Dry set base for flagstone patio


Old 08-30-06, 10:23 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Dry set base for flagstone patio

I've got my hole dug, my arbor built and the form set on the edges with 2x6s.

Yesterday, when I went to the yard to order my stone, gravel and sand, the lady tells me to not worry about the sand and just use the crushed, compressed gravel. She says something about sand being round and rolling while crushed gravel maintains its crystalline structure so won't move around as much resulting in less problems with the stones moving.

Anyway, I've been reading around a ton this morning and I can't find anyone who sets straight into gravel. Lots of people who do gravel then sand and even more that just do sand.

In addition, I dug my hole a bit too deep. It's about 7-10" deep (I was a little gung ho, I guess). I'm going to backfill a good deal of that with dirt so that the dirt is at least level with the bottom of my staked 2x6s.

Now, I've ordered about a 1.5 tons of the gravel which is going to give me about 3". My stones are 2" so that leaves me another 1" or so. Here are my options:

Backfill with more dirt and just use the gravel ordered.

Order more gravel and set in gravel

Get some sand. This has three sub-choices then. Do I just sent in 1" of sand on top of the gravel or is that not enough? Do I not backfill with as much dirt and leave room for more inches of sand inside the form? Do I reduce the gravel to 2" coverage and do 2" of sand?

Any feedback from those who might know a thing or two about a thing or two will be appreciated.
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Old 08-31-06, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4
Wink Setting Flag Stone

I too will be setting flagstone dry in the next couple of weeks. My wife wants the flag stone set so that we can plant ground cover between the stones.

Local Nursery Recommendation:
Compact dirt, then lay 2" decomposed granite, compact, lay 2" sand, compact, lay flagstone.

A book I recently purchased outlined the following steps:

1. Outline walkway and excavate to a depth of 6". Leave enough room for edging and stakes.
2. Add 2" layer of compacted subbase, rake smooth.
3. Install edging and stakes.
4. Lay fabric material.
5. 2" layer of sand to serve as base for flagstone.
6. Screed sand smooth.
7. Lay flagstone with no more than 2" gap.
8. Tap flagstone in place.
9. Fill the gaps with sand.


I plan on compacting the ground before and after adding the subbase.

I will fill the gaps with top soil (nstead of sand) to a depth of 2" between stone so that the ground cover will have a chance to take root and grow.

I am a novice, but this is the direction I am headed. I hope this helps. Any further input from anyone would be appreciated.

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