Friday, January 28, 2011

Hardscape – Oh that’s Hardscape - Flagstone

Flagstone patios, paths and stepping stones

Flagstone is a natural, flat stone that is great for making very natural looking patios and paths. There are several different kinds of stone avaible and you can install it in different ways to give the area a different feel.

Flagstone comes in several different varieties like Arizona, Three Rivers, New England Blue Stone, Oakley stone and many more. The main keys to picking the stone, is color, texture and thickness. The color of the stone should pick up hues of the surrounding environment (boulders, patio, bark...) and should not clash with the surrounding colors (house color and trim…). Flagstone should be flat and smooth – this will make it safe to walk on (no stubbing toes) and will also make it easier to install. Thickness for flagstone patios and paths should ideally be 2” thick and hopefully be sorted at the stone yard.

When installing flagstone, there are several finishing touches that will give the stone a different look. When working with a softer stone like Arizona flagstone, you can saw cut the joints and edge to give the path or patio a more finished and uniform look. If a more naturalist look is desired, arrange the stone in a puzzle like arrangement so that the gaps are around 2” wide but no larger than 4” wide. These gaps can then be planted with woolly thyme (or other groundcovers) to give the patio a more organic feel. If you do not want to deal with groundcovers, fill the gaps with mini rock mulch, but make sure the rock mulch is compacted well between the stone to ensure it doesn’t get kick up too much. Flagstone can also be used as a stepping stone path, just space the stones as per your stride in lawn or planter areas for an informal path.

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