Bluestone July 6, 2018 Bluestone is one of the most popular stone options in New England. It is inexpensive, simple to work with, and it is found locally. A variety of bluestone can be split into slabs and often contains remnants of quartz, feldspars, phyllosilicates, and other minerals, which are all indurated together to form the stone. Where Is Bluestone Quarried? Bluestone is only quarried within New York State and Pennsylvania, making it easily accessible in Connecticut and all throughout New England. In fact, 80 percent of the available bluestone comes from quarries that take up less than five acres of space. While the stone is still very popular, its availability has declined in recent years because many miners left the industry to capitalize on the natural gas boom in 2011. Even with an approximate 60 percent decrease in production, bluestone continues to be a popular option for many projects within Connecticut. What Are the Physical Characteristics of Bluestone? There is a very natural range when it comes to the color of bluestone. The full color range (exactly how it comes out of the earth) will have everything from earthy browns and greens, to blue and gray colors. Another option is blue select color range, or when the focus is on all the blue and gray colors in the stone. In general, the deeper the stone is when it is extracted, the more intriguing and unique its colors will be. The deeper stones will often have the darker, blue-hued colors, while the surface stones will be lighter. What Are the Different Finishes of Bluestone? One of the most important parts about bluestone is knowing the different types of finishes. First up, a flamed finish. This is when heat is applied to the surface of the stone, giving it an even, anti-slip texture – perfect for modern pool decks or patios. The second type is a natural cleft finish and will give you more of a rigged natural look. A tumbled finish, has a softer, antique texture, similar to beach pebbles. Last but certainly not least we have a honed finish. This is the most expensive option, but it has a very modern, smooth, and non-reflective look to it. What Are the Benefits of Bluestone? Bluestone is a popular choice because of its durability, cost effectiveness, and its earthy appearance. Since each stone has a unique look, bluestone pavers look natural when strategically laid on a walkway or patio, blending with the landscape and environment. Additionally, bluestone is one of the most cost-effective stone options in Connecticut due to the abundance of natural resources in New England – because of this, there isn’t a high transportation cost. It comes in a variety of sizes, in addition to rectangular and square shapes. If you want a more modern look, choosing one or two sizes is ideal to achieve that clean-cut appearance. For a more rustic or informal patio or garden, free-form irregular shapes will create a mosaic style, giving you a full range of stone sizes throughout. What Are the Most Popular Uses of Bluestone in Connecticut? Bluestone is most frequently used in landscape design in Connecticut. As mentioned, its innate characteristics make it ideal for outdoor use, and since the stone itself is so versatile, it can be transformed into stunning patios, alluring garden paths, functional sidewalks, and more. What Are the Limitations of Bluestone? Bluestone naturally resists the harshness of Mother Nature, and it is suitable for the freeze-thaw cycles. However, it’s important to note that in the summer months the stone can get hot and a natural shedding, or spalling process occurs due to the fast temperature shift in the New England climate. This means little flakes and ridges will start to pop off and flat shards will be left on the patio that will need to be swept up. When you are creating a landscape design that calls for a durable stone with an alluring aesthetic, bluestone is an amazing option. It will help your clients stay within their budget while giving their curb appeal a big upgrade. To learn more about how to incorporate bluestone into your exterior design projects, visit our showroom in Connecticut today.