With a long history and a wide range of uses, flagstone and bluestone are both popular choices for residential landscaping. In many American towns, the use of these stones is something of a tradition, with some quarries being more than two hundred years old. However, the traditional option does not always equate to the superior option. Here we’ll take a look at these two types of pavers and see how they stand up to the Unilock range of natural stone products.
What is Flagstone?
Flagstone is a general name for the type of sedimentary rock commonly used in hardscaping. The naturally flat surface of flagstone is often multi-toned with colors as varied as dark blue, black, brown and shades of red. Some stones even feature golden flecks and greenish hues. Flagstone is most often formed from sandstone with high levels of feldspar and quartz, and is quarried mainly in Arizona, Arkansas and Colorado, as well as internationally. Flagstone is typically used in its irregular form and speaks to a naturalistic, rustic style.
What is Bluestone?
Although bluestone is technically a type of flagstone, it is differentiated by its color and location, being primarily blue, bluish grey and grey with occasional hints of brown. Bluestone is quarried mainly in Pennsylvania and New York. Also formed from sandstone (and occasionally limestone), bluestone is a fine grained rock with a gentle texture and smooth coloring with a style that slightly more formal than flagstone.
How do they compare to Natural Stone from Unilock
The Unilock range of natural limestone products has all the variations of blue, gray and brown undertones of bluestone, while our sandstone range features an array of colors, styles and textures that surpasses that of even the most varied flagstone – from the golden brown of Autumn Harvest to the warm blush of Prairie Rose. While the quality of flagstone and bluestone may vary from quarry to quarry, Unilock stone products are covered by a lifetime quality guarantee, with each consignment inspected and tested to make sure that it lives up to our high standard.
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Best option for durable and non-slip surfaces
While traditional flagstone and bluestone offer a degree of durability, their porous surfaces leave them susceptible to expansion, water, ice and snow damage. This can manifest itself in the form of chipping, cracking and discoloration. The Unilock advanced surface treatment protects our products against this so that you’re left with a product you can depend on – even in high-traffic areas, and areas of high moisture exposure, such as pool sides and driveways.
Along with protection against water damage, our surface treatments also protect our products against fading. While flagstone is susceptible to slight changes of color, bluestone is notorious for quickly losing its deep attractive blue tones as it is exposed to sunlight and air. By comparison, the color of our stone products is designed to last.
Bluestone is well known for providing a non-slip surface for pool surrounds and driveways, the fine grain provides a good grip for both bare feet, shoe soles and tire tread alike, unfortunately its porosity makes it vulnerable to water expansion when placed near pools and even where it will be exposed to rain. Depending on the variety, flagstone can also offer some grip, but certain variations become extremely slippery when wet. As the perfect alternative to both, Unilock natural stone products are both protected from moisture and highly effective at providing grip, making them the perfect non-slip material for steps, driveways, walkways, pool surrounds and patios.
Traditional bluestone and flagstone supply is limited to local quarries, many of which have been producing stone for more than a century. As is the case in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, production is become increasingly limited for conservational purposes. We, on the other hand, source our stone products from a wide supply network spanning across Europe and Asia. Without relying on any one source, we are able to maintain a reliable supply of stone despite unpredictability of trade, shipping or quarry output.
The clear winner?
Unilock natural stone products offer everything that traditional flagstone and bluestone does while simultaneously compensating for the shortcomings of these two widely used stones. With such a broad range of colors, styles and textures, unbeatable durability and availability you can depend on, there’s little question that Unilock has perfected what traditionally sourced bluestone and flagstone has to offer.