There's a little stone walkway in Ireland that was laid down hundreds of years ago. It leads to a legendary wishing well that people travel to from all over the world. Tens of thousands of people have walked upon that stone path to make a wish or dream a dream. The stones are worn and shiny but the path just becomes more magical as the decades go by.
A Portland patio or walkway made of natural stone shares a bit of that magic found in the path to the Irish wishing well. Maybe it's because they a share a history which spans the globe. Look for a Portland stone mason who specializes in natural stone patio floors and garden paths. If they are properly placed, they may last for generations.
You may choose from flagstone, uncut stones, or paving stones. Each type of stone creates an entirely different outdoor floor.
· Flagstones - are natural hard stones which are broken or fractured into broad, flat sections. Good flagstone is extremely hard and smooth. You can see the quality of flagstone by looking at the edge. If the edges crumble easily it's an indication of poor quality. Flagstones can be made of slate, limestone and stand stone. Marble flagstone is used for very high end projects. The cost of flagstone can vary greatly depending on your geographical location. Metamorphic rock is heavy and very expensive to ship, certain varieties may cost three or four times more in one area of the country compared to another. If you are concerned about costs, ask about the availability of local stones.
· Naturally shaped stones - Old fashioned cobble stone paths use whole, naturally shaped stones. This creates a nostalgic look, but the path may be slightly uneven or bumpy. Remember the smaller the stone, the more even the path or floor. Small rock combinations like Mexican pebble and salmon stone can create a dynamic multicolored design.
· Pavers - Manufactured paving stones with simulated stone veneer can achieve the look of natural stone for an affordable price. They are available in many fun shapes and sizes. Paving stones can be square, round, and every shape in between. Since colors and dyes can be added to pavers, there is a wide range of colors.
· Brick - No list of stone paths would be complete without mentioning clay masonry brick. After all Dorothy found true friends and a wizard as she skipped down her yellow brick road and they've been appearing in gardens and patios ever since.
Natural stone, paver stone, and brick patios and floors can be laid tightly to inhibit the growth of grass and plants between the cracks, however some stones are laid so grass can natural integrate into the cracks to create a natural appearance.
Take a few minutes to look at your entire property before choosing a particular color or variety of stone. Keep other features such as a stone wall, driveway, or fire pit in mind so each element compliments and does not detract from the other.