Beautiful bluestone can really add class to a project or space. Follow these 5 simple tips to insure you end up with the outcome that will last a lifetime.
Bluestone, also referred to as basalt, is a natural stone known for its hard-wearing, durable and slip-resistant properties. It is often used for pavers, tiles, kerbs, feature walls and cladding, and in landscaping such as pool coping or water features. It can also be found in many buildings, structures and cobblestone laneways in city centres, particularly Melbourne. The most common type of bluestone in Australia is Victorian Bluestone, however, different varieties can be found in South Australia and Tasmania, all with slightly different properties.
Tip 1 – Think big!
Bluestone is highly versatile and hard working. The possibilities are endless! It’s hugely popular, and has many uses in domestic, civic or commercial projects. Each piece of stone is unique, and differences can be seen in colouring, veins and watermarks, which all add to the character of the stone. It can also be finished in a number of different ways, with each method giving a different look and feel to the bluestone.
The surface could be polished, tumbled (more of a worn look), honed (will have a matte or low sheen finish), sand blasted (matte finish) or hammered (textured finish with muted tones), to name a few. As you can imagine, thinking about where you might like to use bluestone will determine the finish you want.
Bluestone is often used externally for pavers, tiles, kerbs, feature walls and cladding, and in landscaping such as pool coping or water features. It can also be used indoors, and looks great in a bathroom or as a feature wall or tiling. It makes a great statement winding through your garden, or a grand entrance to your front door.
Tip 2 – Understand from your supplier where your bluestone is sourced from Bluestone in Australia is generally either sourced locally or sourced from overseas, like China. Where your stone is from is not an issue as long as you are happy with the look and the price. You do need to be mindful when the stone is being cleaned either by yourself or a professional cleaning and sealing contractor. Some bluestone from overseas has more iron and other minerals inside the stone that can be brought to the surface by too aggressively cleaning with harsh acids. This commonly looks like rust and is very hard to recover from.
We at Guard Industry recommend you find an acid alternative like our Guard Remover® Efflorescence and Cement. This is a DIY, straight out of the bottle, simple way to ensure you can acid wash without the negative effects.
Tip 3 – Professionals installed your stone, now let professionals finish it off
You may or may not know but just as there are professional paving contractors out there, there are also companies who specialise in cleaning and protection of natural stone. We would happily point you towards one of our approved applicators that are trusted in the industry from the smallest of footpaths to the largest commercial contract in Australia. For a fixed price they will clean using all the correct chemicals and protect using long-life natural finish penetrating sealers, taking all the stress and product selection confusion away.
If you choose to DIY we will support you all the way. With a short conversation we will set you up with all the cleaning and protection chemicals you will need and advise on the best tools needed to get the best result. With a little love and care, your bluestone will look beautiful for decades.
Tip 4 – For peace of mind always protect your bluestone
While Bluestone is a wonderful natural stone, with many great properties and a variety of uses, it is also porous, meaning it is susceptible to damage from water, spills, pollution, algae, moss and efflorescence. Adding protection doesn’t change the look or feel of your new stone.
It just means the first party you have that someone spills some wine or oil you haven’t just ruined your beautiful investment. Unprotected bluestone can soak these spills in quickly, causing permanent discolouration, staining or oily residue, rendering the surface unattractive or potentially dangerous.
A sealed surface keeps all those nasty spills on the surface giving you time to clean before permanent damage can occur.
Tip 5 – Sit back, relax and enjoy
All the hard work is done, you have the assurance of a natural hard wearing surface built and protected to last a lifetime. If you have a spill or an accident don’t stress – just wash it off with a hose if outside or mop up inside, no different than you would with any other surface. Periodic maintenance for a slightly deeper clean is a great idea. Using a pH neutral cleaner such as Guard Cleaner® Eco Soiled Floors is the best way to clean your sealed bluestone surfaces.
If you have any questions please contact the team at Guard Industry to chat further about your project, or to get more information about the range of Bluestone cleaners and sealers we have – [email protected] or 1300 249 767.