I'm going to lay a small flagstone patio. I've consulted various books,
but they differ in suggested method. All recommend digging down 6
inches. However, some recommend putting in a layer of gravel before
making a sand base while others just say to put in sand.
I'd appreciate advice on this matter.qrw
It depends on where you live. if there is no danger of frost and cold
winters, then you will be fine with sand. if you live in a colder
climate, without proper drainage you will get frost heaves that loosen
your flagstone and wash away the sand. i live in the northeast and on
every patio and walkway i've done i start with 6" of crushed stone,
followed by 1" of stonedust, and after laying the flagstone or pavers,
i finish with a sweep of either sand or stonedust depending on the look
and color combination i am trying to get. the finishing sweep of sand
needs does need to be refreshed every year though.
I'm not a great believer of a sand base for flagstones. I have a
walkway/path of them, and the sand tended to just wash away, and the
flagstones needed to be redone. I had the best luck of laying them on
a bed of gypsum and fine gravel. I filled the spaces with pea gravel.
They are much easier to maintain now.
it depends on how flat you want it at all times. our flagstone "path" was
by setting the stone down, cutting around it, picking up the sod and dropping it
do a little digging here and there to adjust uneveness underneath ... I water
and then stamp on the stone until it is sitting solidly with no wiggle. watering
deeply also helps the grass survive. the grass does grow up around the stones
very nicely. if they heave a bit in spring, well they settle down after the
few rains. Ingrid
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Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
Thanks for the advice. I have one more question, however.
The yard slopes slightly. If the bed is perfectly level, there will be
a lip on the high side. Should I I measure the slope before starting
and attempt to make the bed slope with the gound or is there some other
I just finished laying flagstone pathway in 4" sand base on a slope and
applied this method.
At my beginning point I used a strong piece of twine level with the flags.
Tie it around a spare flag, other end same way at the ending point. This
will give you a gradual even slope with the lay of the land. Remember to
check pieces level as you go with a scrape piece of wood. 2x2 or 2x4. You
may have to readjust a stone several times to get it right. Step on each
piece as you lay it out to check for wobbles. Adjust your sand underneath
until it feels right. You don't want any toe stumpers :) I used River sand
delivered by the scoop. It took 2 scoops (buckets) to do 260 sq ft. counting
the base and between the flags. It will settle some and need more sand swept
over. I helps to pack it down with a gentle spray wetting with the hose.
Here is a good website. http://www.pavingexpert.com/layflag1.htm
I still have 2 pallets of flagstone to finish a stepping stone pathway
throughout the garden. I worked a solid week in the beginning just to get
the large path from the door to the driveway completed. (I took a break to
do my planting and other fun stuff) The rest will be on a "When I feel like
it" schedule. It back breaking work so take it nice and easy. I sure
wouldn't want to do this for a living. :)
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