Photo credit to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenimpress/
When you are building stone decks and patios there are many considerations that go into what is the best stone for your project. These factors can include your own preferences for aesthetic reasons, the best style for your pre-existing home, your budget, how much maintenance you wish to perform, and what you can actually purchase in your area.
Generally speaking your choices will be between:
- local flagstone that is square cut or randomly shaped
- imported flagstone that can also be square cut or randomly shaped
- pre cast faux flagstones made from concrete that imitate the real thing in appearance
- interlocking bricks
- concrete with stone patterns pressed into it
The number one choice is always natural and local flagstone. They will have the greatest lifespan, the most minimal environmental impact, and the greatest ease of incorporation with your local area. This last point will be because it will already ‘belong’ in your area. Imported flagstone can sometimes look alien or out of place. In Southwestern Ontario you can find good flagstone from Owen Sound of a gray and tan colour, Kingston of a red or rust colour, and Credit Valley which is gray.
Precast faux flagstone, interlocking bricks, and concrete with stone patterns pressed into it are all going to give you the same basic lifespan. They will all deteriorate at a quicker rate than natural flagstone. If you’re going with these over natural local flagstone it is likely an aesthetic choice. They are excellent building materials that can last decades, there is no doubt about that, but they can not offer the superior longevity of natural flagstone from your local environment.