How to Install Flagstone

Flagstone Installation

Blackhills Rustic Standup Flagstone Home

If you are looking for a creative hardscape as an addition to your landscape, the use of flagstone is a great option. Flagstone pavers are jagged, natural-looking pieces of stone that possess a relatively smooth surface, great for patios and walkways. As a walking surface, they look very aesthetically pleasing and fit together like a large puzzle. It is a much more unique look than traditional pavers and gives you a lot of creative freedom to create the hardscape of your dreams. Now, when taking on a flagstone project, you will need to know the type of flagstone you would like to use, as well as the purpose. You do not need to be a landscape architect to design the perfect flagstone hardscape, and installing it yourself can be made simple, with this guide.

Types of Flagstone

At Nature’s Mulch, we carry a few different types of flagstone pavers, although they all come in a 2-inch thickness, you are going to see small differences in color, width, and smoothness. For larger patios, we carry Black Hills Rustic Flagstone. These are larger slabs, covering more surface area. If you would like a variety of colors we also carry blue/brown flagstone, as well as various shades of grey, and tan earth tones. The type of flagstone you choose is entirely up to personal preference, so we would encourage you to come into Nature’s Mulch and check out the inventory for yourself. You can also find our flagstone selection online, right here.

Types of Flagstone Installation

There are two common ways to install flagstones on your property. You may either dry set, or wet set your flagstone, with different results. Dry set flagstone is quick and easy, but results in a poorer quality installation, and does not look as high-end. Although fast, it requires more maintenance over time, although this maintenance is easier as the flagstone is unsealed. A wet set, or “Mortar” installation is a more durable option, allowing for a more high-end finish. It also will be more stable for areas with high foot traffic. Also, with both installations, you can either go for a uniform look, where all stones touch or leave large gaps, such as for a walkway. Once again, all up to personal preference and the goals of your unique project, we will go over both. 

Dry Set Installation

The key piece of the dry installation is the idea that you are laying the pavers onto a dry bed of sand and gravel. For your base, you want to go about 3-5 inches deep, with your layer of gravel and sand filling it in. As you design your hardscape and place your stones, you will need to work from out to in, sometimes cutting and leveling as you go. To level, you can utilize a piece of wood, or other flat surface that covers multiple stones at once. Use larger stones on the perimeter, as this will need to be the most stable area. You will then need to fill the gaps in between the pavers with a fill material, which could be anything from pea gravel, to crushed gravel, both of which we carry here at Nature’s Mulch.

Wet (Mortar) Installation

While this is typically a more professional task, it will take you longer, but result in a higher-end look for your flagstone. It is essentially the same process as a dry set, with the key difference being a layer of mortar applied to a subbase of gravel and sand or an already existing piece of concrete. After the mortar is prepared and applied to your base, you are going to want to lay down your flagstone, and then fill it in with your selected fill material. The mortar will give you better hold on your flagstone, and keep it firmly in place. Make sure you pressure wash each of your flagstone pavers for the best hold, as well as use the correct mixture of concrete, sand, and water to create your mortar. 

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