Can You Lay Flagstone on Dirt? How to Do it the right Way?

Muhammad Zubair Saleem | 🗓️Modified: May 21, 2023 | ⏳Read Time: 9 min | 👁Post Views: 137

Thanks to the plethora of benefits, you’ll find flagstone on pathways and walkways that lead to the house through a front yard or lawn. They’re also pretty common to build patios and outdoor kitchens. They’re naturally eye-catching and are a perfect to achieve a tranquil environment outdoors.

But while doing so, a lot of homeowners have got questions like: Can you lay flagstone on dirt or soil? Or how do you lay flagstone directly on dirt? Or like Do you need sand under flagstone? So, being a landscape contractor, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve tried to cover all these aspects in this guide and so let’s delve straight to the point finding answer of all of such queries.

Yes you can easily lay flagstone on dirt without much hassle provided the flagstones are at least 1-1/2 inch thick. This is just to make sure the stone won’t crack under load. Generally flagstones are heavier and are thus perfect option so you can lay directly on dirt without any other foundation requirement.

But that’s not all, laying flagstone is a skill and you got to follow the right steps. So, continue reading the entire article as I’ve covered many things for you:

Can You Lay Flagstone on Dirt? How to Do it the right Way?

Flagstone a Hard Rock

It is a sedimentary rock and is generally flat stone which is cut in different shapes like square or rectangle and used for walkways, flooring, patios, roofing and fencing.It may also be used for facades, memorials, headstones and other construction projects

Flagstones are mostly laid at the entrance point of the house as walkways and pathways. Due to its paving surface that looks natural and beautiful, flagstones can be used as patios to enhance the beauty of existing landscape.

Flagstone is particularly hard rock and is heavy due to which it can be easily laid on dirt. Placing flagstone on dirt requires leveling of soil surface, placement of stones, level them and filling the gaps as we unite together to form a landscaping and beautiful structure for strength and stiffness. 

Also Read: 8 Ideal Mulch Types for a Luscious Landscape

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Laying Flagstone on Dirt

The natural and attractive look of flagstone results in its usage as patios and walkways. It is one of the best choice among different landscapers because it is very much adaptable and have multiple options to use other than paving surface.

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The natural jagged edge of paving stone make it an excellent choice for steeping stone and pathways. The prime characteristics of flagstone is its acid-resistant properties and heavy weight.

These properties makes flagstone one of promising factor to lay directly on the dirt without any issue.  In the early 1900s, these rocks have been used for paving and patios. Usually, without any problem flagstone can be laid easily, but mostly landscapers prefer to add a layer of sand or gravel to give strength and stiffness to landscape.

The use of flagstone directly or with the use of sand or gravel, both the methods are conveniently used for laying.

Also Read: Can You Put Pavers on Mulch? Material & Process

Laying Flagstone on Dirt

Procedure for laying flagstone on dirt

There are few key steps that should be kept in mind for laying of flagstone on dirt. Given below are the instructions for laying of flagstone on dirt:

Material required for flagstone

The below mentioned material is required for flagstone :

  • Measuring tape
  • Flagstone
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Chisel
  • Gravel
  • Marking paint
  • Line level
  • Rake
  • Garden hose
  • Plate compactor
  • Filling of  material

The given below are the instructions for lying of flagstone on dirt:


1. Start measuring and marking

The first and foremost step in laying of flagstone is measuring and marking. The area where flagstone needs to be laid should be measured with accuracy.

Care must be taken in marking the area to avoid any damage to utility lines etc. Once the measuring and marking are done, now temporarily laying the design or pattern of flagstone can be commenced. The measurement should include extra space so that flagstones can be easily space apart when laying down on the ground.

Also Read: Can We Put Swimming Pool Above Ground On Pavers?

Procedure for laying flagstone on dirt

2. Preparation for the dirt

Firstly the area is measured and marked, then using a shovel, excavate around 3 to 6 inch of the dirt throughout the whole area that has been measured and used for laying of flagstone.  

This is important because flagstone needs to be flushed with the ground and to avoid any stumbling hazard to your guests.

Addition of extra 2 inch thick base of gravel on the dirt is quite preferred. Gravel should be placed in a uniform manner and by using water it can be levelled easily.

3.   Laying down of flagstone

This is the most important work in laying of flagstone. Laying of flagstone is done when the base is smoothed and settled. Flagstone should be laid as per design and pattern of one’s choice.

 Flagstone are laid are too big or naturally irregular, use of hammer and chisel is a better choice for giving flagstone a better and good shape. It is not convenient to cut them too small as on the later stage it is too harder to lay them down to ground.   

The flagstone must be flushed and levelled with the base. The air pockets will be formed and appeared in the base due to wobbling and shifting of flagstone.

Resultantly, in the longer run it will create issue on the pathways or patios. To avoid this packing of soil on the edges of flagstone is a good option.

Also Read: Can you paint concrete pavers? (Including Staining)

4. Cleaning up the ground

When flagstones are laid on the area under consideration, the final step is clean up of extra dirt on the stones. The extra dirt may cause problem when filling of gaps of flagstone patio or path, therefore for cleaning the dirt usage of hose or broom is essentially required.

5. Filling the Gaps of Flagstone

Ultimately, sand or gravel can be used for filling in the gaps of flagstone. When the gaps are filled, usage of water mist is required to set the sand or stone properly. Step on it after the sand or stone dried to fully compact the new pathway or patio.

The ground cover plants can be used as a filling material in between the gaps of flagstones. The ground cover plants should be packed with soil so that all gaps are covered.

Pro Tip: How to lay flagstone on uneven ground?

Now you know that to have a solid installation of flagstone, you must make sure that there won’t be any gaps between the base and the stone. These gaps or spaces can be taken up by the weeds resulting in budging or other imperfections.

But like in landscaping, there’re minimum chances that you can find a perfect leveled surface. So, what you’ll do in these cases?

Firstly it is easily possible that you can lay flagstone on uneven grounds. You just have to be sure that the base or the ground is flushed with the piece you’re installing. Any of that imbalance in cases can result in tripping incidents.

  • The best things to do that is to work piece by piece. You can first install one piece of flagstone before moving on to the other. This way you can be sure that the flagstones are leveled and there’re no gaps in between. You can trace the shape of the stone on the dirt to adjust eh base per the need of the stone.
  • In case the slope is pretty steep, you can turn it into steps. For that you might need to remove a portion of dirt to make a proper slope for the steps. You can use this step to achieve a multi-level patios instead of one level on the entire surface.
  • The multi-level patios you can use the sod or grass in between to cover the spaces.


It is quite easier for laying down flagstones for your walkways or patios. Slabs are excellent paving materials, strong and heavy, making them perfect for laying directly into the ground without any problems.

There are many ways to lay paving slabs, but if you need a little help, consider working with a professional to ensure that the slabs are positioned and placed correctly.

Flagstones can be laid easily on the dirt. They are excellent paving material that are heavy and sturdy, laying can be done at an ease on the dirt. There are many ways for laying of flagstone but a professional and skill person ensure it strength in design and durability and helps to placed it correctly.

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