Converting A Flagstone Patio from Dry laid to Wet Laid

In this project, I was asked to rebuild an old flagstone patio, I forget the age of the patio, somewhere between 20 and 10 years old. They also wanted to have a wet laid patio over a dry laid patio that they currently had.

In short, wet laid is flagstone installed in cement on a concrete pad/base.
In short, dry laid is flagstone installed in stone dust or sand with a good/deep compacted crushed stone base.

The following video contains pictures of before and after:


The Old Dry Laid Flagstone Patio

The first step was to take apart the old dry laid patio and keep any reusable pieces of flagstone. Before taking it apart we decided to give the flagstone a good clean with a light-weight power washer. This helps remove dirt and mildew that has appeared on the stone over time.

Many pieces of the old flagstone had split/layered and were too thin to reuse. But it wasn’t a big deal as we intended on purchasing more Wiarton flagstone from Canlok or Cohen & Cohen for the new patio installation.

The original patio was built on a crushed stone base, but we still hauled away a few yards of dirty material as it had become mixed with soil and that wouldn’t make a good base. We then added our forms and rebar in preparation for the concrete pour the next day.

The following day October 22nd 2014 I’ll always remember and no dought you too. We just finished pouring the new concrete base, thanks to the help of “Dial A Mix” concrete service.

I looked down at my phone to see several notifications and text messages about an ongoing shooting downtown. And I’m sure we all know what happened that day.

The New Wet Laid Flagstone Patio

Once the concrete pad had time to cure we then moved on to piecing the flagstone puzzle together. I say puzzle because that’s basically what it’s like, finding pieces that fit and look right next to each other. To some, it may sound strange but I personally enjoy this part if/when I have plenty of flagstone pieces to pick from.

Once we have all the pieces in place we then start the installation process, lifting each piece and setting in a bed of cement. After all the flagstone is installed and the cement has set we then fill all the cement joint, also know as grouting the joints.

Surprisingly this part if very time consuming because the cement needs to stay off the flagstone surface in possible and also be firmly compacted into the joint.

Once all the cement joints had cured enough we then give the patio area another clean, removing any cement that was smeared on the flagstone surface while installing or grouting the joints.