For most, the decision on which type of sandstone paving to choose rarely goes past the choice of colour. The influx of cheap Indian sandstone has made the market very competitive and finding a bargain now is relatively easy to do with a little shopping around.
To ensure you are making the best choice possible, your decision should not be based solely on the colour but instead there are some important questions to ask that will have a direct effect on the longevity of the sandstone and how durable and weather resistant it is.
The colours of sandstone vary greatly from the traditional dusky yellow colour right through to red and even dark blue. You will also find that each region will have its own indigenous sandstone and with it will come its own unique colouring. The unikivi paigaldus will act as basis for the selection of the right paving stones. A different color will attract the attention of the visitors. The decision is made with the skills and intelligence of the people to get the desired results. The color is also unique for the stones.
What to ask at the stone masons
When you visit a stone mason there are some questions you should have in your mind to help you find the best sandstone available, and here they are.
Firstly sandstone can turn a different shade once it is buffed, so ask if they have any examples of a raw and finished version of the sandstone you wish to buy. If you decide to go with a buffed stone for your paving, once the sandstone begins to weather the elements will turn the stone back to its normal colour, so by asking for an example of both you will be able to get an idea of how your sandstone will look once the weather has begun to ware away the finish.
Water absorption: because sandstone is so porous it will absorb quite a lot of water, the average for most types of sandstone is between 4 and 6%. If you sandstone pavers absorb this much water they will expand by the same amount, once the water dries they will contract, over time this can affect the strength of the sandstone. Also the freeze that actions during winter can further compromise the durability of your sandstone pavers.
Porosity: this again is directly related to water but in this case it is a question of how far water can penetrate into your sandstone. It is also directly related to how tightly compacted the grains are. Porosity can vary greatly in sandstone, from 2% to 17%. Look for a stone with a low porosity percentage to avoid any of the effects associated with water absorption mentioned above.
Density: This references how tightly compacted the grains are and is usually calculated in Kilograms per cubic meter. Most sandstone is between 2000 and 2500 kg/m3. The density of the sandstone is again directly related to water absorption and porosity, it is also a good reference as to how durable and long lasting the stone will be. The higher the number the more durable the stone will be.
Abrasion resistance: Abrasion will usually reference how sandstone is cleaned, if you plan to use abrasive methods like power washer to clean your sandstone, look for a stone with a high resistance rate. Usually the lower the Abrasion rate the better, some stones are marked as heavy/industrial use and will have the lowest abrasion rate.
Slip resistance: This may not be much of a worry for you now, but remember your new sandstone pavers will be with you for the rest of your life, so think ahead and find ones with a high slip resistance. Most sandstone will have a wet and dry reading, look for the highest available, usually in the nineties.
Durability: is usually a combination of density, porosity and abrasion resistance and most sandstone will usually have a pass or fail rating.
Salt crystallisation: if you have ever noticed fluffy white blooms appear on the surface of some sandstone, this is directly related to the salt crystals contained in the sandstone. The stones water absorption has helped to draw these crystals to the surface and this has resulted in these fluffy blooms
know as Efflorescence. This is nothing to worry about but when the salt crystals cannot make it to the surface and the bloom is created in the pours of the stone it can undermine the strength of the stone and is known as Subflorescence.
Acid immersion: sandstone will fail this test so if you live in an area that can be prone to acid rain than using sandstone paving may not be a wise choice as the pavers will erode at an accelerated rate, leaving you will brittle, flaking and cracking sandstone paving.
Knowing these facts about sandstone paving will prove a major advantage when choosing the best pavers for your home.