Should I build A Flagstone Patio?
What is Flagstone?
Flagstone is a hard, flat stone, often cut for paving slabs, walkways, patios, and more. Cut or split flagstone is becoming increasingly popular for patio floors because of its distinctive, natural look. Typical colors are red, blue and buff.
Benefits of Flagstone:
Flagstone is extremely durable and can last for centuries. Because it’s laid one stone at a time, installing a flagstone patio is a relatively simple do-it-yourself project, but a time-consuming one.
Drawbacks of Flagstone:
The size and heft of some of the stones makes flagstone somewhat cumbersome to work with. Also, in order for the patio to be level, the depth of the base must be adjusted to accommodate the varying thickness of the stone.
Equip yourself with a back brace before handling this extremely heavy stone. Many homeowners choose irregular shapes of flagstone, which makes installation a bit like putting together a puzzle. Installers may choose a simple dry construction - setting the flagstone in sand - or a more permanent installation, which involves concrete mortar.
Flagstone Performance In Heat and Sun:
Because flagstone reflects sun, it can get pretty hot underfoot, and it can get slippery if wet. Still, flagstone handles different climates well and doesn’t expand and contract when the weather changes. A flagstone patio can last a lifetime if taken care of properly.
Flagstone requires little maintenance beyond regular sweeping away of debris that could leave stains or mold on the stone. Flagstone laid in sand needs regular readjustments to keep it level as it settles; while a flagstone patio set in concrete results in a permanent patio that requires virtually no maintenance.
Bleach and water will remove most mold stains, but grease or rust stains call for harsher chemicals. Because flagstone is laid in pieces, it’s easy to replace broken or cracked stones without tearing up the whole patio.
A Tip: Don’t seal your flagstone. In the hot sun, sealed flagstone becomes more likely to deteriorate and discolor.
Cost of Flagstone:
- $3 - $10 per square foot for material only
- $12 - $20 per square foot professionally installed.