Slope The Layout Strings
Level and slope the strings based on the position of the patio: The patio surface should be level from side to side and should slope down and away from the house from end to end at a rate of about 2 inches per 10 linear feet. For example, if the patio is 10 feet long, it will be 2 inches higher at the house end than at the opposite end. This ensures that surface water drains away from the house .
To level and slope the strings, place a line level on each layout string and adjust one end of the string up or down, as needed, so the line is perfectly level, then tie off the string. Keep in mind that all of the strings should be at the same height. Then, readjust the two strings running down the sides of the patio to set the correct slope. For a 10-foot-long patio, lower the strings 2 inches on the stakes at the lower end of the patio. Finally, adjust the perpendicular string on the lower end of the patio so it is even with ends of the sloped strings.
An Easy Stone Project Without Mortar
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $3 – $5 per square foot
Laying flagstone patios in stone dust or sand, as opposed to mortar or concrete, is known as dry-set or sand-set. Dry construction is much easier for do-it-yourselfers because you can build directly on the ground, while mortared stone requires a concrete slab foundation to prevent cracking in the mortar. For a lasting installation, a dry-set stone patio does need a foundation, though. It’s best to start with several inches of compacted gravel, followed by a layer of stone dust, also called decomposed granite, or DG.
The DG is pulverized stone and contains small pieces along with gravel-size and sand-size particles. The variation in particle sizes allows the material to compact well. And while it is still loose, you can use it to level the stones, just as you would with sand. You can buy flagstone and DG at local stone yards and landscaping materials suppliers.
When choosing stone for the project, select the largest stones you can maneuver by hand, and choose them for consistent thickness and appearance. The stones should be at least 1 1/2 inches thick for strength 2 inches thick is better. Note that “flagstone” merely describes the stones’ wide, flat shape flagstone comes in many different types of stone.
Can You Put Flagstone Over A Concrete Patio
Flagstone canover concreteyou willpatioIt canoverflagstoneswillconcrete patioLayoverpatio
. Subsequently, one may also ask, can you put paving slabs over concrete?
According to several paver manufacturers, paving blocks can be installed on top of concrete without mortar if you first lay down a 1/2 to 1 bed of coarse sand. Drainage: The biggest problem with laying pavers over a concrete slab is the inability for water to drain through the blocks and down into the earth.
Likewise, what is the best mortar for flagstone? A good outdoor hydrated lime mortar recipe is: 3 buckets of 5 gallon size of fine sand, 6.38 gallons of Portland cement and 1.2 gallons of hydrated lime. Blend these dry ingredients well then add water slowly until you get a mixture that resembles bricklayers’ mortar.
Beside above, how thick should mortar be under flagstone?
Thinset MortarLarge-bodied stones such as flagstone generally require a minimum trowel notch of 1/2-inch, which provides sufficient mortar for the flagstone to use as a bed.
What can I use to cover my concrete patio?
Lay the field pavers over concrete as you would on any paver patio. Scrape away the excess sand and cut off the excess landscape fabric with a utility knife. Glue down the last border patio blocks. Let the glue dry for a few hours before you tamp the field pavers and sweep sand across the patio to fill the joints.
QUICK GUIDE: LAYING PATIO SLABS ON CONCRETE
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Tips For Installing A Flagstone Patio
Things to remember when you’re planning and installing or repairing a flagstone patio.
- Natural stone colors can vary by region and source. One supplier may have a completely different quarry source than another, so it’s worth shopping around if youre looking for a particular color or size.
- If youre buying to match existing stone in your home, befriend an expert at the stone yard. Using photos or making an at-home visit, they can help you find a stone that’s a great match. The nuances between colors in flagstone can make a big difference if youre replacing a broken stone or extending an existing flagstone area.
- Know the square footage of material you need when youre planning a patio, and add 10 percent to account for irregularities and extra cuts.
- Be aware of the stone’s thickness. Smaller dimensions are easier for a DIY install than larger stones, which can quickly weigh upwards of 250+ pounds. Natural stone veneers are preferable for patio areas that are built upon an existing solid base, such as a foundation or concrete stairs.
- It’s easy to lay flagstone if you choose a wide assortment of sizes, and you cut as needed as you work. Plan to have an extra set of hands on site to help with the big stones.
Install: You Can Mix It Up
Theres no rule that a flagstone patio has to be made up of only flagstones. You can save time and money by mixing flagstones with concrete or clay pavers.
Use flagstones to highlight a seating area or just the path between the seating and cooking areas. You can create a flagstone accent in the center of your patio and surround it with standard pavers, creating a unique patio design that fits your use of the space. There are infinite possibilities available by combining materials, and you get the look and beauty of the natural stone while not blowing your budget.
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Excavate The Patio Area
Remove all grass and other vegetation in the patio area , then excavate the soil to a depth of 6 inches plus the thickness of the flagstone. For example, if the flagstone is 2 inches thick, excavate a total of 8 inches. This is to make the patio flush with the surrounding ground you can dig less deep if you want the stones to lie higher than the ground.
Measure down from the strings to gauge the excavation depth. Its usually easiest to dig to full depth right under the strings, then clear out the soil in between, checking with a long, straight 2×4 and a level to make sure the ground is level from side to side . Tamp the soil with a hand tamp or a rented plate compactor.
Best Flagstone Patio Designs
1. construction method there are two methods of laying flagstones for pathways, walkways or patios. the first one is the dry laying technique, otherwise known as the dry construction method, which is characterized by simply laying flagstone pieces in a bed of sand and gravel without the use of mortar and concrete. this process is diy
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Figure B: Border Layout
A Snap a chalk line parallel to the house to mark the location of the border decorative pavers. Remember to leave a gap of at least 1/4 in. between the border decorative pavers and the house.
B Lay out field pavers to locate the side borders. A simple row of pavers will work even if you plan to lay them later in a herringbone pattern as we did. The goal is to establish a field width that allows each course to end with a full or half paver, but not smaller pieces. That means less cutting, less waste and a neater look.
C Position the border pavers and mark their locations. It’s OK if the border decorative pavers don’t quite reach the edge of the patio, but don’t let them overhang. Nudge one border patio block outward by 1/4 in. to allow a little extra space for the field pavers.
D Snap a chalk line to mark one side border. To make this line square with the line along the house, use the 3-4-5 method.E Mark the other side border. Measure from the first side to make sure the two sides are parallel.
F Leave the final border unmarked and install the border after the field is complete. That open end makes screeding off the excess sand easier and lets you position the final border perfectly.
How Do You Attach Flagstone To A Concrete Patio
You have to use the sand and cement in a ratio of 2:1 each. If you are taking sand in 2 cups, you have to make cement in 1 cup composition. Now start mixing in a container, pour water to make a consistency into the mixture, and continue pouring until it reaches the cake frosting-like consistency. Now start applying the mortar, then set stones one by one into the mortar. If your stones are not in an exact position, then apply more mortar under uneven stones to make it even. In this case, start by identifying the thickest stone, then applying more mortar, then working outward from this stone.
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Okay So Lets Stick With Gravel For The Foundation And Screenings Aka Stone Dust As The Leveling Agent
Back to screeningswhen you use screenings for both the leveler and the joint filler for in-between your flagstones you are creating a good scene. If there is ever any minor issue with the screenings underneath the stone it shouldnt matter too much because the joint filler will settle down and fill the void beneath the flagstone. Having screenings up top and down below, it just works out well.
You can expect to top off the screenings once within the first yeara small bit will settle or wash away. No problem, just sweep in some new material and youre good. After that, in future years, youll be fine. My best recommendation is that clients hire me to do maybe a couple hours maintenance once a yearby no means is this necessary, but I like my work to sparkle.
And it does. Check out what my past clients have to say about my work.
One thing I have not gotten into in this article is polymeric sand. I point you now to another hardscape how-to blog post, if you are curious about poly-sand. If you are poly-curious, that is.
I dont know what you do with your leftover flagstone, but heres what I do with mine:
Stacked stone spheres and garden sculptures, by Devin Devine.
Things To Remember During Installation
Installing a flagstone patio is an easy way to expand an outdoor living area or to create a new space that increases your home’s value. With any number of materials, it can be easy to DIY a patio, but natural flagstone is a favorite of ours.
- Creating a solid base on an existing soil surface is critical to the long-term success of your patio. Youll need to dig out an area thats universally 10″ deep to start.Diggingby hand is exhausting consider hiring someone with a small bulldozer or excavator to do the digging, and save your energy for the actual installation.Freecyclethe dug-up dirt by offering to people in the community.
- Use crusher stone as your initial base layer atop the dirt. It needs to be 5-6 thick and compacted very well. Tamping by hand is possible for smaller patios, but rent a vibrating plate compactor for large spaces to ensure an evenly-packed base beneath the flagstones.
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How To Install A Flagstone Walkway
A flagstone walkway is a simple and functional way to beautify your outdoor space and provide a useable path to your garage, garden, shed or other points of interest in your lawn and garden. It is durable, requires little maintenance, and blends well with almost any type of outdoor décor.
Lay Flagstone Over Existing Concrete Patio
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Why Is Gravel The Best Choice For Your Your Flagstone Patios Foundation
Cement will crack. Especially grade level cement. Especially in a climate with winters like ours in Pennsylvania. A worse way to go about it would be to lay the flagstone upon a bed of gravel and then cement the joints between stones. Horrible idea. The gravel base is flexible and will move ever so slightly during freeze-thaw. Well, if the base was done poorly the movement might be more then slight, but lets assume the base was done well. A gravel base will definitely move a bitlooking at any of my patios, youd never know that, but the movement does happen. Cement is rigidif you put a rigid top on a flexible base then systemic cracking is inevitable.
Cement based mortar is a fine joint filling material if the flagstone happens to rest upon a concrete foundation. But why on earth would you want to have a concrete foundation anyway? The concrete itself will crack, eventually. In a northern climate it will likely crack within ten yearsand the chances of it cracking within the next three years are pretty high too. Environmental impact of concrete production is no small issue either. Anyway, I personally prefer dry stone work. More harmonious, warmer, just better. The feeling you get from a well done dry laid flagstone patio, in my humble opinion, is just better than a flagstone patio set in cement.
What Kind Of Sand Do You Use Between The Paving Stones
Undried sand is very dry fine sand that does not contain moisture. Sand is used to fill the joints of block plaster and asphalt slabs. Filling the joints with dried sand will keep the liner structure stiff and strong. It also prevents water from entering and prevents the upholstery from moving and peeling off.
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Looking For Expert Advice From A Flagstone Professional Phone Consultations Now Available
If you still have questions and would like some help, thats okay because I now offer consultation services. Shorter questions and comments are most welcome in the comment section below.
Cost: Flagstones Are Comparable To Concrete Pavers When It Comes To Price
If you are comparing just material costs, flagstone with a thickness of 1-2 inches is generally comparable to concrete pavers or other materials. With thicker flagstone you should generally expect to pay a little more. These larger flagstones are typically used when setting them in mortar.
Additionally, installing flagstones takes more time and labor than pavers. Its difficult to plan the layout of your flagstone patio before you see the stones you purchase, because you dont know what exact sizes, shapes, and colors you will receive. Designing your flagstone patio is done on the fly, as each stone must be set into place and arranged according to color and size to achieve the desired fit and layout. You may find that you have to move stones around several times to get the desired look.
To help with all this moving and lifting, you should recruit volunteers or hire a contractor to do the heavy lifting. If youre on a budget, definitely consider the volunteers first.
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What Is The Best Base For A Flagstone Patio
How to Install Flagstone Over Existing Concrete Walk and Beyond
How To Lay Flagstone Walkway With Concrete: The Foolproof
instead of hiring professionals, you can quickly learn how to lay flagstone walkway with concrete, and save a ton of money. first, youll need to mark and prep the area where you want to build the walkway. after that, mix and apply the concrete and let dry. then you want to use a mortar layer and set the flagstones over them.
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Diy Vs Contractor: Flagstones Are Heavy
Flagstones are much heavier than traditional clay or concrete pavers. Usually coming in standard sizes, pavers are fairly easy to handle and haul from place to place. Flagstones can vary in size, from cobblestone size to gigantic slabs, and can weigh quite a bit.
Plan on recruiting additional manpower to help you lift the stones into place. Equipment helps, but someone needs to know how to operate it effectively and safely.
One good thing about using these heavy rocks is that they dont have to be settled in a bed of mortar. As long as the bed and joints are filled and compacted correctly with sand or gravel, the stones will stay in place for years to come.
Stones You Can Lay Over Concrete Patio
- Written by Melissa Austin on Jan 13, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
There are several types of stones that you can lay over a plain concrete patio. Adding stones helps dress up plain concrete patios. Because you already have the concrete patio, you are eliminating the often time-consuming task of having to pour a slab of concrete before laying your stones.
Flagstone is a building material that has been used in the construction industry for many years. Its beautiful and rustic appearance makes it the perfect choice for homeowners that are looking to build a new patio, driveways or walkway or just want to update an existing patio. Flagstone maintenance is quite simple and the building material is simple to install. Its a natural stone so it can be delicate because of its thinness. If installed properly flagstone patios will last for at least 50 years and will be resistant to freeze-thaw conditions, hot weather conditions, and rainfall.
Mosaic Tile Patios
You can give your concrete patio a new lease on life by laying down tile over it. Tile is available in a wide range of textures, materials, and colors, so you can choose an inviting look thats just right for your patio space.
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