Limestone Pavers Cost Guide
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Limestone Pavers Cost Guide
There are dozens of reasons why homeowners might want to use limestone pavers around their homes. The natural stone helps differentiate various outdoor spaces, and some people like creating patios and connecting walkways with the stones. As it is a naturally strong material and comes in a variety of colors, builders often suggest that homeowners use limestone in place of concrete or slate pavers. The pavers come in different sizes and shapes, letting homeowners pick the perfect pieces for their projects. While some DIY enthusiasts head right to the hardware store to buy the pavers, others know that they need to look at all aspects of the job first.
Average limestone pavers cost: $2.60 to $3.60 per square foot
Average installation costs: $10 to $50 per hour
Uses for Limestone Pavers
One of the more common uses for limestone pavers is in a patio installation. Builders and designers can place the pavers close together to create a seamless look, or they can add sand or grass between the pavers for a more classic look. Limestone also does fairly well around water, making it a good choice for patios built around a swimming pool or for a patio with a hot tub or Jacuzzi on it. Other uses for limestone pavers include gardens, walkways and edging materials.
The East Coast and parts of the Midwest suffer from some extremely harsh winters. Those winters can bring dozens of inches of rain and snow, and many types of pavers don't hold up well to those environmental conditions. Limestone, which is a natural type of stone found across the country, does much better during those winters than other materials. Even after a long winter filled with snow and ice, the limestone will retain its natural look. It also does well when exposed to chemicals used to melt snow and ice. The material is so strong that some builders suggest using it around the edge of patios to add stability.
Limestone pavers come in a variety of different colors including pale gray, light tan and soft green. Many homeowners enjoy mixing and matching various colors to create a patio or walkway with a natural look. Most limestone comes from specialized quarries that break the limestone down into smaller chunks and ship it around the world. Though many manufacturers only offer the pavers in square or rectangular shapes, others give homeowners the option of customized pavers. Shoppers should keep in mind that cutting or shaping pavers into customized shapes is expensive.
There are some disadvantages to using limestone pavers, including the material's susceptibility to staining. While this is more of a problem in regards to interior uses, homeowners should be aware that limestone can stain. This is especially common when homeowners use limestone in a patio or entertaining area as guests can spill drinks and food on the ground. A specialty natural stone cleaner can remove those stains when applied immediately after the spill. Using other types of cleaners can potentially damage the stone.
Homeowners should also keep in mind that limestone requires a sealant added to the surface. As it is a naturally absorbent type of stone, it will absorb water from snow, ice and rain. The more moisture that the stone absorbs, the more likely it is that damage will occur. That buildup of water can lead to chipping, flaking or cracking. The homeowners should apply a new coat of sealant once a year, and most find it helpful to reseal the limestone every spring.
Installing Limestone Pavers
When installing limestone pavers, it's important to mark the area first. Most designers arrange the pavers and mark the outline of each stone. As the designer will dig into the ground, some will contact a local utility company to ensure that the finished design won't interfere with any underground utility lines. This usually isn't a problem because the builder will only dig six to eight inches underground, but it's worthwhile to do this step as a precaution.
After removing as much soil as needed, the contractor will use a tampering tool and a small amount of water to push down the surface of the soil until it is flat. Checking the area with a level helps ensure that the patio or walkway is smooth and even. The next step involves using some type of aggregate material, usually gravel, crushed stone or sand. The contractor will once again ensure that the surface of the ground is level.
Many homeowners opt for a dry installation, which means that the contractor places the pavers on top of the sand or gravel and uses additional gravel to cover any gaps. With the right material, the pavers won't move after installation. Others prefer the clean look of a wet installation, which uses concrete. The contractor applies a thin layer of concrete and places the pavers on the still wet concrete. After the concrete dries overnight, the contractor will pour more concrete over the top. Wet installation is a more popular choice for patios and driveways, while dry installation is a good choice for walkways and paths.
Cost of Limestone Pavers
Natural stone pavers, including limestone pavers, are usually more expensive than other types of pavers. The time it takes to source the limestone and create the pavers increases the cost. For a patio measuring 100 square feet, the pavers can cost around $260 to $360 for an overall cost of $2.60 to $3.60 per square foot. Factoring in the cost of sand, concrete and other materials can add an extra $40 to $50 to the project. If the homeowners need any specialized tools, the cost of renting or buying those tools will add even more to the total cost.
Many people find that they don't have the time or energy to install a patio on their own, which is why they choose a contractor. Contractors can charge anywhere from $10 to $50 or more per hour for the work, and most will bring a team of people for the job. Though the labor costs are sometimes high, many people find it worthwhile to let an expert tackle the limestone paver installation.