How to Lay a Flagstone Path

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Estimated Time: 
24 - 36 Hours
Create the Path More Traveled

Creating a flagstone path to or around your home is surprisingly uncomplicated and adds a touch of charm to your yard. Even if you doubt your artistic abilities, building this mosaic-style path is just about foolproof. No matter how the stones may fall, (or how you place them) the result is relaxed, rustic and unfailingly unique. Let us show you how simple it is to create a path more traveled.

What's Flagstone?

flagstone

To brush up on our geology, flagstone is just an umbrella term used in DIY circles to describe flat paving stones such as limestone, sandstone, and slate. It's for this reason that flagstone comes in a variety of colors, from earthy browns to teal-hued blues. Flagstone is ideal for patios and paths, but is not durable enough for a driveway. Maintaining flagstone includes scrubbing the stones with some soap and a sturdy brush a few times a year. A power washer will take off anything your muscles can't.

Are You Ready to Rock?

General hardware stores are unlikely to sell flagstone in mass quantities or have a great selection. Call around before venturing out. We found a couple of building material stores which carried all kinds of different rock and tiles. The stone will either come in large slabs, approximately 1" to 2" thick, 3'X4' and 200 lbs. You can also purchase it in smaller pieces, roughly the size of a tile and a half. Buying the flagstone in a large slab is usually the better option for this project, since the smaller pieces are normally already cut. Breaking them apart would leave you with a bunch of tiny fragments, though you may want to consider this to fill space once the project is laid out.

If you are lacking helpers, have the rock delivered to your home. Most stores will offer to have your materials delivered and the price is dependent on mileage. If you are buying more than one slab, make sure the delivery people don't stack the stone. A better idea is to have them placed side by side, so you can easily break them apart. At an average of 200 lbs each, make sure they are placed exactly where you want them!

Prices range from $6.00 to $10.00 a square foot, or a little more than $300 a ton. A ton may seem like, well, a ton of rock, but it will cover about 100-120 square feet. Most stores however, sell flagstone by weight. We were quoted $0.13 a pound for your general run of the mill flagstone. Some stores will offer a discount if you buy over a certain amount of rock, but it's not always guaranteed. However it's best to know how much surface you are going to cover and then buy a little more for insurance. Outlining the path with siding or baking flour first and then measuring will give you an accurate estimate of how much ground you are going to cover.

Use a stone chisel and a rubber mallet to break apart big pieces of stone. The harder you hit the stone the more unpredictable the results. Slow, methodical raps will result in straighter lines. Be careful to watch what's underneath you as you don't want the pieces tumbling down onto your foot. And remember to use goggles (Ear protection may be useful for those with sensitive hearing) and have fun! Don't worry, you absolutely cannot mess this up. A variety of shapes and sizes only adds character to your path.

JANE TIP: To facilitate drainage, ensure your path follows your property's grade. This is important as you never want to have water running TOWARD your home. Be sure the water shed is sloping away from your home's exterior.

Finding Your Path

After you outline your path, excavate the soil inside it to 4 inches. Rake it smooth and remove any debris underneath. You may want to line it with edging, so that you have a clear idea of what your path will look like. Moreover, this will make the path look neater in the end.

Step 1

Laying the Groundwork

Option #1: Next, you can either line the ground with landscape plastic or fabric to prevent any weeds from inching upward. This is the best choice if you plan on placing pebbles or other small rocks between the flagstone pieces. Next, pour a 2-inch layer of sand over the plastic or fabric and rake it smooth. Lightly spray the sand with water and flatten the area with the hand tamper. Tampers are easy to use. Lift up the tamper and thrust it towards the ground to compact the dirt or sand. Power tampers can also be rented if the hand tamper is too heavy or daunting.

Option #2: If you want grass to grow between the stones, lay decomposed granite (DG) along the path instead of the plastic, layering it 2 inches thick. DG is cheap, easy to use and aids in drainage. It ranges about $20.00-$25.00 a cubic yard. Flatten the DG using a hand tamper several times.

Step 2

Rock Steady

Second to breaking the flagstone, this should be the best part of this whole project. Let your inner child come through as you create your puzzle-piece path! The good news is you can arrange and re-arrange but don't obsess. Do allow a ½ to 1-inch gap between stones if you plan on planting grass between them. If you are going the rock route, the stones can be slightly closer together. Wiggle the stones into place and- voila!-you are almost done!

JANE TIP: Once in the ground, give the stones a few taps with a rubber mallet to keep them in place. If they seem to sit too high or sink too far into the ground, add or remove sand as needed to make them even.

Step 3

Filling the Gap

Option #1: Fill the gaps in your flagstone with your pebbles, sand or gravel of choice. Sprinkle with DG to help get the stones.

Option #2: Fill the gaps in your flagstone with patches of grass. A mixture of DG and compost can be used as filler for the spots the grass can't quite get to.

You're finished! Now, get out there and enjoy gloating over how much charm and character your new flagstone path brings to your yard!

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63 comments

29
Mar

What a great idea! I tried something similar to this, but the material I used (not sure what kind of rock it was) broke very quickly. I recommend, like you do, to make sure the ground is as flat as possible underneath if you want to use thin rocks. We planned on making a path to a series of above ground pools which would be great for the kids (and, they keep reminding us, some fish!). Good luck to everyone with their summer projects!
1
Dec

Domestic furniture works to create, in conjunction with furnishings such as clocks and lighting, comfortable and convenient interior spaces. Plants for sale
20
Sep

This looks amazing. There are so many interesting designing concepts which one can put to use to beautify one's house. When someone buys a house so much effort is put into it to make that place comfortable and attractive. I bought a home few years back and now I want to sell it. I will be relocating to another place so I want to sell my house fast.
31
Oct

The path looks magical. It is interesting to that these little things could simply transform a house. We all have some ideas like these and if we share it with each other we would all be able to make our homes beautiful. Many people prefer different kind of residence now one such concept is park model homes.
9
Nov

I have been looking at above ground pools, and I want to make a pathway from the deck out to the pool.  I am wanting a nice look, but I love the look of the picture above.  I'm thinking that it might be better to have pebbles instead of grass just for keeping the pool clean.  Are you using an edging to "lay your path"?  I think it would be easier to mow around.  Thanks for the advice!
30
Nov

Thank you for sharing this post with us on how to lay this beautiful path for our pools walkway. Keeping your walkway clean can be crucial. It all depends on how clean you keep your pool. Having an in floor pool cleaning system can be beneficial because it can help reduce the pool cleaning maintenance, so you have more time to keep your yard clean.
22
Dec

Really very nice Article, I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing with us. Apart from using in road construction paving stones have so many uses.   Many home owners find it challenging to make a natural   flagstone patio, besides using these stones is a tough job.  
26
Jan

It was my dream to come home after work and walk on a flagstone path, now I made it real and I did everything by myself! It took me one week to finish it, the guy from junk removal Phoenix was so amazed to see the work I’ve done in a week, when he came to take the garbage he was confused because he thought he made a mistake and got to the wrong address.
31
Jan

I've been searching for a great way to lay down stone as a path in my backyard! I just recently built a pool in my backyard, and most of Arizona pool designs have a nice path like this. The pool company could've done it for us, but I figured this would be a great project to keep me busy this summer. Thanks for the great tips I will be using them!
15
Feb

Flagstone is really one of the good stone that can be used for interior decaoration in the living room and as it is made of of different colrs we can use it according to the color of the walls matching it. part washers
19
Mar

Use a flagstone path for a simple, beautiful walkway in your garden. A flagstone path uses just sand and water. It's more durable than concrete or paved paths, and resists weeds. A sand set path resists cracking and shifting, and allows you to easily replace any damaged stones. Thanks. Regards, phone number lookup
26
Mar

Even i am plaining to put few things for children and make walking path. I think the idea you have put here will help me alot. Flagstone path will give creative touch to yard. reverse phone lookup  
30
Mar

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post Clothing Wholesalers UK
6
Apr

I think creating a walkway with the given steps are really amazing. I found it interesting business for sale
10
Apr

A flagstone path curving to a gazebo or winding to flower garden is a natural pied piper, enticing visitors to various focal points of your property. With material readily available, little equipment needed, and stone to fit virtually any taste and budget. A flagstone path is one of the quickest ways to dress up your home. Thanks. Regards, local SEO
12
Apr

The pathway looks great.I`ve done something similar at my home last year and also bought a new exterior furniture and called Rye junk removal company to come and take the old one.
13
Apr

Here's is my DIY project that I did on Saturday morning. I've wanted to do this for some time now and when I told Mark that I wanted to put in a walk path from the sidewalk up to our front door walk way he said, and I quote: "go for it!" Well, I did! I knew I would need his muscles for some things, but I wanted to do most of it myself... packaging supplies
26
Apr

Flagstone is a generic flat stone, usually used for paving slabs or walkways, patios, fences and roofing. It may be used for memorials, headstones, facades and other constructions. The name derives from Middle English flagge meaning turf, perhaps from Old Norse flaga meaning slab. Thanks a lot. Regards, phone number lookup
27
Apr

This type of flagstone path is pretty greeny and looks fascinating but a few years back i have seen a movie in which there is a bungalow where a type of flagstone has been made and no surprise it is made of fish aquarium, i just loved the concept and thought of sharing here with you.Latest Cell Phone Blog
30
Apr

If the path is next to grass, you will need to edge it to keep the gravel out of the way of the lawnmower. I used a 1" x 4" piece of treated wood and 1' stakes pounded in on either side of the board every 4' or so to keep it in place. lingerie
30
Apr

I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else! Cystic Acne
1
May

An age-old problem with suburban homes is "How do I get to the front door?" Builders always assume visitors can walk up the driveway that connects to the walkway and voila you're there. Wholesale Jewellery
2
May

Lay the stones, fitting them close together like jigsaw puzzle pieces with ¼-inch gaps; the convex edge of one piece should fit into the concave section of the next. Twist each stone into the sand and tap it with a rubber mallet to set it. leadership training
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May

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May

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May

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May

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May

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7
May

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May

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