Tips and Tricks provided by Hillside Stone & Garden


~ How to prep for a Dry Set or Mortared Patio or Walkway ~


Dry Set Flagstone


        Tumbled Cowboy Coffee & Sockeye                  Ramshorn                    Pennsylvania Bluestone Dimensional   


 Dry Lay Start to Finish

1. Dry set patio stones can be set directly on top of any soil, but for less heaving from frost it is better to place on a base of sand or some other granular material. Using sand will also make it easier to level the stones off so they don't  wiggle when you walk on them.


2.  Spread 2” of 3/4” Stone Base and compact it well by tamping and watering or using a mechanical compactor.  Then layout a 1 1/2” thickness of 3/8 Cart Path as a bed for the flagstone. If doing a smaller area you could use 3/8” Cart Path for the entire base.


3. If you choose to install an edging for your patio or walkway, you can lay this out after excavation or after the layer of 3/4” Stone Base, depending on the edging material being used and the desired finish height.


4. If your stone is of varying thickness (which it probably is) add or remove the bedding material as you go, keeping the stones level with each other and your desired finished grade.  If a stone “wobbles” then it may be high centered,  to fix this simply leave a slight depression under the middle of the stone so the bedding material makes contact with the perimeter of the stone this should result in the stone settling firmly. Flagstone comes in a 3/8"-3/4" thickeness, 3/4"-1 1/4" patio grade thickeness as well as some in the 2-3" range. For a dry laid patio or walkway you would want to use the 3/4"-1 1/4" to avoid any cracking as its walked on.


5. When all of the stones are laid, fill the joints with the same 3/8” Cart Path , decomposed granite (dg), or another material as desired.  You can also use topsoil or a fine compost between the stones and plant compact groundcovers or ‘stepables’ throughout the entire project or just in select areas to create a softer look.



Mortared Flagstone Patio:

A flagstone patio, driveway or walkway that is placed with mortared joints is another popular option that will provide more stablility than a dry laid patio


Start by having a well compacted granular base so the winter frost does not heave the stone once it’s been set. This is also a great stone for fixing up an old concrete deck that needs updating. The stone can be mortared right over top as long as the increased height of the stone doesn't interfere with any doors opening etc.


If you are planning to set the stone in mortar, the thin 3/8"-3/4" thickness is useful and comes in a wide variety of colors and types of stone. Flagstone for a driveway should be at least 3/4" thick with a solid base underneath.  


Here at Hillside Stone & Garden we are happy to show you a number of different solutions for any project as well as recommend  some local contractors to help you get the job done right!


Here are a few samples from our NEW SHOWROOM of the most popular colour choices, come on in and take a look for yourself!


Birch Creek                              Cowboy Coffee                              White Mist


Sunset Gold                                   Mill Valley                                   Sockeye



Hillside Stone & Garden
2381 Staghorn Road, Duncan B.C.
                                                        V9L 6L7                                                           

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