Do I Have Color Options for Flagstone Walks and Patios?

If you live in Virginia, Maryland, or DC and someone says “flagstone patio”, what comes to mind? Something that looks like this, maybe?

PA variegated flagstone

I’d wager at least 90% of the flagstone patios installed in the DC metro area use this type of stone, generally referred to as Pennsylvania variegated flagstone. There are two reasons for this:

  • It comes from Pennsylvania (thus the clever moniker) and it’s widely used, two factors that cause this to be a very economically priced stone.
  • While it’s primarily made up of cooler tones (blues, grays, and silvers) there are always a few golds and rusts so this stone plays well with a lot of different house colors.

I love the look, and because I can get it in so many sizes I can have a lot of fun with details like patterns and borders and such, like the flagstone patio in Bethesda Maryland, below:

bethesda flagstone patio

Not everyone wants the same flagstone everyone else has, though. Are there other options in our area? Sure thing. For example, with this project I wanted to use a stone that ran a little darker and was more consistent stone to stone. This flagstone, known as Westmoreland Stone, fit the bill.

westmoreland stone walk

On another project, I worked with some folks who wanted to work in browns and tans – no cool colors. We used an irregular stone for the field (Tennessee Crab Orchard) and a pretty wild, psychedelic stone (Canyon View) for the borders and step treads. I love that it’s that little bit different.

tennessee crab flagstone patio

If you’re planning to have a patio installed, how do you find out what your options are? One way is to check out your local stoneyards. Here are a few Virginia stoneyards where you can see the product in person:

  • Charles Luck
  • Sislers Stone
  • The Stone Center

The other way, of course, is to work with a landscape designer who knows his (or her) locally available stone. If you want a patio or walkway that doesn’t look just like what all the neighbors have, contact me to discuss your project and see if Revolutionary Gardens is right for you!




    May 20, 2013 REPLY

    Another great post Dave. Cost certainly comes into play, as the PA stone is generally cheaper than a lot of the other options, but I always try to at least mention that you don’t HAVE to use PA gray.

    Funny thing, when I was in CA, the PA stone was an expensive option — the standard stuff was generally quartzite or a sandstone we referred to as AZ pink.

    May 26, 2013 REPLY

    Nice post! Here in the Pacific NW we use a lot of the Pennsylvania Bluestone. As mentioned above, it is a fairly expensive option. We also do a lot of quartzite, what we call Mica Slate. Mica Slate costs about the same per ton, but is much harder and is only available in random shapes, so the cost to install is higher.

      May 29, 2013 REPLY

      I’ve worked with mica slate. Gorgeous stone, but you’re right – not the most user friendly!

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