The title image features Thornbury patio pavers.
Is natural stone the only choice for a new patio in Red Bank, NJ? Natural stone is often seen as the ideal material for outdoor living spaces. However, there are a few drawbacks to certain types of natural stone that are worth noting, and that could have you looking at concrete pavers as an alternative.
The Look of Bluestone
The dramatic steel-blue color is often varied in texture and accented with other colors. It pairs well with virtually any architectural style. It’s a popular choice for walkways and patios, but it does have a few drawbacks that limit its usability. This sedimentary stone is made up of many thin layers, making it porous and vulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle. Unless it is thoroughly (and often) sealed, it can absorb moisture and then spall (flake) or crumble. Its dark color and its tendency to become slippery make it unsuitable for pool decks. This natural stone also doesn’t stand up to abrasion and is not suitable for driveways.
Unilock features several bluestone alternatives that deliver the same level of beauty along with greater durability, strength, and design flexibility. Any of the following pavers can be used as a single-color application, or for a more authentic random natural stone look, two or three colors could be blended on site.
Beacon Hill Flagstone is a relatively generously sized paver inspired by rustic flagstone textures. The colors most suited to bluestone colors include Steel Mountain, New York Blend, Almond Grove, and Fossil. The new large format rectangle size is generally considered ideal for visually expanding the size of any patio, pool deck, or walkway.
Bristol Valley pavers feature EasyClean stain resistance technology, which makes cleanup a breeze and prevents staining from household or pool chemicals, or food and beverage spills. This makes this paver a good choice for a patio/outdoor kitchen area. Fossil, New York Blend, and Steel Mountain can be used individually or blended on site for a natural bluestone look.
Thornbury pavers can be used on a driveway as well as any pedestrian zone, like a patio, and can be installed on a permeable base to make your hardscape feature more eco-friendly. Instead of a solid-surface that causes runoff after heavy rains, permeable pavers minimize runoff by letting water seep into the ground below. Thornbury is available in Bavarian Blend, Almond Grove, New York Blend, and Steel Mountain.
Richcliff pavers feature the most realistic bluestone textures, thanks to Reala technology, which uses casts taken from natural flagstone. This paver is also four times as strong as poured concrete because of Ultima technology, making this high-end paver suitable for any pedestrian area or driveway. The pavers are available in Pebble Taupe, Smoke Shale, and Dawn Mist.
Choosing Limestone and Sandstone
If you prefer the look of limestone or sandstone, Unilock offers premium quality Limestone (available in a light Winter Mist, a mid-toned Hearthstone, and a dramatic Black River) and Sandstone (available in a soft Stone Cliff Grey, a warm golden-toned Autumn Harvest, and a sandy, dramatically veined Indian Coast).
Unilock premium quality natural stone is carefully selected for durability and low water absorption. This will protect the stone from damage from the freeze-thaw cycle and prevent cracking.
The fine texture and gray tones of limestone offer cool sophistication, and the earthy colors and unique patterns of Sandstone give your outdoor space a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Neither sandstone nor limestone are recommended for driveways. So if you decide to use a combination of natural stone and concrete pavers, and want to carry a consistent look throughout your landscape, then Richcliff pavers in Pebble Taupe could be considered the closest to natural sandstone, and Smoke Shale or Dawn Mist are the closest to limestone.