints with a sponge to keep them as smooth as possible.
- Let that stand for a day or two, depending on the weather, and give it an acid bath to remove any residue or excess mortar, leaving your flagstone patio looking beautiful for years to come. You'll be the envy of the neighborhood.
- Check out our other pages to learn how we install features such as flagstone and brick walkways, seating walls, fireplaces, grills, gazebos and more.