Two of the most popular materials for designing a patio, pool deck or driveway are flagstone and pavers. Flagstone is natural stone, while pavers are a manufactured concrete product. Concrete pavers mimic natural stone and offer a more affordable option for your patio or deck. And while flagstone provides a look that’s more organic, pavers are ideal if you’re looking for uniformity in the spacing between the pavers. Pavers are set down in pre-set laying patterns, while stone gives you the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind patio. Both have their advantages, so the choice comes down to budget and personal style. Let’s check out some of the differences below.
When you hear flagstone, it means natural stone including travertine, slate, limestone, sandstone, and bluestone. Each stone has its own colour, texture and qualities, so you can choose based on your personal home design. While flagstone typically comes in square and rectangular shapes with varying sizes, you can also opt for irregular shapes and large slabs. Stone provides the opportunity for skilled stonemasons to design a unique pattern just for your home. It will take time to cut and lay the stone for your patio or driveway, but you’ll get a design unlike anyone else’s.
Manufactured pavers arrive from the factory cut precisely in their pre-set pattern. This means there’s minimal need for cutting the stone on site. Pavers come in random pattern sets and you can also order them in varying sizes and slab sizes. The materials are made with colour and texture to imitate natural stone like flagstone and cobblestone, and the concrete material meets quality standards of strength and consistent dimensions. If you have a pool in your backyard, pavers would be a great option for you since they don’t get as hot under the sun as real stone.
Construction and Installation
Pavers and flagstone are similar in preparation, however they differ in the composition of the base layer and the skill required for installation. Pavers sit stop a compressed gravel base topped with a layer of sand, while the base layer of flagstone is poured concrete and mortar. Pavers are set on top of the gravel and secured with polymeric sand, a manufactured sand that fills paver joints and keeps out dirt and weeds. There is little need for cutting or shaping pavers as they are manufactured in exact specification. Laying a flagstone patio or driveway, on the other hand requires skilled stonemasons to shape and fit the stones on site.
Neither flagstone or pavers require a ton of maintenance, but there will eventually be some routine upkeep for both. Due to seasonal freezing and thawing, patio pavers can experience some movement, but don’t fret as your contractor can easily remove and reset the pavers, fixing them into place. As for flagstone, the mortared joints can deteriorate over time (it usually takes at least ten years for them to start deteriorating even a little bit). In this case, your contractor will have to use a grinder saw to clean out the joints and replace the mortar.
There are pros to using both flagstone and pavers in your landscaping. Choose the one that will work best with your style and budget. And don’t forget, you can always use a mix! A flagstone patio and paver walkway (or other way around) can be a great way to stay on budget and get a gorgeous design!