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Old 06-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on bluestone install


Hi all, I'm getting ready to start on a bluestone walkway leading up to my front step, and a bluestone patio in the rear of my house. There is currently only lawn in both areas...I'm looking for advice on the best method of prepping the area. I plan for pea gravel underneath and between the stones. My thoughts were to strip maybe 6-8" of topsoil off the areas, put filter fabric down, level it, then start with my stones??, is that typically enough to keep most weeds at bay and to maintain integrity?? or am I overlooking something??, I'm in Connecticut, so I do have frost considerations. Any advice appreciated, Thanks, Sam

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Looking for advice on bluestone install


Sounds like you have the right idea for base prep- maybe a bit deeper. I would do at least 5-6" of compacted gravel, 1-2" of fines for leveling, and then the bluestone. If you use 'pattern' bluestone (squares and rectangles) a tight joint between the stones will be best in reducing weeds. The joints between the stones is where the weeds will be in a few years. I like to keep the finished height of the bluestone 1-2" higher than existing grade, and taper soil from the edges down to grade. Bluestone is a layered/striated stone that will peel in layers if set in a wet location and subjected to freeze/thaw.

When you select the bluestone, look for pieces that are solid on the edges- often pieces will have fine cracks on the edges- these are the pieces that will de-laminate over time. You can also choose natural cleft or thermal finish. The natural cleft is split like a slice of bread, and varies in thickness and face quality. The thermal finish is cut on all sides and edges, and then one face is flamed with a torch to achieve a natural-looking finish. The thermal finish is the same thickness from one piece to the next, and much faster/easier to install.

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Old 06-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Looking for advice on bluestone install


Thanks Chris. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology for my "base" I was planning on using what I've always understood to be pea stone..the very small stone that looks like lead shotgun pellets. Are we talking about the same stuff??? I was planning on that too, to fill in my seams between the stones. Sound right??..also, do you think I need to use a mechanical compactor or will a hand tamper do??...thanks again Sam
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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Looking for advice on bluestone install


Your base material should be crushed stone mixed with fines- this can be compacted better that pea gravel or all fines. There are different names for this type of stone-depending on where you live- here it is 3/4" modified/2A. Other places call it crusher run or 3/4 process. The fines, or stone dust, should only be used as a thin setting layer for the bluestone and for sweeping between the joints. You might also consider using polymeric stone dust, such as GatorDust for sweeping between the joints- it is stone dust mixed with glue and stays in place better.
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