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What is Bluestone and How Can You Use it in Your Landscape?

Bluestone pavers are nothing new. They have been used as an integral part of landscaping for ages. This article sheds light on bluestone in landscaping. Read on to find out.
Allied Landscape Supply

Bluestone pavers have been used as a landscaping material for ages. With its earth tones and natural look, bluestone has been designers’ first choice for various landscaping purposes. Read along to learn everything about this material to get some ideas for redesigning your outdoor patio with landscape pavers and other landscaping materials

What Is Bluestone?

Bluestone is a construction material often used in outdoor settings. It’s a highly durable material used in a wide range of settings like stone steps, patios, pool decks, walk paths, and so on. 

The color of this stone depends on the place where it is mined. There are primarily two types of bluestone:

  • Pennsylvania bluestone: this is a type of sandstone; this is a sedimentary rock composed of grains the size of sand particular to Pennsylvania. Depending on where it is mined in Pennsylvania, the color can vary from rust, tan, brown, grey, to blue. 
  • Shenandoah bluestone: this is a type of limestone. This is a sedimentary rock that is mainly made out of calcium carbonate, mainly mined from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. It is found in a greyish-blue color that turns greyer with time. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Bluestone Rocks?

If you have some paver design ideas but are unsure which material to use, here’s a brief pros and cons list to make your decision easy: 

Pros: 

  • It is long-lasting and durable. With proper care and maintenance, bluestone patios can last for years. 
  • Bluestone is visually appealing due to its gorgeous earth blue tones and colors. 
  • Since it is a naturally occurring material, it is known to be weather resistant. 
  • The surface of the stone is rough, which keeps the surface from becoming slippery and slick.  

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive since it is a naturally occurring material and not synthetic. Costs can also vary due to shipping locations
  • Bluestone is a naturally occurring construction material, therefore it is generally irregular in shape and tough to install. 
  • Darker bluestone stones tend to absorb heat and get hot during the summer months. They may not be the best choice for pool decks. 

How Can You Use Bluestone For Landscaping? 

Bluestone can be used in almost every outdoor paving idea or design, from cut pavers used in patios, walkways, and stairs to architectural stone deployed in buildings. It is also popular in wall stone, decorated boulders, steps, and other landscaping options. 

Following a simple step by step method for using bluestone in your outdoor paving project:

  1. Preparation: This is the most important step of the entire process. To prepare, it is crucial to know the perimeter and grade of the project. This can be gauged using a laser level or transit. Both the tools ensure proper drainage. Mark stakes can be deployed as markers for sites that need to be filled or excavated. 
  2. Excavate the surface and fill in the gravel:  Once you have scoped out the area, it is now time to excavate and level the gravel. First, start by digging and leveling compact soil such that the base is about 7 inches below the top surface. Next, use a road bond for the base. Road bond is stone dust prepared from crushing gravel. Properly compacted and seasoned road bond forms a strong foundation that is weather-resistant and long-lasting. 
  3. Edging: Edging is a technique that keeps the materials stable. Edging can be done using metal or concrete. 
  4. Distribute and level the fines: Once the edges have been laid, it is time to lay the fines, also known as stone dust. This should be poured and level 2 inches from the foundation, or according to the thickness of the bluestone used. 
  5. Lay the stones: You can now start laying the stones on the setting bed. Press the stone into the foundation to firmly lodge it in place. 
  6. Shape the stones: For a polished look, be sure to shape the stones to fit flush with this adjacent peace. Pieces can be shaped using a chisel and mallet to take off any unnecessary protrusions. Be mindful when chipping the bluestone to ensure that you don’t take off more than necessary or risk fracturing the stone entirely. You can fill in gaps by shaping scrap pieces to the desired shape and form.
  7. Fill the gaps: Finally, fill in any gaps or joints using stone dust. Do the process till all the joints are filled and leveled. 

Top tip: with today’s technologies, bluestone can be shaped  to the exact dimensions with machine stonecutters or a circular saw using  a masonry blade. 

Hire Landscaping Pros

Now that you know how bluestone can be used, it is time to think of landscaping ideas to upgrade your outdoor settings. Bluestone rocks are a gorgeous addition to any outdoor landscape, and they bring greater durability to your landscape designs. 

Talk to our landscaping experts to learn more. We provide our services in all areas near you, including:

  • Dresher, PA
  • Limerick, PA
  • Pottstown, PA
  • Gap, PA
  • Parkesburg, PA
  • South Pottstown, PA
  • Fort Washington, PA

Visit us today.

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