In another thread, you guys helped me on constructing a simple flagstone
Today I bought two levels to ensure that I get the water runoff right.
Checking the existing level of the existing flagstone shelf, I am
surprised to see almost no perceptible slope on the flagstone shelves
that were done years ago by professionals (presumably when the house was
Here is a picture of the lengthwise slope:
Widthwise, the slope is perceptible - but it's sloping TOWARD the
foundation (and not away from the foundation). Does that make sense?
For my new shelf (walkway) just below (to the left) where this picture is
taken - would you slope it away from the wall - or toward the wall as the
old shelves appear to be?
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 05:49:49 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
For the new 15-foot (or so) run of (now) tiled sandstone, I snapped a
line slightly sloped (bubble 1/4 over the line) and will try to lay the
stone to that line.
It's the INSIDE line (the short 15-inch slope) that I'm not sure how to
keep on a slight slope.
I snapped a line on the form wood - but the wood isn't going to hold that
line (I'm pretty sure) like the concrete foundation would:
How do you hold the line on the short edge of the block?
The problem with sloping the base is that the sandstones were of
Also, it would have been about 1.75 inches in depth (on top of whatever
depth the foundation already was).
In the end, I screwed up. I first laid about 1.75 inches of mortar but it
was too soft and the stones sank in it like quicksand. So I dug it up and
laid Sackrete concrete which was way way way too stony (I hate that stuff
now). So I dug the top part of that up - and put the mortar in.
It was a royal mess.
Here's a pic of the lousy edge due to the crappy Sakrete concrete mix:
I'm thinking of smoothing out that lousy aggregate look with mortar &
then painting it. Is that how you'd smooth it out?
1. Make base of sand mix mortar, slope it, let it cure then...
2. lay stones in Type S mortar - or maybe thinset - bed that is either...
a) thick enough so thinnest stone will be at desired level, tapping
thick stones down
- OR -
b) thin enough for thickest stone, adding mortar to thin stones
The stones are what makes concrete strong.
Don't blame Sakrete, blame yourself for not acquainting yourself with what
products are available and where/when to use them.
1. Knock off the concrete flush with a trowel. If too hard, with a hammer
2. Smooth area with thinset
I guess you recommended thinset since this is a VERY thin layer (just to
cover the holes in the concrete). I'll go to home depot to get the stuff.
Maybe even stucco mix might work to cover the mess left on the visible
edges when I used the Sakrete concrete mix under the stones.
It's about time someone said this. You're in way over
your head. You're making one amateur mistake after
another. Why screw around, do a lot of work, only
to have it look like crap and fail in a year? Just hire
a good mason. There are some jobs where experience and
skill make a big difference, and this is one of them.
Not to me. I have a block/stucco kneewall around our courtyard. Top is
capped with casr concrete "stepping stones" that overhang the blocks. At
one end of the wal where it butts the house wall, the cap stone was sloped
toward the house. Result? The grout joint was constantly damp; that
dampness migrated to the house block wall and was apparent by the house
paint being darker in that area. I finally knocked the cap off and sloped
it in the other direction. IIRC, I sloped it about 3/8" over its 16"
Mine is about that length so I'll use your 3/8" number for my slope away
from the house on the one end. And I'll do a slight slope AWAY from the
wall of the water feature on the other ends.
I'm worried that the mortar will set on the first stone before I finish
the last one (there are about 18 uneven thickness stones to set, not
counting triangles to fill gaps).
I'll try it today after snapping a final picture and asking any last
I screwed up.
At first I tried doing just a few stones. Then I started mixing more
mortar (two bags at once). Then I got frustrated and mixed all the mortar
& concrete (I had run out of mortar at one point so I used concrete).
At some point, I scraped it all up and started anew.
And, as you said, I 'should' have had all the stones cut. I left the
middle stone for last - but it took another ten or twenty minutes to cut
it to fit - so, all in all, I'd do it differently the second time around.
Plus, I didn't take into account that the shelf above was sloped to the
ground. See the results below:
Actually, for all your trials and tribulations, it looks pretty good.
Try to keep a nice, neat, straight line where the grout meets the existing
painted wall though, it will make it easier to paint the wall without
slopping paint onto the grout.
Yikes. I got this too late. It's all set in stone. But my intended slope
was nothing near that!
My chalk line, over about a dozen feet, was about 3/8" difference from
one end to the other.
Of course, that was just the dray chalk line - which was obliterated as
soon as I started with the wet concrete. So, that was the intent.
The reality shows the slope didn't work out the way I had wanted it to as
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