The title image features Richcliff driveway pavers.
When searching for the best materials for your hardscape project, you may be wondering whether to choose bluestone or bluestone-inspired pavers. Bluestone is a remarkable stone, but it may not be the ideal choice for every application. Here are some reasons to search for pavers that resemble bluestone for your backyard project in Bethlehem, PA.
Why Is Bluestone Such a Sought-After Material?
The main appeal of bluestone is its unique coloring. This type of flagstone is quarried primarily in New York and Pennsylvania, and is distinguished by its steely blue/gray colors, often with veining and patterns that make each stone one-of-a-kind. The stone pairs well with historical homes, rustic themes, and ultramodern spaces.
Where Bluestone Works, and Where It Doesn’t Work
Bluestone is often used to create eye-catching walkways and patios. Because it is a sedimentary stone made up of many very thin layers, it is not suitable for driveways because the layers are relatively easily abraded by friction from tires. And once damage is done to the stone, it’s only a matter of time before water infiltration can cause it to deteriorate.
Bluestone is also not the ideal choice for wet areas such as the pool or hot tub. The dark colors can absorb heat, making the stone uncomfortably hot on bare feet. Unless it is sealed regularly, this relatively porous stone will eventually be damaged by the freeze-thaw cycle.
All in all, bluestone has tremendous charm, but its practical uses are fairly limited.
Beautiful and Practical Bluestone Alternatives
Concrete pavers have several distinct advantages over bluestone: They feature a non-slip surface for safety even when wet; they are not vulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle; and some pavers are rated for driveway use.
Unilock offers several pavers that are inspired by the look of bluestone. Depending on whether you want a more consistent and uniform look or a more random look (which is what you’d get with natural bluestone), you could take one of two approaches.
The first gives your hardscape the charm of bluestone, but in a more uniform and sophisticated look. Choose a color similar to bluestone and use it throughout your entire hardscape.
The second approach is more aligned with the naturally random look of bluestone, which is dynamic, and uniquely dramatic. Simply choose two or three paver colors and blend them randomly onsite.
Another consideration is texture. Natural bluestone has random textures (some stone slabs appear perfectly smooth, while others are dramatically textured). Whether you choose textured or smooth pavers, either way, you’ll get consistent textures throughout your hardscape.
Beacon Hill Flagstone and Beacon Hill Smooth are similar in that they are both inspired by bluestone, but Beacon Hill Flagstone will give you natural-looking textures, while Beacon Hill smooth offers up a sleeker, more contemporary style.
If you want a modern look yet still want the bluestone color, consider smooth-finished Artline pavers in Steel Mountain. This paver comes in a random bundle of seven different shapes, to achieve the random look of natural stone but in a refined and modern format. Artline pavers can also be used on your driveway for a cohesive look.
Richcliff pavers feature ultra-realistic flagstone textures thanks to Reala technology, which takes casts from a multitude of natural stone surfaces. This means that like natural bluestone, you won’t see repeating patterns, and you can also mix two or even three of the available Richcliff colors to achieve a random look virtually indistinguishable from natural bluestone.
Even better, Richcliff pavers are the ultimate in versatility, since they can be used on driveways as well as any pedestrian application. Ultima concrete technology ensures that Richcliff pavers up to four times stronger than conventional poured concrete, and the non-slip texture makes these luxury pavers a great choice for wet areas.