With such a wide variety of paving options on the market today, you’re probably wondering whether or not sandstone slabs are right for you.
With versatility, durability, and a massive range of colors, sandstone slabs are one of the best paving options on the market today, used for a wide range of projects, including patios, gardens, and outdoor spaces.
If you want to know how to use sandstone for your next paving project, continue reading to learn all you need to know!
How Much Do Sandstone Slabs Cost?
Sandstone is one of the best mid-range paving options, which is one of the reasons why so many people use it for their outdoor projects. On average, you’ll end up spending around $30 to $50 per linear foot on the slab.
For stone steps in an average-sized backyard, this price per linear foot equates to about $1,700 to $4,500.
Not sure if sandstone is the right stone for your needs?
Check out our guide:
Can You Seal Sandstone Slabs?
While you can seal your sandstone slabs, you don’t necessarily have to.
Think about it like this:
Natural stone has survived for thousands of years without the need for any chemical sealants. Even if you don’t give it a layer of sealant, it won’t wither away. However, with that said, there are benefits to sealing your sandstone slabs.
For starters, sandstone is a very porous material, meaning it will absorb water quicker than other stones, and stains can be nearly impossible to remove over time. So, if you have your sandstone paving in an area that gets wet really often and you want to maintain a pristine look, you may choose to seal your sandstone.
Of course, some people like the natural look of sandstone without sealant. The way that it ages over time is like a fine wine, so it’s truly up to how “perfect” you want it to look many years down the line.
Can You Paint Sandstone Slabs?
Yes, you can paint sandstone, though it can be a very difficult process that requires a lot of care.
You need to begin by cleaning your sandstone thoroughly, removing any dirt or debris that may be on its surface. To get rid of this dirt and debris, you can use a cloth. You don’t want to use sandpaper, which is a material often used when cleaning other stones, as it can be damaging.
After your sandstone is clean, you can apply your primer. Make sure it is neutral in color. To apply your primer, follow the instructions given to you by the manufacturer. We recommend using a spray gun, as it will allow you to get an even coat over the entire stone.
After you’ve applied your primer, you can start applying a coat of latex paint. The color you choose is up to you. We recommend using a spray gun for this portion of the process again, as it can make sure the entire job is evenly done.
Lastly, we recommend applying a clear sealant to ensure the paint is protected against any damage, especially if your stones are outside and exposed to the elements.
We highly recommend looking at rainbow sandstone if you want sandstone with a unique color.
Check it out in our guide:
How To Lay Sandstone Patio Slabs
Let’s look at a step-by-step of how to lay sandstone patio slabs.
- Choose Your Area: The first thing you’ll need to do is decide where you want to lay your sandstone pavers. This area should be level, firm, and have good drainage. We recommend marking the area using some spray paint.
- Start Digging: Using a small shovel or your hands, start digging until your sandstone area is 125mm deep + the depth of the pavers. When finished, your area should be about 150mm deeper than the surrounding area.
- Level It Out: Create a level plane using a rake and string line. Once you have a level space, you can compact the area using a tamper or garden roller.
- Fill In The Sub-Base: You’ll want to provide some sub-base beneath the stones for better hold and drainage. We recommend using a mixture of crushed stone and dust, filling and compacting at least 50mm.
- Wash Your Stones: Remove any dust or dirt from your stones with some water.
- Prime Your Stones: Using fine mortar slurry or a proprietary priming product of your choice, prime the backs of your stones.
- Mix Up Your Mortar: To create your mortar mix, you’ll use one part water and cement and four parts sand. To make sure you can work with it, your mortar mix should be a “wet” consistency.
- Spread It: Take your mortar mixture and spread it evenly across the area that you just dug out, and use a roller t level it off. This should fill out another 30mm of your bed.
- Lay Your Stones Down: Lay your sandstone units down. You’ll want to make sure that they are around 8-10mm apart from one another. To make sure they are firmly locked in the bed of mortar, you can use a rubber mallet to tap on the stones lightly.
- Fill The Joints: Next, you will want to take your mortar mix and fill in the joints using a trowel. Again, make sure that your mortar is “wet” in consistency so that you can work with it. You can then use your pointing tool to compress the mortar mix.
- Allow It To Sit: Before walking on your sandstone, allow it to set for around 24 hours at least. If you live in a wet climate, you can allow it to sit for a bit longer.
If you want a better visual for laying your sandstone pavers down, you can check out this video:
How Do You Clean Sandstone Patio Slabs?
Keeping your sandstone pavers clean is actually quite simple. If you only need to give your sandstone a gentle cleaning, you can use a mixture of soap and water. However, if you’re dealing with tougher stains, you can use heavier cleaners, such as bleach.
Bleach works great when you have heavy algae or moss stains.
To make a bleach mixture for your sandstone, you can combine an equal mixture of water and bleach and pour it onto your slabs. You can then leave the mixture sitting on your stones for around 30 minutes before washing it off with a hose or power washer.
Make sure that you’ve washed off all the bleach, as you do not want it sitting on your stone.
How To Get Paint Off Of Sandstone Slabs
If you’ve recently found paint on your sandstone slabs and you want to get rid of it, there are a couple of methods you can try. We always recommend starting with the least aggressive method first before moving on to heavy-duty methods.
The least aggressive method is to let your stones weather. This means letting the paint deteriorate naturally with the weather.
If that doesn’t work, you can move on to water washing, including scrubbing or gentle sponging. We recommend using a soft bristle brush if you can’t get it off with a cloth or sponge alone. If that doesn’t work, you can move on to steam stripping. To do this, you can use a low-pressure, superheated steam stripper. This method is great for emulsions or other water-thinned paints. It’s an excellent way to clean paint from stone without stripping the stone’s surface.
If all else fails, you can use a solvent or non-caustic chemical removers. These are reasonably aggressive, though not as aggressive as alkaline or caustic chemical removes like potash or caustic soda, which can damage the stone. Non-caustic chemicals are great for latex-based paints.
If you have another kind of paint on your sandstone slabs, we recommend getting in touch with a professional cleaner.
How To Remove Cement Stains From Sandstone Slabs
If you have cement stains on your sandstone, don’t fret. There are methods for removal.
One of the best methods is to clean it with muriatic acid, otherwise known as hydrochloride acid. You can simply dilute this solution with water to remove the cement from your sandstone. However, this needs to be done with caution, as acidic cleaners can break down dolomitic cement or calcite, which holds many types of sandstone together.
It’s a good idea to test out a small portion of your stone before moving on to the rest. You can dilute four parts of water and one part of muriatic acid to test out your stone. If the diluted acidic mixture doesn’t fizz when it hits the surface of your sandstone, you’re probably good.
There you have it; all you need to know about paving with sandstone slabs. If you have any other questions regarding paving with sandstone, or you just want to get more advice on paving in general, make sure to head on over to our blogs.
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