With so many available material options for renovating an outdoor living space, which one should you choose? You may have come to the conclusion that installing bluestone is the answer because of its attractive properties. We’ll give five reasons why alternatives to bluestone—which closely resemble the natural stone—could be just what your outdoor living space in the Cape May, NJ, area needs.
Related Read: Want the look of bluestone for your driveway?
The main reason to choose the look of bluestone for your outdoor living space is the attractive nature of the material that’s hard to resist. Bluestone is a type of flagstone quarried in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Its distinctive blue-gray color is often shaded by purple, copper, brown, silver, or green in various patterns depending on where it was quarried. Bluestone also has a natural slightly raised and uneven texture. This makes each stone completely unique and filled with character. But many homeowners find that pure bluestone can be problematic over time: its color will fade and it’s not meant for the heavy loads in driveways. The same unique character bluestone is known for is captured in concrete pavers—but the color stays consistent.
Bluestone alternatives work well in all pedestrian applications, from patios to walkways, pool decks, stepping stones, around water features, and entryways. It is typically sold in fairly large format pavers. This looks absolutely stunning in both large areas, where the expanse of bluestone enhances the characteristics of each stone. In small areas, too, bluestone shines! You can make any space feel larger by laying bluestone pavers on the diagonal and using a similarly hued jointing compound.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind hardscape, bluestone-like pavers deliver. They look stunning when accented with both lighter and darker paving stones that highlight is character.
For best results, you could mix and match stones from various bundles to create a stunning mosaic look on each of your hardscapes, rather than trying to match stones to create a uniform look. Not only is this visually much more interesting, but it’s also practical. You may appreciate this method if ever a stone needs to be replaced and you can’t find a color match.
Pure bluestone requires sealing as it does absorb water. If left unsealed it can be susceptible to spalling (flaking) due to the freeze-thaw cycle, as well as staining from any minerals in the water or minerals that leach out from the stone. For bluestone-like pavers, sealing is optional, and their original appearance will withstand the contact with moisture and sun, as well as ice.
Ease of Maintenance
Bluestone-like pavers only require sweeping to remove dirt and leaves and the occasional cleanup of spills. Sealing is optional. Prevent weeds from growing in the joints by regularly inspecting and reapplying jointing compound as needed.
Is the Look of Bluestone Right for You?
If you love the color of bluestone but don’t want the rough texture or don’t want to re-seal the stone every couple of years, consider Unilock Bristol Valley concrete pavers. The Steel Mountain color closely resembles bluestone both in color and in texture. Available in random bundles of three sizes as well as an XL rectangle sold individually, you get even more design options than with same-sized natural bluestone pavers, as well as superior strength, durability and greater ease of installation.
This title image features Bristol Valley pavers.