I'm not saying it's right, but I did on my last house. We had an ugly cement pad and I glued down the flagstone with construction adhesive. I left spaces between and filled it with pea gravel. Ours drained because there were cracks in the cement.
Lived there for a year after doing it and didn't have any problems or regrets.
yes, this is true, some of the flagstones cracked that were not on a level surface. I tried to position all so that there was no wobble, and I even shimmed some that were not level, but inevitably a few of the stones did crack.
Now don't poo poo the idea until you see some in place on the web. I have specified a lot of rubber pavers for clients and they seem to like them. Most are made from recycled material (in case you are into green credits things) are easy to install, maintain and replace. Given the nature of the material they have some flex to them so will not crack like brick or ceramic pavers.
They feel great underfoot and are easier on those party margerita glasses than a hard material
You can get them in a rainbow of colors and any typical brick pattern as well as cobblestone and even radiant circle sorts of things. They also come in large 12x12 sort of patterns. Obviously this all might be a more formal look than you had in mind though?
It doesn't have to look cheezy if you find a good contractor/artisan but an epoxy pattern application can look nice. Like I say, there is a fine line between looking nice and looking ridiculous though. You can even embed small pebbles in the mix if you want a texture to the surface.
Exterior tile might be another possibility depending on where you are. Even with elasticized mortar such an outdoor floor would never hold up to the winters here.
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