Flagstone Stamped Concrete is an Affordable Alternative to Real Stone

Learn how to create stamped concrete that resembles real flagstone and get ideas for flagstone stamped patios, pool decks, walkways, and more.
By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com

Sublime Concrete Solutions LLC in Plano, TX.

The earthy, rustic look of natural flagstone has made it a popular paving material for residential patios and walkways. With its irregular edges and natural color variations, flagstone creates pavements that are totally unique and full of character.

Popular Resources

Find stamped concrete contractors near me.

However, many homeowners simply can't afford the high cost of flagstone, especially if they want to use the material for larger projects. The good news is that it's possible to replicate the distinctive look of real flagstone by using flagstone stamped concrete, a budget-friendly alternative that offers easier installation along with all the design versatility of decorative concrete.

What Is Flagstone Stamped Concrete?

Stamped concrete can mimic many different types of stone down to the finest detail, including flagstone, slate, and cobblestone. What makes stamped concrete look so realistic are the coloring methods used to replicate the earthy tones of natural stone. Coloring agents can be mixed into the concrete, applied to the surface, or added to the sealer (see this guide to coloring concrete). A skilled decorative concrete contractor will often combine various coloring methods to achieve greater realism and a naturally weathered look.

What Patterns Are Available

Flagstone stamp patterns are molded from actual stones to recreate their natural shapes and textures. The patterns have fractured edges, like real quarried stone, and incorporate faux grout lines for even greater authenticity. Styles differ primarily in the size, shape, and random arrangement of the stones.


Brickform, a division of Solomon Colors, Inc.

Arizona Flagstone

Proline Concrete Tools

San Diego Flagstone

Proline Concrete Tools

Appalachian Flagstone

Butterfield Color

How Does Flagstone Stamped Concrete Compare in Cost?

Although natural flagstone is relatively inexpensive, costing about $3 per square foot, the labor cost is high because the stone is extremely heavy and every piece must be laid by hand.

According to Landscapingnetwork.com, flagstone pavements with gravel-filled joints run about $10 per square foot installed while those with mortared joints can run as high as $30 per square foot. What's more, flagstone is a natural material and quite variable in shape and color. Contractors often must order at least 25% more stone than required to compensate for odd pieces that don't match.

In comparison, pouring, stamping, and coloring concrete will cost around $12 to $18 per square foot, a significant savings over installing grouted flagstone (see Stamped Concrete Cost). With stamped concrete, there is also no material waste.

A1A Concrete Design in Norfolk, VA.

Heritage Bomanite in Fresno, CA.

How Is Flagstone Stamped Concrete Installed?

Concrete that mimics flagstone can be poured new or you can resurface an existing concrete slab with a stampable overlay. Although stamped concrete is often faster and less labor-intensive to install than real flagstone, it's still a complicated process requiring the expertise of a decorative concrete contractor to ensure a successful outcome and realistic results. See Is Stamped Concrete a Do-It-Yourself Project?

Will It Crack?

Both flagstone and stamped concrete can crack, but proper installation of either material will greatly reduce the likelihood. With stamped concrete, the installation of control joints minimizes random, unsightly cracking by allowing for natural expansion and contraction. Although these joints are visible, contractors will often incorporate them into the stamp pattern so they look like natural grout lines.

Verlennich Masonry and Concrete in Staples, MN.

Where Can I Use Flagstone Stamped Concrete?

Flagstone stamped concrete is most commonly used for patios, pool decks, and walkways, but it's also a great choice for driveways because it will hold up better than real flagstone under the weight of heavy traffic. If you really fancy the look of natural flagstone but can't afford the high labor costs, consider installing a combination of flagstone and stamped concrete, such as surrounding a stamped and colored concrete patio with a natural flagstone border.

Flagstone Stamped Pool Decks

Replicating an Arizona landscape

This large flagstone stamped pool deck mirrors the surrounding landscape, taking its cues from the natural red and brown colors and textures of real Arizona flagstone.

Flagstone stamped overlay

A flagstone stamped concrete overlay brings new life to a backyard pool deck. It was painstakingly stained by hand in various shades of brown to recreate the natural color variations of real stone.

Flagstone stamped patios

Flagstone stamped patio with contrasting border

Because of their irregular edges, flagstone stamp patterns are a great choice for patios with meandering shapes. Here, a stained concrete border was used to add contrast and definition.

Decorative medallion accents flagstone patio

A five-point star medallion serves as a focal point for this flagstone stamped patio, helping to break up the large fields of stone and unify the seating area. Learn more about using decorative medallions to customize your stamped concrete installations.

Flagstone stamped walkways

Stained flagstone walkway

Staining is one of several coloring methods that can be used to enhance flagstone stamped concrete. Concrete stains come in an array of earthy, stonelike colors, including tans, browns, and terra cottas. Because the stains penetrate the surface of the concrete, the color won't fade, chip off, or peel away.

Bordered flagstone walkway

Edging a flagstone stamped walkway with a concrete border adds a bit of formality and structure to the random stone pattern. The control joints installed between sidewalk slabs help to prevent cracking without detracting from the overall appearance.

Flagstone stamped patios

Flagstone stamped driveway enhances custom log home

A concrete driveway stamped with an Arizona flagstone pattern fits in beautifully with the rustic look of this Spokane, Wash., home. The entryway columns are made from old cedar trees positioned to appear as if they are actually growing out of the concrete.

Custom colored to match

A big benefit of stamped concrete is that it can be custom colored to harmonize with the exterior of a home, creating a sense of continuity. On this project, sections of the concrete driveway were patterned and colored to perfectly match the home’s stone façade.


Stamped Concrete Patterns

Ask your contractor if they have pattern samples or mockups you can see and feel

Slate Stamped Concrete

Ask your contractor if they have pattern samples or mockups you can see and feel

Find a Contractor By City