flagstone Driveways

 A very common question is can flagstones be used for driveways? This is usually down to homeowners wanting to use indian sandstone as a driveway which would stereotypically be a method used for a decorative patio. The answer is indian sandstone and other flagstones can be used for driveways however not all flagstones is suitable for laying a driveway as most of them are not thick enough to support the weight of a car.  Flagstones are split into 2 categories: concrete flagstones and natural stone flags. Like most materials there is a huge range in quality and caution should be applied when choosing the right flagstone for your driveway.  Budget concrete paving slabs should never be used for driveways due to the very low cement content the manufacturing process focuses on low costs rather than high quality, most manufacturers will not replace any damaged economy flagstones used for a driveway. Some of the best manufacturers do offer high quality concrete flagstones with a higher cement content but you should be prepared to pay a premium and should always check with manufacturer to ensure that they are suitable for your driveway and how much weight you intend to park on it.  Natural stone has become very cheap and readily available online and at discount depots, once again you must be very careful when selecting your flagstone. The vast majority of natural stone whether it is Yorkshire stone or Indian sandstone or anything else in-between is too thin to use for a driveway. We only recommend using heavy 30mm thick or thicker as it is extremely rare for this grade of natural stone to crack under the normal weight of driveway traffic. A general rule of thumb is the thicker the better, 40mm is ideal but will not be cheap. Light or pale colours should also be avoided as they often show tyre marks quickly after the installation, darker colours are much more forgiving.

A very common question is can flagstones be used for driveways? This is usually down to homeowners wanting to use indian sandstone as a driveway which would stereotypically be a method used for a decorative patio. The answer is indian sandstone and other flagstones can be used for driveways however not all flagstones is suitable for laying a driveway as most of them are not thick enough to support the weight of a car.

Flagstones are split into 2 categories: concrete flagstones and natural stone flags. Like most materials there is a huge range in quality and caution should be applied when choosing the right flagstone for your driveway.

Budget concrete paving slabs should never be used for driveways due to the very low cement content the manufacturing process focuses on low costs rather than high quality, most manufacturers will not replace any damaged economy flagstones used for a driveway. Some of the best manufacturers do offer high quality concrete flagstones with a higher cement content but you should be prepared to pay a premium and should always check with manufacturer to ensure that they are suitable for your driveway and how much weight you intend to park on it.

Natural stone has become very cheap and readily available online and at discount depots, once again you must be very careful when selecting your flagstone. The vast majority of natural stone whether it is Yorkshire stone or Indian sandstone or anything else in-between is too thin to use for a driveway. We only recommend using heavy 30mm thick or thicker as it is extremely rare for this grade of natural stone to crack under the normal weight of driveway traffic. A general rule of thumb is the thicker the better, 40mm is ideal but will not be cheap. Light or pale colours should also be avoided as they often show tyre marks quickly after the installation, darker colours are much more forgiving.

How to Lay a Flagstone Driveway

 All flagstones whether concrete or natural should be laid on a bed of mortar which is a mixture of sand and cement.  Unlike most types of paving a new sub base is not always required this is ultimately decided by the surveying contractor if there is any doubt about the condition of the ground. The area would be cleared and the sub base installed if necessary then the flagstones would placed on top of 40mm of mortar and hit with a rubber mallet to set into place. Finally the gaps between the flagstones must be jointed, there is a huge variation of colours, most homeowners opt for a contrasting colour to the flagstone used.

All flagstones whether concrete or natural should be laid on a bed of mortar which is a mixture of sand and cement.

Unlike most types of paving a new sub base is not always required this is ultimately decided by the surveying contractor if there is any doubt about the condition of the ground. The area would be cleared and the sub base installed if necessary then the flagstones would placed on top of 40mm of mortar and hit with a rubber mallet to set into place. Finally the gaps between the flagstones must be jointed, there is a huge variation of colours, most homeowners opt for a contrasting colour to the flagstone used.

Flagstone Maintenance

 Flagstones are relatively low maintenance compared to block paving as there are less joints between the flagstones so there is less room for weeds. The only real maintenance involved with flagstones is keeping on top of the pointing in-between your them this can be done with sand and cement when the old pointing starts to deteriorate, you can choose to do this yourself or use a contractor. Natural flagstones should be washed with cheap watered down bleach at least once a year to stop algae growth this will help keep it looking newer for longer. Concrete flagstones can be pressure washed if dirty tyre marks start forming on them.

Flagstones are relatively low maintenance compared to block paving as there are less joints between the flagstones so there is less room for weeds. The only real maintenance involved with flagstones is keeping on top of the pointing in-between your them this can be done with sand and cement when the old pointing starts to deteriorate, you can choose to do this yourself or use a contractor. Natural flagstones should be washed with cheap watered down bleach at least once a year to stop algae growth this will help keep it looking newer for longer. Concrete flagstones can be pressure washed if dirty tyre marks start forming on them.

Concrete Flagstones vs Natural Flagstones

  Natural Flagstone Pros   + Very impressive and organic look  + Does not fade like coloured concrete flagstones  Natural Flagstone Cons  - Expensive  - Time consuming arranging into a pattern  - Difficult to install compared to natural stone      Concrete Flagstone Pros   + Cheaper than natural stone  + Quicker to install than natural stone  Concrete Flagstone Cons  - Most unsuitable for driveways  - Not as pleasing to the eye as natural stone

Natural Flagstone Pros

+ Very impressive and organic look

+ Does not fade like coloured concrete flagstones

Natural Flagstone Cons

- Expensive

- Time consuming arranging into a pattern

- Difficult to install compared to natural stone

 

Concrete Flagstone Pros

+ Cheaper than natural stone

+ Quicker to install than natural stone

Concrete Flagstone Cons

- Most unsuitable for driveways

- Not as pleasing to the eye as natural stone

 Both natural flagstone and concrete flagstone can be suitable and a relatively low maintenance option for laying a driveway. However unless cost is the major deciding factor when deciding on which type of driveway is best for you, we would always recommend natural flagstones over concrete flagstones this is because they look far more appealing and are much better quality.  Once again please bare in mind the advantages are only applicable if an experienced contractor and the correct tools and materials are used.  To read about other types of driveways  click here - Ultimate Guide to Driveways 2018.

Both natural flagstone and concrete flagstone can be suitable and a relatively low maintenance option for laying a driveway. However unless cost is the major deciding factor when deciding on which type of driveway is best for you, we would always recommend natural flagstones over concrete flagstones this is because they look far more appealing and are much better quality.

Once again please bare in mind the advantages are only applicable if an experienced contractor and the correct tools and materials are used.

To read about other types of driveways click here - Ultimate Guide to Driveways 2018.

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