What is UNDER flagstones on concrete? How do you keep the tops level? (Pictures)

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Chuck Banshee wrote:

Hard to tell from the photo, is it the footer for the wall? ______________

It doesn't, necessarily. If hosing and brushing does the job, fine; if not, HCl. What you want is for the old concrete surface to be clean enough for the mortar you will use to lay the stone to bond well to it.
--

dadiOH
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On Tue, 31 Jan 2012 07:07:20 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

I don't know what a 'footer' is; but it was almost certainly built when the wall was built so it must be what I'd call the 'foundation' for the wall.
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 11:32:52 -0800, Oren wrote:

That's a good point. I've already ruined a couple by chipping as I was cutting them.
Of course, that then means I have to be extra specially careful that I put the mortar in the "grout slots" (whatever the slots between stones is called) perfectly at the outside edge - or there will be messy blobs.
Hopefully, when it's done, I'll snap a picture and you guys might approve (with caveats, I'm sure). :)
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

The slots are called "joints". Or even "spaces". You pack the grout into the joints and yes, it will ooze out at the outside edge. After it sets a bit - or even before depending on how stiff it is - take a trowel and cut off the ooze out. Later, improve it more with the grout sponge someone mentioned.
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Status Update:
I've cut all but the final middle keystone.
Tomorrow I put the mortar down.
I have two questions about that - but I'll open a separate thread for each since it's not the original topic of this thread.
Here's a picture as I closed up shop just after the sun set tonight:

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-snip-

There may be a special one of these for stone-- I know they are indispensable [to me] when setting heavy blocks or carry bricks- http://www.capcityequipment.com/mbmothers2305.html
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Just a technical FYI, quartzite is not granite; it is metamorphized sandstone. For that matter, what most people call granite isn't granite; "igneous rock" would be a better term.
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wrote:

All I know is that it is as hard as Chinese algebra.
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UPDATE: It took way longer than I thought it would ... but here is the cut flagstone laid out (except for the one middle stone) ... ready for mortar tomorrow.
Left half:

Right half:

I'm going to try to bring the whole step up about two inches ... so it will be a challenge to see if the mortar dries before I finish the job.
:)
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On Sat, 4 Feb 2012 04:25:40 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee

Chuck, I'm no expert on this but is it safe to build up mortar 2" thick? Is this going to be outside with freezing temps? I was wondering if it's better to use some kind of cement that can be about 1 to 1.5 inches thick and then place these stones on top of it with mortar. I realize if I'm correct, this is more work and cost but I'm concerned about the longevity / durability of your stones and mortar. Well just a thought and I may be wrong of course.
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On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 00:43:47 -0600, Doug wrote:

I don't know either! (I've never done any of this before.)
I 'assume' mortar is as strong as concrete (which is basically mortar plus aggregate if I understand it correctly). Does the aggregate give strength or does it just give it bulk for cost reasons?
As for freezing, it 'can' get to freezing out here - but rarely does. We get a dusting of snow, for example, once every few years. Generally it drops to freezing about 5 times a year, and always at night only. By morning it's warmed up and melted.
One reason I need depth is the stones vary in thickness, even though I tried (I really tried hard) to keep the thickness variation down to a minimum.
Another reason I 'want' depth is that there is the high spot at the left- most side that is a ledge about two inches above the rest of the step. I don't have to meet the two evenly. I 'could' have a small 1-inch step.
The problem is hard to describe so here's a picture of the small ledge that has two flagstones in it. I was planning on bringing up all 20 flagstones to that same level to eliminate the ledge.

So that's why I need the extra couple of inches.
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On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 12:50:54 -0800, Oren wrote:

I have no idea how deeply the footer goes into the ground.
For better or worse, I've already set the first two stones to the upper level (which previously existed, at a 90degree right angle to the shelf that I am tiling):

My dilemma now is whether to raise the entire 20 tiles along the shelf ... or ... to have a small 2" rise for the first two stones.

That question brings up a point I had not mentioned prior.
Since I had dug down to the footer (which was 2 inches under the existing lawn), I now have the problem of the lawn being two inches higher than the shelf (if I don't raise the shelf).

As much as I hate the thought of building a form and pouring a thin (maybe less than 2") layer of concrete BEFORE adding the thick mortar to accommodate the varying thickness sandstone ... it's looking like I have to add a base to raise the tiles.
Drat.
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For better or worse, here's the final result, set in concrete & mortar: http://picturepush.com/public/7518004
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 12:15:42 -0800, Oren wrote:

I picked up a small cultivator from Lowes today. I will use that to dig up the lawn because it's currently HIGHER than the level of the sandstone shelf.
Here's the curing process ... http://picturepush.com/public/7524996
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 18:58:44 -0800, Oren wrote:

:)
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