irregular flag help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Green-Pro, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Hey folks, need a bit of help if you don't mind. I have installed paver patios, walls, etc.
    One project I have not yet undertaken is laying an irregular flagstone patio. I have not been asked to estimate or install one yet but believe it will only be a matter of time before this comes up.
    I want to practice by installing a few smaller irregular flag patios (one here at our home, one for the out er,, in-laws). I would suspect there are some process's that are much the same as paver patios and some very differed. I'm looking for any help at all on installation procedures. Point me to a website, offer a brief synopsis, whatever. Any and all help would be much appreciated.
    Again this is not going to be installed for a customer as a professional job, this is a project I wish to undertake as a install for my self and maybe some relatives and or friends in order to gain some experience working with a different material.

    Thanks again
  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    short and sweet:

    2-4" stone dust.........lay your pattern (like a puzzle) and don't worry about overhanging edges, mark the outline of the patio/walk with chaulk and use a stone saw to cut + edgeing to keep everything put

    don't need a plate tamper, light hand tamping is plenty.........too much will cause the finer particals to settle and your left with what is almost like gravel on top which isn't very stable (let things move more)

    ltos of tiems they're loose fitting, maybe 2" joints depending on what you can do with the stone

    don't be afraid to use your stone saw to make things fit, just beat it up with a chissel to make it look natural again...........patios often will be very close fitting.........1/2" joint +/- which you then have to do a lot of cutting sometiems depending on the stone

    sweep dust over top when finished, hope that helps
  3. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Yep, thanks. My biggest questions pertained to what to sweep over the stones to fill the joints and how to border/edge it.
    Thanks again
  4. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    I have tried with sucess to sweep a polymeric sand over the flagstone. I have used it on my own place and on a couple of my clients patios. Works very good. Stays hard and is flexible. Just make sure you get at least a half inch or so deep. Lightly mist it with water and it turns hard in no time.
  5. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    I wondered about using the joint sand instead of dust. I also think it would tend to set up fairly hard when wetted a tad. Sure as he!! sets hard enough on a paver patio.
    What do you use as a border restraint if any?
    Thanks for the reply
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    Normally we don't use a restraint edge for flagstone. I suppose its possible with a little more work involved. In a sence the flagstone is somewhat like patio slabs so we just bring the earth and grass right up to the edge. Never really had any problems or call backs concerning lateral movement of flagstone or patio slabs for that matter. Try the polymeric sand it works great.
  7. Redbear

    Redbear LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Does nobody base their flag patios as with pavers?
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    We've done several patios like you are inquiring about. I have also come to the conclusion that the polymeric sand in large quantities (large cracks and deep amounts) does in fact NOT hold up well at all. Unless you plan on some serious pitch to the patio, you WILL have trouble with the sand peeling up over time due to the water hanging in low areas of the sand and flagstone. I find the results unacceptable and we will not do it this way anymore.

    I currently am doing some work at my home with flagstone and I'm saw cutting all the pieces so that I have 1/8 - 1/4 joints at the most. I'm setting them on a crushed compacted base and leveling them with about a 1/2 to 3/4 inch of sand. I will then use a small amount of polymeric to fill the cracks from there. I think having minimal crack size will help in the long run.

    I think from here out we will either do only mortared flagstone or if the smaller cracks work out, we'll try some that way. Just the experience we have had.
  9. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    Keep in mind there are many types of stabilzing sand. Yes it works better if the pitch is correct and the joints small. Easier than re-doing the joints in mortar every other year. Cheaper too.
  10. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 616

    I couldn't help but notice that no one mentioned using grout in between the cracks. Is this due to the high cost of the grout? Also, would mortar not be a suitable "lay" for the flag on top of the crushed base or is sand all a person would need?

    What i'm thinking is once the 4-6" base is dug and filled with the crushed limestone, (33c) and plate compacted, you could get good results by using mortar on top of the crushed rock, lay in the flag then once dry, lay in the grout. I know the grout makes a strong bond with the flag or any stone, but as far as it being flexible, i dunno. Is the stabilizer sand better than the grout for this type of application?

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