Flagstone is a popular outdoor design among homeowners. The shapes it takes and shades it comes in make flagstone an ideal medium and design for walkways, patios, and pool decks. Some opt for actual flagstones – a specific type of rock – but concrete can create the look and feel of this rock without breaking the bank. But even when a homeowner uses flagstone to make a patio, concrete is an essential part of the work!
What Is Flagstone?
Flagstone concrete can come in two forms: pavers and stamped concrete. Before we differentiate between them, it’s good to note that flagstone is a real type of patio material: it’s several types of sedimentary rock that, due to their lightweight, pale colour, and resistance to heat absorption, have become popular on patios and pool decks in hot climates.
These days, flagstone describes the pattern of the stones more than the material itself. It can still be the natural sedimentary stone like slate, limestone, sandstone, and bluestone, with each type of stone having a distinctive quality, texture, and colour. However, laying a patio made of actual flagstone is a highly-skilled job that requires the experience and artistry of stonemasons who shape and fit the materials on-site. All this can make the job quite pricey, and with our climate, these stones don’t impart all the benefits you’d find elsewhere. They can also be very slippery around pools, and because they are porous, flagstone can absorb and be damaged by the chemicals in the water.
Luckily, the always dependable concrete can simulate the look of flagstone without high labour or material costs. If we use concrete pavers to make a flagstone-style patio, we lay down irregular square or rectangular units according to a client’s style preferences.
If a homeowner wants to make the job even easier, they can have coloured concrete stamped to look like flagstone. Concrete is a versatile material, and we can add pigments to make it look like any type of natural flagstone. We then take a stamp with a flagstone design made to look like an irregular design and imprint it into the concrete.
Why Should You Choose Flagstone Concrete?
Whether we’re using pavers or stamping concrete, flagstone concrete is an inexpensive alternative to real flagstone that looks almost identical to the real thing. It also brings many benefits: durability, a rich range of colour variation, and water will either permeate the narrow packed joints (pavers) or run right off the surface (stamped concrete).
Concrete does not get as hot as most types of flagstone in the sun, making them an ideal surface for a pool deck. It’s also a great alternative to wood – it saves the homeowner time and energy staining and resealing the deck, and it’s invulnerable wood rot, splintering, and bug infestations.
If you choose real flagstones, concrete is still necessary for the base layer. It can be poured concrete and mortar, fixing the stones to a solid slab layer. If you choose concrete paver stones, the layer can be fixed into a compressed gravel base topped with a layer of sand.