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.
In 2012, we first wrote about the impact of the Marcellus Shale mining activity on the availability of Pennsylvania Bluestone. Since that time, as predicted, the issue has become more severe. The original article with minor updates appears below. The key factors are the reduction in operating bluestone quarries and cost of labor for those still in operation. The result is increasing prices and decreasing supply.
Bluestone is a fascinating and complicated natural stone native to Pennsylvania (for whom the material is named), New Jersey and parts of New York. Bluestone has many options to consider in designing and installing your outdoor living project. But, if you have decided on the uniquely beautiful bluestone, you must also deal with the issues of quality and availability.
Quality: The primary quality consideration occurs in natural clef flagstone, both pattern and irregular. Because the appealing unique surface of natural clef flagstone is formed by natural forces, the consistency of that surface is unpredictable. Some pieces can exhibit huge variation in thickness, dramatic shifts in surface texture, even natural warping creating a bowed rather than flat piece. Some people find this variation exotic and attractive, some do not. If you are looking for flagstone with the flattest surface, the least variation in surface and thickness, you are looking for the rarest material.
The bluestone border creates a distinctive accent to the soft flowing travertine colors.
Flagstone is a flat sedimentary stone with fissile bedding planes. It is naturally split or cut into layers according to these planes and used for a variety of purposes like patios, fences, roofing, facades, memorials, and walkways. Flagstone is bound together by minerals like calcite, silica, and iron oxide. These internal materials are the cause of flagstone’s beautiful colors, one of which is a stunning blue.
The word flagstone stems from the Middle English word “flagge” which means turf. In the thirteenth century, Europeans began using flagstone for floors, walls, and ceilings. It was especially popular for the interior rooms of castles. Flagstone floors still exist in Scotland’s Muchalls Castle and England’s Lindisfarne Castle. Today, Chicago’s Portage Park is famous for its expansive flagstone decorations.