One great choice for a home hardscape project is bluestone pavers. Bluestone is a natural stone paver, mined directly in the United States. Natural stone pavers and building supplies add a natural, ‘ancient’ appeal to any indoor or outdoor space. This article will discuss some of the properties of bluestone pavers, how they are used and installed, and their cost.
The Properties of Bluestone Pavers
The natural color of the bluestone is, of course, blue, with some grey mixed in as well. Bluestone pavers do also have other hints of color in them beyond blue and grey, depending on where the stone was found, but all colors give a nice natural feel to a project. Though there is some uniformity in some types of bluestone in terms of size and texture and shape, they are still not totally uniform like manufactured bricks like concrete pavers. Thus, since each stone is different, every installation made using this product will be different and unique. The paving stones are so nice and versatile that they can be made to fit in with any home style, theme, or design, and can match or complement other features of your land and hardscape.
Like other natural stone products, bluestone pavers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is because the stone is obtained whole in the ground, and it is then transported to manufacturers and factories which cut it down to specified sizes. This is, in part, what makes bluestone so useful, as it can be customized to fit any job or desire. The possible shapes of these pavers range from rectangular, triangular, oblong, diamond, and irregular. The shape that you select will ultimately impact the paver patterns that you can lay the bluestone in – for instance, Holland stone pavers can be laid in Herringbone patterns, while diamond pavers have fewer pattern options available.
Uses for Bluestone
Due to their strength and versatility, bluestone pavers can be used for a variety of projects and uses aside from hardscaping. Some use bluestone paving stones as veneers for homes, businesses, or gardens. Some even build houses or other buildings out of bluestone. Many people also use bluestones for paving purposes, such as a new walkway, patio, driveway, or garden area. Some use them for steps, retaining walls, and pool decks and copings. They can be used nearly for any purpose, making bluestone a very popular product. It can be the main ingredient in a new project, or it can be used to add accents and flairs to a project made from a different material, indoors or out. Bluestone can be found in very flat and smooth “slate” varieties to large brick or coping shapes, depending on the wants and needs of the homeowner.
One popular use for bluestone pavers is for landscaping. Due to the flexibility and variety of stone shapes and sizes, bluestone landscape pavers can be used to spruce up any back or front yard, as well as incorporated into a garden or other landscape.
There are a number of varieties and modifications of the bluestone paver. For those looking to install bluestone in an area with high foot traffic, look for thermally treated bluestone that will make them less slippery. Another variety is ‘natural cleft,’ which makes the pavers look not uniform and thus more ‘natural,’ rather than the smoother, more uniform finish found in the standard kind.
Installation of Bluestone Pavers
A great benefit of the bluestone paver is its strength. Because it is made of stone, it will resist damage both from extreme weather and from the environmental stresses you put upon it. Still, it may be necessary to apply sealer to it every once in awhile, as weather and other erosion effects can wear away some of the natural colors of the stone. Water, in particular, can have damaging effects on the color of the pavers. Sealing your installation will also help guard the structure against other stains and dirt, maintaining its beauty for years to come. The integrity of the material, however, will not be compromised by these effects.
Bluestone pavers are installed much like concrete pavers are installed – they are laid on an aggregate base and a sand bed. The joints between the pavers are then filled with a joint material, usually sand, and they are then compacted. Like concrete pavers, bluestone can be a viable DIY project for many homeowners, though many will benefit from hiring a contractor to do the job right.
The Cost of Bluestone Pavers
Bluestone pavers price can be somewhat prohibitive, however. This is true for all stone pavers, whether sandstone, travertine, slate, or whatever. Manufactured pavers, like concrete and brick, are less expensive because they can be mass produced in house, while bluestone pavers must be quarried. However, if you can handle the cost of bluestone pavers, you will be sure to enjoy the beauty and strength of your new installation. You can expect to pay around $20 to $30 per square foot installed, though this price depends on so many factors it’s impossible to list them all here.