View Full Version : blue stone installation dilemna
05-13-2001, 06:59 PM
I am about to install a small bluestone patio and already priced it out using regualar type bluestone with a thickness of 1-2".
The other day, while at the stone yard they mentioned that they now carry 'brazillian' blue stone and that it is cut so that each piece is exactly 1.75 inches thick, therefore you can save time installing it by laying out you bedding coarse like pavers and going with it.
Was wondering if going with this stone may be a good idea. The labor involved setting each piece of the 'irregualar thickness' blue stone is a bit more involved, but the 'regular' thickness stone is also 75 cents extra a square foot.
Do you think 75 cents a square foot would be saved in the time it saves to install the even stone rather than the 'uneven' stone?
I know it may be worth it in 'frustration' savings trying to lay the irregulars out nice an smooth, and also in 'finger pain' from dropping stones on them while trying to set.
What's your time worth? for me buy the cut stuff, you'll make up the $.75 in the first ten minutes!
05-13-2001, 08:49 PM
Ditto. (except maybe an hour or two, not 10 mins for us)
05-13-2001, 09:48 PM
Another reason to go with the evenly cut thickness is more assurance that stone won't crack due to being a little too thin in spots or the base not supporting it perfectly. I'd like to know where you are getting this cut stone, Steve.
05-13-2001, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the replies.
I already sold this job, and am already half into the job. I have to pick stone up tomorrow or the next day, so I have to decide kind of quick here...
I think I will go for the cut stone. It will cut into my profit, but I wouldn't mind getting done a day earlier and moving on to the next job.
For me, my labor consists of me, so its always a dilemna when it comes to time. If it were later in the year, and not so busy, I would buy the cheaper stone and just spend the extra time, but being as busy as it is, it seems to make sense to just lose a few dollars here and save myself a day....maybe even get home before 8 one night!
Lanelle, I am buying the stone from a local supplier, but he buys from his supplier who is somewhere in PA.
The story with the stone is that it comes by the boat load from Brazil. The supplier then distributes it off of the boat all around the tri-state area mainly, but does cover most of the North east. A lot of masons are starting to use the stone for interior work, as it can be laid just as easy as ceramic tile. Looks beutiful too.
A funny story...while talking with the owner about the stone, he told me why typical blue stone is of 'varying thickness'. Mainly because, in the quarries here in the US, they use air chisels to 'split' the slabs that come out of the quarry and that by 10 oclock in the morning, most of the employees at the quarry are DRUNK. He says this is the truth, and I believe him, as he's been in the business some 40 plus years. In brazil, he says they use saws and different equipment to slit the slabs, and that they have a much higher level of quality, especially in their workers. Unlike people here in the US, their employees will work 16 hours for 2 dollars an hour and be thankful for the money, where here they want $15 hour and expect to have a 'beer break' every 1/2 hour and do nothing but complain.
I've seen some mines, and I guess I can't blame people for drinking. Dirty, nasty, and horrible work. Kind of a shame that we have to go to other countries to get higher quality material.
I do have one hope for a price break.....the owners daughter, who seems to have taking a liking to me, has a daughter my age and is trying to set me up on a date......hmmm.....I haven't seen any pics of here yet, but, if I can get a discount on stone supplies.......got to think about this....
05-13-2001, 11:00 PM
Does this Brazilian stone look the same as our native bluestone and is the composition the same?
Hopefully the sister won't look like a stone:rolleyes:
Damn landscapers will DO anything to save a buck!
05-14-2001, 06:42 PM
I'm going with the brazillian stone. I finally got a good look at it today, and only have one problem.
It is only 1" (15/16), not 1 3/4. Is this thick enough for a dry laid patio?
I have a rock solid base set already. 6 inches of compacted QP (set like concrete over night), and will be screeding stone dust as my bedding coarse.
Would a thicker bedding course be of any value, as I was planning to do the normal 1" depth. Because of the thickness of the stone, I figured it may give a little more 'cushion' to install maybe 2 inches.
Or would sand maybe be a better choice? I like stonedust a little more as it doesn't wash out quite as easy, but the sand may be a little more forgiving over time.
Also, I considered doing a 'dry portland' bedding sand/cement mix also, but am already a little over budget with the stone now and don't want to spend the time/money on mixing the bedding with the portland.
By the way, the stone is absoulutely beutiful. Very nice color, very clean and unweathered. It is cut to perfection also. Each piece is actually squared, so they will butt together nice and tight. Also, the tops are all very smooth, not having anywhere near the blemishes that the typical stuff has, yet still maintains a 'natural' look. As for composition, it looks much more solid than the other native stone. When you look at the side profile, it does not have any cracks at all that eventually cause it to 'flake off in sheets'. Also, the surfaces are very clean, not showing many signs of spots that will 'flake' off either.
I am excited to get this one done, as I think it will turn out better than I imagined.
Another thing..., I thought it over and figured I'd be safer not taking the daughter out. The money I save now may be nothing compared to the money spent on dinner, especially if she looks like her father does(275lbs)......
sounds great steve...would love to see a pic when your done...of the patio...not the daughter!! lol
05-14-2001, 11:04 PM
"Also, the tops are all very smooth, not having anywhere near the blemishes that the typical stuff has, yet still maintains a 'natural' look. "
The blemishes are what, IMO, make a bluestone walk special. Each piece being unique.
If it doesnt have a grain, is it really bluestone? This stuff sounds like what our local supplier sells as "cultured" bluestone. Basically stone dust compressed and mixed with some sort of binder. Or maybe cut basalt?
Good luck with it.
little green guy
05-15-2001, 12:08 AM
Hey Steve,- what supplier are you getting that stone from? I have to do an esimate for a blue stone patio but I hate doing them so maybe I'll use those instead.
05-15-2001, 12:14 AM
The issue of thickness really depends on the strength and integrity of the stone. Regular PA bluestone wouldn't hold up for dry install at only one inch thick. Ask the stone supplier if this stone is hard enough and free enough from faults to be used dry. I think I would want the answer in writing, so if a warranty issue arises, you are at least partly covered.
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