One of the best ways to convey authenticity in your landscape design is by using flagstone. This is because when you use these flat stones, you will create a hand-made feel to your yard that also looks timeless. With the huge variety of modern and rustic cut flagstones, you can demonstrate your individual taste and style. In this guide, you will first discover the origins of these flat stones and learn about their creation. Next, you’ll learn about the different types and the best practices for using them. Third, you’ll gain valuable knowledge in the art and science of the installation of this material. And finally, you will gain inspiration and knowledge as a result of viewing some of our best projects.

Let’s explore one of mother nature’s most versatile building materials.

We’ll cover:

  • Flagstone creation
  • Different types of flagstone
  • The history and also uses of this material
  • Base materials needed to install patio stones
  • Design and also shapes
  • The most popular flagstone products
  • Inspiration for your next project

How Flagstone is Made

What is Flagstone, Anyway?

It is a blanket term for many different types of rock. 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 the metamorphic rocks, such as quartzite and also marble.

The Different Types

There are two popular main types: patio and select. Patio pieces are smaller, usually 12” to 18” and thicker, and are most often used for stepping stones, outdoor pathways or patios. Because of their smaller size, they are typically palletized laying down, which helps prevent breakage during shipment. on the other hand, select flagstone, known as “standup”, comes in large, thin slabs of 18” to 36”. Because of their large size, they are usually palletized vertically. Flagstones come in many shapes and sizes, including rectangular and square. However, they are also available in more natural, jagged varieties.

The History of Flagstone

Flagstone has been in use in one form or another for thousands of years. Back in the early 1900s, people saw it as an improvement over cobblestone, and it’s easy to see why. Since stonemasons can chisel it by hand into a very flat surface, it is a simple way to create a flat paving surface. It sees usage as countertop material or even as a paving substrate, and also as a walkway or roadway. People even use them as roofing and siding! The most common application is for flagstone patios and stepping stones.

Pro tip:

If you use our decomposed granite material to lay your flat stones on, it will not only compact nicely but still allow drainage as a result!

Base Materials Needed

Sand or decomposed granite are commonly used as a base material for flagstones. First off, they are easy to install and offer great drainage. In addition, they also will help prevent weeds and plant growth between your stones as a result. However, for a more permanent installation, use mortar (cement). With a sand or DG base, you will need thicker flagstone. Mortar, on the other hand, allows you to use thinner stones since the cement base helps to reinforce the surface.

Flagstone Designs and Shapes

The great thing about this natural stone is that you can shape it to create many different, unique patterns! After all, the only limit is your imagination with this material. Just remember that you will want to tie your landscape together. This means that if you want a modern, clean look, you need to make sure to stick with a more rigid, repeating pattern, to say nothing of clean lines. On the other hand, for a rustic and natural look, you can go for irregular sizes and also random shapes.

Pro tip:

The best way to buy flagstone is to experience it for yourself. Go into a store and touch, feel, and step on the flagstones you like until you find the perfect one.

Flagstone Project Inspiration

Below are a few inspirations for you to choose from. Take a look at these completed designs and get inspired for your new flagstone project.

Big Bear Mountain Retreat – Where flagstone is used to create a stunning driveway, entrance, and even wall coverings.

Lake Forest Home Landscaping – Creative plant selection and unique design converge together in this one-of-a-kind landscape design.

Palm Springs Curb Appeal – This adventurous landscape sees flat stones doing double-duty as both stepping stone and also patio material.

We hope this guide has helped inspire your next flagstone project. Take a look at our completed landscape designs and get some great design ideas for your new flagstone adventure!