Flagstone is one of the most popular choices for paving pretty much anything in front yards and back yards. And it’s easy to see why! It’s durable, relatively cheap, easy to install and has a huge variety of styles and uses! You can pave a bigger area, like a patio, with it, or just create a walkway as a stone path! Let’s start with the advantages:
Advantages of Flagstone
- First, it’s durable. Flagstone is basically solid rock. It’s not going to break, crack or erode easily. And even if, depending on how you placed it, it may be quite easy to replace!
- Also, it’s cheap. At about $3-$5 per square foot, flagstone is quite affordable. Of course, fancier, more exotic types are more expensive, up to $25 per square foot.
- It offers huge variety. You can use the same color for all stones, two very similar shades or completely different shades. From very light, sand-colored stone to very dark stone – whatever you need!
- It is very versatile. You can put it in a bed of concrete for a rather smooth floor, or put it directly in the earth for some grass in the space between the rocks. Or put them in the earth with a bigger distance between each for a stone path.
- Very interesting material. Every stone is unique, so it looks both natural and interesting – much more than the exact same pattern over and over again. Maybe not the best choice for a modern, sleek look, but perfect for pretty much everything else!
- It is low maintenance. Rather easy to wash if necessary, and doesn’t require any special care. A great feature if you are lazy!
- Natural and lively. Especially if placed directly in the earth, it’s a great stone to walk bare foot on, with patches of grass or moss in between.
- No drainage problems if you plant it directly in the earth.
Disadvantages of Flagstone
- Can be expensive. Didn’t I just put “cheap” as an advantage? Yes, there’s cheap flagstone, but also expensive one. If you want something a little more exotic or exciting, it may be quite costly.
- When natural, not perfectly even. This can be an inconvenience when you put furniture on it.
- Erosion can be a problem with softer flagstone, like sandstone. The natural wear and tear will show after years, leading to discolored stones.
How to install flagstone
There’s basically three options:
- Placed in earth
- Placed in sand and gravel
- Placed in concrete
When you put the stones in earth, you can have grass or moss in between each stone. For flagstone in sand and gravel, you can either be filled with sand or can be mortared for a smoother surface. When placed in concrete, there should be mortar in the spaces between.
Flagstone placed in a bed of sand and gravel is also called Dry-laid Flagstone while placed in mortar/concrete is called Mortared Flagstone (suprise).