Bluestone is one of the most wonderful natural stones used for outdoor living. It’s suited for any pedestrian application including patios, walkways, pool decks, and garden steps. If you’ve been curious how to give your landscape a serious wow factor with this character-filled stone, here are five inspiring ways to use bluestone in your Seaford, DE, home.
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Bluestone is a type of sandstone quarried in Pennsylvania and New York State. It is most famous for its deep blue-gray color, although the stone can feature undertones or highlights of different colors. Bluestone’s color variations give this stone incredible character. Secondary colors depend on the depth at which the stone was quarried, and can range from a chocolate brown to rust, copper, tan, green, or a light gray. Bluestone is often cut into dimensionally consistent pavers perfect for most hardscapes, or it can be left as a natural irregular shape (perfect for a rustic stepping stone path). Bluestone should not be used for driveways. If you love the look of bluestone, you can use Unilock Thornbury pavers, which are a great option with a ton of character and the durability to withstand vehicle traffic.
Bluestone for paver surfaces can be purchased with a rough and irregular surface (called “natural cleft”) or a smooth finish. Both are suitable for bare feet, although natural cleft bluestone should be sealed to prevent spalling (flaking that is common in sandstone exposed to weather) and to prevent mildew growth, which can make the stones slippery.
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To create a beautiful outdoor space using bluestone, consider the following tips:
- To minimize visual clutter, use the largest format bluestone paver available to highlight the incredible personality of each stone. Using larger stones also minimizes joint lines, which—since the color and grain of bluestone can vary dramatically from stone to stone—helps to create a less “busy” hardscape.
- If you are accenting the patio with a border, use a neutral color such as tan to avoid clashing with the purples and greens that may become evident in individual natural bluestone pavers. Keep in mind that color becomes especially apparent when the stones are wet. If possible, get a few samples of the border stones you’re considering, and match them against as many bluestone samples as possible—both when wet, and when dry.
- Embrace bluestone’s character. Natural bluestone pavers are all slightly different and that can give your hardscape a rustic feel. They differ not only in color, but also in texture (some are naturally smooth, while others have an uneven surface). Like any natural product, imperfection is part of the effect. If you want a smoother (more consistent) surface, Unilock bluestone alternatives such as Beacon Hill Smooth will give you the character of bluestone without the bumps and ridges. If you’re using bluestone around a pool, this is an important consideration as natural bluestone can spall and cause a tripping hazard.
- Use random laying patterns. A very modern trend that still fits right in with any design style or setting is to use various sizes of bluestone laid in more or less random patterns. Mixing square and various rectangular sizes creates a lot of interest. To prevent a busy look, choose a neutral, mid-tone jointing compound that is neither too dark nor too light.
- Forget the notion that small spaces require small pavers and small furniture. On the contrary, you can create a more expansive and high-end feel by using larger-format bluestone pavers laid at an angle. This again minimizes visual clutter, and takes attention away from the outer dimensions of the space.
The title image features a Beacon Hill Smooth patio with Town Hall accents and U-Cara Multi-Face verticals.