8 Ideas for Building a DIY Flagstone Patio

Updated: Apr. 29, 2024

Outdoor stonework has been around for thousands of years. Find out how these flagstone patios can bring timeless style to your landscape design.

Property ExteriorsJohn Keeble/Getty Images

Nothing beats the look of natural stone to enhance your landscape design, so a flagstone patio might be the perfect addition to your outdoor space. A flagstone patio is made of flat natural stones that come in various colors and textures. We spoke to landscape designer Cody Taube and masonry contractor Damien Hangey to get more insight into this popular patio material.

What Is a Flagstone Patio?

You might think flagstone is a specific species of natural stone, but it’s actually a generic term to describe any sedimentary rock split into layers to create flat stones. The flat shape makes flagstones perfect for creating patios and walkways, and the natural variations in each stone creates a beautiful finish in your landscaping design.

Flagstone is heavy and durable. “In my opinion, flagstone is timeless with a modern look that says a lot about the homeowner,” says Hangey. “When done correctly, a flagstone patio will last longer and hold up better than most traditional patios.”

Once the flagstones are properly laid, the joints can be filled with sand, gravel, or grout. “Joinery will make or break your patio both visually and physically. No matter what, quality stone work needs consistent interlocking joinery for strength,” says Taube.

Flagstone Material Types

Flagstones can be made of a variety of natural stone materials including sandstone, quartzite, bluestone and limestone; each with their own unique characteristics.

Are Flagstone Patios Expensive?

The simple answer: yes. You can always expect to pay a little more when using natural materials. Installing a flagstone patio is not for DIY beginners, so you’ll need to consider the cost of labor too.

“The stone selection can greatly affect price,” says Taube, “Labor drives the cost of flagstone hardscapes, so does proper base preparation. Stone is heavy and you need a lot of it; it also needs to be moved, cut, and leveled safely.”

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Fire Pit Flagstone Patio
Courtesy @cascapes Landworks/Instagram

Fire Pit Flagstone Patio

Flagstone comes in various colors, and the hues in the stone depend upon the area of the country where it was quarried. This fire pit from @cascapes_landworks was made with Mahogany Blue Brown flagstone that has a gorgeous combination of blues, grays and browns on each piece.

What We Like About It: The perfect layout of stones.I use three-way joints, meaning no more than three stones are fit together,” says Taube. “This forms consistently irregular series of Y’s and T’s in the joinery pattern. That visual repetition is very important for looks, but it’s also easier to level.”

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Flagstone Pavers
Courtesy @hangey Contracting/Instagram

Flagstone Pavers

Traditional flagstone patios feature irregularly shaped flagstones laid out to fit together at different angles, resulting in a more natural look. On the other hand, flagstone pavers are stone flagstones cut into standard paver sizes for a more uniform finish. A combination of squares and rectangles forms this dreamy patio space from @hangey_contracting.

What We Like About It: “The squares and rectangles provide a mixed pattern that shows craftsmanship and precision once completed,” says Hangey. “The sizes allow plenty of room for pattern creativity. And when properly done, your patio will have a consistent 1/2″ joint pointed throughout the patio.”

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Small Flagstone Patio
Courtesy @kulhaus Tahoe/Instagram

Small Flagstone Patio

Flagstone is a versatile material that can be used to build a patio as big or as small as your outdoor space allows. This small flagstone patio from @kulhaus_tahoe is tucked into the corner of the yard, creating the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. The flagstone is called Silverstone and it sparkles in the sunlight!

What We Like About It: The wide joints give the patio an earthy style that blends well with the forest surroundings.

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Multi Level Flagstone
Courtesy @louieslandscaping/Instagram

Multi-Level Flagstone

This front patio and walkway from @louieslandscaping include flagstone and natural stone steps to connect the multi-level design. Notice how the flagstone layout has very narrow joint lines because the flagstone fits tightly together. This method creates a more consistent surface while maintaining the natural stone look.

What We Like About It: The random cut flagstone and natural edge on the stone steps flow together seamlessly for a patio and walkway that looks timeless and will last for decades.

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Imitation Flagstone
Courtesy @nrx Landscaping/Instagram

Imitation Flagstone

When it comes to flagstone, nothing beats the real thing — which means natural stone quarried from the earth. But for a more budget-friendly alternative, you can use pavers cut to look like natural flagstones. This cute little patio from @nrx_landscaping was made with Mega-Arbel pavers by Belgard. The concrete pavers have irregular shapes and a textured surface to imitate real stone.

What We Like About It: The affordable price! This homeowner wanted a natural stone aesthetic without breaking the bank.

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Spacious Flagstone Patio
Courtesy @pacific Living Construction/Instagram

Spacious Flagstone Patio

The flagstone used in this spacious patio from @pacific_living_construction is called Cowboy Coffee (how fun is that name?). Cowboy Coffee flagstone is a gray-toned quartzite that’s popular in the Pacific Northwest. It has a shimmery finish with variations of tan, brown and red.

What We Like About It: The pops of greenery in the patio are sections of low-maintenance ground cover called “stepables.” Incorporating ground cover or moss within a flagstone patio is a nice way to add extra color and texture.

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Wet-Set Flagstone Patio Extension

Watch this flagstone patio extension from @aspencreeklandscapes come together from start to finish. They’re using mortar to install the flagstone, which is called a wet-set installation. Wet-set flagstones provide a more secure base for high traffic areas. However dry-set flagstones are easier to repair because you can easily lift out a broken stone and replace it.

What We Like About It: “Set on a solid foundation and bonded correctly to the sub base, a flagstone patio can be enjoyed for years to come,” says Hangey.

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Modern Flagstone Patio

This stylish modern flagstone patio from @the_sumpter_house, along with a fire pit and cozy seating, completely transforms this corner of their yard. This looks to be Arizona flagstone. The lighter color sustains a cooler surface temperature than darker flagstone varieties, making it a good choice for hot climates.

What We Like About It: This patio design highlights the natural beauty of flagstone. “With a flagstone there is a timeless aesthetic of artistic joinery that is built into every hardscape,” says Taube.

About the Experts

  • Cody Taube is a landscape designer, stone mason and owner of Cascapes Landworks based in Oregon. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry and holds a B.A. in Landscape Architecture.
  • Damien Hangey is the owner of Hangey Contracting, a masonry company based in Pennsylvania specializing in masonry restoration, stone, brick, and concrete.