Natural stone in all its manifold forms is highly popular for residential paving projects and for very good reasons. It's so versatile, so attractive, so reliable, so hardwearing and just such great value that it's hard to think of a better material.
We've teamed up with The Paving Expert to get some top tips about what to look for with natural stone and some elements to consider when laying your paving.
A World of Choice:
The natural stone from Landscape World comes from Britain and from overseas. It's chosen for its performance rather than its origin and all of it is CE marked to show it complies with industry requirements. Imported stone, as far as possible, comes from sources registered with ETI, the Ethical Trading Initiative, which ensures workers are treated fairly, rewarded adequately for their labour, and have free access to appropriate health and safety resources.
Not all stone is equally tough. Some stone is much more porous than others, and more porous stone tends to be softer and much more prone to discolouration by algae and lichens. Some of the loveliest looking stone is quite porous, so check before committing yourself. Those good looks can require a lot of maintenance if the stone is soft and/or excessively porous.
Landscape World stone comes in a range of formats: flagstones for patios, and thicker flagstones for driveways, setts for detail, edgings, contrast or that authentic 'heritage' styling, cubes for decorate driveway layouts or as mini-kerbs, cobbles for informal areas, texture, colour splashes, or just as mulch, walling for steps, retainers and that all-important three-dimensional height.
Think about the formats you'll use. Will it be just one or should you mix it up? And will mixing the formats have an impact on how it will all be laid? Flags are often shallower than setts and cubes, so the bedding may have to be amended. Walls need foundations, kerbs need haunching and then different stone needs to be laid in different ways.
Be aware that stone is a totally natural product and that the gentle variations in colour, texture, mineral banding, 'fossils' and thickness that is found in almost every pack is part of the charm. When working with more than a single pack, take flags (or setts, cubes etc.) from a number of packs and mix them randomly to ensure that natural variation is evenly distributed. This not only enhances the appearance of the stone showing each piece to be unique and full of character but it avoids the problem of 'clumping,' where flags (setts, etc) or a similar hue appear together giving the finished project a blotchy look.
Although there are hundreds of different types of stone used for paving and hard-landscaping, when it comes to installation, we can roughly divide them into two groups: the more porous sandstones and limestones, which have little or no difficulty in adhering to the bed, and the less porous, possibly impermeable granites, slates and quartzites which need a bond bridge to ensure theys tick to the bed and won't be loosened by use, frost or water.
For more information on all things paving, check out our other news posts from The Paving Expert for top tips and helpful hints to get the most out of your paved area.
- The Landscape World Team.