Rated 3.4 out of 5 by 21
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by TheBeachBuddy 4-Star Twinkies
The stones are beautiful. The completed flagstone project easily added thousands to my home value (3 pallets cost me about $1400). Look at the fantastic kaleidoscope of stones colors in the pics! The beauty of the finished work is the reason for my 4-star rating. Call me crazy, but I only deduct one star because of all the bad/ugly stuff below.
Cutting stones and mixing mortar is a dusty and dirty job! Quite annoying too how each "mat" of stones is wrapped like a Twinkie in plastic. You'd think the Twinkied stones would be dust-free and ready to be mortared ... but no, that would be too easy! Yes, you still gotta wash the stones to get all that dust off. The mats are fairly award to handle too (each has 6 stones). And oh yeah, having to take time off my day job to hang around for hours waiting for my 3 crates of stones was no joy either ....
As a previous reviewer carefully detailed, it does indeed take "forever" to install these mats. Hear this: even after lots of practice, I averaged only about 10 square feet per hour. See the step-by-step process below to understand why so slow. Also mentioned by previous reviewers, many stones fall off the mats (glued doesn't hold well), and the thickness of the stones vary widely.
Other reviewers have complained about broken stones. I was not pleased either to find about 10% were broken in my first crate (far fewer were broken in the other crates). But after becoming an expert in this dirty job, I now realize 10% broken stones is no big deal since you wind up cutting many stones anyway for border areas.
Wasn't real obvious to me: the mats can be laid side-by-side in an offset pattern. In the diagram below each mat has six stones, numbered 1 thru 6. Each of the six stones in a mat has a very different shape.
But when laid out in the pattern below you'll have a continuous pattern and no need to cut stones in open areas.
Step-by-Step Two-hour Plan for Ten-Square-Feet
Wash your concrete base foundation (concrete an absolute must since stones are somewhat fragile sedimentary rock).
Unwrap your Twinkie mats and wash to get the dust off.
Before mixing mortar, layout your mats per the above pattern.
Use an angle grinder with a diamond disc to cut stones for along wall/borders.
Now pick up all the mats and the cut stones and set to the side (need to make room for the mortar).
Take a break. Catch your breath. Make sure your stomach is full and your bladder is empty before proceeding to the next steps.
If you're working solo (like crazy me was), mix 30 lbs of mortar at a time (half a bag).
Slosh down your mortar with a 1/2" notched trowel all over you work area.
Lay down your mats and cut stones as already planned above (no time to think/plan now ... that mortar is starting to harden)
Wiggle all the mats and cut stones are into the mortar.
Use a 6" putty knife to press mortar between all the stones (skip this if you want to extend the agony by using grout instead).
Start washing the excess mortar off your rocks. Use a big sponge and a 5-gallon bucket of water; surprisingly, doesn’t seem to matter how dirty the wash water gets since the mortar tends to sink to the bottom of the bucket!
Now go reward yourself with a beer. You'll be drunk and exhausted but you can repeat the above steps for up to 4 beers a day!
August 20, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Goodtogo Great appearance
Purchased to cover a concrete step to match exterior wall. Matched perfectly and looks great. Because of the small area I had I would have preferred individual stones. Had to tear stones from mesh to fill in. The glue that holds on the mesh is thick requiring a fairly thick coat of mortar. Did approximately 70 square feet. All complete in about 12 hours of labor. Suggest sealing stone prior to grouting... Makes clean up easier. Also the use of a grout bag works well
October 15, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by dahlia this stone for me is the go to stone for giving a fireplace a facelift
this product is light weight enough and asthetically pleasing to the eye. I used it to update my fireplace, it came out beautifully. I tried using as a path stone however, I found the stone not strong enough for foot traffic only decorative use.
May 30, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by euphgal Great looking tile
Not many were broken in shipping. Looks really nice with a grey grout. Adhered well to concrete steps and porch. Not too slick in rain. Love the look! Be sure to seal well before grouting as they are pretty permeable.
September 11, 2013
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by SlapshotKC Look great, but hard to work with and some stones will crack
Overall, we are very happy with the look of our new outdoor firepit area that we paved with these stones.
Once out of the plastic, they require two people to move because the outside pieces will flip and hang down. About 15% of the stones also come loose either during shipping, or as you're moving them prior to installation. Once we got the hang of things, we'd leave them in the plastic until after we'd set them pretty much in place. That made it easier to move and set them. Once set, they look great. I believe they are intended to be grouted/cemented down, but we have installed them on top of the liner and have been working in sand with them for a less-permanent install. The bevel on the underside of each stone is not really conducive to this, but it seems to be working OK for us for now.
November 17, 2011
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by jackie beautiful product
It was not purchased for it's intended use, but we found it easier to use off of the mesh due to the glue to hold it in place making the product unlovely, and unstable. After we figured that out it went smoothly and was beautiful
April 14, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by stonebuyer Relatively good product, some down sides
I really like the look of the product. Since it is no longer carried in the stores, I had to order online. I only needed 3/4 of a pallet but had to buy the whole thing. Some of the stones were broken (to be expected through shipping) but some of the meshes on the back were not completely glued on and so you have to be careful when picking them up. I have learned a few tricks on installation that I could share if interested. The installation instructions are vague at best. Overall it is grogeous when installed and grouted an sealed. A very custom look and i would buy again.
July 11, 2012
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Diremutt Many broken stones, irregular fit
At least 10% of the stones were fractured in both of the pallets I ordered. It should also be noted that because these stones are very thin, 1/2" or less, that unless you are using these on a very firm surface, concrete slab or such, you will suffer a great amount of attrition do to fracturing. Fracturing of the edges will also be a problem unless grout or fill is packed firmly under the edges for support. Furthermore, these forms are not consistent when placed together so that while some stones have a very tight or overlapped edge, some, because of the way the separate sections mate together, will have very large gaps upwards of 1 ½”.
Other than that, the stones have nice color variation and look good, but will need constant maintenance.
Not very pleased overall.
October 3, 2013