Lay a Flagstone Patio in 7 Simple Steps [Easy DIY Process]
Apr 13, 2023
Do you want to learn how to lay flagstone patios? Want to spruce up your space with flagstone?
Here’s a perfect guide that will help you learn how to lay an ideal patio with flagstone. Flagstone patio allows you to add a bold and unique statement to your outdoor space. Since these stones are natural, you’ll find different colour combinations along with distinctive shapes and textures.
So, if you are keen to learn more about flagstone patios, continue reading this article. You’ll find the step-by-step process of laying a perfect and beautiful patio. However, there are two methods of laying patios with flagstone, i.e., Dry construction and mortared construction. We’ll provide both processes step-wise.
But before moving forward with the process, it’s important to know what all tools and materials you’ll require while laying flagstones.
Tools and Materials Required
Here is the list of tools and materials you’ll require while laying the patio with flagstones. These tools are both for dry and mortared patio construction.
- Decomposed granite (stone dust)
- Compatible gravel
- Mason’s line
- Rubber Mallet
- Line level
- Carpenter’s level
- Long, straight 2×4 board
- Garden Hose
- Mortar Box
- Fill material (as desired)
- 8 Stakes
- Height Gauge
- 2x lumber
- Hand tamp or plate compactor
- Tape measure
- Mortar Bag
- Small sledgehammer
How to Lay Flagstone Patio – Mortar Construction Method
Installing flagstone patios using the mortar construction method requires you to have this job done with experienced hands. That means you should get it installed by professionals. However, there is no compulsion to hire a professional. If you have the confidence and experience, you can also do it. So, whether you use limestone, sandstone, granite, flagstone or any other natural stone, the process is almost the same.
So, here is the step-by-step process of laying a patio with flagstone.
Step 1 – Planning is Important
The first and foremost thing you should do is to plan everything. It should include the number of flagstones required and the pattern you want to create. Start by calculating the area where you want to lay your patio. This will help you determine the number of flagstones you’ll require. Once you’ve purchased the flagstones, lay them according to the pattern and design you want to create. You can also incorporate different patio design ideas to make your outdoor space stand out.
Step 2 – Preparing the Surface
Once you’ve finalised the pattern and design you want to create, start digging into the surface. Make sure to dig the surface according to the thickness of your flagstones. Dig down the surface to around 3-5 inches so you can easily lay your flagstones.
Step 3 – Edging
You’ll need to border the sides of the excavated area with edging material to keep the foundation’s margins straight. Steel spikes need to be hammered into the ground to keep flexible edging materials in place. Bricks, vinyl, steel, treated lumber or carved stone can all be used.
Step 4 – Creating the Foundation
Now, you have to create the foundation for your patio. This includes gravel and sand layers. Start laying with two to four inches of pea stone or small gravel. Level it using a tamper. This layer will make water run off your patio easier, which is ideal for areas where heavy rain is expected.
Once you are done with the gravel layer, pour the sand onto the surface. Cover the entire area with 1-2 inches of the sand layer and smooth it using a rake.
Step 5 – Lay Your Flagstones
Now it’s time to start laying out the flagstone patio. Start laying out the pattern you finalised earlier. Make sure to place the larger stones first and lay them in the area where there is heavy foot traffic, i.e., near doorways. Using a height gauge, set your flagstones at a consistent height. Once you are done laying out all the stones, let them cure for 2-3 days.
Step 6 – Fill the Joints
Once it is cured completely, start filling the joint. If you want to fill the joints with mortar or paving grouts, make sure to keep the joints narrow. You can keep the joints at any size if you want to fill the joints with sand or gravel. It will give an aesthetically pleasing look to your outdoor space. Wait for another couple of days for the joints to dry completely.
Step 7 – Don’t Forget to Seal
Using a paver sealant, seal the joints so that it prevents water from entering them. If you have used sand and gravel in the joints, you don’t have to seal them.
How to Lay Flagstone Patio – Dry Construction Method
The dry construction method of laying a flagstone patio is easier than the mortar one. This involves the flagstones being laid directly on the ground without using any mortar mixture. So, have a look at the complete dry construction method to lay an outdoor patio with flagstone.
Planning, preparing the surface, edging and creating the foundation are the same as it is mentioned above. Follow the same procedure mentioned in the mortar construction method until step 4. However, in place of sand, you should lay the decomposed granite.
Once you are done with the foundation, start laying the flagstones on the surface in the desired pattern and design. Fill the joints with gravel, sand, or soil and grass. Make sure the stones have a consistent height and are level. So, the dry construction method is simple, and it is perfect for do-it-yourselfers.
So, flagstone patios can easily be created with dry and mortar construction methods. With the above-mentioned process, you can create a flagstone patio by yourself so that you can reflect your style and taste.