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08/15/2022

What Is Flagstone? Popular Flagstone Types and Colors

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Ever left wondering what is flagstone?

This popular natural material for landscaping is one many explore when redoing their outdoor spaces, and for a good reason. Most commonly used for landscaping, but simultaneously suitable for indoors, there is a range of flagstone types and colors available for your home design. But where do we begin?

To assist, we are explaining what is flagstone made of, as well as the different types of flagstones and the range of colors available.

What Is Flagstone?

So, let’s answer the most basic question - what is flagstone?

Let’s start with what flagstone is made of. Flagstone is a generic term used to encompass all sedimentary and metamorphic rock that’s split into layers. These rocks are naturally split along the lineation planes of the stones. Encompassing a range of different sedimentary rocks, this term is used to describe the different types of a stone laid as “flags” in patterns.

Each type of flagstone has its features, but there are some more popular variations, including bluestone, limestone, and sandstones. And with such a wide range of types, there are also many uses for this type of rock.

Flagstones are implemented in many ways, including:

  • Roofing
  • Flooring
  • Walkways  
  • Fireplaces
  • Steps
  • Patios
  • Housing.  

Plus, with a range of colors, from blue to red, brown, and mixed variations, each homeowner can get just what they are looking for. And to make it all the better, flagstones are built to last, offering about 50 years of durability with resistance to hot weather, freeze, and rainfall.

Types of Flagstone

Ozark Flagstone

There are many different flagstone types available today. With each offering different features, as well as a range of benefits and considerations, we are breaking down each of the top types of flagstones to help you with your search. Let's dive right in!

1. Slate

Slate is one of the most commonly known types of flagstones available. This stone is a metamorphic rock that’s layered with clay-like minerals. Slate is typically softer than other stones, like sandstone or quartzite, and is very flaky. With these characteristics, it gives an antique-like appearance. 

Slate is most commonly found in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and New York, and comes in silver gray, green, and copper variations.

Pros:

  • Easy to chisel and shape
  • Ideal for wall-cladding

Cons:

  • Splits easily
  • Limited availability in bigger sizes
  • Requires sealing for stain resistance 

2. Sandstone

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that’s formed by layers of sand, as the name suggests. Of the different types of flagstone, this one gives one of the most contemporary or earthy looks. 

Typically found in the Southeast, Sandstone offers a range of neutral, earthy colors. Sandstone can come in soft pastel colors from beige to red, including pinks, buckskin, gold, and dark red for a versatile selection. 

Pros:

  • Offers cooler surface temperatures in the summer
  • Weather resistant in dense, tightly packed varieties

Cons:

  • Porous
  • Tends to absorb water which causes damage in freeze/thaw cycles
  • Must be sealed to avoid staining 

3. Basalt

Basalt is an igneous, or volcanic, rock. It tends to be lightly textured and is most often found in Montana and British Columbia. 

With a natural gray, beige, or black variation, Basalt is ideal for those looking for a cooler-toned stone option.

Pros:

  • Offers great insulation
  • Sound absorption properties

Cons:

  • Can look dull-looking over time 

4. Quartzite 

what is flagstone made of
Stone wall

Quartzite is a stone that’s a form of metamorphosed rock. It offers a glossy, smooth surface for an ageless appearance that withstands the tests of time. 

Most commonly found in Idaho, Oklahoma, and Northern Utah, Quartzite offers one of the widest ranges of different colors of flagstone. It can come in shades of silver and gold, as well as light tans, blues, grays, and greens. 

Pros:

  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • Resistant to rain and harsh chemicals 
  • Is a non-slip surface
  • Offers more stain resistance than sandstone

Cons:

  • Prone to etching
  • Can be hard to shape
  • Requires routine maintenance 

5. Limestone

Limestone is one of the most common sedimentary rocks. This stone is composed of calcite and offers a natural split surface that can be polished. It tends to offer a more elegant stone finish. 

Found in Indiana, Limestone comes in a variety of colors. The range of hues includes gray, beige, yellow, and black. 

Pros:

  • Ideal for humid climates
  • Weather-resistant
  • Long-lasting

Cons:

  • Incredibly heavy
  • Susceptible to damage from acid

6. Travertine

Silver Travertine

Travertine is a compacted variety of limestone, yet offers a few different qualities. 

Due to its limestone composition, travertine tends to have a more weathered look with different pitted holes. This material is found in Oklahoma and Texas most commonly but can be quarried in Western states in the United States. Typically, travertine comes in various shades of brown, tan, and gray blues.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Higher-end stone
  • Remains cool
  • Great for outdoors

Cons:

  • Can be challenging to finish 
  • Tough to maintain due to surface pits

7. Bluestone

Bluestone is a type of blue-gray sandstone. However, unlike sandstone, it offers a much more dense composition. Due to this density, bluestone tends to have a very flat surface with a rough texture, offering a classic look for your space. 

Bluestone is most commonly found in Northeastern states, such as Pennsylvania and New York. And, as suggested by the name, it most commonly comes in shades of blue, as well as gray and purple. 

Pros:

  • Dense
  • Tough paving
  • Non-slip surface
  • Holds up to harsh winters

Cons:

  • Requires proper sealing to preserve color
  • Must be sealed to resist chlorine or salt water damage
  • Needs to be sealed to protect it from scratching and staining

8. Arizona Flagstone

what type of stone is flagstone
Arizona Flagstone

Arizona flagstone is a type of sandstone. This material is most commonly used for making patio areas, due to its ability to stay fairly cool in the hotter seasons.

Arizona flagstones are most commonly available in pinkish shades, as well as reds for a warm-toned finish. 

Pros:

  • Offers cooler surface temperatures in the summer
  • Weather resistant in dense, tightly packed varieties

Cons:

  • Porous
  • Tends to absorb water which causes damage in freeze/thaw cycles
  • Must be sealed to avoid staining 

Things to Consider When Choosing Flagstone

There are a number of things to consider when exploring the various flagstone types and colors and deciding where to implement this beautiful material in your design. 

Before committing to flagstone, be sure to:

  • Choose a flagstone that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses to accommodate your design. 
  • Avoid glittery flagstone, as it tends to lose its sparkle over years of wear and tear. 
  • Keep in mind that bright-colored stone often ends up being softer than more muted, uniform tones. 
  • Ensure that the stone has been tested in residential landscapes over time. 
  • Look for a stone that originates near your project site to minimize shipping charges.
  • Check that the stone is widely available through multiple sources to compare costs. 
  • In areas where water is mineral rich, avoid dark-colored stones that show efflorescence. 

What Does Flagstone Cost?

Alright, you know the answer to what colors does flagstone come in and what type of stone is flagstone, but now the real question - how much does all this cost?

With a range of flagstone types and colors, the price can vary based on the stone you choose. But is flagstone expensive? It’s not the cheapest material. Oftentimes, flagstone costs $2 to $6 per square foot, just for the stone itself. However, with labor, you will pay closer to $15 to $22 per square foot. Keep in mind, that thicker stones or rarer colors will fall on the higher end of that spectrum. 

Shop the Best Flagstone at Stone Center!

Offering a variety of finishes and a range of flagstone types and colors, flagstone is a beautiful material to incorporate into your home design, particularly when tackling an updated landscaping project.

To see the flagstone types and find your ideal stone, explore the vast selection at Stone Center today. Featuring the finest stone carvings in Columbus and Cincinnati, Stone Center offers craftsmanship and quality you can count on. Contact us today to learn more.