How To Maintain Your Patio
Once your patio is in place, maintenance isnt too taxing, but there are a few jobs youll need to do to keep it looking as good as when you laid it.
You should brush it regularly to remove any leaves, dirt or other debris thats accumulated. This can rid it of weeds before they get a chance to grow, but you will need to remove those that take root.
After the winter, its a good idea to clean a patio. Remove any furniture, brush it, then weed. If its not in too bad a shape after the seasons weather, using a washing-up liquid solution and a stiff brush could be sufficient. Rinse with clean water. If thats not enough, the best patio cleaners on the market will do the job with minimal elbow grease.
You can also use a pressure washer to clean a patio, but check first that this isnt proscribed for the type of paving slabs you laid. Dont use the pressure washer on any damaged areas, and keep it at a low angle with a fan setting if this is available. Make sure you work evenly in sections across the patio, too.
Rock Border Patio Wall
Sometimes you need a border for your patio, so why not choose flagstone. Built correctly, it will last as long as the house and look perfect with your flagstone patio. Stepping outside your back door onto a small but efficient flagstone patio is all you need to grill a steak or get a tan. Adding local gravel as a border can give it a rustic look.
Mixing Mortar In A Cement Mixer
Pour about a quarter of a bucket of water into the mixer. Add half the sand, then the cement. Run the mixer, then add the rest of the sand and more water if necessary. Mix it thoroughly until you have a soft consistency.
Dont allow mortar to dry on your tools. Clean them with a stiff brush from time to time. If using a mixer, wash the drum thoroughly after use.
Step 5: Puzzle Together The Flagstone
Start by grabbing the larger stones and placing them around the perimeter of the patio. You want to use the larger stones on the outside because smaller stones will move and shift with time. Large stones will lock the smaller stones toward the center in place.
Then, start adding the rest of the stones to the center, working toward the middle of the patio. Cutting the stones is time-consuming and dusty, so spend a few minutes trying to puzzle them together, so you have to make as few cuts as possible.
Heres a quick tip: The tighter and more consistent you try to make the seems, the longer its going to take because youll have to make waaaay more cuts. If you dont mind bigger gaps, youll save a ton of labor, and you can get by with fewer stones to save some cash.
To cut the stones, you can use anything with a diamond blade on it. You see me using an angle grinder in the video, but there is a much easier way to cut the stones, which is to use a concrete saw with a larger diamond blade, as I demonstrate here.
Step 1: Plan Your Patio
Besides the obvious considerations such as patio placement, size, and shape, here are a few more things to consider that arent so obvious.
Grading: You must build your patio so that it drains properly; otherwise, youll end up with puddling problems later. Never build your patio perfectly level. Instead, build it at a slight angle, so water easily drains off of it. That angle will be about 1/8 of drop per foot of patio. Youll want to take note of the existing landscape drainage on your property and work with that.
Stone Size: The bigger the stones, the less work youll have to do puzzling them together. However, bigger stones are heavier, thicker, and more expensive. So, find a stone size that works for you.
Stone Thickness: Thinner flagstone will tend to crack under heavy weight. Thicker flagstone is heavier and more expensive. If youre building your patio in your backyard, then 1.5-2 thick flagstone is perfectly fine. If youre building a driveway out of flagstone, youll want to go with stone at least 2 thick and ideally thicker.
Irrigation Lines: If you plan on installing an irrigation system or even a gas fire pit, run the lines before building the patio. And, be sure to call before you dig so you dont hit any existing lines in the process of building your patio.
Step Six: Prepare The Sub
A patio cannot be laid straight on to soft ground, and paving slabs need support from a sub-base. Mark out the patio area using wooden pegs and builders lines. Add 5 to 10cm to the edge measurements of the finished patio so the sub-base is slightly larger than the finished patio will be. Use a builders square to ensure the corners are true.
Work out the fall for the patio. For smooth paving slabs, use 1 in 60, or 16mm of fall per metre. For textured slabs, use 1 in 80, which is 12.5mm of fall per metre. Now multiply the length of the sloping side in metres by either 16mm or 12.5mm as appropriate. The answer is the difference in height in mm between the highest and lowest point of the patio.
If youre paving a turfed area, cut the turf into strips first and roll it up and set aside for making good at the patios edges.
Calculate the depth of the sub-base next. Allow for 100mm of hardcore, a thin layer of sand, 50mm of mortar, and the depth of the paving slabs. Dig the area out to this depth.
To incorporate the drainage slope into the sub-base you will need to use timber pegs. Measure from the top of the pegs and mark them to show the depth of the sub-base . On the high side of the patio site, and at exact 1m intervals, hammer them in so the line youve marked on to them is level with the earth.
Use a straightedge to ensure the pegs are level. Hammer another row at a 1m interval and repeat for the entire site.
Lay Bricks Along Layout Lines
Lay a row of bricks along the baseline, aligning the end of the first brick with the perpendicular layout line. Butt them tightly together. Lay another row, aligning the end of the first brick with the second line. Continue laying bricks until one section is complete. Then work out from this section to complete the patio.
How Do You Install Flagstone Patio Over Grass
How to Set Flagstone in Grass
If parts of your pathway are not being laid onto existing lawn, , remove excess surface area and rake smooth and level. Step 3: Lay out the flagstone pieces. Using a hand shovel, with the blade as vertical as you can make it, dig carefully around a flagstone piece.
Subsequently, question is, what should I put between flagstone? Sand is traditionally used between the cracks of pavers. The small granules fill in the gaps between the stones without leaving spaces. Brush the sand into the flagstone gaps with a push broom. You’ll need to wet the sand so it settles and add more sand until the cracks fill up completely.
Keeping this in consideration, can you lay paving slabs on grass?
Spread a level 1in layer with the back of a rake. Step4) Start laying slabs from the lawn-side with the first slabs butted up tightly to the turf it’s better to fill gaps between the slabs with mortar, than the gap by the grass.
Can I lay flagstone directly in soil?
Flagstone is a common landscaping stone used for patios, small retaining walls and walkways. Because flagstone is fairly heavy it can be laid directly on dirt, allowing low growing plants to grow in between.
The Character Of The Stone Makes This Patio
Stone varies greatly in color and texture. Visit a number of stone suppliers to see what’s available in your area and to check prices. We chose 3- or 4-in. thick stone intended for building walls, but any relatively flat stone that’s 2 to 4 in. thick will work. Because stone is sold by the ton , a thinner stone like flagstone would have been more economical, but it wasn’t available in the tumbled finish we wanted. If you use thinner stone, don’t tamp it with the compactor. It will crack. The stone dealer will tell you approximately how many square feet a ton of each type of stone covers. Order at least 15 percent extra to allow more selection when you’re looking for just the right shape.
Concrete pavers are the most economical choice for paving patios. They are available in many sizes and colors. Traditional clay pavers have truer brick color and cost a bit more. Concrete pavers are available at home centers and landscape retailers, but you’ll probably have to find a brickyard to buy clay pavers. You’ll need about 4-1/2 bricks for every square foot, assuming an average sized 4 x 8-in. brick. It’s difficult to figure the exact amount of brick needed for an irregularly shaped patio like this, so order about 15 percent extra.
Pea Gravel Epoxy Patio
Pea gravel epoxy patio, as the name suggests, is composed of 2 materials : pea gravel and epoxy. Epoxy acts a binding agent to keep the stones smooth and leveled for the patio. When these two materials are mixed, it creates a durable flooring material which can cater to high traffic areas.
This type of patio is also quick and easy to do. Installing a pea gravel epoxy patio is basically just mixing gravel with epoxy and spreading it.
Set up as a fancy outdoor living room, this pea grave patio evokes a rustic yet old world feel. The area rug adds flair to the whole look of the space.
This is an example of a minimalist backyard design with a crushed gravel patio with a fire pit. The plain concrete finish of the raised planter box and natural wood for the fence provides a unique beauty in the unfinished overall look of this patio.
Flagstone Patios That Are Set In Sand Are Vulnerable To Ants And Wash
Occasionally Ive seen a paver patio messed up by ants. But with flagstone patios that are set in sand ants always attack. I suppose its because the joints are inevitably wider with flagstone and/or because the flagstones are varying in thickness meaning you end up with deeper sand in some places. Whatever the exact reason, I can tell you that all of the flagstone patios that I have seen that are set in sand eventually get run amok by ants.
Another reason to use screenings is because screenings also make an excellent joint filler.
You do not want to use sand, even course sand between your flagstone joints because it can wash awayunless of course your flagstones are absurdly tight. For pattern-cut flagstone, yes, you can maybe get away with using sand as the joint-filler. Just make sure the base is course sand, not fine. You will need to use fine sand for the joints however because of how tight they are. Again, ants love fine sandbut in this application, pattern-cut stones, tiny jointsfine sand will not be the end of the worldso long as the base is course, of course. Thats for pattern-cut flagstoneor any flagstone where the joints are super tightin those cases you can maybe get away with sand, so long as you follow the guidelines that Ive set earlier in this paragraph. For irregular flagstone, or any flagstone with a joint wider than a quarter of an inch, you really really should try and avoid sand, and instead use stone dust.
Step Nine: Lay The Paving Slabs
Make up a mortar mix with four parts of sharp sand and one part cement. Lay the first slab in a corner on the highest side of the patio. Lay enough mortar on the sub-base for the first slab only to a depth of about 60mm. Roughen the mortars surface with the point of the trowel.
Lay the first slab ensuring that the edges are in line with the string lines. Using a short length of thick timber on top of the slab to protect it, tap the slab in using a club hammer or rubber mallet. The surface should be level with the pegs. Fill any gaps in the mortar so the slab is bedded down and there is no rocking movement.
Carry on laying the first row of slabs in the direction of the patios fall following the lines. Use spacers in each joint to create a consistent gap. Check the surface is flat and the slope correct as you work.
Once the first row is laid, lay edge rows from each corner slab to form three sides of the patio.
Fill in between the edge rows, row by row. Check the surface is flat and the fall is correct as you work.
Leave the mortar to dry for at least two days, then remove the spacers.
Mix four parts sand to one part cement adding water to create a damp mix. Use a trowel to apply the mixture to the joints. Use a piece of wood 10mm thick to force the mortar in. Brush off any excess mortar and use a damp sponge to ensure none is left behind on the slabs.
Best Flagstone Patio Designs
Welcome to our gallery of best flagstone patio designs. A flagstone patio is a great way to take advantage of a yard, whether it may be for personal relaxation or for bonding with family or friends. Flagstone patios add a stunning visual element to outdoor spaces. The unique pattern and texture of natural flagstones give off a distinct character, making patios more inviting, welcoming and aesthetically appealing. Below we explore different flagstone patio designs to help you decide which one is the best for your home.
The versatility of beige sandstone makes it a popular choice for stone patios which are both traditional and modern inspired. The flagstone patio pictured above harmoniously blends with the deco stones of the exterior walls and built in seating of this cozy contemporary home.
What is a Flagstone Patio? A flagstone patio is consisted of various pieces of stone laid as flags in a particular pattern. By definition, a flagstone is a general term for any generic flat stone which is normally used for paving slabs or walkways and other outdoor areas. It may be a sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous rock which is consisted of layers of sand, clay,organic sediments and other minerals. Flagstones are commonly used for patios, fences, pathways, fire pits, pool areas, walls and even roofing.
Table of Contents
Advantages of a flagstone patio are:
Disadvantages of a flagstone patio are:
Step Three: Choose The Materials For Your Patio
The array of patio paving on offer is vast. You can pick from paving slabs made from concrete, which come in a range of colours and finishes, including those that make them resemble natural stone; exterior porcelain; or natural stones themselves. Bear in mind that these vary in thickness, which makes a patio more challenging to lay. They are also heavier to work with.
The material and finish of paving should complement the look of your garden. Porcelain or smooth paving are ideal for more contemporary spaces, while cobble-style paving slabs would work in a more traditional space.
You might also think about how the paving slabs work with your house. Red-toned paving can sit well with red-brick homes, while pale and greyer slabs might suit a house with a light-coloured render.
Step 10: Continue The Process
Congratulate yourself on a job well donethen move on to the next one. Continue this process until all stones are set into the ground.
Tip: If you do have non-grassy areas where your flagstone path will go, we found the most efficient method to be: remove top few inches of surface matter , cover entire area with 2 of sand, and lay flagstone rocks down in previously determined arrangement. Remove as much sand as possible from between the flagstones, then cut and set sod strips between them. That is what you see in this photo by the hose hanger.
View in gallery
There you are! A gorgeous flagstone pathway that guides you intuitively from Point A to Point B. Perfect for summertime outdoor enjoyment.
Gravel Patio Fire Pit
If you want to utilize your backyard for a grill-out or to catch warmth during cold seasons then you may add a fire pit to your gravel patio. Usually circular in shape and made up of stones, the fire pit acts as the central feature of the patio.
A fire pit is actually pretty easy to install. It is made by interlocking pieces of stones together to form a round shape. An adequate height is usually 3 to 4 levels or full courses of stones joined by an adhesive or mortar. Then pea gravel is added as topper for the whole ground area surrounding the fire pit.
In this Mediterranean inspired raised gravel patio design, the fire pit is not built-in and is completely movable. The brown pea sized gravel covering the patio floor creates a great contrast against the surrounding grass and the swimming pool.
Ways To Prevent Weed Growth Between Paving Stones
Nov 12, 2018Â·5. Apply Polymeric Sand to Stop the Growth of Weeds between Paving Stones. In the old days, patio owners were removing old contaminated sands from cracks & sand between pavers in patio or bricks of brick patio. They used to fill up the crevices in stone pavers or brick patio with new or fresh sands between pavers.
Add Mortar To Cobblestones
To add strength to the border, place some mortar along the outer edges of the cobblestones below the path surface, and trowel it smooth at a slight angle away from the stone sides.
Add a Cobblestone Border
If the walkway goes through a flower bed or garden, a decorative border can help to define the path and hold back mulch . In this project we used four-inch square cobblestones for the border.
First, dig a shallow trench, approximately six inches wide and six inches deep, on each side of the walkway. Next, mix preblended cement-sand mortar mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For convenience, prepare just enough at a time to remain workable for a half hour or so.
Place a three-inch deep layer of mortar in the trench bottom , then position the cobblestones so they sit an inch or two above the level of the walkway . Use a rubber mallet to tap the cobblestones firmly into the mortar. Once a few are set, use a level to keep the cobblestone tops consistent with each other. To add strength to the border, place some mortar along the outer edges of the cobblestones , below the path surface, and trowel it smooth at a slight angle away from the stone sides.
Set and Shape Stones02:16
Hardscaping 101: Ground Covers To Plant Between Pavers
Too often pathway gaps are neglected and become a home for weeds. But where some may see awkward spaces between stepping stones, I see potential. Plants between pavers can soften hard lines, adding a lush, living element to a design.
Its relatively simple to fill the cracks between pavers with creeping plants that will stay low, wont mind being squashed a bit, and may even be fragrant. Ground cover can triumph over weeds, too. Read on for everything you need to know:
How To Lay A Flagstone Walkway In An Existing Lawn
There is something timelessly appealing about a walkway for patio or backyard. Maybe its because it takes the guesswork out of wondering where, in fact, we should be headed. Its all laid out in front of us, and all we need to do is walk that way. Or maybe its appealing because it combines form with function a beautiful way to keep the lawn from appearing trampled on a well-worn path.
View in gallery
If your yard would benefit from a flagstone pathway, but youre unsure of how to go about putting one in, this tutorial will give you the tools you need to get started. Its not a super-fast home improvement project, but the process is satisfying and the result absolutely rewarding.
Cutting Stones With A Chipping Hammer
First, use the mason’s chipping hammers single flat tine to chip or score a cutline across the back of the stone, then turn the stone right-side up and repeat this scoring along a corresponding line across the stone face. Then use the tools hammer end to rap sharply along the line to break the stone. Chip away any sharp stone spurs.
Set and Shape Stones
Add a one-inch-deep layer of loose gravel on top of the crusher run base. Because each stone has a different thickness, adjust the amount of gravel for the correct depth and level . Use a rubber mallet to pound the stone into the gravel until its surface is flush with the surrounding sod surface . Use a level to make sure the individual stones are equal in height and level with the ground around them, and that none are set too high. This will prevent people from tripping while also allowing for mowing over the walkway.
Check the stones for stability by rocking back and forth on each with your full weight . If a flagstone wobbles, adjust the gravel base underneath as needed .
Because this walkway is supposed to look rustic and natural, you don’t need to “dress” each stone to remove or reshape irregularities. If you have to cut a stone for any reason, however, it can be accomplished with a mason’s chipping hammer. Wear protective glasses to shield your eyes against flying stone chips when you do this.
Prep the Base01:41
Upgrade Your Swimming Pool With A Flagstone Pool Deck
Decorative Concrete KingdomCC BY 2.0
Because flagstones are slip-resistant, theyre the perfect material for swimming pool or hot tub decks, where friends and family will regularly run around barefoot. Some types of flagstone, such as sandstone, dont absorb heat, so they wont burn your feet, either.
And again, flagstones are permeable, so you can splash them all you want without worrying about water runoff flooding your lawn.
How To Install A Flagstone Patio
Installing a flagstone patio or path can give your landscape design a huge boost and really impress your guests .
I love the natural feel they give to a landscape design. Instead of just using boring old paver blocks or even cement, flagstone will make your backyard more interesting and unique.
In this article, Im going to share exactly how to install a flagstone patio easily and without the use of concrete or special tools.
Just like everything else, there is more than one way to get this job done. The method Im showing you is optimized for a balance between simplicity of installation, longevity, and a high-quality professional look. So, not only will it be easy to install, it will last a lifetime.
Lets get started
Quick Disclaimer: Make sure to check local codes before installing anything in your home as your area may require a different process for building a patio. And be sure to use the proper safety equipment while using tools .
Also, the links below are affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission if you click on them and buy . This does not cost you anything additional and it allows me to put out free information like this.