Help Finishing Flagstone Patio

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Ohmylord, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Ohmylord

    Ohmylord LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I posted this in the Homeowners section and got a few responses. I’m thinking polymeric sand might be the best option – Suggestions?
    Original Post:

    I built a flagstone patio (approx 15 x 20). It is built on a sand base. I'm planning to put patio furniture on it. I'm trying to decide what to use to fill the cracks. Most of them are 1-3". I'm not sure if I want sand because it is close to the pool.

    Questions: If I use Sand will hit harden enough not to wash away? Or, should I use some kind of concrete or mortar mix? Should I put it down dry or wet?

    Thanks for any advise.
    I was told that polymeric sand might work, not to use mortar over a sand base, and that something like Stepables might work.
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    NO! Don't use polymeric sand. That is only good for small joints.

    But I do have a really cool solution for you. There is a product called EnviroStone that is similar to polymeric sand. Except it's polymeric crushed stone. And it's meant for the larger joints that flagstone patios have. I've used it only once so far but it worked great!

    Here are two links;

    It's very difficult to find a distributor - at least here on the West Coast - but after calling envirobond and calling their distributor, I found out there was a local company who could order from that distributor. It took a few weeks, but I got the stuff and it turned out great. I highly recommend it. You won't be satisfied with the polymeric sand. It's meant for pavers, not flagstone.
  3. student101

    student101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I was interested in this product also and called a dist, in Waco and he said that they had to warranty a couple patios (due to cracking) made of flagstone. I am in the same home owner situation as Ohmylord this is for my own home and I would really like to use this product but want it to last. did you use the base and filler or just as a filler. please expond on your use. thank you
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    We just used it to fill in the joints. The base was quarter-minus gravel. You just fill in the joints, wet it down, and then clean off the flagstone using sponges. You get 2 buckets of water and two large sponges. One guy does the initial cleaning off of the flagstone. He gets 90% of the dust off of them. Then a 2nd guy comes behind him and wipes off the remaining 10% of the dust. Then you just mist the area lightly every once in a while for the first few hours. Finally, you just let it sit over night and it's all set up.

    It shouldn't ever crack because the way it's designed is so that when it rains it sort of melts a little, fills in it's own cracks, and then hardens back up after the rain is gone. During the rain, it becomes a little pliable. Not real soft. But a little soft. Then it hardens back up when it dries out.
  5. student101

    student101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    will it allow you to add softscape like Irish moss?
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    If your gonna plant it ,just fill the cracks with a mix of compost and sand and plant it with your moss ,then a little sand settled in with pebbles on top for the rest.You know those different colored little pebbles .Also I would have used a 1/4"to 1/2" compacted gravel base before I put the sand and flagstone down.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    No, that's a whole other kind of flagstone patio.

    There are three basic types of flagstone patio that customers want.

    1) Patio with soil or mulch in the joints so the customer can plant moss or stepable groundcovers in between.

    2) Patio with gravel or soil in the joints. Not a firm set, but less expensive than mortar. Still get the look of a flagstone patio without the huge expense.

    3) Patio that is set in mortar and both the flagstone and the joints are totally firm. Disadvantage to a mortar-set flagstone patio is it's VERY time consuming and very expensive. But many agree that it looks most professional and no doubt it's the most solid, if built right.

    The polymeric stone option is just an option to accomplish making a patio that is similar to #3 but without the expense and labor. It's basically the same price as the #2 option except with the added cost of the polymeric stone and labor to install it, which isn't much.
  8. student101

    student101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Thank you for the information!
  9. pitrack

    pitrack LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    In #1, is the flagstone just set on top of compacted soil? Or do you still need some type of sand under it?
  10. Moneypit

    Moneypit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Dont they sell Gator Dust in your area? It's like poly sand but it is good for joint from 1/2" up to 4". Its a much easier install then EnviroStone (which I have never heard of). There is no wiping of the stones. Just sweep the Gator Dust in the joints, sweep off excess, then go over the patio lightly with a blower to remove remaining dust, mist with water and your done.

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