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Bluestone vs. Pavers: What’s the Hardscape Difference?

DIY with WI

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Perhaps you’ve heard this standard comparison: “Pavers are the same as bluestone, only bluestone is better quality and more pricey.”

Is the assumption valid? Most people don’t know enough about either to know the difference. Let’s take a look at both bluestone and pavers so you can make a decision of your own based on all the information. What’s suitable for you, your style, your life, and your property? This article will help you find out.

What is bluestone for Hardscape?

Let’s address this first foundational question. 

Bluestone is a natural stone formed for hundreds and thousands of years. It has to be quarried from the earth before use, a long and challenging process. 

Bluestone has been commonly used in construction—it is often used not only as a building material but also as a decorative addition to buildings constructed with other materials.

Bluestone Steps

What types of bluestone are there?

Two primary varieties of bluestone are available for use in hardscaping.

Pennsylvania bluestone is a variety of sandstone. Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed of sand-size grains, resulting in a more granular surface.

The second type is Shenandoah bluestone. This stone is a natural limestone and is also a type of sedimentary rock. However, Shenandoah bluestone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate.

What size is bluestone?

Bluestone comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can get them with natural or cut surfaces and edges. Cut pieces will be much easier to work with. Of course, natural pieces are more natural, but they will be tougher to handle.

What are the differences between bluestone and pavers?

Pavers come in most colors, shapes, and sizes. Bluestone has some variation, but not as much as pavers. Pavers can be ordered in small, brick-style form or large blocks—as well as every option in between.

Various Pavers Sizes

Because of the many variations in color, shape, style, and size, most people opt to go with pavers because they lend choices for many types of design.

What are pavers?

Pavers fall into two main categories: paver slabs and paver stones.

You can choose paver slabs if you like a more oversized, natural look. Paver slabs are more comparable to bluestone or natural stone slabs.

La Lastra™ Paver Slabs

Paver stones are smaller and more easily handled. They can be cut into many different patterns and shapes, making them more customizable and easy to personalize as you use them.

Is bluestone pricier than pavers?

Bluestone is highly prized for its beauty. It is not easy to come by (only available in a few regions) and is expensive to quarry. This means it tends to cost more than other pavers.

Bluestone is highly desirable, but costs anywhere from $17 to $25 per square foot.

Bluestone Patio

Pavers range in price from $8 to $25 per square foot. So, if you were already planning to purchase high-end pavers, you must consider your decision. It would be worth investigating to see if bluestone is the right option for you.

What is the cost comparison if you install stone in a large area? If you make a patio or driveway, bluestone will potentially be more than two times the cost of pavers.

Why the price difference between bluestone and pavers?

Pavers are modular and often known as cost concrete pavers. They can be manufactured anywhere in the world, making them widely available in many locations. Pavers are in high demand, but when the raw materials are easily accessible, demand can be supplied without a problem.

As you can see, pavers are generally cheaper than natural stone. If you are particularly budget-conscious about your patio or walkway or want to spend as much of your budget as possible on other areas of your landscape, pavers are an excellent option.

What are the cons of bluestone in a hardscape?

Although bluestone is a beautiful and highly sought-after stone, there are some disadvantages that you should consider before investing.

Dark colors

One disadvantage of bluestone is its characteristic dark colors will soak up the extra sun. If you are looking for a hardscape to install beside your pool, bluestone may not be as lovely since you will walk barefoot over dark, hot colors.

Bluestone Patio

Extra protection

Another thing to consider before installing bluestone is the fact that you need to seal it. Damage can occur from debris, salt, and chemicals such as chlorine. It would be best if you covered it with a high-quality sealant to protect it from these common outdoor occurrences.

Imperfections

Another factor to consider as you weigh your options is that bluestone often has imperfections. Of course, some people prefer a natural look—but if you tend to appreciate a cohesive hardscape, you may want to choose something that doesn’t feature small pits and ridges.

Potential water damage

One final factor to consider is that bluestone can be susceptible to water. Especially for areas that receive heavy rainfall or in an installation near a swimming pool or water fountain, this can be a significant disadvantage.

Which is better for Hardscape: bluestone or pavers?

So, which is better? Bluestone or pavers?

Most people use pavers if you haven’t guessed by now. Pavers are easier to maintain than bluestone, and they’re more forgiving of less upkeep and more wear. Pavers are also significantly more cost-effective for large areas and are less sensitive to climate and temperature.

However, if you are keen on implementing the natural stone look in your landscape, are willing to spend more on it, and don’t mind the maintenance required, bluestone might be for you.

Find the perfect paver

Are you ready to start your paver project? Take our free Paver Finder quiz to find exactly what you want so you can get started!

PAVER FINDER

Find the perfect paver

Get a personalized paver recommendation

Choosing a paver can sure feel overwhelming. You have to consider size, style, thickness, color, and more. That’s why we made a short and simple quiz that asks a few questions about what you’re looking for and, at the end, provides a recommendation, or two, you can start with.

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  • Hi, I'm
  • and I need
  • for my
  • . I'm interested in
  • and I want to
  • . I live in
  • ,
  • and you can reach me at
  • or
  • .
  • If you’re located outside of our service areas (CA, ID, MT, OR, WA), please call 503-623-9084 to get recommendations on where to purchase your pavers.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
contractors, are you ready?
Place an order or build your own quote
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