Gator Dust Alternative for Flagstone Patio: Exploring Other Options

When it comes to creating a beautiful and functional flagstone patio, one of the most important considerations is the choice of jointing material. Traditionally, Gator Dust has been a popular option due to it’s ability to stabilize and bind the flagstone together while providing a solid and durable surface. However, recent years have seen an increased interest in exploring alternative options for Gator Dust, as homeowners and contractors seek out more environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing alternatives.

Is Sand or Stone Dust Better for Flagstone?

When it comes to choosing between sand or stone dust for your flagstone patio, it’s important to consider the specific characteristics of your flagstone and the joints between them.

Sand, although commonly used for flagstone installations, may not provide the stability and durability needed for irregular pieces. Sand tends to shift and wash away more easily, especially when exposed to heavy rains or foot traffic. This can lead to an uneven surface and potentially unstable flagstone patio.

On the other hand, stone dust offers several advantages that make it a more suitable alternative. Due to it’s finer texture and compacting properties, stone dust provides a more stable base for your flagstone. It helps create a firm surface, filling in the gaps between the irregular stones and preventing them from shifting or settling over time.

Stone dust is also beneficial for drainage. It’s compact nature allows water to flow through the joints, reducing the risk of water pooling or causing damage to the flagstone.

Excavate the area to the required depth, ensuring it’s leveled and compacted well. This will provide a solid foundation for the stone dust and ensure a long-lasting and visually appealing patio.

Properly preparing the base is crucial to achieve optimal results with stone dust.

Additionally, small stones, gravel, and crushed gravel provide stability and prevent the flagstones from shifting or becoming uneven over time. The choice of filler ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired look for your outdoor space.

What Is the Best Stone to Put Between Flagstone?

When it comes to finding the best stone to put between flagstone, there are several options to consider. One commonly used filler is small stones. These small stones not only provide a practical solution for filling the gaps between the flagstone, but they also add to the overall aesthetics of the patio.

It’s often preferred for it’s ability to create a firm and stable surface. Crushed gravel can effectively prevent weed growth and bug infestations, making it a practical solution for maintaining the cleanliness and integrity of the patio. Additionally, crushed gravel comes in different sizes, allowing homeowners to select the option that matches the size and shape of their flagstone.

One common method for filling the joints of a flagstone patio is to use polymeric sand, which is specifically designed for paver applications. However, when it comes to natural flagstone, concrete paver, and ceramic brick patios, a different type of sand is typically used. These types of patios are typically set upon a gravel foundation and require a different approach for filling the joints. In this case, a different type of sand would be more suitable.

What Type of Sand Do You Use for a Flagstone Patio?

When it comes to creating a flagstone patio, the type of sand you use is crucial for achieving the desired results. Polymeric sand is specifically designed for dry laid paver installations, and although it can provide a sturdy and durable surface, it may not be suitable for filling the joints between flagstones.

This type of sand is often made up of fine particles that are specifically chosen to fit between the irregularly shaped surfaces of flagstones. Regular jointing sand is typically swept into the joints of the patio after the stones have been set in place, allowing the sand to fill in the gaps and stabilize the stones.

Another alternative to polymeric sand is crushed granite. This option not only fills the joints effectively but also adds an attractive touch to the overall look of the patio. Crushed granite is commonly used for flagstone patios due to it’s ability to fill gaps tightly and provide a stable surface. Additionally, it’s a more natural and environmentally friendly option compared to polymeric sand.

Additionally, some homeowners may also choose to use a combination of sand and cement, known as mortar or grout, to fill the joints of their flagstone patios. Mortar or grout not only enhances the stability of the stones but also provides a more finished and polished appearance. However, it’s important to note that using mortar or grout can limit the flexibility of the patio, making it more susceptible to cracks and damage over time.

Regular jointing sand, crushed granite, or a combination of sand and cement can provide a more appropriate alternative.

Benefits of Using Regular Jointing Sand

Regular jointing sand is a common and cost-effective option for filling the gaps between flagstones in a patio. It’s several benefits, including providing stability and preventing the movement of the stones over time. Regular jointing sand also helps to maintain the overall integrity and appearance of the patio by reducing weed growth and discouraging insect infestations. Additionally, this type of sand is easy to install and replace as needed, making it a convenient choice for homeowners. While there are other alternatives available, regular jointing sand remains a popular and practical option for achieving a stable and visually pleasing flagstone patio.


The sheer variety of alternatives available, such as polymeric sand, decomposed granite, and traditional mortar, offers different benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before making a final decision. By carefully researching and understanding these options, homeowners can ensure the long-term stability and aesthetic appeal of their flagstone patios while finding a solution that suits their specific requirements and preferences.

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