Entrances are the first part of the landscape that people see. Therefore, these areas should not only be designed in a way that enhances the home or garden’s appearance but should also create a warm, welcoming feeling, enticing others to take a closer look. One way to achieve this is by placing attractive flagstone pathways.
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What Is Flagstone?
Flagstone is an umbrella term for sedimentary rock that is used in landscaping and paving. These stones are formed over time by heat and intense pressure, so small particles are bound and make them denser and more robust. This rock is then cut into thin sheets which are now more commonly known as flagstone.
Although most flagstone is made primarily from sandstone, it can also come from limestone or quartz. It also comes in different thicknesses, which ranges from 1.3 cm to 5 cm. Also, they come in a lot of colours like red, beige, pink, and brown, but sometimes some variants are in green, blue, or white.
Also, there are a lot of benefits to using flagstone in your pool deck or patio. They’re incredibly durable so that they will last for a very long time. Aside from their strength, they don’t need the right type of soil base, so it is effortless to install. They also have a very natural look and vibrant colour, making them a very viable choice to beautify your home.
How Is It Used as Paving for A Walkway?
A flagstone walkway is very simple to build and quickly beautifies your outdoor space. It also provides a clear path to your garden, garage, shed, or any points of interest in your lawn. It is also very durable, needs little to no maintenance, and blends easily with almost any kind of outdoor décor.
How Is It Laid?
Once you have chosen the flagstone walkway design, mark off the area with stakes and string. Dig out the soil about 6 to 8 inches, keeping it as even as you can with a level. Slightly slope the walk with the grade, however, to ensure adequate drainage and prevent water build-up.
Excessively sloped areas may require the incorporation of steps or terraces with the footpath. It may also be a good idea to set up a form using pressure-treated boards to hold everything in place. Clear away any obstacles and rake the area smooth. You can apply a layer of landscaping fabric or leave it as is. So, it is your choice.
Depending on the depth, fill in the excavated area with half gravel, half sand, levelling and tamping as you go. Arrange the flagstones firmly in the sand, leaving 1.3 cm to 2.5 cm between them to create a formal design or space them irregularly for a more natural and informal appearance. Position the most massive stones at each end of the walk, placing the individual pieces together to create narrow, uneven joints.
Make the spaces between the smallest stones where traffic is most substantial and widen them out toward the sides of the path. Once the flagstone path has been laid entirely, fill in the gaps with a mixture of sand and soil by applying it onto to the path. After that, sweep it into the cracks with a broom.
Water the flagstone pathways thoroughly to settle the rocks in the joints, tamping all stones with a rubber mallet. Allow this to dry and fill in empty joints as needed. Repeat the process until the joints are filled.
Can I Use Different Kinds of Stone?
These are some of the types of flagstone that you can choose from:
- Sandstone: This is a sedimentary stone that is formed by layers of sand. They have colour patterns that are soft pastels and range from beige to red. Also, they stay cooler in summer, durable in most situations, and very affordable. But they tend to absorb water, not very durable in colder climates, and some colours can be soft and flaky.
- Quartzite: This is a form of metamorphosed rock with a glossy smooth surface. It has speckles of silver or mica, and it commonly has blends or greys and golds. They are very hearty, resistant to damage, holds up in colder climates, chemical resistant, and has a non-slip surface. But since it is a hard stone, it is harder to shape and form and needs more maintenance because it has a rough, textured surface.
- Bluestone: This stone has a blue-green sandstone colour but is denser than other stones. Its colours range from blue-grey, khaki, and purple. This stone is tough, provides a non-slip surface, and is suitable for cold climates. But it requires to be sealed to preserve its colour and to protect it from scratching or staining.
- Slate: This is a metamorphic rock that is often multicoloured. Also, this easy to shape and form and is ideal for flooring and wall cladding. But it can easily shatter, and it needs to be sealed to have stain-resistance and sheen.
- Limestone: This is a light-coloured stone that is composed of calcite. It has a natural split surface that can be polished. It is also usually found in creams, beiges, or greys. This stone is very durable and long-lasting, and it is weather-resistant. But it is cumbersome to carry and susceptible to acid.
- Travertine: This type of limestone has colours that range from golds to beiges. Its surface also has pitted or tiny holes that can provide excellent grip when placed outdoors. Also, they are very durable, more premium-looking, stays cool when placed indoors, and very affordable. But it can be challenging to maintain, especially if the surface is very pitted.
Is It Easy to Lay Flagstone?
Laying flagstone patios in sand or stone dust, instead of mortar or concrete, is known as dry-set or sand-set. Dry construction is much easier for DIYers because you can build straight on the ground, while mortared stone needs a concrete slab foundation to reduce cracking in the mortar.
Does Flagstone Cost A Lot?
The national average cost of flagstone is $20 to $30 per square metre. This price includes the mortar, base material, and labour. The average price for the stone alone runs along $3 to $4 per square metre. It is frequently used as flagstone material due to its low cost (from $115 to $150 per ton).
Sam Christie is the owner and operator of Christies landscapes, founded in 2013 Sam and his team of landscapers and designers have many years experience in the landscape construction industry. Over the years they have developed and refined a broad range of skills, qualifications and techniques to deliver outstanding projects throughout the Canberra region.