We lay flagstone patios in stone dust, not cement.
Before placing the stone, we spread a 2-inch-base of stone dust and tamp the surface smooth. Then we place and level each piece of stone. We deliberately allow 1/2-inch or 1-inch veins between stones since each piece is not cut to exact measure. Thus, veins allow for unforgiving stone cuts. Stones are laid in a checkerboard pattern so seams are staggered.
For aesthetics, we alternate a 2-foot by 3-foot piece with a 2-foot by 2-foot piece. Each piece is between 1 and 2 inches thick. The thicker the stone, the more stability it offers. When the patio is in place and level, we sweep more stone dust on top of the floor so the it settles into the veins. The face of the stone is etched to provide “relief”—a far more natural look than a manufactured piece which is perfectly smooth.
For stability around the perimeter, we use wood or hard plastic/metal. The wood collar comes in two sizes (4-inch by 4-inch or a 6-inch by 6-inch and is pressure-treated pine). The hard plastic/metal is 1/8-inch thick and sits against the side of the stone. It has "legs" which are driven into the ground for stability.
We water the stone patio to clear the film of dust off each stone's face. Water also tends to harden the stone dust in the veins. You may walk on the patio immediately after it is laid.
For a stoop or step (pictured above) we first spread one inch of wet mortar on the surface before placing in the flagstones. Before the mortar sets, we level the flagstones (horizontally) while allowing for a slight slope downward, away from the door and off the stoop or step (for water drainage).
A beautiful example of a Terraced Patio. (above and below)
Before and After
I’m quite proud of the way this patio transformed an otherwise unkempt space into an area that not only looks great but adds to the property value.
The potential is there but difficult to appreciate.
The new patio actually invites you to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.
The enlarged stoop provides easy access to and from the back door.
Looking through the gate reveals the way in which the relatively small area has been opened up to maximize usable space.
The closer you look, the better it gets. Attention to details is crucial to personalizing any patio.
Stonework framing a beautiful Camellia accented by Liriope.
A new flagstone patio just in time for Spring 2021! All it needs now is a few personal touches like a bird feeder, a grill and some comfortable furniture.
This is a beautiful example of how a flagstone patio can provide plenty of space for activities and still leave room for plants and trees.
Dry-stack stone walls are a pretty accent to flagstone patios.