Flagstone Landscaping: Timeless Design for Your Outdoor SpacePublished on: July 28, 2023
Among the myriad of landscape rock materials available, flagstone stands out as a timeless and versatile choice that brings natural beauty to any landscape. With the huge variety of modern and rustic cut flagstones, we have everything you need to showcase your individual taste and style. In this blog post, we dig into the world of flagstone and explore how it can elevate your outdoor areas, from pathways to patios and beyond.
What is Flagstone?
Flagstone is a type of flat, thin sedimentary rock that has been utilized for centuries in construction and landscaping. Its irregularly shaped pieces are perfect for creating pathways, patios, and outdoor flooring, and its natural variations in color and texture add a rustic charm to any space. With its durability, weather resistance, and non-slip surface, flagstone is a popular choice for outdoor applications, providing both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality.
How Flagstone is Made
First, a stonemason chisels or strikes larger stones, and as a result, it breaks up into thick, flat sheets. After that, these thinner sheets are then broken up into flagstone-sized pieces. There are multiple types of rock that masons cut and then shape into flagstones. First, the softest and easiest rocks to chisel into shape are sedimentary rocks. This includes varieties such as sandstone, shale, and limestone. Second, harder varieties include igneous rocks such as granite or basalt. Lastly, the toughest types belong to metamorphic rocks, such as quartzite and also marble.
What Are the Types of Flagstone?
When it comes to creating a stunning outdoor living space, the choice of flagstone makes a significant impact on the final result. Two terms you might come across while shopping are “patio” and “select” flagstone. Let’s delve into the differences between these two varieties to help you make an informed decision for your landscaping project.
Benefits of Landscaping with Flagstone
Landscaping with flagstone offers numerous benefits that make it a popular choice for outdoor projects. Whether you’re creating a patio, walkway, garden path, or retaining wall, here are some advantages of using flagstone in your landscaping:
Popular Flagstone Landscaping Projects
The versatility, durability, and natural beauty of flagstone make it an appealing option for a wide range of landscaping and outdoor projects. Whether you seek a touch of rustic elegance or a seamless blend with nature, these popular projects are bound to elevate your spaces and leave a lasting impression.
How to Install Flagstone
From preparing the site to laying the stones and filling the joints, this guide walks you through the essential steps on how to install flagstone. Whether you’re embarking on a DIY project or seeking insights to collaborate with professionals, understanding the process of flagstone installation will set you on the path to creating your own outdoor oasis.
Prepare the Site
- Measure and mark the area where you want to install the flagstone.
- Clear the site of any grass, plants, rocks, or debris.
- Excavate the area to a depth of about 4 to 6 inches to make room for the base materials and the thickness of the flagstone.
Create the Base
- Lay a 2-4 inch layer of crushed gravel or compactable base material (such as Class II Road Base) over the excavated area.
- Use a plate compactor or hand tamper to compact the base thoroughly and create a firm and level surface.
- Ensure proper drainage by sloping the base away from buildings and toward appropriate drainage areas.
- Install plastic bender boards or metal edging along the perimeter of the area to hold the flagstones in place and prevent them from shifting.
Lay the Flagstones
- Start placing the stones on the prepared base, starting from one corner and working your way across.
- Use larger stones first and fill in the gaps with smaller pieces.
- Maintain uniform spacing between the stones, either by eye or by using plastic spacers.
- Tap the flagstones gently with a rubber mallet to ensure they are level and firmly set in the base material.
Fill the Joints
- Once all the flagstones are in place, fill the joints between the stones with either fine sand or polymeric sand.
- Brush the sand into the gaps and mist it with water to activate the binding properties of the polymeric sand. This helps stabilize the stones and prevents weed growth.
Seal the Surface (Optional):
- If desired, you can apply a stone sealer over the flagstone surface. Sealing enhances the color of the stone and protects it from stains and weathering. However, some prefer to leave the flagstone unsealed for a more natural look.