Why Is Bluestone the Right Choice for Your Next Exterior Project?

At CT Stone, we’re proud to carry a wide range of popular exterior stones to suit your needs. Whether you’re installing an inviting walkway, a spacious patio, or a functional outdoor kitchen, we carry the materials and supplies to turn your dreams into a reality.

When it comes to exterior stone options, bluestone remains an increasingly popular option — particularly for use in landscaping and patio projects. By learning more about this unique stone, its potential applications, and its variety of color/pattern options, you can get the information you need to make the best decision for your renovation project.

What Makes Bluestone Special?

Bluestone is a type of sandstone that is quarried right here in the Northeast. Because of its local accessibility, this stone is very affordable to our market and is thus one of the most cost-effective natural stone options for exterior projects.

As a native of the Northeast, bluestone was born and raised to survive our ever-changing New England weather. In fact, bluestone can even stand up to the area’s notoriously unforgiving freeze/thaw cycles, making it a great choice for outdoor use. Bluestone does weather with age, plus the location of where it’s installed can affect upkeep. Typically, bluestone requires regular sweeping. However, depending on whether it receives full-sun exposure versus full shade, bluestone can organically grow lichen or moss over time. Some homeowners love this look, while others will want to clean the stone off to keep it looking great.

In addition to its cost-effectiveness and durability, bluestone naturally comes in a beautiful range of colors, finishes, and styles. This makes it easy to find the exact style that suits your unique taste.

If you’re a handy DIYer, it is possible to install a bluestone patio on your own. Just be sure to speak with our team about the recommended setting bed for your walkway or patio. Also, it’s important to know that bluestone is heavy to move, so you may need to solicit some help when working with larger sizes. Depending on the thickness, bluestone weighs approximately 13.5 pounds per square foot for nominal 1” thick stone and 20.25 pounds per square foot for nominal 1.5” thick stone. When cutting bluestone, it’s important to have the proper know-how and equipment to do so. Not everyone is good with power tools or has access to them, so it may be best to lean on a professional.

Looking to have your patio or walkway installed for you? We are happy to recommend masons in your area to do the work, so you don’t have to. Have someone in mind that you would like to use? That works for us too.

Many of our clients agree that a good mason makes a significant difference in the longevity of a bluestone patio or walkway. They will guide you through the pros and cons of installing a dry set (in stonedust or pebble base) or cement installation and can assist with issues such as drainage, layout, and more.

Practical Applications for Bluestone

Bluestone is most often used in exterior projects, including landscaping projects. We’ve seen many clients use bluestone to create meandering and charming garden pathways through their properties, and it’s even been used to achieve a more formal and modern look in exterior walkways, porches, and patios. Because of this stone’s durability, versatility, and ease of installation, the possible exterior applications for bluestone are limited by only one’s imagination.

Bluestone Types, Colors, and Patterns

If you’re considering using bluestone for your project, it’s important to understand the different types, colors, and patterns available to you. That way, you can make sure you select the best option for your home.

Pennsylvania Bluestone vs. New York Bluestone

There are two different types of bluestone quarried here in the Northeast: Pennsylvania bluestone and New York bluestone.

Pennsylvania Bluestone

PA Natural Cleft Full Color*

New York Bluestone

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Bluestone Popular Colors & Finishes

As its name implies, many pieces of bluestone are blue in color. However, depending on the type of bluestone you select, there is a wide range of options available that you won’t want to overlook.

PA bluestone is available in a variety of colors and finishes. It comes in Full Color, Blue Select, and Lilac colors and is available in Natural Cleft and Flamed finishes. PA bluestone’s edges are normally sawn.

NY bluestone is commonly available in a Natural Cleft finish in Full Color range and is known for its hardness and density. Another characteristic of NY bluestone is that the material can sometimes come with a combination of sawn and snapped edges.

PA Full Color

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PA Blue Select

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PA Lilac

Lilac Bluestone

NY Full Color

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Bluestone Pattern Options

Because it comes in a wide range of sizes, there are many options for bluestone installation patterns. CT Stone offers a useful and free resource that provides a number of potential pattern options for your bluestone project, along with nominal size dimensions and tips for calculating how much material you’ll need.
Some popular pattern options to consider for your bluestone project include:

Random Rectangular

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Mosaic

bluestone-natural-cleft-full-color-mosaic-flagging

Frequently Asked Questions About Bluestone

What different finishes is bluestone available in?

PA bluestone is offered in a variety of different textures and finishes. The four most common finishes are Flamed, Natural Cleft, Honed, and Flamed and Brushed.

With a Flamed finish (also called a thermal finish), a textured surface is revealed by exposing the stone’s surface to intense heat. With a Natural Cleft finish, the stone has been split parallel to its stratification to create a more irregular surface. Finally, those who prefer a smooth finish may want to explore a Honed finish. It is recommended that Honed is used for interior projects rather than exterior because its smooth surface can be slippery when wet. Flamed and Brushed is another finish option that starts out with a Flamed finish and is then brushed to smooth out the texture.

NY bluestone is available in a Natural Cleft finish.

Natural Cleft

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Flamed

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Flamed & Brushed

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Honed

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Can bluestone be used indoors?

Yes, bluestone can be used indoors as well. It is not uncommon to see it used, for example, on interior floors such as mudrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and sunporches. Bluestone is also commonly used on fireplace hearths and surrounds as well as countertops which helps to bring the outdoors in.

What formats does bluestone come in?

Bluestone is available in the following formats:

  • Random rectangular flagging
  • Mosaic flagging
  • Treads
  • Slabs
  • Tumbled flagging
  • Aggregates or crushed stone
  • Strip veneer
  • Oval stepping stones

What are the standard thicknesses for bluestone flagging?

Bluestone flagging is available in 1″ and 1-1/2″ nominal thicknesses. At our Milford, CT location, we also have ½” in stock.

What are the standard thicknesses for bluestone treads?

Bluestone treads are available in 1-1/2″ and 2″ thicknesses. Treads are sawn and flamed, so there is less thickness variation. All treads have a flamed top and one long flamed edge. Natural Cleft treads and flamed treads thicker than 2″ are available by special order.

What are the typical sizes in a random rectangular pattern?

Bluestone in a random rectangular pattern is available in nominal sizing of 12×12 up to 24×36, with sizing increments of six inches. It’s important to note that in PA bluestone, standard pricing includes pieces up to 24×24. Our 24×30 and 24×36 sizes are sold at a premium price. Sizes greater than 24×36 are available for projects requiring larger formats. All Sizes are nominal to accommodate a grout joint.

Where can I see samples of bluestone for myself?

You can check out bluestone samples at Connecticut Stone’s 15-acre exterior stone yard conveniently located off I-95 in Milford, CT, or at our contractor’s yard in Stamford, CT.

Get Started With Your Bluestone Project Today

With its cost-effectiveness, durability, and unique beauty, there’s a lot to love about bluestone for exterior applications like patios, garden paths, and walkways.

If you’re looking for assistance in selecting the right bluestone product for your client’s needs, or if you’d like to set up a free consultation, CT Stone is always here to help. Contact us at (203) 882-1000 to get in touch with a knowledgeable team member today!

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