Bluestone Steps in Colder Climates
Will They Last?

This question and my answer concerns bluestone steps in coder climates and how practical they are.

QUESTION:

We want to use bluestone steps for our new front porch. We live in the northeast and are considering putting in a walkway and redoing our entry stairs. The landscape designer is recommending bluestone treads, but we are concerned that the winters are too harsh for bluestone

How will the bluestone hold up to ice melt (or some other salt substitute) and ice chopping? We want this work to last for 25 years. Should we consider granite instead? Something else? Look forward to hearing from you.


MY ANSWER:

Bluestone should be fine in your area. I am actually from the Northeast and did much work with bluestone treads in that area. Take a look at this page (if you haven't already).

Bluestone Steps

Except for the first photo, all of the other projects are in New Jersey.

When you choose the bluestone treads you can either make each tread one entire piece of bluestone or it can be made up of a few pieces. If you choose the latter, they are grouted with concrete/mortar. It is always a possibility that mortar will crack. I prefer one solid piece of bluestone, both for the longevity and the look. The first picture shows solid bluestone treads. The second shows the tread installed in sections.

One other thing about bluestone is that it comes in different color choices. All Blue is where all the pieces are that uniform blue color. Full Range includes blues, tans, grays, etc. You can see the two different kinds in the pictures on the above link.

Here are some additional project photos of mine where you can see the full range bluestone.

Patio Designs

I have a feeling you are considering pavers for the walkway? If so, bluestone can look very nice with certain pavers. If you are considering bluestone, you can use the dry laid method, where my same thoughts apply as when I discussed the treads, ie., cracking, longevity, etc.

Good luck, and if you have any further questions, just let me know.


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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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