What to Know When Building Flagstone Patios and Walkways

Of all the investments you will make in your lifetime, one of the biggest ones you’ll be spending on would be the construction of your home. For that reason, you would want to make sure that it results into the home of your dreams, complete with all the features you need to enjoy a satisfying life.

With that said, one part of the house that you should put heavy consideration into would be your patios and walkways. Not only will they affect your home’s curb appeal and push up your property’s value significantly, but walking home to see a stunning walkway and patio will make you feel proud whenever you walk on it.

As such, you would want to make sure your patio and walkways are done right. With that in mind, whether you’re installing a new patio and walkways or you’re renovating your old one, then consider using flagstones for an even better aesthetic finish.

Here is what you need to know about flagstones and how to make the most out of it.

What are flagstones?

Stones are named depending on their size, shape, type, and more. The term “flagstone” is directed at stones that are split into flat layers, generally around one to three inches each. Stones that are used to create flagstones include slate, sandstone, and limestone, and since no stone is exactly alike, it helps achieve a natural look. This makes it a perfect choice for any home that wants a natural and relaxing feel to it.

What should be considered when choosing flagstones?

There are a fair few things you need to keep in mind when going about selecting flagstones.

The first consideration you need to make is how a particular set of flagstones will fit into your home’s aesthetics. While flagstones are quite versatile in fitting into different looks, make sure it is the look you want to achieve.

The second consideration you must make is whether or not the flagstone is from a local source. This is important because a store can run out of a particular stone quite quickly, especially if it is not from a local source. You would want something available locally, ensuring that you have plenty of access to the stones you need to maintain the same look through the years.

The third and final consideration to make is what you are going to do on the flagstones itself. For example, is it simply for walking on? Is there any family member that uses a wheelchair? Making these types of considerations will ensure your flagstone path and patio works well for whomever uses it.

How do I use flagstones for the patio and walkway?

For patios and walkways, consider using flagstones that are at least an inch thick. With those, you can either lay them directly on the ground or pour in some other material, like sand, to put the stones on. If you want to work with thinner slabs, they need to be laid on concrete to prevent it from breaking or cracking.

Your flagstone path will have some spaces in between the slabs. You can fill that with different things, from gravel to small plants. If you want a “tighter” pathway, you can fill the gaps with mortar instead. This helps create a smooth surface, which is ideal for patios but not crucial for walkways.


Now that you have familiarized yourself with flagstones and how you can pick the right ones and use them properly, go ahead and start planning! Not only are flagstones extremely durable—meaning that your patio and walkways will last an incredibly long time—but they also look stunning. We promise that your time and effort will be worth it, as you finally lay down the final stone, seal it in place, and sit back to enjoy the beautiful fixture.

Are you having trouble building flagstone walkways and patios? We have got your back! Red Robin Masonry is a masonry company in Toronto, offering a variety of services, including building flagstone patios and walkways. Get in touch with us today!

While it may not come as a surprise to know that a strong foundation is the most important part of the house, most people may not know exactly why. It’s definitely responsible for supporting the entire weight of your home, but there are other factors that can affect the durability of your foundation, like the type.

There are plenty of things to consider when setting up the foundation of your house. Where is it located? Is it near a body of water or a swampy area? What kind of soil is in the area? Arming yourself with this knowledge will help you pick the right foundation for your house, which will eliminate future stress and headaches.

Here are some of the different types of foundation you’ll want to consider for your house:

Strip Foundation

This type of foundation is used in swampy areas. It’s specially designed to provide a strong and sturdy foundation while giving way to flowing water from the swamp so that it does not rise up. Strip foundation is made of a mix of concrete, cement, and aggregate, as this combination of materials is proven to be effective in a waterlogged environment.

When setting up this type of foundation, a substance called a damp proof membrane must be applied on top of the aggregate. This prevents the passage of water into the concrete, keeping the house dry.

Slab-on-Grade Foundation

This type of foundation makes use of a slab or a single layer of concrete that is several inches thick. This is usually placed on top of crushed gravel to help transfer the house’s weight onto the soil. This is most suitable in areas of warmer temperatures, or where the ground doesn’t freeze. The edges of the slab are thicker to make an integral footing, which is further supported by rods. This can be used in areas with clay soil.

Drilled Pier Foundation

Similar to the slab-on-grade foundation, the drilled pier foundation is best used in areas with clay or sandy soils. As these soils are soft and loose, a robust foundation made of concrete, cement, and aggregate is needed to give optimal support to a house. This type of foundation provides the strength needed when supporting a structure in clay soil, as they are installed deep into the soil where it is drier in order to provide more stability.   

Raft Foundation

Also known as a mat foundation, this is a long, continuous slab that stretches over the entire base of the house. It supports the building while also shifting the burden of the weight to the ground. This type of foundation is typically used in areas where the soil is weak. It’s also used for those who would prefer to have basements in their house. That’s because this type of foundation is created by excavating soil several feet below ground level in order to reach stronger and more compact soil.

Bottom line

It’s important to choose the right type of foundation for your house. Otherwise, it might cause problems that lead to foundation failures like cracks that will compromise the structural integrity of your house. Having the right foundation will not only help you save money from foundation repairs, but it will also help shield your house from natural disasters and also help make your house earthquake-proof.

Red Robin Masonry is a masonry company in Toronto, Canada. We specialize in home restoration and masonry services to make sure your structures are robust and well-maintained. Have some questions about your house’s foundation? Get in touch with us today and we’ll see how we can help!

3 Masonry Issues to Watch Out For - What to Know

One of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your life is the purchase and upkeep of your home. Taking care of your home entails quite a number of things, like making sure the pipes are running smoothly, that your household appliances are functioning properly, and that your fixtures are all properly installed. Maintaining these can be quite stressful—especially if you forget to inspect your home for any masonry repair work!

Any cracks or issues in your walls need to be repaired as soon as possible—you wouldn’t want to wait for these to get worse, after all! The cost of repairs can blow up to really expensive levels if left to deteriorate, which is why the sooner you act, the less you’ll spend.

Here are three masonry issues you’ll need to keep an eye on:

Shelf Angle Spalling

Shelf angle spalling is one of the most common issues homeowners will run into. A shelf angle is an L-shaped piece of metal that is inserted behind a row of bricks. It helps distribute the weight of the bricks between the house and the ground.

Spalling, on the other hand, is what happens when the surface of the brick beings to chip, which tends to occur when it rubs too much against the shelf angle. Too much corrosion or damage on the shelf angle will prevent it from fully distributing the weight of the bricks, thus placing your walls at the risk of collapsing.

If your walls are old or in a deteriorated state, be sure to have it inspected. Preventive maintenance is key, after all, as this masonry repair job can be quite lengthy to work on.

Crumbling Mortar

The disintegration of mortar joints between bricks will cause them to collapse and rub against each other, which will badly affect the integrity of your walls. This constant friction will eventually cause extensive damage and changes to its shape, thus resulting in loose or misshapen bricks. In larger numbers, these can be very dangerous for your home.

It’s important to catch this in its early stages, as a mason can easily replace or strengthen the existing mortar. If it’s caught too late, you may have to reconstruct the entire wall—which greatly increases the expenses you’ll have to shelve out for.

Of course, not everyone knows how to identify crumbling mortar. If you’re not too certain, consulting a masonry repair expert is your best bet. They’ll be able to give you an overview of the status of your masonry and attend to any issues before it’s too late.


This problem can be tricky—it’s unavoidable, especially if you live in an area that’s gloomy and rainy. Efflorescence happens when soluble salts in the concrete rise to the surface and take on a stain-like appearance. Cold and damp weather, or anything that causes condensation, is often the culprit of this.

If you begin to see tiny spots of efflorescence, all you need to do is to pressure wash the concrete thoroughly. While it sounds simple, it has to be done carefully and meticulously. If you leave the stains on for too long, they can’t be removed even through pressure washing, as they’ll transform into calcium carbonate. Instead, you will have to use certain chemicals like muriatic acid—which should definitely be handled by professionals!

Bottom line

Catching problems before they worsen is always a good idea, which is why it’s crucial to know the most basic problems your masonry can get affected by. Even if your walls seem to be in tip-top shape, it would be beneficial to you and your home to call masonry services to inspect them. They might be able to spot something you missed, thus saving you even more money in repairs in the long run.

Red Robin Masonry is a masonry company in Toronto, Canada. We offer restoration and masonry services to make sure your structures are sturdy and well-maintained. Have some walls that need checking? Get in touch with us, and we’ll see how we can help you!

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Retaining Walls Need to Be Repaired

Retaining walls play a crucial role in landscaping. They serve to resist the lateral pressure of soil in elevation, and they also beautify your yard. They usually come in various colours, styles, and designs meant to enhance the aesthetic and functional values of your property. However, they are also subject to wear and tear over time given that they are typically constructed outside and exposed to harsh outdoor elements.

But when can you determine that your retaining walls need to be repaired? Here are four tell-tale signs your garden’s retaining walls are in need of repair job now!

1. Crumbling

In most cases, retaining walls are made of clay, bricks, and stones, which means they can start to crumble in the long run. When crumbled, not only does it defeat its purpose of protecting the soil in elevation, but it can also become unsightly in appearance. As soon as you notice small pieces of stone around the structure, it’s best to get masonry services to restore the walls’ lost beauty and functionality.

2. Falling apart

If you see the retaining walls falling apart, it’s an obvious sign they need to be repaired. As mentioned above, these walls are made of clay, bricks, and small stones that are constructed together. Over time, they can fall down and break apart, leaving your yard in complete disarray. Before they even fall apart, contact a masonry company to fix them and make a difference in your garden or yard.

3. Worn or faded walls

Worn and faded retaining walls may not necessarily impact their overall functionality. However, they can ruin the aesthetics of your yard and property in general. Faded walls can be an eyesore in your greenery. The same is true for worn walls that can ruin the beauty of your lawn. To address these concerns, get masonry services to give your landscape a beautiful look and fresh appearance that the whole neighbourhood would love to see.

4. Natural calamities

If you live in an area that’s prone to storms and other natural disasters, then it’s a good idea to inspect your retaining walls regularly and have them fixed when necessary. For instance, you may want to examine your walls soon after a storm. Chances are, they may be worn or damaged. Check for any cracks, breaks, or damage to the wall. From there, get masonry repair work to preserve the beauty of your retaining walls and property as a whole.


Most homeowners use their retaining walls for landscaping in various ways. However, these structures need to be checked for damage every now and then. To know when to fix them, be wary of signs such as crumbling, falling apart, worn and faded walls, and natural calamities as outlined above.

When you notice one or some of these signs, it’s best to hire masonry services to repair your retaining walls. These professionals can make a difference in the overall beauty and functionality of your property’s retaining walls.

We’re a leading masonry company in Toronto. If you’re looking for top-notch masonry services to fix your retaining walls, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!