Bluestone paving is a type of natural sandstone composed of quartz particles and sand. This paving is often a prominent feature in professionally designed landscaping because of its natural blue-gray color. Bluestone typically provides a durable paving surface for driveways, patios, and walkways. This type of paving material can be easily cleaned with chlorine or acid and may be sealed to enhance its appearance. Bluestone paving is sold in both natural and machine-cut pieces and can be installed in a sand base or joined together with mortar.
The exact shade of bluestone paving largely depends on the depth at which it is quarried. Paving quarried at greater depths often contains shades of orange, yellow, brown, green, and purple mixed into its characteristic blue-gray tones. This paving is typically available in both thermally treated and natural finishes. Thermally treated paving is often used for walkways, paths, steps, and swimming pool surrounds because of its non-slip surface. The rough surface of natural finish bluestone is generally utilized for patios, driveways, and gardens.
Bluestone paving can be installed with or without a surface sealer. The natural finish of this paving is somewhat dull in appearance. Bluestone is also a very porous material and typically retains water when wet. The surface of this natural stone may become dark and mildew-stained over time when installed in areas with frequent rainfall. A surface sealer is often needed to prevent this type of discoloration and add a glossy finish to the surface.
This paving material is typically very thin and is sometimes referred to as slate. Bluestone paving can be installed using a sand, gravel, or mortar base. It is usually installed with mortar when used as a driving surface for vehicles. Unfinished paving can be cleaned using either chlorine bleach or a weak acid solution. Seal-coated bluestone may be polished to a high gloss using a buffer.
Bluestone paving is sold in both natural and mechanically cut pieces. Naturally shaped paving is often used to produce a rustic appearance, while mechanically cut paving is best for patterned designs. Mechanically cut pieces may be rectangular, square, or oblong. Interlocking bluestone paving is also available from some manufacturers. This type of stone paving is frequently laid using alternating shades.
Irregularly shaped pieces of bluestone paving are also sold by certain manufacturers. These odd-shaped stone pieces are produced when the thin stone breaks off during cutting. Irregular paving pieces frequently make ornamental centerpieces for driveways, patios, and swimming pools. These pieces can be utilized for paving narrow footpaths through gardens as well.