How to Install Flagstone Pavers

What You'll Need
Flagstone paving
Rubber mallet
Measuring tape
Spirit level

Flagstone pavers can make for a beautiful feature in any garden. They are durable and not easy to damage. They last a long time and are not particularly difficult to install. For anyone who has the basic set of DIY skills, plenty of time and the right tools at their disposal, installing flagstone pavers is a fairly straightforward procedure.

Step 1—Making the Preparations

Before you start, you will need to make appropriate preparations for the base of the paving. You will need to use the correct material and get it to the right compactness and the right thickness. This will help make sure that the installations are sturdy as possible and will last for many years. The preparations also depend on the type of soil. The excavation depth should typically be about 3 inches. This is normally enough to accommodate sand, mortar and the thickness of the stone paving itself. You may need to make it a little deeper, depending on the thickness of the flagstone pavers.

You can use a garden hose or some rubber tubing to mark the area where you are going to have the paving installed. When you have marked this area, dig out the excavation. Allow 2 inches of depth for the sand bass in addition to the width of the flagstone pavers that you have. When you have done this, fill the area with the sand to a couple of inches in depth. This is will then need to be leveled with a rake. This should be quite compact, and to get the best results, you may want to use an electric compactor.

Step 2—Installing the Pavers

This is the easier part. Working from the center of the path towards the edges, install the paving stones. Start with the larger paving stones, saving the smaller ones for the smaller gaps towards the edge of the path. Using a rubber mallet so not to break the paving stones, tap them down so that they are firmly placed in the sand base. At this point, you can also secure your flagstone pavers using mortar. If you are doing this, make sure you mix the mortar appropriately so that it has the right consistency and is moist enough. Use a trowel to apply the mortar in the cracks between the paving stones. You do not need to use mortar, but it can lend to a better and more durable end result. If you don’t use mortar, you can just use sand to fill in the gaps. If you use mortar, make sure you allow ample time for it to dry before using the pavement. This should typically take about 24 hours.

You may also need to cut some of the paving stones into smaller parts. Do this with a hammer and chisel, starting with an indented line in the stone, which should then fracture when you go around it again with the hammer and chisel.