Planning & Design
- When installing flagstone, consider the space and shape.
- Sketch the patio or path beforehand to get an idea of the overall design and placement in your yard.
- Use the sketch to map out the space in the yard using a measuring tape and marking paint.
- Flagstone is often irregular making it difficult to get the surface 100% level so it’s important to choose a space in your yard that is as flat as possible sloped away from the home for drainage.
- Write down exact measurements on your sketch. Multiply your patio width by the patio length to get the size in square feet.
- Do a quick estimate of flagstone required based on the square feet and size of stone.
- Determine the amount of landscaping materials required. We recommend at least 4- 5 inches of compacted road crush depending on the weight of your stone.
Rockland Landscaping Supplies has a Materials Volume Calculator and knowledgeable staff to help you determine the required amount of landscaping supplies.
Excavation & Preparation
- Before digging, always remember to contact the utility company serving you in the Edmonton Area to ensure it’s safe.
- Remove sod, old concrete and/or soil using a spade/shovel and wheelbarrow to haul away debris.
- To estimate the correct depth for excavation, consider the width of the flagstone, 4-5 inches for the road crush base, 2 inches for sand and the slope.
- Use your measuring tape frequently to check the depth against the desired height of the flagstone surface marked by your mason’s string.
- Once you have reached the right depth, base preparation can begin.
- Apply 2 inches of road crush at a time and spread evenly in the excavation site using a rake.
- Use a plate tamper and a fine spray of water to compact the road crush into a solid base.
- Repeat the last 2 steps until you have achieved uniformity right to the edges and proper elevation.
- Spread 2 inches of sand evenly over the solid foundation using a rake. Consider using levelling bars to help you achieve the right depth and appropriate drainage.
- Use a 2”X4” or a screed board to smooth and level the surface. If you’re using levelling bars, remove the poles carefully and fill in the gaps with sand and a trowel leveling off as you go.
- Avoid working yourself into a corner or walking on the sand layer.
- NOTE: Flagstones can be very heavy so take care when placing stones. You may need a dolly to transport the flagstones.
- Due to the irregular shape of flagstone, dry fit a few stones by laying them out on the grass to ensure you have the proper shapes and sizes for each section of your patio or pathway.
- If smaller stones are required, mark the stone at your desired fracture point and carefully hammer the stone for a clean break. Or allow the stone to self-fracture by allowing it to fall gently on a hard surface.
- Start placing flagstones in the desired pattern from the corner working your way in.
- Install flagstones by wiggling and pressing them into place keeping the gaps consistent and as close together as possible.
- Use a hand tamper or rubber mallet to secure the flagstone in the sand base.
- Use mason’s string as a marker and a level to ensure your stones are as level as possible removing or adding sand underneath the stone as needed.
- Use a hand tamper to go over the entire stone surface working your way from the outside edge inwards to ensure all stones are firmly in place.
- Spread masonry sand over the flagstone using a hard bristle push broom to fill gaps.
- Spray with water and repeat the above step until all cracks are completely full and flush with the stone surface.
- Sweep off excess sand.
- Use sand on the outer edge to blend seamlessly into grass or garden area or consider using edge restraints or edging stones to create a finished look.
- Pro tip: Apply a stone sealer to protect and preserve the natural colour of the stones against the damaging effects from the environment.
- DIY flagstone patio project complete!
Rockland has a large selection of flagstone plus Edmonton landscaping supplies and equipment rentals for your garden projects.
Please contact us if you have any questions and join our Facebook Group to get advice from our knowledgeable staff and landscape experts! Ask questions, share your experiences and your garden photos with us!