Pave the Way to Landscape Style With Flagstone

Sep - 15

Pave the Way to Landscape Style With Flagstone

Flagstone is a landscape chameleon, one of those materials that’s widely used for a fantastic number of backyard jobs. However, as there are a lot of distinct kinds of flagstone, you have some questions to ask if you search to your project: Just how much should you purchase? Why all of the different rates? Is this a DIY material, or one which just pros can use?

Here is some basic flagstone advice to get you started, but keep in mind to always check with local experts at landscape supply yards due to their recommendations for your individual project.

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Practical Considerations

How it’s marketed.
Flagstone, also called patio stone, is sold by the ton or by the pound, not a bit, and the cost varies widely depending upon which type of stone the flagstone is. You can expect to pay anywhere from $140 to $320-plus per ton. The more exotic the stone, the greater the cost, so if your budget is tight, start looking for a frequent flagstone that’s quarried locally.

Thickness. You will likely flagstone described as thick or thin, and which one you should buy depends upon how you want to use it.

Should you intend to lay a flagstone pathway without mortar, then you will want to acquire thick pieces, or the ones that are 2 inches in height. Thin flagstone is significantly less than 2 inches thick and will crack and split apart if not put into a mortared base. Thicker pieces are also frequently called “lay-down,” since you can lay them directly down on the soil without mortar. Larger and thicker pieces are sometimes known as “stand-up,” since they can stand in their sides at a stand alone.

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The best way to pick flagstone. If you are mortaring it into create a terrace, you can use a vast array of sizes, but if you want to have a nonmortared pathway, it’s best to use pieces at least 2 feet wide.

Flagstone is frequently organized by type then packed onto pallets which can be wrapped in chicken wire to keep it all together — request your stone yard if you can cherry-pick the pieces you want from every pallet. Some rock lawns prohibit this practice, asking rather that you purchase an entire pallet or cherry-pick just from pallets which have been opened (meaning the chicken wire was cut or removed).

Just how much do you want? This depends upon your project, but start with calculating the square footage of your patio or path. A 10- by 20-foot terrace, for example, is 200 square feet. Next determine what the policy is for the content you are using. “Coverage” only means how much area your content will cover — your rock-yard staff should be able to give you that information.

There’s a formula to figure out how much stuff you will need: the square footage of this project (200) divided by the square footage of this policy (say, 100) equals the heaps of material required (2 tons). So you would need 2 heaps of flagstone to generate a 10- by 20-foot terrace.

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How to Utilize Flagstone

Flagstone is a favourite material for creating outdoor gathering spaces such as patios. It’s possible to lay flagstone onto a sand bed fill in the joints with gravel for a very casual look, but if you want something longer lasting, you’ll have to pull out the big guns. That means laying the flagstone on concrete then mortaring the joints. You can’t simply lay the flagstone on the floor and mortar the joints this is a poor practice that contributes to cracked joints and also an unstable and unsightly terrace. These kinds of jobs are better left to the specialists.

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Seating. Seating can be created by stacking mortared flagstone into the desired height (typically 18 to 22 inches), then capping the stack off with a smoother capstone that’s comfortable to sit on.

Low chairs walls such as these work well on the edges of patios or around fire pits. You can match the flagstone that’s on your terrace to get a symmetrical, seamless look, or you can use another type of flagstone to get a contrasting look. It’s somewhat tricky to assemble secure and level seats, so I recommend hiring a team to construct your flagstone seating wall.

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Steps. Flagstone steps in the backyard create a very natural, natural look and can last for many decades if constructed properly. Unless the flagstone you are using is very big and thick, you will most likely have to mortar the pieces set up to create secure and safe steps. This is not a place where you are able to afford to have any shifting; people will be walking up and down these steps, after all. If you are handling a very sloping part of your landscape, it’s best to hire pros to guarantee the steps are constructed securely.

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Retaining walls. Retaining walls are essential when you have a slope, or when you’d like to create a quality change for a more striking appearance on your own landscape. They are called retaining walls due to the fact that they retain soil on either side.

Make certain to check your regional city code for tips on creating retaining walls, as partitions over a certain height — 3 feet for example — may have to be proposed by a landscape architect or structural engineer. The very last thing you want is a collapsed retaining wall which poses a safety risk and contributes to a costly repair, so many of these kinds of jobs are best left to the specialists.

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Pathways. Just when you think there may not be any DIY project handling flagstone, along comes the backyard pathway! A number of the very same guidelines that are indicated for laying flagstone patios also apply to pathways — especially, if you are using 2-inch-thick large pieces, you can lay them down on the floor without mortar, however thinner pieces will have to be put in concrete for durability and stability.

Set out your pieces in a mosaic pattern, as demonstrated, or arrange them end to end to get a thinner pathway. Make sure you have a walk in your path prior to completing the project to ensure the spacing of your stones contributes to a natural gait if you walk. If you are putting the stones without mortar or concrete, fill the gaps between them with mulch, pea gravel or plants which can be stepped on, such as thyme or sedum.

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Fire pits. Fire pits are a superb gathering area, and building a fire pit from flagstone can create a very natural and organic look. Depending upon the design of your desired fire pit, then this can be a DIY project or one which is commissioned to some masonry or landscape team.

The inside of a flagstone fire pit is built with fireproof materials (cinderblock, for example), and the exterior is finished with mortared flagstone. This would not be a project to get a first-timer, however, particularly if you want a round fire pit such as the one here.

More: How to Make a Stacked-Stone Fire Pit

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