View Full Version : flagstone patio question...

Kohls Landscaping Co
02-05-2006, 02:01 AM
I am looking to install a flagstone patio around a hot tub. The customer has a wooded lot and was looking to have a "natural" look. My idea was to use pavers directly underneath the hot tub which will not be seen and then use flagstone around the hot tub.

I was wondering if you can mortar flagstone directly to a proper base of compacted chips and dust. One of the problems that I think might be an issue would be the mortar cracking after a frost heave.

I do not want to use sand inbetween the flagstone because it will most like track into their house.

Anyone have any experience or a better idea?



02-05-2006, 02:40 AM
You can use polymer sand instead of regular sand.Then top with a pebble like I show in the pots in the pic in the
"Here ya go Gene Simmons" thread .Or cut and fit the flag so it fits tight with no cracks.But that takes some learning to do right.There are pics posted by MarcusLndscp and a few others that show examples of that method,if you search around.

02-05-2006, 09:43 AM
I wouldn't waste the time in laying pavers under your hottub. My first recomendation would be to pour a concrete slab, just remember to lay it out real well and figure out where your electrical hookups need to be stubbed up out of the slab. Usually there is a notch that will accomodate a 1" electrical conduit (I believe it is 1" on most we install anyway) that comes up somewhere near the access panel. Concrete is your best bet because if you prep the area correctly you will never have a problem beneath the tub, where with pavers the excess amount of water could pose problems with washing out sand, maybe you'll get some settling, who knows what could happen. The concrete is sure to never be an issue. You could also recess the tub into the ground by building some sort of a wall around the perimeter of it, just be sure there is adequate drainage so the recessed area does not fill with water and short the tub out. I've seen guys do that alot.

Get your flagging as tight as possible and use the polymeric sand as SS mentioned. With the excess amount of water the area will recieve from splashing/draining/filling the tub etc you will be glad you spent the extra $$ for it. Don't mortar over a gravel base you will lose it within the first year. If you want to mortar do it over a concrete slab as well. If you want a gravel base lvel your stones in sand and then sweep in your poly sand.

You can find pics of some our natural flagging work on here both wet lay and dry lay. If you can't find them let me know I'll be happy to post a couple for you.

Grn Mtn
02-05-2006, 12:32 PM
I just started using the polymer sand this year and I love it, so do my customers. The Patio I did at my house was a good test because I have very sandy soil, lots of ants and weed seeds flying around. It locks everything together, prevents weeds from growing in the joints, no ant traffic and no tracking sand into the house. Here is a close-up from a patio job I did around some mechanicals.

Kohls Landscaping Co
02-05-2006, 01:19 PM
Hey guys.

Thanks for the replies. It looks like using the polymer sand is going to be the best way to go. I have never worked with product and looks like it's time to learn.

I am guessing the best way to go about laying the flagstone is to use a compacted base as if you were going to lay pavers. Then screed a base of sand. And finally just use the polymer sand to fill in the joints between the flagstone?

Thanks again!


Grn Mtn
02-05-2006, 01:41 PM
This link was helpful to me:

02-05-2006, 05:41 PM
Don't even bother screeding your sand. Flagging is not one set thickness like pavers are so unfortunately you have to set each piece individually. Once you get into it it will go somewhat fast. If you use larger pieces like we do (2'x2', 2'x3', even pieces up to 5' and 6' wide) two people are very helpful in maintaining a decent rate of production. One person to lift the stone and support it and one to trowel or rake out the area for the stone to lay in. Repeat until stone is at desired level. Your poly sand comes in different colors so get the right one to match your stone.
Yes on the poly sand in the joints...if you are going to have larger joints use the enviro stone like GrnMtn has shown in the link above

Kohls Landscaping Co
02-05-2006, 08:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done.

Marcus, that patio looks great!

Thank again!


02-06-2006, 12:49 AM
They let you use Trac Pipe non cased to connect to a hot tub? We have to use PE pipe with cast tubing ends.

Grn Mtn
02-06-2006, 09:52 AM
If your referring to the picture I posted that isn't a hot tub. A customer of mine had a back-up generator added plus their air conditioner and the hose bib in a back corner of their house. Everything was a pain for them trying to mow it so I built a patio around all of it.

02-06-2006, 11:05 AM
You can also use a chemical called Sure-Bond. Sold at your supplier. You use regular sand, then after all settling occurs you mix and spray the surebond directly over the pavers/stone and it locks the sand. Only caveat is that it will only work on tight joints so make sure you got no more than 1/8 inch spacing on flagstone.

Also they have used it in downtown Columbus,Oh on all the paver surfaces. Looks like it works.

Hope this helps.

02-06-2006, 12:36 PM
Does anyone know where to purchase the products listed by grn mtn in houston?

Kohls Landscaping Co
02-06-2006, 01:25 PM
bonerigo, thanks! I will keep that in mind when laying doing paver installs. I think that the envirostone will be the best bet because it's going to be tough to get every gap under 1/8 of an inch.

I've done some flagstone work before. Here's the before and after pictures. The customer had another 'landscape' company install the patio on the first picture.


Kohls Landscaping Co
02-06-2006, 01:28 PM

I was limited to using the same stone and think this looked a bit better...


Grn Mtn
02-07-2006, 04:34 PM
Oh my was that first one horrible! You did a great job fixing it!