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Create Floating Decks and a Flagstone Walkway

Two slate-covered decks are connected to each other with a flagstone and pebble walkway.

A two-tiered deck and patio add dimension to a flat backyard.

Materials and Tools:

layout and marking tools including tape measure
circular saw
reciprocating saw
framing nailer
saw horses
tile saw
screw gun and deck screws
roofing nailer
shovels and rakes
2" and 2-1/2" galvanized nails
coil roofing nails
three pieces of 4x4x10' pressure treated lumber
four pieces of 4x4x 8' pressure treated posts
nine pieces of 2x4x8' pressure treated lumber
12 piece of 2x4x10' pressure treated lumber
five sheets of construction-grade plywood
five sheets 4x8 cement backer board
160 square feet of slate tile
one crate slate random stone
three bags mortar
10 bags of sand
12 bags of beach pebble

Cutting the plywood for the deck.


1. Demo the existing patio. Remove all bricks and cement pavers in the area where the flagstone walkway will be laid down. The floating deck can be built on top of the existing patio as long as it is level.

2. Design and plan the layout of your new patio and floating deck. Mark the dimensions with chalk line.

3. Spread sand around the area where the flagstone walkway will be laid down. Use garden tools to help evenly distribute the sand making sure it is level.

4. Frame the floating deck. Lay the three 4x4 posts in place. Then run the 2x4s across the posts two foot on center and fasten with nails.

5. Cover the deck frame with the plywood and secure with nails. Fasten cement backer board to the plywood with roofing nails eight inches on center.

Mexican beach pebbles are spread around the flagstone.

6. Lay out the tile before you adhere it to the backer board. Make any necessary cuts to the tile. Use a pencil to mark your your layout . Begin buttering the back of each tile with the mortar. Press each tile down firmly. Let mortar dry overnight.

7. Back to the flagstone walkway. Lay weed blocker or pond liner over the sand to prevent weeds from sprouting up.

8. Lay the flagstone down for the pathways. Laying it randomly will give you a natural look. Fill in around the flagstones with a layer of beach pebbles.

Putting trim around the the perimeter of the floating deck.

9. After the slate has had 24 hours to cure, apply a weatherproof sealer.

10. When the sealer is dry, frame the entire floating deck with the remaining 2x4s.

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