How to Lay Flagstone
There are many different books and articles that teach people how to lay flagstone for their patios and walkways. Flagstone is a great material for these areas because of its basic properties. This easy to work with flat stone is very durable and is available in a wide range of colors and shapes. It has a non-slip surface so it is great for around a pool or eating area. To learn how to lay flagstone you only need to have some basic hand tools and a weekend.
Step 1: Layout Size of Your Flagstone Patio
Before you begin to simply lay down the flagstones, you will need to have some sort of a plan. Search for the location, size, and the overall shape of where the flagstones will be installed. Use some landscape paint and draw the general outline.
Step 2: Prepare the Ground
Once you know where the flagstones will be installed, you need to prepare the ground. Dig up the lawn in the shape of the outline what you painted. Dig it down to a depth of 5 inches. Rake it out so that it is level and all the large rocks, roots, and other debris is removed.
Step 3: Install Edging
With the ground prepared and level, you can then install the edging that you want to use. This can be in the form of special flagstone edging that will match the stones, or a plastic roll edging. For the flagstone edging, you can simply place it in position and set into the ground about 1/2 inch. The top of the stone should be even with the ground level.
Step 4: Pour in Sand
You will need to use special patio sand for this application. Fill the area with the sand until it is 3 inches deep. Rake it out and make sure that there is a slight slope in it that leads away from your house. This is for any water run off that may be needed.
Step 5: Compact Sand
By renting a compactor you will be able to get the job done much faster than trying to stamp it with a manual compactor. Run it over the sand and check to make sure it is still at a 3 inch depth.
Step 6: Lay Flagstones
Because the flagstones can come in many different shapes you do not have to be as picky about the lining up as you do with tiles. Simply begin placing the stones in the sand and configure them the way you want. Embed them into the sand a little by giving each stone a slight wiggle. Keep an 1/8-inch gap between stones.
Step 7: Cut Stones if You Need to
Try to lay the flagstones in such a way that you do not need to do a lot of cutting. If you do, then set up a skill saw with a masonry blade. Cut slowly and keep water on the surface of the stone.
Step 8: Fill in Cracks with Sand
Using the same type of sand that you used to lay the base, spread it over the flagstone and into the cracks. Use a broom to sweep the stones, then run the compactor over the entire area to lock the sand into place.