How to Choose the Best Natural Stone for Patios

natural stone for patios

Travertine and Flagstone Patio

When it comes to selecting natural stone for patios, you have a lot of choices.

Brick. Bluestone. Travertine. All attractive picks, all with their own benefits.

No matter what you pick, you’ll be getting a patio that lasts for decades, requires little maintenance and adds beauty to your home. Let’s take a closer look at these patio materials so you can decide which one is right for you.

1. Brick

A durable classic, designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, brick will retain its color even after years of sun, rain and wind exposure.

Bricks require minimal maintenance and are easy to replace when they’re damaged. They’re also easy to clean: just spray them off with your garden hose. But you should be careful with bricks in shady areas; when brick is left damp, it becomes mossy and slippery.

Bricks can be cut into virtually any shape and size and arranged into any number of patterns to give your patio a unique look.

2. Travertine

Travertine is a member of the limestone family, formed when minerals dissolve in ground water and then rise to the earth’s surface.

It was used for centuries as a building veneer, but it was only recently that thicker cuts of this stone became an option for outdoor use.

This stone is typically imported from South America or Europe, making it a costlier option than locally-sourced stones or manufactured pavers.

But travertine comes with a unique advantage: it stays cool, even after baking in the sun, which makes it an excellent choice for poolside patios.

Another advantage is the color of this stone. Whatever minerals were in the water when the travertine was formed can affect its coloring, giving you interesting shades of gold, cream and pale grey.

3. Bluestone

Another classic natural stone for patios, bluestone isn’t always blue. It’s comes in a range of colors, including green and brown and rusty hues, which can give your patio an eclectic-yet-elegant look.

Bluestone is a tough stone, able to withstand the freeze-thaw cycles of colder climates. Its rough surface allows pedestrians to maintain a firm grip while walking, making it a popular choice around pools.

It’s easy to clean with water and a brush, although you may want to add some vinegar to the water to remove stains.

We’ve seen some lawn and garden websites that suggest sealing bluestone, but we’d argue this isn’t necessary, and in fact might cause moisture to become trapped between the stone and sealant. This can cause cracks to develop during the freezing and thawing season.

Because bluestone is mined from quarries and produced in big blocks, you can have it cut into whatever shape works for you: square, oblong, triangle, etc. Many homeowners opt for irregularly shaped bluestone layouts to give their patios a more natural look.

If you’re interested in installing a natural stone patio on your property, Woodward Landscape Co. can help. We carry travertine, flagstone and other natural paving materials.

You can choose your own pieces or let us decide for you. We’d be happy to assemble the stones you need and come up with a pattern if requested.

Contact us today, and let us get started on transforming your patio, and your home.

7 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Natural Stone for Patios

  1. Camille Devaux

    My sister was thinking about getting natural stone pavers. She wants to research the various types so that her home looks the best that it can. It may help her to know that bluestone is an elegant look for any home and property.

  2. Kit Hannigan

    Thanks for explaining how Travertine is a great choice for poolside patios because stays cool even after baking in the sun. My wife thinks of getting ourselves a pool on our property to celebrate our 10th anniversary. This article can really help us pick out the fitting natural stone material for our little project should we decide to go through with it.

    1. woodward Post author

      Travertine is a very interesting stone. The coolness property presents a compelling benefit poolside. However, there are some downsides primarily long-term durability in severe weather conditions. You will want to buy a little extra stone to store in case repairs are needed as duplicating color over years is challenging: travertine color veins change as quarries are mined. Cooler than concrete and most other natural stone, porcelain tile is another option you may want to consider.

  3. Thomas Westgren

    I like how you said that brick is really easy to maintain and replace when damaged. Getting this kind of masonry supplies for a project that you have to do seems like a really good idea. That way you could hire a mason to put them all in place so you don’t have to worry about messing it up.

  4. Amy Winters

    I’m glad you pointed out that choosing brick for your patio material will mean quick and easy maintenance. My husband and I are thinking about having a patio installed. We both have busy schedules already, so it sounds like brick will be a good option for us.

    1. woodward Post author

      Travertine can be beautiful especially in warm climates but keep in mind, severe northern winters can damage the stone.


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