How to Lay Natural Stone and Flagstone Patio Stones.

Flagstone Patio Stones

If you’re thinking of updating your landscaping, then natural stone for your patio is a great choice. Not only can you enhance the appearance and comfort of your garden, but you can use a natural and reliable product for entertaining areas, patios, and walkways, giving you a space that will perform well for many years to come.

Here are a few key steps to follow when laying natural stone as well as different flagstone patio ideas.

Installing Flagstone Requires Some Expertise

Laying a flagstone patio is a project that requires precision, which is why it’s a construction project that is normally left to professionals or experienced DIYers.

If you’re taking this project on with minimal experience the knowledgeable staff at Van Beek’s can help! We carry a wide range of natural stone products from various suppliers including Unilock, which is a great choice for DIYers because of the step-by-step instructions offered on their website.

Flagstone can be laid in a few different ways: dry-lay or wet-set using mortar. The dry-lay method works well for residential foot traffic for patios and walkways and involves a number of steps:


Excavation is your first step when installing patio stones. The excavation for your patio will vary depending on your unique property but is often between 6” – 10” deep. This depth allows enough room for the base material, setting bed, and the natural stone pavers.

We recommend using excavation machinery like skid steers and mini-excavators to do the digging. But depending on the size of the patio or walkway, digging can also be done by hand. It’s also a good idea to use a geo-textile fabric in-between the excavated soil and the gravel base to ensure your base material stays in place and no weeds will come up between the stones.

Base Preparation

¾” crushed gravel should be used to support your natural stone patio. You may want to start with a base of 4” – 6”. This will give you a flexible base structure that will allow the natural stone to flex slightly during the freeze/thaw process, which is important to factor into your stone patio design.

Bedding Layer

A 1.5”-2” layer of limestone screening can be added on top of the crushed gravel base. Then, the natural stone pavers will be set on this graded layer of screening and will form the finished surface of your patio.

Stone Patio Ideas

Stone Patio Idea

There are many stone patio designs that can be used in various areas. Natural stone and flagstone come in a range of colours, textures and sizes.

Some other ways to make your patio stand out include:

– Creating a clean, yet bold look by matching the natural stone you select with hardwood or concrete pavers.
– Using different colours or textures for style accents including borders and inlays, to give a unique, finished look.
– Choosing natural stone with unique sizes and shapes. You can create a modern and sophisticated look using 24”x24” natural stone pavers or mix and match three or four different sizes of pavers for a more random look reminiscent of traditional bluestone patios.

Get creative and design a patio perfect for your home! Feel confident knowing how to lay natural stone. Contact Van Beek’s Landscape Supply for high quality paving stones or ask us for tips on how to lay natural stone. Our expert staff are on-site and happy to help.