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Do-it-Yourself Flagstone Paving

By R.L. Cultrona
There are several things to think about when laying flagstone.

Remodeling a patio means you get to make some hard decisions about what you will use for flooring. There are several options to choose from, including concrete, pavers and flagstone. Using flagstone is actually quite a simple, and you can do it yourself as long as you keep a few things in mind.

Why Flagstone?

There are several reasons why flagstone does so well when it comes to using it for a patio or walkway. The pieces of stone are naturally slip resistant which is good if you live in an area with a lot of rain. Flagstone is also extremely durable and will last for years. Finally, flagstone has a natural beauty which will add to the ambience of any outdoor space.

What Kinds of Stones?

There are several things which you need to think about when building a flagstone patio or walkway. The first is whether the stones need to be straight along their edges or not. For a patio, you will probably want a definite shape and an even surface, and that will require you to get stones which can be fitted together closely (laying flagstone tiles might be the way to go for a project like this). If you are using flagstone for a pathway, you will have to decide how you want your pathway to look. If you are going for a straight pathway, a more rigid look might work, but if your path meanders, you might want to look into getting stones which are uneven to provide a natural look.

Laying the stones

When laying a flagstone patio, you should decide how you want to keep it together. A patio which is made of brick usually entails setting the bricks directly in concrete, but flagstone patios give you an option which may look better overall. Instead of using concrete, it is possible to lay the flagstone on top of a layer of limestone which has small pieces of dust, or fines, which fill up the spaces in between the stones. This mixture will eventually harden like concrete, which will keep your flagstone pavers from moving. Although this mixture may look better overall, it will require more maintenance; you will need to continually add more limestone to the edges as erosion from rain occurs. If you are concerned about this, it is possible to set the stones in concrete. Whatever you decide to use, make sure the ground is completely flat before you set your stones down. Excavate to the appropriate level and use a hand tamper to create a level surface.

 

About the Author

 

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.