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Noah Dempsey 4/10/20 10:15 AM 7 min read

What’s the Difference Between Sawn & Split Flagstone?

The Saw Shop opened earlier this year and we introduced a new line of landscape products, including our sawn flagstone (flagging). As with the introduction of any new product we often receive questions asking for clarification on the difference between the standard “split” flagging and the new sawn flagging.

Liberty Hill Natural Stone Veneer Flagstone

Saw Shop Cutting Liberty Hill Flagstone.

There are several differences between these two products but today we’re going to focus on two of the most noticeable:  Two major differences between Sawn and Split Flagging are:

  • Thickness
  • The Texture/Finish

Flagstone Thickness

Our standard flagging is a natural stone product that is generally used mostly for walkways and patios. These pieces are hand split between 1”-4” thick and range in size from 2sf and larger. This product is less expensive than the sawn material but it’s likely to cost more to install due the variation in thickness.

Real flagstone for patios and poolsFitzwilliam Granite Flagstone             

Left: Split Flagstone approx. 1"-4". Right: Sawn Flagstone approx. 1.5".

We introduced our new saw shop flagstone to help with consistency and ease of installation. Each piece is sawn to approximately 1.5” thick and approximately 3.5sf and larger. The 1.5” gauged thickness allows for an easier installation and more square foot coverage per ton.

The Importance of Texture/Finish

The most common use for flagging is surfaces that are walked on like patios, paths, and around pools. It’s because of these uses it’s important to maintain a texture that allows for safe walking in various conditions. Hand Split flagging has a natural cleft (texture) to it which helps prevent it from becoming slippery when wet and unsafe. 

Our saw shop flagging is sawn on both sides to achieve the desired thickness (1.5” standard) so we have to create the texture. The most common type of finish for this application is a “thermal finish”, sometimes referred to as “stone flaming”. In this process we apply a high temperature flame evenly across the smooth surface to heat the stone and cause it to expand. This creates a layer that we can brush off and expose a lightly textured surface that helps make it safe to walk on when wet.

Thermal Stone FlaggingSterling Tan Quartz Flagstone Left: Thermal Finish. Right: Natural Texture.

Those are two distinct differences to consider when trying to pick the flagging for your next project. We’re excited to see what other opportunities the Saw Shop allows us in the future. Check out more flagstone here and start to explore ways you can use flagging and other landscape products for your next project using our Spec Guide.