Such a beautiful design pattern, isn’t it? A flagstone patio has the best mix of rugged and natural. It combines the earthly tones of stone designs with the sleek structure of the constructed environment. Want a more interesting patio? Flagstone is the way to go!
Three major attributes come to mind when discussing the design of a flagstone patio: The cost of materials is definitely a consideration that should be investigated. How will your patio be manufactured; which design can you choose that will match your home decor? Once it’s complete, how will you make its beautiful finish last?
All of these questions need answers; luckily, I have them for you! If this is your first time installing a flagstone patio in your backyard, or if you’re upgrading your current one, the solutions for creating your customizable patio are right here. Here’s what you should know.
Is A Flagstone Patio Expensive?
Although not expensive, it does cost a pretty penny to install a new flagstone patio. The excavation process, as well as the cost of each stone are facets that create the price. A project like this won’t break your pockets, but it might bend them a little bit.
The major determinant on the cost of your flagstone patio is based on the size of it. A flagstone patio is made up of natural stone that comes in numerous sizes. The wider you want your patio to extend, the more it will cost.
Think about how large do you want your stones to be. Will they be compacted in one area, or spread out amongst your backyards? If localized, it will be more affordable; however, the more material you need, the more the project will cost to properly install.
How Much Does A Flagstone Patio Cost?
The national average of a flagstone patio is between $15 and $30 dollars per square feet; total cost of professional installation is anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 dollars. Now, the beautiful part about this price is that it includes your base materials, such as concrete, compacted sand or gravel, plus the mortar and labor cost! Not bad, right?
But what places this type of patio at a premium? Well, as stated before, flagstone consist of natural stones. If the stones are derived from a specific areas, or is of a rare type, then obtaining them may be more of a challenge, thus more cash is needed.
In addition, shipping the stones to your location is a significant price influencer because of the rising gas prices. That cost of shipping the stones may come out of your pocket and be reflected in the bill. Also consider if your stones are factory-cut or irregular.
Irregular stone cuts need more precise fitting, thus an increase in labor cost, while factory-cut stones are usually all the same size, therefore, less time in labor and less money to spend.
What Is The Best Flagstone For A Patio?
There are several types of stones to choose from to design the type of patio you want. Limestone, Slate, Travertine, Sandstone, Basalt, Bluestone, and Quartzite are the most common Earth material that is used to perfect this project.
Out of the list above, the top 3 most popular flagstones that are used for backyard patios are:
All in all, the best flagstone for a patio is based on the design that you want.
If you are looking for a more natural look, then Limestone or Sandstone will be your best bet. If you want a more elegant scene, try out Bluestone or Quartzite. These stones will catch the attention of any guest that takes a gander at it.
How Long Does A Flagstone Patio Last?
Days? No; Weeks? No; How about months? No! Try centuries! Yes ladies and gentlemen, when properly installed, a flagstone patio can last centuries, or hundreds of years!
But is it all that shocking? Remember, flagstones are simply stones, or rock-types, that are derived from the Earth; and even in your backyard, it goes right back into the ground, where it’s supposed to be. These stones are extremely durable against human efforts and nature’s elements alike. The stones won’t wither away without a fight, and takes years for them to erode.
If you want to keep your flagstone patio tight, use concrete mortar to keep the stones more stable for a longer period of time. Not a fan of concrete? Sand as a dry construction is also a suitable replacement.
Are Flagstone Walkways Slippery?
Flagstone walkways are usually only slippery when they are wet, like when it’s raining, for example. Majority of the time, they tend to take on the temperature and attributes of the outside weather due to the stones being of nature themselves.
If you have a pool, then you should expect your flagstone walkway slippery anytime the pool is used. The stones that are typically used are not as porous; so because it doesn’t absorb the water, the liquid remains on the surface of the rock.
Material, such as smooth concrete, Marble, Granite, or Tiles are known to be the most slippery.
Combat this issue with textured concrete; aggregates, or small pebbles and stones, are a healthy form of keeping flagstone from becoming too slippery. Here’s a trick: build your patio with a drop angle at about ⅛ inch; this will allow for the water to drain away from the stones.
How Thick Should A Flagstone Patio Be?
Foot traffic and Mother Nature can be a pretty impactful force on any flagstone patio. To keep it from cracking under the pressure, your flagstone patio should be about 1 ½ inches to 2 inches thick.
The thicker your flatstone is, the stronger it will be, and the better it will hold up against excess weight, and cracking. Although it is the best choice, it does a drawback: thicker stones are known to be slightly more expensive than thinner options.
How Many Pavers Do I Need For A 12 x 12 Patio?
The size of your patio is the first determinant of the amount of pavers needed, along with the total cost of other materials needed to complete the job. The 12 x 12 dimensions are the typical size of an average backyard patio. At this size, a 12 x12 patio would require 1 paver per square foot.
An easy way to determine how many pavers you need for your patio is to divide the square footage of the patio by the square footage of the pavers. Once you’ve calculated the numbers using this simple formula, you’ll be able to determine your number of pavers for proper installation of your new flagstone patio.
What Is The Best Base For A Flagstone Patio?
The point of the base is to create a sturdy foundation for the patio to sit on, without sinking into the soil beneath it. There are many options to choose from, like Sandstone, or a common favorite: concrete. Overall, any crushed rock can be used as a base of a patio.
The best base for a flagstone patio is crushed Limestone. It is less porous, has substantial versatility and durability to provide a strong base. It’s readily available for commercial usage, and thus more affordable than other stone bases.
When laying down the crushed Limestone under the patio, be sure to make the foundation bed about 6 inches thick.
This is a two part process; first, spread out about 3 inches of limestone, then crush it a little more using a mechanical compactor. Once completed, lay down the remaining 3 inches, and repeat the compacting process for a solid foundation.
Should A Flagstone Patio Be Sealed?
If you want to keep its natural beauty and freshness, then you should seal your flagstone patio. Outdoor material is known to become stained from the mixture of natural minerals and excess moisture. To reduce the significance of stains, a sealant is necessary.
Try out a matte finish sealer. It is known to efficiently and effectively fill in the miniature holes in the flagstone, while applying a water-resistant finish to the stones’ surface. This will allow any liquid to simply roll away into the grass. Sealers and finishers can be easily applied to the patios’ surface with a paint brush or paint rollers.
Oh, and another thing: when it comes to sealers, refrain from using glossy finishers, as they are known to not mix well with some stones, and could distort the natural aesthetics of the patio.
How Do You Fill A Crack In A Flagstone Patio?
As strong as flagstone is, they will begin to wither and erode at some point in time. You’ll know this by the apparent cracks that will begin to form from the Earth stretching outward beneath it.
Follow these simple instructions for filling in flagstone cracks:
- Put on a pair of protective eye wear to keep shrapnel from entering your eyes.
- Grab a chisel and hammer, and begin chipping away at the edges of the crack. The inside should be as smooth as possible.
- Sweep away as much debris as possible from the cracks. After sweeping, apply a damp cloth to the cracks to lightly moisten them for the filler.
- Mix clean water with 3 parts sand and 1 part cement to create a thick, creamy mortar solution; if you don’t have the materials to create your own, use a pre-manufacture cement patch mix.
- Use a Masonry Trowel, or a flat metal material, to spread the filler mix. Start at the bottom of the crack, and fill it until you reach the top.
- Remove any excess amount of the solution that has overflowed from the cracks . Then, cover the patch of fresh mix with plastic wrap, and allow it to dry approximately 2 to 3 days.
Can I lay Flagstone Directly In Soil?
To my surprise, and maybe yours, yes, flagstone can be directly lye in soil. The reason as to why is because these natural stones are big and heavy enough to sit within the soil comfortably, without sinking. Remember, flagstone is simply earthly rock.
You can lay flagstone directly in the soil by accomplishing a few steps:
- Measure how much space your want to reserve for the flagstone.
- Use a shovel to dig about 6 inches deep into the soil. You want to simply flip the soil in the same spot that you dug it; do not throw it aside.
- Once the entire reserved soil has been turned, rake the soil to break up any dirt clumps. Remove all the grass that you find.
- Place the flagstone onto the soil. Turn it from side to side to properly shift it into the dirt. Use a tool, or your hands, to push more dirt to the edges of the stone to create a sturdy foundation for it.
- Add more flagstones to your area. Shift them, and provide the same foundation for them as you’ve done for the first stone.
- Once all the stones are laid, sweep away excess dirt, gravel, and debris. Rinse the surface with water, and sweep away the extra moisture. Let it dry for about 2 days.
Flagstone that lay directly on soil adds a more organic feel to your backyard patio, and still allows for plants to grow freely around them.
How Do You Maintain A Flagstone Patio?
Flagstone is fairly easy to maintain. Although made from Earth, there are particular solutions, mixes, tricks and tips to restore the youth of your patio. With proper maintenance, your flagstone patio will last a very long time. Check this out:
- Regularly sweep away dirt and debris to reduce build up that could cause mold, mildew, or attract wild animals.
- Remove any stains or marks from your stones using a bleach or muriatic acid solution; a simple scrub will work, and be sure to rinse the solution away immediately after washing the stones to prevent further staining.
- Seal your flagstone with a finish sealant to protect it from elemental conditions and food stains, which will keep the natural color and tone of the rocks intact.
- If all else fails, simply remove the damaged stone, and replace it with another one.
How Do You Clean An Outdoor Flagstone Patio?
Just like maintenance, cleaning the flagstone patio is just as swift. How To Clean Stuff has created an easy-to-follow list of instructions on how to clean an outdoor flagstone patio.
- Put 1 tablespoon of dish liquid in a bucket with a gallon of water. Mix it well so that the soap forms a lot of suds.
- Dip a scrub brush, or wire brush, in the solution and scoop some suds off the surface of the water onto the scrub brush.
- Put on gloves and scrub the flagstone clean. Be sure to reach into the dips and curves as well, considering that is where bacteria breeds the most.
- If the stains remain, mix some ammonia into the bucket. If you don’t have ammonia, ¼ cup of kerosene can be used instead.
- Then scrub the stone with the brush and soapy water.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with water when the stains are gone.
If you have mold, simply use boiling water with a soapy mix. Pour and spread the hot solution onto the cleaning area – pour gently to refrain from splashing boiling water on yourself.- Once applied, grab your scrub brush and begin the cleaning process.
White vinegar is also a viable solution if you can’t obtain water. It has the power to kill environmental bacteria, and is used in many cleaning solutions for outdoor maintenance.
Does A Backyard Patio Increase Home Value?
Yes, a backyard patio will increase your home’s value! The aesthetics of an organic backyard, with the structure of a manufactured setting is all the rave in the housing market.
There are lots of materials and labor that goes into creating a perfect backyard patio, and it’s worth every penny! It’s estimated that a if a homeowner spends between $2,000 and $4,000 dollars to complete the project, the return on a backyard patio investment could be up to 80%.
Covered outdoor patios are the big money makers. Buyers interested in homes with outdoor patios are always excited about the protection that comes along with the beautiful scene of a backyard patio. This astonishment could add an additional 8% to 12% to your home value.
Is A Paver Patio A Good Investment?
Having a paver patio is a great investment to have on your property. The man-made design will add an outstanding feature to your home; and thus, increasing the amount of money that it’s truly worth.
Paver patios come in various styles and designs. The circular pattern is a common design that creates a visual feast for the eyes. The Herringbone pattern is an aesthetically pleasing design as well because they are laid down in alternating directions, and is a great addition if you plan on having guest or frequently entertaining.
The European fan style is prominent in Europe – of course – but also apparent in U.S. It’s beautiful fan shape is what does it justice. The most common design is the Running bond pattern, which is an organized, lined pattern.
Each of these patterns are an investment in itself, and when it comes time to sell your home, you will end up with more money than you started with!
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare