Flagstone Flooring

Every queen or king deserves a castle and every castle needs magnificent flooring; flagstone flooring may be exactly the bold design choice you are looking for. Whether you go for the real flagstone floor or a vinyl or laminate flooring with the look of flagstone, this style of flooring really is a unique and attractive choice. The ease of care for a natural stone flooring when properly sealed after installation makes flagstone a low maintenance flooring choice. And, like with any stone flooring choice, you can be sure that your flagstone flooring will withstand the test of time, traffic, sun, and any other wear and tear your home flooring typically experiences. Flagstone can be used either indoors or outdoors or, one of my favorite looks, as a transition flooring for a room that operates as both, like a sunroom or patio.

Flagstone flooring can help your home achieve the look of the castle from your dreams.

Traditional Flagstone Flooring

Flagstone flooring is an exceptionally versatile flooring selection. This is due in part to the many varieties that are available in varying styles, colors and polishes. Typically, you’re not going to ever see two natural flagstone floors that look exactly the same, as there is going to be variation between every stone. The resulting effect of this type of flooring is a really visually interesting and engaging look that is sure to be a focal point in your home.

Flagstone is a composite of a variety of natural stone types, such as slate, quartzite, or limestone, resulting from a form of sandstone being compressed into slabs. The flagstone naturally separates along the striation lines, resulting in a flat rock that makes laying these stones as a relatively flat flooring very simple. One of the greatest selling points of flagstone for some is that they can be found locally, or at very least, regionally. These flagstone slabs can be purchased and used exactly as-are for interior floors.

Another perk of using flagstone flooring is that flagstone is naturally cool to the touch! So if you are wanting to stay cool underfoot in warm climates, consider a natural stone flooring, like flagstone.

The most common type of flagstone flooring purchased for interior use is a flagstone tile. These are tiles made up of flagstone that are designed to fit together easily, saving you the worry of laying out the stones yourself.

Installing a Flagstone Floor

There are several ways to install a flagstone flooring and choosing the method that will work best for you will depend on the final desired look you want to achieve and the specifics of your flooring layout needs. The subfloor can be poured concrete or timber, but you will want to make sure the flooring where you are laying the flagstone can handle the significant weight load of a stone floor overtime.

If you are looking to create as flat of a flooring as possible, typically for an interior room like a kitchen or entryway, you will want to set out the stones on the subflooring in the exact layout you would like. Then, fill the cracks between the stones with an adobe or cement mortar and let dry. The cement mortar will hold significantly longer than an adobe, though the final look achieved by adobe is so beautiful, it may be worth it to you to have to make repairs on occasion with the adobe.

Additionally, you can place a layer of sand in combination with concrete or papercrete and press the flagstones into the damp mixture in a more random pattern. It is more difficult to achieve a completely flat surface done this way, and the overall look is less high-design and more rough-hewn, in certain settings this may be the more desired effect.

Any natural stone flooring will be porous, and so requires the use of a sealant to keep it protected from staining and breaking. If you are installing in a bathroom or a room where you anticipate a lot of moisture, it is smart to lay a moisture barrier.

If you choose to use flagstone tiles, these will be installed the same way other stone tiles are installed: you will want to lay according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure to use the appropriate grout, as well, as making the wrong choice can lead to loose flagstone tiles, which would be a hazard, or moisture and mildew issues. There are numerous online sources for flagstone layout options that you can use as a template when laying your own flagstone tile floors. You can also lay very thin flagstone this way.

Versatility of Flagstone Flooring

For one, flagstone flooring leaves you open to a lot of different design options. A flagstone floor will look one of a kind, unique, and stylized. Flagstone indoor/interior flooring can be used to create an impressive look within a room and typically helps to make the room look much larger, as well. In flagstone flooring selection, you will find you can select from a variety of colors, surface finishes, sizes and shapes.

Another option for flagstone is to purchase it as large slabs. These can be used as are or cut to a particular size in a variety of dimensions and for various applications. Thickness of flagstone slabs and stones can range from 25mm to 50mm (1″-2″). They can be hand chiseled for a rough look or sawn edged for a more formal cut.

Additionally, because it is so versatile, flagstone can be used in an array of ways. Different sizes as well as different colors can be used to create an impressive and decorative look to virtually any area of the home. In fact, the same flagstone tiles used for flooring can be used on walls as well as in exterior pathways and patios. Flagstone can also be used in applications for walls and steps, as well. Flagstone slabs are popular choices for pathways, patios and exterior features due to both the look they achieve and their ability to stand up to the wear of outdoor use and weather.

Although they are versatile in their use, there are more limitations with flagstone as far as natural color choices in comparison to something like a vinyl or laminate, or even a wood flooring that can be stained to a particular hue. Something I have seen done that I’ve found very interesting is painting flagstone. This is done much the same way that brick can be painted.

Caring For Your Flagstone Flooring

The advantages of using a flagstone flooring are many, but the durability is probably the highest quality on the list of reasons why people love to use flagstones. It’s common knowledge that, while natural stone can be a costly investment, it will last many years, decades, even centuries, when properly cared for.

Like any other stone flooring, it is very important to seal in the beauty of the flooring and seal out water. Sealants should be applied once the flooring has been laid and need to be reapplied yearly or as needed.

When it comes to ease of caring for flagstone flooring on a regular basis, there are many benefits. Flagstone can be simply gently mopped with warm water and a microfiber mop (available on amazon) that requires virtually no chemicals. For a deeper clean, you can use a gentle detergent diluted in warm water, but you do want to avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners so as not to damage the natural stones. The finish you choose to apply and whether it is shiny-like the “wet look” product or matte will determine whether you’ll need to polish the stones regularly. Correct sealants and reapplication of your sealant will help to protect the flooring against staining.

Alternatives to Real Flagstone Flooring

Another way to get the look of flagstone into your home without the cost and weight of real flagstones is to consider one of the many faux stone flooring options on the market. The most common choice here is the use of vinyl or laminate flooring that has been printed to look like real flagstone. With advancements in the production of laminate and vinyl over the last few decades, the final look achieved is shockingly convincing. The installation process is quite simple and the overall cost is considerably lower. Because it is not real stone, even though it may be surprisingly realistic looking on the floor, the weight is not an issue for homes with a basement or rooms on an upper level of the home. It is also much easier to care for than traditional stones. You are, however, sacrificing the feel of the natural stones when you choose one of these options.

You could also consider painting stone floors in your home. Watch the video below to see how to achieve the painted flagstone look on you floors.

Your home is your castle. Treat it as one and invest in a natural, distinctive flagstone floor. Flagstone flooring, whether a natural product or a vinyl or laminate, can add dimension as well as durability to any area in which it is used. The only downfall of this product is its expense, which is well worth it because of its durability and longevity.

41 thoughts on “Flagstone Flooring

  1. Would like to use flagstone in entry way, stairs and around a n infloor pool. I have hear if there is iron in the stone it will rust and stain the pool lining? which flagstone can I use in all these areas safely?

  2. Hi Beth,
    Yes, flagstone can contain iron – but that doesn’t mean it will stain your pool lining. You just need to make sure that the stone is sealed well before and after it’s put down. Applying sealer before keeps moisture from seeping into the stone (creating the rust) from underneath. You really should put down some sort of moisture barrier before laying the stone – something along the lines of a sheet plastic, like Raven Industries Rufco line.
    Obviously, you want to seal the flagstone after it’s been grouted – just be sure to completely remove any grout/grout haze that gets on the stones before sealing.

  3. I plan to install oakley stone over an existing concrete slab. I need to raise the level for a 5 or 6 inch step that will extend across the entire width of the room. Can I make a form and fill it with gravel, then lay the stone in mortar mix over the top of the gravel, or do I need something solid like underlayment over the gravel before laying the stone? thanks for your help. Bev

  4. Hi there,I already have a Yorkshire flagstone floor I want to restore. Whats the best way to go about it? Ive got a sandblaster in to take the build up of grime off but what would I use to seal and wax it? thanks, Tom

  5. Hi Tom,
    Lucky you!!
    If your stone is authentic Yorkshire flagstone, you can use products manufactured by AquaMix. The link takes you to their product page for sandstone, which is what flagstone really is.
    Antique flagstone floors didn’t have sealers or waxes on them in the ‘old days’ – really, really, old days. All the wear, stains, etc. could only be considered as a patina that you only get with age.
    There is a product called Yorkstone, made by Monarch Stone in California. This is a very high-quality reproduction of antique flagstone. I don’t know what it’s made of though and don’t know what sealers are recommended.

  6. I have a natural granite flagstone floor in my kitchen. It was originally a greenhouse so the floor has only rock dust in the cracks. I would now like to use a cement or grout and then maybe a sealer so I can clean it easier…It is not winterized but has been down for 3 winters now and has not heaved. I am worried about putting cement or grout and then it cracking..Do you have any advice on what I should use and how I could seal it afterwards..Thanks so much

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Wow, that’s an unusual situation! My first thought would be to use a shop vac to get up the loose rock dust. I would suggest looking at grouts that have some silicone in them, or something that is considered ‘flexible’ – that will help with expansion & contraction, hopefully that will make for a preventative measure with cracking grout.
    Sealers will depend on the product you use. It would probably be best to choose the grout product first (not necessarily buy it yet) and then check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend.

  8. We have a patio with a flagstone floor… we love the deep color of the stone when it’s wet, but it looks drab when dry. It has not been treated nor sealed in any way. Any suggestions??

  9. Hi Jeff,
    AquaMix has a couple of good products for enhancing your stone. There’s Enrich ‘n’ Seal and Stone Enhancer. They both offer no-sheen, enhanced-look penetrating sealer formulated to darken, enrich and highlight the character and beauty of unsealed natural stone. It rejuvenates the color and improves the appearance of worn and weathered stone. May also be used as a pre-grouting sealer. Allows moisture-vapor transmission. It also effectively seals and darkens the color of grout joints.
    The only difference in the descriptions is that Enrich ‘n’ Seal is “premium” and the Stone Enhancer is “excellent”. I’d venture to say that they are both very good products since they’re from AquaMix.

  10. I have an interior sandstone flagstone floor and would like to seal it with a product that has some shine to it. Can you recommend such a product?

  11. Hi Charlie,
    Bioshield has a couple good environmentally friendly products – their Resin Floor Finish and their Wax Finish. You can also check out AquaMix products – very good products, but not “green” like the BioShield products are.

  12. Hello there, we are planning a new build with old style flair. I am wondering about doing a flagstone floor in the kitchen/dining area over a slab concrete fondation. Do you have any insight or helpful hints? we live in Oregon.

  13. Hi Linda,
    Flagstone would be wonderful as well as slate or brick. If you’re really lucky, there may be somebody in your area who deals in reclaimed materials – those that have been in an old home previously that has been torn down or whatever. The biggest thing is to be sure to seal your flagstone, slate, etc. before you lay it and grout it. This makes grout clean up so much easier as well as gives the stone a good moisture barrier all the way around. Be sure to seal it again too, after cleaning up excess grout.

  14. Our entry hall (approx 750sf)is flagstone with installation of unknown date. While the stone is sound, the cement grouting appears dirty and of uneven color. How would you clean it? Would stripping improve the appearance of the grouting?

  15. Hi Erick,
    You’d be better off trying to clean the grout first. I’d recommend a product such as StainSolver (would
    be better than OxyClean because it’s got more bleaching action) or Enviro-One. If products such as these don’t work, then you will probably have to strip. It could be too, that the reason why the grout has gotten so discolored is because it wasn’t sealed or it has worn off. You can find some good products for stone flooring at AquaMix.com.

  16. Hi,
    I have a flagstone floor in my entrance hallway and some of the grout is cracked and/or chipped out. Rahter than trying to just fix the sections which could result in a color difference, I’d like to re-grout the entire floor. How difficult would this be and could you recommend a tool to get all the grout out?

  17. There are tools that you probably have lying around that can help remove your grout. I’d suggest something pointy (like an ice pick) and something with a beveled edge, such as a wood chisel and experiment with how hard to tap the tools with a hammer. You do run the risk of doing a little damage to the stone. When re-grouting, be sure to seal the stone first so that it makes removing the excess grout easier (and it won’t get imbedded in the porous stone). Be sure to seal everything once you have the excess grout cleaned up.

  18. When re-grouting an interior flagstone floor with rather wide grout lines (3/8″), would you recommend using sanded grout or mortar mix? Also, would you recommend applying the grout/mortar mix using a pastry bag as opposed to spreading it on with a rubber float?
    Thank you

  19. Hi Tony,
    What product you use is more of a personal choice. You can use either method to apply the grout/mortar, but make sure that your flagstone is sealed first. This way, the grout can’t get into the flagstone and makes it much easier to clean up. Make sure to clean grout residue thoroughly and you can then seal the whole floor. I can’t stress the cleaning of residue enough, if you don’t you’ll wind up with a haze which will become much more noticeable after you’ve sealed and there won’t be any cure for it except to strip and reseal.

  20. We have flagstone in our foyer and it is dull…we’ve been in the house 15 years and haven’t touched the flagstone. I’ve read about sealants but do you recommend the “wet” look or the “flat” look….I don’t want it to be too shiny.
    Any ideas?

  21. We have a flagstone patio around our pool. It is beginning to flake and chip. We have thought about sealing it but are concerned about 1)changing the color, 2)making it slippery, and 3)making it too hot to walk barefoot on. Are these legitimate concerns and do you recommend sealing exterior flagstone?

  22. I have a large flagstone patio ungrouted that is partially covered. The are that is exposed is fine but the covered area flakes and is now producing a fine dust. When it gets wet it becomes like a thick mud. The floor is about ten years old and has always flaked badly but has never been sealed. How can it be cleaned and should it be sealed and with what?

  23. Hi Sharon,
    Yes, seal the flagstone to protect it! A sealer may darken the color some (most products refer to this as enhancing the color), there are also products available to make the surface non-slip.

  24. whats the best way to take up old sealant on a rock floor it was sealed last fall and was not applied properly and want to do it right the second time?

  25. Can you tell me how to prepare…clean,seal, etc. Bluestone? I am using natural clef bluestone in my kitchen/ Tv area. Should I seal it? Also what do you think about soapstone counter tops? Do they require a lot of care? How can I change the color of my Mexican terra cotta colored tiles? I would like them more of a blue/gray to blend with the bluestone. Thank you so much

  26. Hi Julie, Yes, I would recommend sealing it. Please check out Aqua Mix for a great selection of sealants.

    I really am not familiar with soapstone countertops and I would suggest doing some research and comparison on those.

    I don’t know of any way to change the color of your Mexican terra cotta other than changing the tiles entirely.

  27. Judy,
    There are stains made for stone. You should be able to stain it and make it more brown if it is not sealed. If it is sealed, that will need to be removed to allow the stain to penetrate, and then re-sealed. Just remember that the stain color will mix with the color that it already is and may not match the description on the label. I would test a sample piece or small area and be sure you like the results.

  28. I have an unsealed flagstone countertop next to my outside grill. It has become stained with oils and fats from grilling. Is there a way to clean these oil stains before sealing the countertop?

  29. Some pictures of interior veneer stone floors, not walls, just floors, please. How thick are foor tiles and how much to they weigh? Can they be used in rooms that are above other rooms, etc.,? How suitable are these thin composite tiles for large areas with heavy traffic such as banquet hall, church nave, etc.?

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