Flagstone patios are one of the most common types of patios for the average home in the 21st century. Not only is flagstone incredibly durable but it also appeals to a wide variety of individuals when it comes to personal preference for the way they want their patios to look and feel. Knowing whether to use stone dust or sand for the installation can mean the difference between perfection and an endless nightmare when it comes to Mother Nature.
Flagstone is a common type of flat stone that is generally used for paving slabs, fences, roofs and patios and is available at any home improvement store across the nation. As more and more designers focus on natural appeal for interior and exterior applications, it is only natural that flagstone is becoming one of the most popular types of patio material. Flagstones come in a wide variety of colors dependent upon the organic cementing material that bonded the sediment together over time.
Heaving is a common occurrence around the world and happens when ice forms beneath the surface of the soil during the winter months when the temperatures drop below freezing. Since the ice grows toward the direction of the heat loss--upward--the soil is eventually forced to buckle and bend to make way for the ice, otherwise known as heaving upward. There is unfortunately no way to completely counteract heaving, but there are a few methods that can be used to reduce the chances of heaving disturbing your flagstone patio.
One of the most important aspects of any flagstone patio is drainage because, the less water there is underneath the patio, the less chance there is for heaving to occur during the colder months. As a result, it is paramount to the longevity of a patio for there to be an extremely porous material used for the base so that water will drain as efficiently as possible, thus avoiding any potential damage to the installation.
While stone dust is available to be used as a base for flagstone patios almost as commonly sand, there are issues with stone dust that can cause problems for individuals living in areas where there is an excess of moisture or above average rainfall. Humid regions tend to fare worse with stone dust, because stone dust packs far more compactly than sand, which means water has less of a chance to drain. While a good product for use in arid areas, individuals living in humid states will want to avoid stone dust for their flagstone patio.
Sand is the most common and most effective material used in flagstone patio installations. The best type to use is beach-like sand. The reason sand works so well is because it not only packs good and has plenty of flexibility for shifting but it also has superior draining effectiveness, which reduces the chance for heaving to occur. Sand can be used in both arid and humid climates and is the best choice overall.
In short, where you live has more of an impact on your decision to use stone dust versus sand than personal preference. While both have been proven effective over time, sand is generally considered to be the superior, although neither can guarantee complete protection from Mother Nature.
- Photo Credit Garden Patio 1 image by Bucks from Fotolia.com
Glass Beads Vs. Sand Blasting
Sand blasting and glass bead blasting are two ways to effectively clean a hard metal surface. These cleaning methods are typically used...
How to Install a Flagstone Patio
Flagstone is an ideal material for your new patio. It's durable, has a naturally non-slip surface and comes in a wide range...
How to Make a Horse Stall Drain Well
Your horse needs a dry stall for several reasons. Wet hooves can foster disease. Saturated soil does not support weight. Trapped moisture...
How to Use a Diamond Sharpening Stone
Sharp knives make completing any task safer and easier. Traditional knife sharpening stones are cumbersome and often frustrating to use. New diamond...
How to Preserve a Flagstone Patio
Flagstone patios are a unique, durable and attractive element of home landscaping. Even though these patios are stone, time and weather can...
How to Pour Concrete Over Existing Heaved Concrete
Pouring new concrete over existing heaved concrete can be a way to increase the lifespan of your concrete sidewalk, driveway or patio....
What Is the Difference Between Washed Sand & Silica Sand?
Most people believe sand is sand, because they aren't worried about the tiny details that differentiate types of sand. Silica sand is...