# How much & which direction would you set the slope in the level for a flagstone walkway?

• posted on February 3, 2012, 6:01 am
In another thread, you guys helped me on constructing a simple flagstone walkway.
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 built).
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?

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• posted on February 3, 2012, 10:49 am
On Fri, 3 Feb 2012 06:01:51 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee

I have to wonder if it was laid with pitch away and settled/rose over the years.
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• posted on February 6, 2012, 8:11 pm
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. http://picturepush.com/public/7508924
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: http://picturepush.com/public/7508952
How do you hold the line on the short edge of the block?
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• posted on February 7, 2012, 12:19 pm
Chuck Banshee wrote:

An easy way is to slope the base. What *IS* the base, BTW?
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 3:04 am
On Tue, 07 Feb 2012 07:19:37 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

The problem with sloping the base is that the sandstones were of different thicknesses.
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: http://picturepush.com/public/7517961
I'm thinking of smoothing out that lousy aggregate look with mortar & then painting it. Is that how you'd smooth it out?
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 12:06 pm
Chuck Banshee wrote:

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. _______________

I would...
1. Knock off the concrete flush with a trowel. If too hard, with a hammer and chisel
2. Smooth area with thinset
3. Paint
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 2:10 pm
On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 07:06:17 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

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.
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 2:23 pm

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.
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• posted on February 3, 2012, 12:56 pm
Chuck Banshee wrote:

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" length.

Away.
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• posted on February 3, 2012, 4:03 pm
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 07:56:49 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

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 minute questions.
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 3:18 am
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 08:23:11 -0800, Evan wrote:

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: http://picturepush.com/public/7517993
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 12:14 pm
Chuck Banshee wrote:

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.
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 3:11 am
On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 06:40:58 -0800, Sonny wrote:

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 shown here: http://picturepush.com/public/7517980
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 12:09 pm
Chuck Banshee wrote:

If you got that 3/8 from me, my 3/8 was for *one* cap 16-18" (inches) long. And the 3/8 also compensated for an out of level wall that had settled.
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• posted on February 8, 2012, 2:13 pm
On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 07:09:53 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

Yikes!