Bluestone Pavers Price Guide
When it comes to adding a patio, many homeowners choose natural stone over concrete. Though concrete is durable and inexpensive, many feel it doesn't look as nice as natural stone. One of the more popular natural stone choices is bluestone. Found in parts of New York and Pennsylvania, the stone comes in different colors, including warmer shades or brown and lighter and cooler blue tones. Some people assume that they only need to choose a paver material, but adding a patio or any other outdoor features actually takes some research. Homeowners need to consider the pros and cons of bluestone and the cost of using that material.
Bluestone Pavers Costs
- Irregular or natural pavers cost around $4 to $6 per square foot
- Thermal pavers cost up to $8 per square foot
Irregular vs. Regular
One of the first choices that homeowners need to make is between irregular and regular bluestone. Regular bluestone, also known as thermal bluestone, is a uniform material. Manufacturers consistently check each paver to ensure that each piece is the exact same shape and size. Homeowners can often choose between pavers that are one-inch thick or pavers that are 1.5-inches thick. Irregular bluestone pavers are natural pieces of the stone that have uneven edges and unique shapes, and irregular pavers can even have different thicknesses. Some homeowners might find that they want to work with a company that cuts and shapes pavers to their exact specifications.
Using Bluestone Pavers
The most common use for bluestone pavers is an outdoor patio or entertaining area. Installation typically involves digging a trench around the pavers, pouring a rougher material onto the ground and arranging the pavers on top. Some of the more popular designs from recent years incorporate another material into the project. For example, a landscape designer might use bluestone as the main element of the patio with bricks or concrete pavers placed around the edges. Adding a cheaper material to the project can actually lower the cost. Other ideas for bluestone pavers include raised flower beds and walkways.
Pros of Bluestone
Bluestone pavers come in three color options: natural stone, blue and green. Natural stone resembles other types of materials and has a rich and warm brown shade, but the color can also lean more towards a light brown or tan shade. The blue color option ranges from a pale blue that has a cooler tone to a richer and brighter blue. The green option while not as popular as the other shades is a good choice for those who like the durability of bluestone but not the blue or brown color.
Other types of natural stone, including slate, suffer from a problem known as flaking. Flaking occurs when the surface of the stone breaks and flakes away from the paver. Bluestone is more durable than slate and doesn't suffer from this common problem. Homeowners will also find that they can mix and match the material with other products.
The biggest con associated with using bluestone is the high cost of the material. The best bluestone comes from parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and the cost of importing that stone to another part of the country is quite expensive. Homeowners should also beware of companies that use other stones with a similar color in place of bluestone.
Some will also find that they cannot use bluestone in the way they had hoped. Though it is strong, it is not strong enough for use around a swimming pool. The heat from the sun combined with the frequent exposure to water and moisture can break down the stone and lead to chipping or other forms of breakage. Bluestone is better used for an outdoor patio or recreational area.
Homeowners should also think about the cost of installation, which some find is higher than they estimated. In a patio or walkway, the pavers must sit close together without any gaps between the stones. If the pavers aren't perfectly even, the stones can develop cracks that break the pavers. Homeowners need to think about the cost of the pavers and the installation.
Costs of Bluestone
The cost of bluestone pavers depends on the thickness of the pavers and the type of paver. Thermal pavers are usually more expensive, while irregular pavers are less expensive. Irregular or natural pavers typically cost around $4 to $6 per square foot, while thermal pavers cost up to $8 per square foot. For thicker paver, homeowners can add an additional $.50 to $1 per square foot.
After adding in the cost of labor, the price can rise to $30 per square foot, and the price can reach $35 per square foot, depending on the amount of work involved. Installing bluestone pavers takes a lot of work. The installer must ensure that each piece is smooth and level and that the pieces sit closely beside each other. Most installers add labor costs to the price of the job and the cost of any other materials or equipment used. Those materials and equipment can include stone cutting blades or saws and sand or concrete.
When installing bluestone, homeowners need to choose between wet or dry installation. Dry installation involves laying the pavers flat on the ground and using sand to fill in any gaps between the stone. Wet installation uses a thin layer of concrete poured on the ground first with the pavers added while the concrete is still wet. Though dry installation is often less expensive, wet installation can add years to the use of patio.
With dry installation, contractors will cut into the ground and place the pavers slightly below the surface of the ground, which stops the pavers from moving. This method typically only works with natural or irregular pavers, and the contractor will need sand or a similar material to hold the pavers in place. With wet installation, the thin layer of concrete applied to the base of the patio will add more strength and durability without detracting from the look of the stone. Homeowners should take the time to discuss the pros and cons of wet vs. dry installation with a contractor before deciding which option to use.
Last updated on May 9, 2016
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