advice for repairing flagstone veneer front steps

by Cathy
(Toronto)

Hello

My front steps are in bad shape: several of the pieces of flagstone used as veneer have come loose and the tuckpointing has disintegrated. From what I can see, the flagstone was laid over pieces of slate and these over cement. I'm not sure if it is a poured concrete stairs underneath. I see wire netting in places, I think this holds in concrete to build up a bed to then put veneer onto. Flagstone was used on the steps and some kind of brick veneer on the risers. I have gotten various suggestions from different contractors which leaves me confused. It seems everyone agrees that the original job was done poorly, and subsequent repair work was also poor --wrong kind of cement used? Could you please advise me on what material I should use to reset the flagstone. I've read through your material and you seem to suggest Portland Cement. I had one chance to ask my dad before he recently passed away unexpectedly --he seemed to be suggesting that cement was not the right material, wouldn't have enough adhesive and I should be looking at some kind of mortar, as you would use to lay tile (but for exterior work). Any advice you could offer would be appreciated. I can't afford to hire a contractor, but am pretty handy myself, so think with right instructions I can manage the job.
many thanks
Cathy

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Owner/D&D Stone Brokers
by: Don

I would suggest Type S mortar, it has portland cement, sand, and hydrated lime.This would have the strength and flexibility you are looking for..

laticrete
by: David

Hi Cathy,

There is an additive that my dad puts into Portland cement called laticrete. He uses it on jobs like yours where you need to adhere the stone or brick really well to the foundation. He always uses it with brick pavers and stone around a pool. You can't have that additive in the cement you use to tuck your joints, but only for underneath the stone.

You can go here:

http://www.laticrete.com/home.aspx

to find out where you can get it in your area.

Great luck!

David

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