Flagstone Patio

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Ever since I found out about polymeric stone;

    ( EnviroStone )

    (A better picture of the EnviroStone product being applied )

    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;

    After F.jpg

    After B.jpg

    After G.jpg

    After D.jpg
     
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    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.

    After A.jpg

    After B.jpg
     
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    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.
     
  4. Greg313

    Greg313 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 61

    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.
     
  5. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    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:
     
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    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.

    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.
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830


    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.
     
  8. hnter

    hnter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    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...
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    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?
     
  10. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    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.
     

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