Differences in Flagstone & Bluestone

Flagstone is sedimentary rock comprised of sandstone, silica and other substances. One of the key characteristics of flagstone is the ability to split the stone into layers. Bluestone is a type of flagstone. Other types of sedimentary rock include limestone, shale, conglomerate, gypsum and the aforementioned sandstone. The quarry from which the stone is mined determines the classification of flagstone type.

Laying Paving Slabs
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Flagstone path.

Types

Moon over an arid landscape, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona, USA
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Arizona provides a variety of stone.

Different quarries throughout the country produce a wide variety of flagstone. Arizona produces a desert-color stone with hints of burnished red called Arizona Buckskin. Colorado Stain Strips have the color of a golden sunset. Tennessee Bluestone is of a blue-grey color with subtle golden streaks. Pennsylvania Bluestone is colored in a range of grey and blue-greys.

Design

wall
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Bluestone.

Flagstone and bluestone are popular choices for hardscaping. They are used to create pathways and walkways, steps, driveways, walls and interior flooring. The rich color of bluestone stands out in a landscape, while a more neutral-colored flagstone blends in and becomes part of the landscape.They are also used in architectural design. Bluestone is versatile, more stable and stronger than the more generic flagstone. All stone of this type are available as "irregular" or uncut and as pre-cut slabs.

Cost

Concrete Paving Stone
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Flagstone tiles.

Flagstone, in general, is not an inexpensive material. Depending on location, type, cut and color, prices can range anywhere from $120 per ton to over $500 per ton. Bluestone tends to be a little pricier than most other colors of flagstone, since it is not available in all areas. Pavers cost $25 to $35 per square foot. Flagstone, and especially bluestone, are typically used in smaller projects as the cost may quickly become too prohibitive. It is wise to consult with a professional to determine the product best-suited for a project.