Bluestones are natural durable stones from earth with a very pleasing appearance. They come in a variety of sizes, width, depth and thickness. Bluestones can be used for a variety of projects such as walkways, patios, and steps. When installed properly, the stones will greatly improve the appearance of your home or business with little or no maintenance required.
Bluestone is not as porous as the majority of masonry material used. The most durable way to install bluestones is to lay them in concrete. Earth must be removed in order to install the 4” of concrete. The bluestone can be laid in the concrete while it is still wet before it hardens, or the next day it can be laid in a bed of mortar over the concrete. When bluestones are laid in any cement based products, they should be primed with a cement bonding agent or lines should be scored behind the stones to give it a solid bond. Once the stones are laid the joins between the stones are pointed with mortar to lock the stones in place to each other. Properly performing the pointing and using the right cement mixes is very critical. If the cement joints fail by cracking or deteriorating water will work it’s way into the masonry material, freeze and expand during the winter months. When this happens, your bluestones will detach from the cement bedding underneath and cement between the joints which leads to everything falling apart and having to be redone again at one point. Sposato Masonry works hard to prevent this from occurring. We use special admixtures in our cement mixes to lay and point the stones to create a better cement mix resistant to freezing-thaw damage. This type of cement mix has more waterproofing and bonding properties and is more flexible then standard cement mixes.
Another installation method of bluestones is to dry lay them on a gravel bed, which avoids the use of any concrete products. This method is more economical, however it is not as durable as concrete. Using a gravel bed usually provide you with 10 years of a flat patio surface before any major heaving occur which cause stones to un level. The process is accomplished by excavating the earth to install minimum 4” of quarry processed gravel. The gravel is then leveled and compacted. A thin layering of stone dust is placed over the bluestone as a leveling bed. The bluestones are then laid and cut to size as needed. Metal or plastic ending strips should be installed along the outer edge of the patio with stakes anchoring it into the ground. Polymeric sand is then installed into the joints of the stones to prevent weed growth within stone joints.