Flagstone patio designs available today offer a wide range of design choices – from rustic to modern — to elevate the ambiance of your outdoor space. If you’re looking for some design ideas for your patio floor, we’ve got you covered below with 40 installation photos and designs. There are a few tips for how to choose your flagstone design -and some links to cool galleries that offer you even more inspiration.
Flagstone Shapes and Sizes
Most people think flagstone patios are created by fitting randomly shaped stones like the pieces of a puzzle. And while there are, indeed, random designs, many pavers are specific cuts, meant to invoke a specific style or mood.
Flagstone paver designs are available as:
- Square cut flagstone. This is a more ordered approach to flagstone patio design.
- Random flagstone. This is the style most associated with flagstone patios – fitting the stones together in a pleasing fashion.
- Jumbo flagstone. These can be used on many applications: patios, steps, stepping stones, retaining walls, also as a general landscaping feature.
- Meshed Flagstone Paver Tile. These are random flagstones that are already laid out for you with a mesh sheet holding them together – similar to glass or mosaic bathroom tiling. While it’s more about the installation, the mesh can make the job a great deal easier. It also means the design is set for you.
- Custom cut. If you know exactly what you want and can’t find it – it can be cut for you on a custom basis.
In practice, there are main types of natural stones that are used as flagstones. Then, you add the variables in design and/or process as above – once aggregated, the types of flagstone and the types of patio design expand into a myriad of choices.
Here are the main natural stones used in flagstone patios:
- Sandstone: Sandstone is made from grains of sand and has a rough, slightly textured surface and sand color.
- Bluestone: Bluestone is usually sandstone or limestone with a blue/grey tinge.
- Travertine: Travertine is a variety of limestone, light in color and highly polished for an almost waxed look.
- Slate: Slate has a dull sheen and comes in every color imaginable.
- Limestone: Limestone is white to grey in color and has a grainy texture similar to sandstone.
- Granite: Granite is a coarse-grained stone that is highly polished. Colors range from white to pink and gray to back. It’s what many kitchen counters are made from.
- Basalt: Basalt is a dark, fine-grained and often shiny rock with few markings.
- Quartzite: Quartzite is a medium-grained very hard stone that is usually white or light-colored.
On top of the actual stone names, you’ll find many flagstones known by their “marketing” names – brand names derived from the location of the quarry or sometimes the quarry name itself. Pennsylvania Bluestone is one example, this type of natural rock is commonly found in the northeastern USA. Arizona flagstone is another regional type of natural stone commonly used to create patio flagstones.
Flagstones are sometimes called fieldstones and that is totally incorrect. Fieldstones are just what the name says – these are naturally occurring rocks and boulders found above the ground or just under the surface in the fields. They are not flat. Flagstones are flat and need to be quarried and cut into slices.
Random Flagstone Patio Designs
Sometimes, random flagstone patio designs can be the best looking and they are always your own personal design. That’s the plus. They do take a bit longer to lay than some other methods, but it is the most creative of your options. To achieve a design similar to the one shown below and for easier installation, the trick is to use mesh backed pavers.
These stones are made from slate, in random shapes and colors: rust, brown, charcoal and gray – providing for random patterns that are pleasing to the eye. The mulched garden gives a manicured effect to the whole picture. Source
This flagstone patio floor was installed on a mesh, just like tile for a backsplash or a wall (see photo below). While it appears random, you don’t have to make any of the choices, just lay the tile. It’s a great idea to rim your patio with bushes – they will provide a natural break and a natural separation of the areas, as well as a bit of privacy. And we love the hydrangea. If you get tired of blue, you need to know that comes from a PH level of 5.2-5.5. If you’d rather the blossoms come in pink, up the PH in the soil to 6.0-6.2. Voila. It’s magic.
Meshed Flagstone Pavers patio in random sizes and shapes look great and require a lot less thought than fitting them together yourself. And, a lot less time. Source
Follow along, in these three photos (one above, two below) to see the making of a random flagstone patio. It’s probably an easier job if all the stones are the same color or range of color. While adding multiple colors can elevate your look, it does take more time and coordination. And an idea of what you want your completed project to look like!
These stones are all in the same color palette – even though there are various shades. The shapes are quite irregular and look quite dramatic together.
A good sweep tidies up the flagstone and shows off the patio’s new design.
While you’re building out your patio, consider adding some in-floor lighting. In-floor (or in-ground) lighting will always give you maximum effect for the money you spend. Lighting can really change the evening look of a space.
How cute is this patio idea? Just a little corner with a bench and some shabby-chic decor can create a magical ambiance. Who wouldn’t want to sit here with a cup of tea and a good book?
Wow. Here’s an incredible flagstone patio idea — build in a firepit. We love the large rocks — and the view’s not bad either. And with the exception of mowing some grass, this patio/garden design does not take a great deal of maintenance.
A few shrubs and some colorful flowers add layers to your patio. This is some advanced flagstone patio design, and not one of the easiest to execute, but doesn’t it look great?
These heavy flagstones are set among river stones and not cemented in. An attractive technique, but not one for high-traffic zones. It may or may not be sitting on a concrete base. Without one, it does allow for natural drainage of any runoff or rainwater.
Building in flagstone planters to your patio design helps break up the color palette with some green and tie the two areas together.
Another cozy conversation area on your flagstone patio. Fire pits extend the season for your patio use.
Shop around for the colors you like – there are so many different choices and so many combinations. Literally, hundreds of colors are available including multi-colored stones.
Depending on a state or even a country, different styles of stone and different colors can have different names. And every shop has a different name for the same color – it becomes their brand. So you need to shop around, look at photos, never assume when talking to a seller that they understand the color you are actually referring to. Always have a photo or website link to confirm you mean the same thing.
Flagstone Brand Examples
Most brand names have colors in them. Here are just a few examples.
- India Silver Grey square cut flagstone
- New York random Flagstone
- Arizona Flagstone
- Idaho Quartzites
- Pennsylvania Bluestone
- Muskoka Rock flagstone
- Armour stone (large size limestones)
Square Cut Flagstone Patio Designs
This patio of tumbled travertine has a very orderly array of square tiles. A natural stone with a tumbled finish, it’s a good choice for high traffic areas. Source
Flat and smooth is sometimes the way you want to go with your patio, especially if the main purpose is as a breakfast nook or other dining space.
This example is a little less ordered but still offers a great, flat and interesting space for an outdoor dining table on the patio.
This deep charcoal gray flagstone design really sets an elegant tone for the backyard dining experience. Everyone loves to dine alfresco in the summer.
A smooth flagstone patio surface allows for smaller flower pots, as well as more stable sitting arrangements. If you’re looking for a conversation area on your patio, consider the level and uniformity of your patio stones. You can do more with a flat surface.
A flatter surface on your patio doesn’t mean boring. This is a pleasing cobblestone patio design, and the whole package is topped off with a built-in bench and fire pit.
Here’s another fire pit, built in the center of one of the smooth patios – using gray-colored flagstones. The short retaining walls provide a seating area – double duty.
Smaller flagstones of complementary shades can create a lovely cobblestone effect, but with enough flat to make it a comfortable space. This is a beautiful sitting area, with all the plantings and attention to detail.
Rustic Flagstone Patio Ideas
Letting grass grow up around the edge of these random flagstones gives the outdoor area a rustic (bordering on shabby chic) look.
It’s environmentally more friendly to allow growing spaces between your flagstones as it will allow drain off for any rain and keep the ground underneath from getting too dry. Plus, it looks kind of wild and natural.
The grass between the stones will also add a bit of texture and color to an otherwise monochromatic space. A curved retaining wall with seating and a patio, all created from flagstones.
There’s something to be said about flagstone patio designs that look good when punctuated by random growing patterns. It all depends on your personal style because this should be your patio.
Jumbo Flagstone Patio Designs
These jumbo flagstones will make more areas more secure by their sheer size. And it makes the area somewhat more practical if you want to ensure proper drainage as well as a (mostly) flat patio.
Best Flagstone Patio Photo Galleries
The Muskoka Rock company has some of the best flagstone designs and design ideas on the internet. It’s natural – the tony Muskoka Lakes area of Ontario (Canada) is full of raw materials. Some of the best flagstone that money can buy: Muskoka Rock Company Gallery
Select Stone Supply has another amazing patio designs gallery full of ideas for your own flagstone patio. Again, in Ontario. The fact is, the geological region known as The Canadian Shield produces a great amount of flagstone and is known for its granite: Select Stone Supply Gallery
Ways of Setting Flagstones When Building Patios
- On gravel
- On concrete
We’ve discussed this, in concept. If your patio stones are larger and set in gravel, they can provide some stability while doing the environmental thing, and allowing natural run-offs of rain to occur and to feed the ground below. If you do want the grass to grow between your stones for some textural and visual variety, gravel is your only option. Gravel on a cement base will totally impede the growth of any grass. But if it’s a high traffic area, meant for entertaining, concrete may be your better choice as it will give a consistently flat surface.
There is a good installation guide here if you’d like some help getting started.
This is how to lay flagstones on a cement base.
It will help the stone placement to use a rubber mallet to secure their position.
What to Fill Gaps With in Flagstone Patio
These are your choices. You can use:
- Gravel (pea and large size)
- Cement grout
- Grass – for rustic appeal
- Elfin Thyme – also for the rustic look
- Polymeric sand
If you decide to fill in the grout at a later date, you will need to clean out the channels first.
Different ways of laying flagstones to build a patio – see above and below.
This is a great example of four different, very pleasing installations – using different stones, different fillers, different patterns. The combinations become almost endless.
For a more rustic look, you can let the grass grow in between the stones (image below) or fill it up with Elfin Thyme (image above).
The only thing about the grass is, you do have to keep it tidy and clipped. But it sure looks great.
As you’ve seen through these photos and examples, you can pretty much deck out your patio in any style or design because the category of flagstone patio designs is so wide – your choices are really varied and there is something for everyone. And every climate and every size patio or yard. Do think about your use of the space and what would be best suited to that. These are durable, natural stones that will bring you enjoyment for a very long time.