Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA
At this home in Sudbury, MA we will be doing a bluestone walkway installation to replace the current stepping stone walkway. The owners are looking for something more functional and formal for their front entry. There are also some overgrown shrubs at the door as well as a granite step that is out of level. The plan is pretty straightforward. We will install a thermal bluestone walkway that runs parallell to the house. A landing area will extend from the front door to meet the walkway. We will also remove the two shrubs that are crowding the door and install a new granite step.
The bluestone we will be using is thermal blue which has a consistent surface texture and mild color range of blues and grays.
Bluestone Walkway Preparation:
To prep the walkway we remove all the stone and excavate the area about 10″ deep. This will leave enough room for 8″ of compacted base material, 1″ of bedding material, and then the bluestone. The base material is a mixed aggregate that compacts very well. The bedding material is a course sand that we use to set the stones in and fine tune the level.
The step will be made from a single piece of antique granite. This is old granite that was hand crafted long ago, installed likely as a piece of curbing somewhere in Massachusetts, and then eventually pulled up and sent to a stoneyard to be re-sold. Being handcrafted and having sat exposed to the elements and traffic for many years gives it a distinctly antique look that is hard to replicate with newly quarried granite. Granite like this has to be carefully chosen piece by piece to get the size and regularity desired.
Bluestone Walkway Installation
Once the base is prepped and the step is in we can level the sand and start laying the bluestone. The bluestone will be laid in a random pattern which is the more common/traditional style. When laying a random bluestone pattern the goal is to avoid long joints, 4 corners, and to disperse the sizes randomly.
Bluestone Walkway Completion:
After all the bluestone is laid and leveled we edge the walkway with a plastic paver edging. The edging sits below the surface and is staked into the ground with 10″ steel stakes. This helps hold the edge stones from tipping or drifting over time. In the joints we spread a polymeric joint sand. This is a specially manufactured sand that will harden up to a consistency of hard rubber. This joint sand is meant to remain slightly flexible and permeable to water, but to discourage weed growth and insects. It also helps to lock everything together so none of the stones shift or tip when walked on.
The result is a sharp looking but classic bluestone walkway. This bluestone walkway installation will last a long time and never go out of style.