26 August 2021
How To Lay and Point Flagstones
Flagstones are one of the most beautiful natural stones you can find and they can be used in a wide variety of different ways, both inside and outside your home. Flagstones are a particularly good option if you’re considering having a patio laid down in your garden.
While you can hire a professional landscaping company to help you install the flagstones, it is possible to do it yourself with a little bit of planning, research and the right equipment. As well as the flagstones themselves, you’ll need to get your hands on a pointing trowel, shovel, string, spirit level, a mallet and ballast, which is a sand and gravel mix.
How To Lay a Flagstone Patio
Before you start, make sure you’ve laid out your flagstones in the way you want first so you can check the layout, size and that you have sufficient paving slabs to finish the job.
Use your string to set up two taut lines to guide the line and level of your paving, one running side to side and one running down the length of your patio area. Use the spirit level to check along the string guides. Once you’ve set out the area you’re going to cover, spread your mortar out to cover an area a little bigger than the slab you’re laying, then lower the slab into place. Then use a mallet to tap it down, hitting it firmly but not too hard (otherwise you run the risk of cracks!), working your way along the diagonals of the slab through the centre until it settles down to the level you want.
Repeatedly use the spirit level to make sure each and every paving slab is level and that you’ve included a fall, which is what you need to account for in order to ensure that water doesn’t collect on the slabs. This is something you need to calculate when laying the foundations, based on the width of your patio.
Continue until all your slabs are in place and then leave the patio for 24 hours or so to allow the mortar to harden. Make sure no one walks on it at this point!
How To Point Between Flagstones
Pointing is the final step in your patio installation and can be started once the mortar base has been given enough time to dry and harden. Once the paving slabs have been left to set for over 24 hours, using a soft bristled yard brush make sure that all the gaps are clean and free of any debris.
Using a pointing trowel, apply mortar into the joints, pressing it down firmly and and making sure you don’t get any on the surface of the slabs. Once you’ve finished the job, leave the mortar to harden and then give your patio a jolly good sweep. Task complete!