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Addressing the Challenges of Using Traditional Flagstone for Patios and Walkways

Patio Design Ideas -pergola - for Middletown, NY

 

Flagstone is a commonly used material for walkways, patios and pool surrounds, and is widely admired for its rustic appeal, rich variations of color, and organic patterning. However, being a natural stone, flagstone is not without its natural flaws and difficulties with availability. Here we’ll take a look at some of these common challenges and the innovative solutions offered by Unilock.

 

Irregularity

Ironically, the very thing that attracts many homeowners to flagstone is also one of the biggest issues picked up by owners of flagstone hardscaping over the long run. Flagstone’s natural irregularity of shape and texture creates a visually interesting surface that is both rustic and timeless. The problem is that while flagstone is quarried in flat broad sheets, these sheets lack precision. The surface created by flagstone is invariably uneven, causing chairs and patio furniture to always be slightly rickety when placed. In extreme cases, the unevenness of the stone can even present a hazard, especially if a walkway is used by the elderly. By contrast, Unilock’s products—both their natural stone products and their concrete pavers—are all precision cast and cut, making sure they lock together and fit evenly on their foundation. This allows for a quicker and more efficient installation, as well as ensuring even distancing and better structural integrity. The perfect example of this mechanism in action is seen with Unilock’s Beacon Hill Flagstone Paver. Although it is a manufactured concrete product and not a natural stone product like traditional flagstone, the deeply textured surface of of Beacon Hill resembles natural stone while maintaining an absolute level.

 

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Strength

Far from being a weakling when it comes to withstanding regular use, flagstone is nonetheless not immune to flaking and cracking, particularly when it comes to heavy vehicular loads and high traffic areas. Unlike regular flagstone pavers, Unilock’s alternatives are virtually indestructible when installed properly by a trained landscape professional. Although its texturing is reminiscent of natural flagstone, Beacon Hill Flagstone is cast from high strength concrete, rigorously tested and held to the highest standards. This means that the Unilock alternative will take anything you can throw at it – both literally and figuratively. Even so, Beacon Hill Flagstone maintains its natural appearance, completely randomized stone textured surface and ultra-realistic coloring. Likewise, Unilock’s Richcliff Pavers offer all of the elegance and subtle color variations of natural flagstone without the inherent failings.  If you’re home’s style or the region in which you live simply demands a natural stone product, strongly consider Natural Stone by Unilock—the first natural stone pavers to come backed by Unilock’s Transferrable Lifetime Guarantee.

 

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Color Fading

Sadly, natural flagstone’s vibrant coloring is not completely permanent. Depending on the type of stone used, color can fade several shades over the years as the stone surface reacts to the air and moisture of its new environment. As a solution to color fading, Unilock has developed EnduraColor Facemix Technology, a patented color stay system. EnduraColor ensures an extreme resistance to both weather and wear related fading and keeps our concrete products looking new for far longer their natural stone counterparts.

 

 

 

Staining

As a form of sandstone, flagstone is extremely porous and as such is vulnerable to picking up stains, namely from salt, chemicals, oil, and most commonly for patios with a social function – red wine. In homes with dogs and cats, this porosity can pose an issue of hygiene, particularly where pets are still being house trained. The concrete used in Unilock’s concrete pavers is far denser, and in combination with our arsenal of surface treatments, our flagstone substitute pavers such as our Richcliff are practically impervious to liquids and easy to clean. A simple hose down is enough to wash even the nastiest spills from the surface of our concrete pavers. If natural stone is more your thing, then Natural Stone by Unilock is a great alternative. Offering far less porosity than traditionally quarried flagstone and bluestone, Unilock has revolutionized the market.

 

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Slippery When Wet

Especially, but not limited to, where flagstone is used for pool patio surfacing and poolside surrounds, flagstone can become dangerously slippery when wet, depending on the variation used. This can be a cause for concern where young swimmers are involved and can pose difficulties navigating your walkways after a rain. Fortunately, Unilock pavers offer both textured and smooth, non-slip surfaces, for the safest poolside options and slip-free walkways.

 

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Availability

As with all natural stone, sourcing of natural flagstone can be disrupted by a decline of quarry output, spikes in demand, and reliance on limited sources. To counteract these challenges, Unilock’s concrete products and Natural Stone pavers are manufactured at a rate that is consistent with demand, while our raw materials and natural stone products are supplied by a wide global network of fair trade participants. This ensures a minimal delay for both our end customers and Unilock Dealers, and ultimately reduces any of the serious issues in availability often faced by natural flagstone consumers.

 

NJ, NY, CT, PA Flagstone Pavers for Patios, Walkways