View Full Version : Any recommended books on Flagstone Patio's

Frank Pellow
10-01-2005, 2:38 PM
Next spring I plan to build a flagstone patio (myself). I have never worked with flagstone and would like to read about proper techniques over the winter.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can recommned a good book on the subject. Any other advice (other than don't do it yourself) is also welcome.

Todd Burch
10-01-2005, 2:55 PM
No big thang Frank. Cut it with a masonary blade on a circular saw - worm drive is best. You can always break it for irregular edges. If going over existing concrete, be sure to cut lines to match the expansion joints in the concrete. I've not seen flagstone laid over anything but concrete, so check into that if your area is dirt right now. Flagstone comes in different thicknesses and hardnesses. The 2"+ thick stuff is usually for swimming pool coping. "Patio grade" is 3/4" to 1 1/2", round abouts. Pick your own pallet out when you go to the stone yard, or you may get a surprise when you order, say, "Arizona Peach" in a light reddish/orange and you get an "Arizona Peach" in a dark purple.

Mortar joints vary in width with irregular cuts. Similary size pieces, in my opinion, look best. As with an type of "tile" work, get a good bed of mortar down or you'll have hollow sounding areas.

A belt sander with 50 grit paper will smooth cut edges and round over corners if they have to be exposed.

You could probably find a SUNSET book or BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS book, maybe even an ORTHO book at your local home center.

I've done this trick before too. I find an expert in the field, and ask to hang with them for a day on a job. I work for free and get trained for free at the same time.


Vaughn McMillan
10-01-2005, 3:02 PM
Frank, I don't know of any books to recommend, but based on my experience repairing a flagstone patio at a former house, I'd recommend a good pair of knee pads (but you probably already had that much figured out):


My back won't allow me to bend over for extended periods of time, so I use knee pads for a lot of things others might not, like washing dogs or cleaning house. For me, they also come in handy when I've done something to upset SWMBO. :o

- Vaughn

George Grubaugh
10-29-2005, 10:17 PM
I had a patio laid in sand, no mortar. I wish I'd insisted on a proper mortar over concrete job.

I was surprised at the availability of pre-cut rectangles & squares to lay out the patio with.

I like it better than random irregular shapes.

Frank Pellow
10-30-2005, 8:59 AM
Thanks for the advice George. I have, indeed, been investigating alternatives to flagstone.

I purchased a Taunton book called Patios and Walkways and it has given me some basic advice and a few ideas. I would still, however, like a book with more details, technoques, and examples.