Flagstone is an excellent material for landscaping because of its durability and maintenance-free qualities. Sometimes cut into squares or rectangles, flagstone is often preferred in its natural, jagged-edged state that can be fit together for an interesting look. Whether using flagstone to lay a path through your garden or create an entire patio, care needs to be taken to lay the stone correctly for a proper fit. Doing the work yourself on this weekend project can save a significant amount of money with professional results.
Use garden hose to help set the borders of your path or patio. Add interest by creating a winding effect instead of straight edges.
Pound stakes into the ground with a hammer along your desired edge and mark a spot on each stake 1/4 inch above the ground.
Tie string from stake to stake, across where your path would be. Use a line level to ensure that the string is level.
Remove the sod using the spade between the stakes in the area of your intended walkway.
Use a spade to dig soil to an even depth of 2 1/2 inches from the ground to the string. Allow for your run-off slope, if needed. When the depth is reached, tamp down the ground with the tamper to make it even.
Spread sand with a metal rake 11/2 inches thick on the bottom of the freshly dug area. Use a 2x4 to level out the sand smoothly. Remember to allow for your slope.
Lay flagstone on the sand, turning and piecing together. Remove or add sand, as needed, depending on the thickness of each individual piece.
Set each flagstone into place by laying the 2x4 across it and tapping down with a rubber mallet. Run the 2x4 across the path to check for unevenness and continue the step until smooth.
Add sand by the handful to the pathway and sweep it into the cracks to help "cement" the pieces. Water lightly with a hose and repeat, if necessary to ensure no loose pieces.
Fill in spaces around flagstone with dirt, mulch, gravel or fit in smaller pieces of flagstone.