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JimLewis
11-23-2005, 03:49 AM
Ever since I found out about polymeric stone;

( EnviroStone ) (http://www.envirobond.com/bagged_flagstone.html)

(A better picture of the EnviroStone product being applied ) (http://www.capbrick.com/stabilizing_sand.htm)

we have decided to use it, rather than sand or mortar when doing flagstone patios. It's just so dang cool I have to share it with you guys. You prep. the flagstone patio as if you are just going to brush sand or gravel into the joints (no mortar needed, you just set the flagstone on compacted sand or gravel). And then you brush the product into the joints, like the picture in the second above shows, then one guy goes along and cleans the dust off of each flagstone with a tile sponge and a second guy goes behind for one final cleaning of the flagstone, and then you just wet the whole area down.

The stuff then basically "melts" together and gets fairly hard. It's not rock hard like mortar. But it's fairly hard. And then it doesn't move. So it holds the flagstone together just like mortar would, but with 1/3 the effort of making a true mortar flagstone patio.

Here are a few pics of some recent ones we did;

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 03:51 AM
That was one property. Here are some pics from another property where we did the same thing.

We had just wet the area down so it doesn't look dry in these pictures.

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 03:58 AM
Basically, when you are done, you've created what everyone will THINK is a mortared-in flagstone patio. Except it's not. It looks almost the same. It feels almost the same. But it took you only 1/3 the time to do it. It's cool as heck.

Only one downside. This stuff is harder than snot to get ahold of. I have to get it shipped to me from Albany, NY - at a cost of $500.00 - just for the shipping. But it's SOOO worth it. Each of those flagstone patios you see above only needed about 5 bags of the product. And I usually order about 20 bags at a time. So with the cost of the product AND the shipping combined, I am paying $35 per bag. And of course, I just pass that on to the customer. $200 more on a job like this is nothing. And the labor it saves (as opposed to doing these patios with mortar) more than negates the cost of the product.

Greg313
11-23-2005, 12:41 PM
Jim,
How does this product compare to decomposed granite. I've used that on my flagstone at home and so far it's held up very well. I know that it doesn't have the organic glue in it but seems to be doing good. I will be looking for the envirostone here in Houston. Thanks.

nocutting
11-23-2005, 01:09 PM
Ever since I found out about polymeric stone;

( EnviroStone ) (http://www.envirobond.com/bagged_flagstone.html)

(A better picture of the EnviroStone product being applied ) (http://www.capbrick.com/stabilizing_sand.htm)

we have decided to use it, rather than sand or mortar when doing flagstone patios. It's just so dang cool I have to share it with you guys. You prep. the flagstone patio as if you are just going to brush sand or gravel into the joints (no mortar needed, you just set the flagstone on compacted sand or gravel). And then you brush the product into the joints, like the picture in the second above shows, then one guy goes along and cleans the dust off of each flagstone with a tile sponge and a second guy goes behind for one final cleaning of the flagstone, and then you just wet the whole area down.

The stuff then basically "melts" together and gets fairly hard. It's not rock hard like mortar. But it's fairly hard. And then it doesn't move. So it holds the flagstone together just like mortar would, but with 1/3 the effort of making a true mortar flagstone patio.

Here are a few pics of some recent ones we did;
Hey does in come in colors? or can a dry die be added for a differnt color stone? [ like with cememt]....I'd try it either way...........:rolleyes:

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 01:29 PM
Jim,
How does this product compare to decomposed granite. I've used that on my flagstone at home and so far it's held up very well. I know that it doesn't have the organic glue in it but seems to be doing good.

First you have to understand that there are basically two ways to do a flagstone patio. First way is to set it on a layer of compacted gravel or sand. Then fill the joints with compacted gravel, sand, or in your case decomposed granite. The second method is 3 times as much work and skill; Mortared-in flagstone patio. You have to lay the flagstone in a wet bed of mortar, all the while trying to make sure each flagstone is level. And you have to do it quickly, before the mortar dries. And you have to have the mortar being mixed constantly, etc. It takes a lot of people and time. Then you let that dry and the next day you fill in the joints with mortar. Then you clean the mortar in the joints and clean off the flagstone. There's more too but I am simplifying. Most people and landscapers too don't choose the mortar method because it's so difficult. But it does look nicer and the biggest advantage to a mortared patio is that it's solid, permenant. With a sand or gravel flagstone patio you have to constantly be sweeping the stuff back into the cracks, the flagstone isn't permenantly set so it can move around under your feet, etc. But with mortar, it's solid. It doesn't move and you never have to sweep stuff back into the joints.

So this product allows you to create a patio that is more like a mortared patio, but only a little more work than a flagstone patio with sand or gravel.

I will be looking for the envirostone here in Houston. Thanks.

It's probably not something you'll just come across. You have to seek this stuff out. I've known about it for a year and a half now and in that time the company who makes it has done nothing to broaden distribution in the U.S. I don't know why. But if you want it, you'll probably have to track down who the supplier is in your area, and special order it.

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 01:32 PM
Hey does in come in colors? or can a dry die be added for a differnt color stone? [ like with cememt]....I'd try it either way...........:rolleyes:


Unfortunately, no. And that's one of the drawbacks. The stuff actually turns out to be kind of a medium brown color with gray tones. It's more reddish-brown than I'd like. And in person it's more brown than the pictures I posted show. I wish it was gray, like real mortar is. Even more, I wish it came in a variety of colors. I don't know if you could add a concrete die to it or not. It's not the consistency of concrete or mortar. It's more chunky when dry. So I don't know if that would work or not. Also, with those dies, you mix the die into the wet cement or mortar mix then apply. This stuff doesn't work that way. You don't mix it with water first. First, you spread it into the joints, then you just wet it down.

Still, I haven't had anyone complain about the color yet.

hnter
11-23-2005, 03:07 PM
i used envirostone for the first time earlier this year and so far am very pleased with it...will have to see how it holds up over time...it is available in two colors, 'natural', which is the reddish-brown hue and 'granite', which is gray in color...never used the granite...

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 06:03 PM
Aha! I didn't know it came in different colors! Thanks for letting me know. Next time I'll make sure and order the granite gray colored one.

p.s. got a picture of the job you did using envirostone?

neversatisfiedj
11-23-2005, 08:31 PM
I pour a 4" concrete reinforced slab, then I mix my mortar and begin laying. Yeah I underpriced a job this year big time with this method. Charge at least double what you would for a dry lay install folks.

MarcusLndscp
11-23-2005, 08:31 PM
Hey Jim
The stuff is great isn't it! Sounds like you have a harder time getting it than we do. We drive about 2 miles down the road go in the supply yard and get as many bags as we want in either color. We use it for 95% of our applications and have had very good success with it. We mainly use the grey color as it matches our bluestone flagging much better. Here's one for you. We do alot of wet work as well and we have even mortared dimensional granite to a concrete slab at the entry to a house and then used this product rather than actually using mortar in the joints. Like you say it's a hell of a lot easier to sweep this in 1/4-3/8" joints than it is to fill them with mortar and the stuff works just as well. One thing we avoid is using it in wet conditions....after it has rained and your paving is wet or when it is soon going to rain.

mbella
11-23-2005, 08:44 PM
Marc, how wide of a joint have you filled with polymer? I use the polymer all the time with pavers, but I've never used it with flagstone. I've thought about it, just never did it.

JimLewis
11-23-2005, 10:10 PM
Mike, be careful - the polymeric sand that is used for pavers doesn't work for flagstone joints. You have to get the polymeric crushed stone. As far as I know, only EnviroBond makes that product.

MarcusLndscp
11-23-2005, 10:43 PM
After looking at what you posted Jim I did not realize the product you spoke of had more stone in it. I looked at the web site you listed and saw the bags of polymer we use and automatically had that in my head. Why do you tell Mike to be careful about using it in flagstone joints? We do it all the time. The joints are usually 1/4" or less and sometimes there might be a joint or two that pushes 3/8" but not often at all. We have had no problem in any way doing this. Any problematic thoughts or experiences you have on this topic I should be aware of for future use in these applications are very welcome. Here are a few pics of a job we finished last month where we used the grey polymeric sand. Hope you've had a good year out your way!
By the way Mike where has your significant other been? Are you two okay? :D

JimLewis
11-24-2005, 02:49 PM
Wow! Very nice!!!

No, I was referring to a more traditional flagstone patio where you don't make any cuts with a saw and just fit pieces together, like the ones in the pictures I posted. If you are cutting the flagstone with a wetsaw or whatever so that the joints are very tight, then the usual polymeric sand would probably work well. But most flagstone patios I see aren't that tight. So when you have joints that are 1/2" to 2" wide, you have to use the polymeric stone instead. The sand won't work in that situation.

Very nice patios. I am impressed. I can't imagine how long it took to cut those pieces to fit together so perfectly. It must have taken you twice as long to do it that way.

MarcusLndscp
11-24-2005, 03:57 PM
Thank you for your words Jim. You would be surprised but we don't cut that much really and if we do at all it's just with a 4 1/2" grinder to score the piece and then snap it. Most of the work is done with brick hammer, small sledge, and an array of chisels. The large bluestone patio shown was about 1200sf and took 2 of us about 10 or 11 days. The stone is really quite easy to work mainly by back cutting it with a hammer and then going through the top creating the shape you want. I do see your point about using a more coarse material in larger joints.
Take care
Mark

JimLewis
11-25-2005, 01:00 PM
Wow. The patios I showed above aren't quite as nice. But they only took us a day or a day and a half to make. 10-11 days is quite a long time! I'd have to charge $10,000 plus materials for that job. Most of my customers wouldn't want to shell out $10,000 - $15,000 for a flagstone patio. Although it's obviously worth it. That patio you did turned out very well. I am sure the people who paid you feel like they got their money's worth.

zedosix
11-26-2005, 11:09 AM
I have used the polymeric sand for most of my paver work and even some square cut flagstone with gaps up to 1" in diameter. It has held out just fine since this spring. It comes in beige and also in gray. Permacon sells it for around 22 dollars a bag. I didn't realize it was also available in crushed stone form.

sheshovel
11-28-2005, 03:28 PM
I would think that this stuff would be a good thing to use here in Ca,because it flexes ?? and is not totally hard ..so would not crack like 100% of the mortared joints here do.So when the flag moves with the earth
movement(fault movement)the joints would maintain integrity?Is that correct?

zedosix
11-28-2005, 03:42 PM
Yes it is flexible.

UNISCAPER
11-28-2005, 04:19 PM
I would think that this stuff would be a good thing to use here in Ca,because it flexes ?? and is not totally hard ..so would not crack like 100% of the mortared joints here do.So when the flag moves with the earth
movement(fault movement)the joints would maintain integrity?Is that correct?

If you saw cut the control joints where the stress is projected to be and then use a slip sheet, the mortar won't crack. We can't get away with dry laid flag, we have to pour a pad then mortar over the top. Too many BWB's who don't like the loose joints and unevenness of dry laid over expansible soils.