Bluestone is a blue-grey coloured natural stone that is used in many residential and commercial buildings. Giving a refreshing look to your swimming pool area, patios and walkways, these bluestone pavers are available almost in all sizes and shapes.
But before making the decision to install this stone in your house, first, know what bluestone is:
Bluestone is a natural stone and one of the most popular choices for architectural projects. They mainly fall in two categories: first is dimensional, used for doorways, staircases and windows. The second one is flagstone, used for patios and pathways. The tones come in blue, grey and sometimes purplish colour.
This stone gets its colour from the different minerals fossilised during the formation of rock. Bluestones are very much popular in the different countries of the world like the United States, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Canada and others. Because of the angular grains, rougher and porous surface texture, it is ideal for patios and pathways around swimming pools.
So if you are thinking of renovating your property, this will add beauty to it. Here read the benefits of bluestone paving:
This natural stone holds high density and thus has the innate ability to bear any harsh and unfriendly weather condition. Plus, it is also resistant to freeze-thaw cycles which is a fantastic characteristic.
Sealing bluestone benefits
No doubt, bluestone is a porous natural stone having abilities to hold large amounts of water. But as time passes, it starts losing its natural strength. So, to prevent it, bluestone is sealed. Using a sealer will help to protect the pavers and in the enhancement of natural colours. A high-gloss sealer can also be used to add more shine to the surface.
sealer protects the stone from:
- Heavy foot traffic
- Chlorine and salt water around the pool
- Dirt and grime in the garden
- Scratches, stains and marks
Due to its rough-textured surface, it is safe for any flooring application. And, as said above, after sealing the safety factors rise. These natural cleft pavers are ideal to use around your pool area because of the anti-slip characteristic.
Bluestone is one of the most versatile stones used for paving. Their strength and texture make it more versatile for any application like walkway, sidewalk, stepping stones, garden paths, and backyard.
The types of bluestone:
Among all, this type has the most natural looking class of stones with different irregularities. With non-slip property, it has coarse surfaces. Also, it is available in a variety of colours, styles, patterns, sizes, and shapes. It is the most economical and most cost-effective alternative right from cutting, completing, and establishment processes.
This type of bluestone has a smooth and unnatural surface when cut after the extraction from the deep layer of earth. To resurface it, heat treatment with hot flares to the wet stones is the necessary procedure. Because of such heat processes, the name is referred to as thermal bluestone. This process increases the value and cost of stones.
It is flagstone and accompanies extreme irregularities in shapes, size, and thickness. In this way, it is considered the most natural and utilised in outdoor applications. Nonetheless, it is less expensive; however, high establishment cost increases its original price.
How to install a bluestone walkway?
Before buying a new stone, decide at what length and width you are going to pave it down. Take the estimations of the area and select the material for it. Although there are lots of materials available in the market, you should choose the bluestone, especially palletised stones. They are the pre-arranged pieces in the matters of uniform size, shape and quality.
Breaking and removing of existing materials
For this task, use a sledge hammer to break down any old stone, concrete material, and asphalt. Clear out all the debris from the site and if possible, recycle it for any other use.
First, find the central point of the walkway. Now, you need to drive a spike into the ground. Tie a b string of thread or similar to the spike and pull it to straight. Make a tight line to a spike at the opposite finish of the walkway. Use a measurement square foot or meter to ensure the line is straight.
Start measuring out from the centre line towards different points to find the edges of the way. Make impressions on both sides of lines with a marker or paint on the complete walkway.
Preparing the base
Excavate or ground down the area of the walkway inside the edge lines particularly of 6″ depth. Hose the ground and remove the dirt in the base or damp down with a hand or power temper. Make the layers of gravel until there is a firm 3″ thick compacted base. After that, spread down the layer of concrete sand up to the level of 1″ on the gravel base.
Now, set up a guideline along one edge of the walkway before settling the bluestone. This is necessary to mark, so that the stone is laid in a straight line only. If you wish to put the rocks in particular patterns, you must have a plan and arrangement before starting.
Start setting stones from the beginning of the base. After that use a rubber mallet for tapping and securely ground down each piece in the sand. Ensure the level of each stone and make a consistent gap between two for an appealing look.
Lay a cobblestone border
Installing a cobblestone border adds extra beauty to your walkway. For this, first, dig a 4″ trench to border down the two sides of the walkway. Now make mortar, as indicated in the manufacturer’s guidelines. Trowel down a layer of mortar into the digged channel and set the border stones into it.
Again, use a rubber mallet tap and settle the stones rightly, keeping them straight facing to the bluestone. Ensure the highest point of the cobblestones is flush with the bluestone paver pieces.
Now clean all the mess and clear the path. Dump sand onto the pavers and fill it in joints with a sweeper brush. Shower the water on it so that the sand will settle down into the joints. Repeat it again and again until the joints are totally loaded up with sand, and there is no hole or gap between them.
Now, your bluestone walkway is ready.
Why is bluestone a better natural stone?
Bluestone, which is a natural stone with a variety of colours and textures has a high demand for construction projects. No doubt, it is an expensive one rather than other paving materials like sandstone pavers, asphalt pavers, concrete pavers, and many others.
But, this timeless material with the ability to blend with any surrounding makes it popular among people installing walkways, sideways to their houses or buildings. It is quite durable, and unlike the concrete material, it has more ability to absorb water which means a longer life. You can go through the pros and cons of concrete pavers for better insight.
So, once you install the bluestone for your paving or patios, you don’t need to worry about maintenance or re-installing after a short period. There are many other alternatives and possibilities are endless. But, bluestone is one of those natural stones that stand timeless.
You can add borders and mix the different sized blocks to create a unique shape for your area. However, before going ahead, consider the locality where you are laying down the blocks. It will help you to decide the design or take professional help.
Are there any cons of bluestone paving?
Like any other paving material, bluestone also have some cons, let’s check what these cons are:
- The first and important disadvantage is the cost of bluestone, which is higher than some of the manmade materials like concrete pavers and bricks. However, it prized for its natural beauty.
- It is a little tougher to install bluestone pavers than concrete or bricks because of irregular shapes and not having standard depth.
- You need to seal this porous stone from protecting against debris, chemicals and salted water. Otherwise, it will damage as time passes.
- Bluestones come in darker shades usually. Darker colours can get hot, which makes them not ideal for pool-side areas. Because in this area, you and your family mostly walk barefoot. So, it wouldn’t be a good idea to let them walk on a hot surface.
Now, after considering all the points, if you’ve decided to buy and install bluestone, here are some tips:
- Before purchasing these natural stone blocks, first, determine what size you want like irregular paver size or uniform paver size. If you wish to install in the garden area, the irregular pavers will better fit. However, it may be harder to install.
- Because it is a natural stone, the uniform size will also have some imperfections—for example, small clefts, rust stains, crevices etc. So, consider first how these irregularities can add beauty to your area.
- Usually, the palette of bluestone sized 1.5-inch covers about 180 square feet. So, better to install the bluestone on a range of materials like sand, gravel and cement.
- Also, make sure to add enough sand to fill the gaps between two blocks. It will decrease the beauty and make it hard to maintain those blocks.
Out of the many different patios and paving materials, bluestone became popular among the paver installers because of its natural beauty and durability. No doubt there are other natural stones like granite pavers which are also a great option. But you must take some notes and research to know about this natural stone to give perfect beauty to your property.
Hi, I am Mike Morleye. As a professional writer, I put together my writing skills to share knowledge on diverse topics in a readable, understandable and appealing format.