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Should I use Flagstone or Interlock?

Do I choose Flagstone or Interlock???

So you’re all excited about Spring rolling in any week now. You’ve decided that this is the year that you want to put in a new walkway and step system in the front yard, pathway to the back yard and a large patio as well for entertaining and relaxing. Life is grand.

So you venture off to your local stone dealer or landscape depot to have a look at the various interlocking stone products. As you’re taking a walk around you find yourself overwhelmed with all the various sizes, textures, shapes and colors of interlock that are available, not to mention the different step and wall systems too.

In absolute awwweee of all the choices out there you take a deep breath, sip your coffee for comfort and then turn to the right of the yard and notice a whole section of natural stone products. You say to yourself aloud, “Oh my goodness” what is that? Out of excitement you forget your coffee on the nearby stack of interlock and start marching towards the large sign that says natural stone.

You run into the young gentleman working in the yard and you ask the young man, is this stone for outdoor use? Absolutely the young gentleman replies. Is this natural stone product, flagstone as you call it, suitable for a patio and a walkway? Again he replies politely, yes it sure is. Now you’re feeling excited but slightly confused.

You’re thinking you’d like to have an interlock walkway and step system in the front yard and a flagstone pathway to the back yard that leads into a flagstone patio as well. The young man explains to you that interlock is salt tolerant and would be an excellent fit for your front yard. It can be salted throughout the winter time to reduce ice build up and reduces the risk of slipping. Flagstone on the other hand is beautiful but has a tendency to break down easier when salt is applied to it.

This is music to your ears you reply to the young man as your 87 year old mother lives with you and she can’t afford to fall down. You explain to the young man that your back yard has more of a closed in quiet country garden type feel and you think that a flagstone path and patio might help retain that country old world type style. After all there will be no need to salt the side walkway and patio during the winter months as it won’t be in use.

You ask the gentleman, is it strange to have a mix between natural stone and interlock? He replies not at all. In fact, a lot of people prefer to have a mixture of natural stone borders around certain interlock projects etc.

You’ve spent some time matching up the texture and color of your house to your new interlock and are ready to place your order. Congratulations, it can be a tricky process. You’ve also chosen to go with a random pattern flagstone over the modern square cut look. Great choices.

So there you have it. You now know that interlocking stone is salt tolerant, works great for building steps and walkways etc. Interlock truly is the most versatile stone application for just about any landscape idea you may have being that it is salt tolerant, comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Some interlock suppliers even offer a transferable lifetime warranty on their products. Usually the product will be outdated before it starts to break down. Although a lot of the new styles out today will probably be around for years and years to come before the style is outdated.

Flagstone and natural stone products make excellent pathways, patios, borders and so on for outdoor use. When properly installed they will last for years and years to come. Just remember that the majority of natural stone products don’t hold up well over time if they are heavily salted. They usually start to spall and flake off chunks prematurely when salted. Flagstone can also be used in a dry lay setting, usually laid on stone dust or a bed of sand, or it can be used in a masonry setting on a bed of mortar typically. Using mortar and adhering the flagstone to concrete can make for the most beautiful walkways and step systems that can stand up to the test of time.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing flagstone to create a patio or a pathway is that natural stone is natural, therefore it’s not always entirely smooth like interlock. If you have a hard time walking and can’t lift your feet very well then it may not be the best solution for you as you may catch your foot on a piece that sticks up just slightly higher then the others. Also in a patio setting your chair and table legs may not always sit entirely flat. For the most part it’s usually not an issue. Square cut flagstone is typically a lot smoother than random flagstone and has a modern feel vs the old world feel of random flag. It is more than suitable for patios, walkways etc.

One thing I personally enjoy about flagstone is that you can choose to plant between the gaps of the stones if you wish. Either moss or thyme are always fun to play around with.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any questions at all, or would like to speak to us about installations etc. then please feel free to contact us. Our contact info is located on our website.

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