What do you put under flagstone walkway?

flagstone walkway

A path in your garden

The use of flagstone for walkways has become more popular over the last 25 years. What exactly is flagstone though and what makes a flagstone walkway so beautiful? This sedimentary rock is split into layers alongside bedding and is typically a combination of feldspar and quartz that form the sandstone with arenaceous in grain size. 

Calcite, iron oxide, and silica bind flagstone together, giving it that generic, yet unique look, that is cut in regular rectangular shape or square shape. The popularity of this stone is used for fences, flooring, patios, roofing, and most commonly to create a flagstone walkway. 

Homes where the driveway is in the front, many homeowners are installing a flagstone walkway next to driveway with recessed flood lighting the way. With that combination, any architectural style home has an elegant appearance with safety in mind. High-end homes have a flagstone walkway and stairs leading to the front door, where stylish outdoor lights make a warm and welcoming entry. 

Is flagstone cheaper than pavers?

Let us provide this analogy: A  flagstone walkway is fine cabinetry that paver walkway is Ikea stone. So, with that analogy, that should answer your question: A flagstone walkway is going to be more expensive than a paver walkway. 

Does that mean you shouldn’t consider using pavers? Absolutely not! You need to choose the material for your home’s patio and walkway based on two things:  

  • Your personal style
  • Your personal budget

If you’re considering creating a patio or walkway, the hardscape industry has a constant stream of new products introduced every year. Most of the new products, marketed as “cobble stone” or “rustic stone”  are really just concrete pavers that mimic natural stone like flagstone. 

Walkways and patios can look just as good, but you need to realize the difference in the materials so that you can plan how to install them if you’re doing the job yourself. A professional contractor that has experience in creating flagstone walkways and patios will know the difference in materials and how to install the material. 

Getting to the dollars and cents of this question, the cost of a flagstone walkway can vary based on where you live. In this area, Texas, Arizona, California, flagstone is easier to come by because of the ground in the Southwest area.  Areas up north, like Pennsylvania, New York, this natural material has to be shipped in, thus it is going to cost more. 

Consider the value and your ROI before you turn away from installing a flagstone walkway. If you’re sprucing up your home on the cheap for a fast sale, then go with the pavers. However, if you want a permanence to your landscaping, something that you’ll enjoy for years to come, splurge for the flagstone walkway. 

Can you lay flagstone on dirt?

Yes, you can, and you can do this with or without a grass/weed blocking material between the flagstone and the dirt.  Flagstone walkway is a common landscaping addition along with flagstone patios, small retaining walls, and steps. Flagstone is reasonably heavy, so laying it directly on the dirt for a walkway, grass will grow up between the stones, giving it a rustic appearance. 

How do you prepare the ground for flagstone?

Once you have measured the area where you want to create your flagstone walkway or patio, and have purchased the amount of flagstone you’ll need, follow these steps:

  • Step One: Dig 3 to 6 inches deep in the area you’ll be laying your flagstone. Next, break up the clumps and smooth the area with a rake. If there is any grass, rocks. trash, or weeds, get them out of the area your paving.  
  • Step Two: Lay one piece of your flagstone in the prepared area, turning the stone side to side to work it into the dirt. Using a level, make sure it is level, yet with a slight pitch away from your house. 
  • Step Three: Using a hammer’s butt end, pack the dirt around the edges of the flagstone,  then make sure it doesn’t wobble by standing on it. 
  • Step Four: Lay more flagstones around and next to the first piece, adjusting them so they are two finger widths apart. Using the same hammer, knock off the corners so they fit together better, but keep the corners and edges looking natural. 
  • Step Five: Check each piece with the level, making sure they are flat with that same slight pitch away from the house for drainage. With the hammer’s but end, pack dirt around the edges. Repeat until all flagstone pieces are laid. 
  • Step Six: Sweep over the flagstones to remove any excess dirt to keep them in place and then rinse off with a light spray setting on the water hose nozzle. Let it dry for three to four hours, or longer, before walking on your flagstone walkway. 

What should I put between my flagstone?

In addition to the excess dirt you sweep off in between the stones, pour sand over the flagstones and then sweep it into the spaces. The fine granules of sand will fill in the space and keep them in place. 

flagstone patio close up

How long does a flagstone patio last?

A professionally installed flagstone walkway or patio can last up to ten years before any major repairs or redo is needed. If you don’t want to use sand to settle the flagstones, you can combine flagstone walkway cement to a permanent path.  

Wash the flagstones to remove all quarry dust. Next mix a batch of Portland cement with concrete sand, creating a fairly stiff consistency (2 parts sand to 1 part cement). Then spread enough cement, 1″ deep is typical, and place one flagstone. Using a rubber mallet tap the stone into the cement and continue this until the flagstone walkway is complete. 

A flagstone walkway is a beautiful, natural stone that will give any home a gracious entrance. Whether you’re in your home forever or you plan to sell sometime in the future, a flagstone walkway or patio will give you years of enjoyment or a boost for an ROI when sold. Call 817-948-4503 today for your flagstone pathway installation.