Sandstone paving is a beautiful, natural material that can be used for many different purposes such as patios, paths and driveways.
In this article we’ll address the 11 most frequently asked questions about sandstone paving to help you decide if it’s right for your project and how to care for it.
What is sandstone paving?
Sandstone paving is cut, split or sawn paving slabs cut from natural sandstone. Most sandstone comes from quartz, feldspar, and other minerals that resist weathering processes which makes it ideal for paving.
Most sandstone paving in the UK is imported from India, where it is quarried near the Himalayas.
The most popular colours are grey, Raj Green and autumn brown.
1.Do I need to seal sandstone paving?
You can keep your Indian sandstone patio looking good with a quick brush every so often. A sealant will help the effects of sun, rain and wind from making it look worse for wear after several years in Great British weather.
Just be sure to choose a sealer which suits the colour of your paving, and take care to read instructions. A good quality sealer will last up to three years before it needs reapplying (depending on where you live).
Overall we would recommend not sealing your sandstone paving unless there is a good reason to.
We have seen to many botched attempts from our customers. Its impossible to restore the stone after you have applied sealant to be sure that its something you want to do.
2.What is riven sandstone paving?
Riven sandstone paving is an exciting way to add texture and a rustic feel in your space.
The individual pieces come in varying thicknesses, so it’s important that they’re laid carefully on the ground for proper alignment and stability depending on their use (patio or driveway).
3.What is calibrated sandstone paving?
The calibrated Indian stone is a cutting method that will keep stones consistent in their thickness.
They are popular because of the uniformity of cut, which makes them easy to lay and transport bulk quantities of these slabs.
The standard thickness for paving slabs 22mm but this can change if they were hand-cut instead
4.What is sawn sandstone paving?
Sawn and honed sandstone paving goes through several processes to achieve its modern aesthetic.
The machine-cut slabs are sawn with a precision of the nearest millimetre, then buffed for an unbelievably smooth finish that is perfect for any contemporary landscaping project!
5.Can you pressure wash sandstone paving?
Sandstone paving is the perfect stone for resisting pressure washing because it is naturally resistant to erosion and chemicals.
Pressure washing will not damage this paving material, but if stones are too close together or have been laid incorrectly then they may be dislodged by sudden movements from water jet.
The main thing which could go wrong with pressure washing your sandstone paving is the pointing which holds the sandstone slabs in place. The pointing is made from a mixture of cement and sand, and if water hits it then this material could wash away.
6.Does sandstone paving fade?
If the sandstone has direct sunlight it will eventually fade. However, this can add to its character if you are going for a rustic look.
Natural stone and sandstone pavements have an elegant, well-polished finish that can improve with age, look better and add value to your property.
The most important thing you need to know about Indian sandstone paving slabs is what not to use when cleaning them.
Avoid any solution with acid in it, as this could create rust on the slabs and ruin their appearance.
7.Does sandstone paving stain?
Indian sandstone paving does stain but generally not easily . Moisture and oils in the sandstone will usually cause stains if left to their own devices.
You can combat this by using a sealant, but it is important that you do not use anything with acid as mentioned above, because this could ruin your paving slabs.
8.How long does sandstone paving last?
Indian sandstone paving can have a very long lifespan if installed and maintained properly. With a cheap installer and poor care you can expect 2 – 10 years from your paving. With a solid base and repointing every few years you can in theory get 30 – 50 years from your paving or perhaps more.
We have worked on paths which have been laid down for over 100 years with very little movement.
9.Is Indian sandstone paving slippery when wet?
For most riven and calibrated types the answer is no however it is not uncommon for sawn sandstone paving to be slippery when wet.
As beautiful as sawn sandstone is, it can be lethal when wet and lubricated with only a small amount of algae or mud.
If you are going for a sawn finish it is worth investing in a brand which has been sandblasted to ensure the surface in anti-slip. This can be extremely expensive but it is worth it to avoid the skating rink which can develop on cheaper sawn sandstone.
10.Is sandstone paving permeable?
Sandstone contains pores that allow water to flow through it. For that reason, it can be used as a paving in areas which require permeability.
Just ensure that you use a base and sealers which don’t remove this property from the patio or driveway.
11.Does sandstone paving go rusty?
The discoloration of sandstone is a natural phenomenon often caused by the oxidation from iron content.
This can cause brown marks or dark patches in grey or black granite and should be avoided with the use of hydrochloric acid contained in brick cleaners, which are extremely dangerous to natural stone surfaces.
With all of the information we’ve provided, you should have a good idea about what sandstone paving is and how it can be used for your project.
We hope that by answering these 11 frequently asked questions, we’ve helped to make the decision easier for you.
If not or if you just want more information before deciding one way or another on whether this material is right for your next renovation or construction project, take a look around our website at other articles with advice from professionals in the industry as well as pictures of real life projects using sandstone paving materials!