The title image features Richcliff pavers.
If you’re looking for a classic patio material that will age beautifully, you’re probably considering bluestone. What is bluestone, and why opt for a concrete alternative in Medford Lakes, NJ? Bluestone works with nearly any architectural style and it’s a popular choice for patios and walkways. However, it has a few quirks that may make concrete alternatives the better choice.
The Pros of Bluestone
Bluestone is a type of flagstone. It is unique in that it is only quarried in a few places in the northeastern United States and Canada (most bluestone comes from Pennsylvania or New York). This means that quantities are limited, which gives the stone an exclusive air.
Bluestone is beloved for its dramatic blue/gray hues and the fact that no two stones are ever alike. Even stones from the same quarry can vary dramatically by batch. Should you ever want to add on to an existing patio, you may not find a color match. To some extent you can overcome this by purchasing ahead and choosing stone from several quarries (and mixing them on site) but it’s a consideration if you’re having your outdoor living projects done in stages.
Bluestone is relatively porous, which makes it vulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle, causing it to spall (flake), crack, or crumble. To extend its longevity, bluestone must be thoroughly sealed every couple of years.
Bluestone’s dark colors can become very hot on bare feet, and bluestone also tends to become very slippery when wet. That’s why it’s rarely chosen as a material for pool surrounds, but this is something to keep in mind for walkways and patios too.
Every outdoor space built using bluestone will truly be one-of-a-kind. If you want the look but greater safety, durability, and convenience, here are a few concrete alternatives from Unilock.
Bristol Valley pavers give you the look of bluestone in an easy-care package. The pavers are available in three colors: Bavarian, New York Blend, and Steel Mountain, with Steel Mountain being the closest in appearance to natural bluestone. Blending Steel Mountain with New York Blend on site can add to the natural, random look of bluestone around your pool. One of the main features of Bristol Valley is EasyClean, which prevents staining from food and beverage spills and pool chemicals—ensuring you can enjoy your pool deck instead of constantly fussing with it.
If your pool space is smaller, you may want the bluestone look in smaller dimensions. Treo Premier is available in eight beautiful colors including the three that most closely match natural bluestone: New York Blend, Fossil, Almond Grove, and Steel Mountain. These colors can be used as is on their own, or you could blend two or three to achieve a more realistic random bluestone look. Treo pavers are durable enough to be used for driveways, which is great news if you want a unified look throughout your landscape.
Richcliff pavers can be ideal for high-end poolscapes. They feature the most realistic bluestone appearance thanks to Reala technology, which takes casts from real flagstone. The result is a random, natural feel with no obvious repeating patterns, as well as ultra-realistic textures. You’ll have to look more than twice to see the difference! For an authentic random bluestone look, you could combine two of the three available colors on site: in particular, Smoke Shale and Dawn Mist most closely resemble bluestone. Pebble Taupe is an attractive and subtle border choice.
Richcliff features Ultima concrete technology, making them four times stronger than poured concrete. You can achieve a beautifully unified look by using Richcliff on your driveway as well as the pool deck, patio, and walkways.