When your landscape renovation includes a hardscape upgrade, you may be wondering which materials would best suit your design aesthetic. For many people in the mid-Atlantic states, bluestone is a natural choice. Here’s why the look of bluestone deserves to be considered as part of your next landscape design project in Arlington, VA.
Why Bluestone Is Special
Bluestone is a uniquely colored form of flagstone that is quarried primarily in Pennsylvania and New York. Since it’s a natural product, each stone is unique. The hues include dramatic steely grays with a variety of veining and patterning in other colors. This makes the stone ideally suited for both naturalistic hardscapes that blend into the surrounding environment, as well as for modern hardscapes that stand out and make a statement.
Where Bluestone Could Be a Good Choice
Bluestone is a material often chosen for walkways and patios. It is not considered suitable for driveways or for use in wet areas such as the pool or hot tub, since its dark colors can absorb heat; it may become slippery when wet; and this relatively porous stone can be damaged by the freeze-thaw cycle if left unsealed.
While bluestone has significant charm, its drawbacks mean that its uses are fairly limited. Fortunately, there are bluestone alternatives that give you the look in a more durable and versatile product.
Concrete pavers feature a non-slip surface that remains grippy when wet. They are not vulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle. Installation is relatively straightforward thanks to the precise dimensions of each paver. Certain pavers are rated for driveway use as well as pedestrian use, which means you can enjoy the good looks of bluestone throughout your landscape.
Unilock offers several pavers that can mimic the look of bluestone. You could pursue two approaches. The first is to choose a color similar to bluestone and use it throughout your hardscape areas. This will give you a consistent look that is a great contrast to a busy, colorful landscape.
The second approach is to randomly blend two or three available colors together onsite to achieve the naturally random look of a bluestone surface. This is a more dynamic look that can liven up a monochromatic landscape.
Beacon Hill Flagstone and Beacon Hill Smooth are similar in that they offer the rugged look of bluestone, but Beacon Hill Flagstone does so in a textured format, while Beacon Hill Smooth gives you the look of bluestone in a smooth, contemporary format.
For contemporary linear designs, consider Artline pavers in the smooth finish, in Steel Mountain. This paver is unique in that it comes in a random bundle of seven different shapes—which helps achieve the random look of natural stone.
A very realistic bluestone-inspired paver from Unilock is Richcliff. Thanks to Reala technology, which takes casts from a multitude of natural stone surfaces, Richcliff delivers the realistic textures of bluestone (you won’t see repeating patterns).
When it comes to strength and durability, Richcliff can even outlast bluestone—and it’s suitable for use throughout your landscape, including the driveway. Ultima concrete technology makes Richcliff pavers up to four times stronger than conventional poured concrete. Richcliff pavers also feature a non-slip texture, which makes the pavers a great choice for wet areas.
Be sure to work with a Unilock Authorized Contractor to achieve a satisfactory and long-lasting project, and visit our Dream page where you can see these and other Unilock pavers in real settings.