Flagstone is a very popular masonry material for many home improvement projects here in North Texas. At McFall Masonry, we have completed hundreds of projects with flagstone. There are many different styles and possibilities: flagstone patios, flagstone stepping stones, flagstone veneer on homes, flagstone veneer on outdoor fireplaces, flagstone veneer on BBQ kitchens, outdoor bars, etc. Often, we’ll wrap patio cover posts with flagstone. Flagstone can be installed on almost anything.
Flagstone comes in a lot of types and sizes. Oklahoma flagstone is the most popular here in North Texas and can always be matched up against existing flagstone. McFall Masonry installed a flagstone addition at home that was being restored. The home was over 100 years old and had an existing flagstone patio that had been installed when the home was built. The mortar joints had a different look due to the tooling method of the time. The flagstone needed power washing, but aside from that, the flagstone we installed over 100 years later matched what was already in place.
Flagstone is a little pricey for sure. When looking at flagstone types, keep in mind that if the flagstone comes from a distance such as Tennessee or Arizona or Montana, the cost may literally double compared to Oklahoma-style flagstone. It’s not that the flagstone is any better quality, but in fact the quality will be the same. The cost increase is do to shipping, as it costs a lot of money for transportation across the country.
Flagstone patios are usually installed in two different ways:
- On granite
- On sand/dirt
The latter costs less, but has draw backs, it can move around, sink etc. We cannot have mortar-style joints with this method because the mortar will crack a lot. Usually granite material is placed between the flagstone which this looks fine, but can keep your patio a little messy. The best method is pouring reinforced concrete just like a regular concrete patio, then placing the flagstone on the concrete with mortar. Then, mortar joints are placed in between the flagstone and. As discussed above, it’ll last well over 100 years, as the flagstone won’t sink or move around. Except for dirt falling from the sky as it does here, the flagstone will always look great using this method of installing on granite.
When selecting a contractor, make sure the contractor tells you their installation methods. Flagstone has different sizes and thicknesses. ½" flagstone should never be place as a patio. This size is for veneer only, so watch out as a contractor might use this type which we call ‘thin’. It spreads further, helping to keep the cost down for the contractor. But for a patio, it’ll crack, no matter how well it’s installed. A patio should be installed with 1 1/2 inch - 2inch thick flagstone. Flagstone stepping stones and counter tops should have a 3 inch thickness.