Australian Bluestone Vs Imported Bluestone

Australian Bluestone has a very good reputation as a high quality product. It has a particular shade of grey/blue which is unique and has a low iron pyrite content which means it does not experience much or any colour change over a period of time. From a durability perspective there is no practical difference between imported and local Bluestone. It is useful to listen to David Attenborough’s YouTube video on the formation of Basalt (which we call Bluestone in Victoria) to gain a broader understanding. The price of Australian Bluestone is much higher than the imported varieties.

Some re-sellers like to report they are selling Australian Bluestone and give it a local name of one of our South Eastern Melbourne suburbs, however there is no Bluestone quarry in this area and the product sold is usually Chinese. Buyer be beware!

Most good Bluestone is usually imported from China, although there are some imports from Vietnam. The quality, cut, colour and porosity of the Chinese material is as good as the best in the world. The author of this article selected Chinese Bluestone for his own home.

Another major advantage of the Chinese Bluestone is price, it represents outstanding value for money, and provides an excellent long term investment due to the durability of the stone.

About Bluestone

Bluestone is the local Victorian name for Basalt, which means a volcanic rock. Bluestone is a very hard and durable stone. It has many qualities making it an outstanding paving solution. There are also many different qualities to examine before buying your Bluestone, (in other words not all bluestone is the same).

  • Colour. The colour of bluestone varies, and this also helps determine the final price. Generally the attractive blue/grey type costs a little more than the flat grey varieties.
  • Type of finish. The surface of the bluestone tiles can be sawn which leaves it with a rougher and more non slip surface. It can also be honed which makes it smoother and generally brings out the dark colours. Bluestone can be honed right up to a semi polished or polish finish, due to the inherent hardness of the stone.
  • Distribution of “cats paw.” Bluestone has little holes in the surface which were created as the hot volcanic rock cooled down. Some types of Bluestone are very compact (without any small holes); although this is not always considered an advantage aesthetically as the final result may be too plain for some applications. Cats Paw is a word used to explain a pattern of slightly larger holes running through some of the tiles and is generally considered very attractive when it is present in the right quantity.
  • Thickness. The thickness of the stone helps determine its longevity, after it has been fixed into position. Some companies will suggest a 15mm thick Bluestone for exterior use, however we suggest 20mm should be the minimum thickness for external use. 20mm Bluestone tiles perform well in driveway applications and general landscaping as its additional thickness and therefore strength, allows for expansion and contraction and improved impact resistance. We also stock 30mm tiles for commercial applications, when a thicker tile is required.

Bluestone is used effectively for driveways, patios, pool surrounds and interior applications. Bluestone is a traditional stone and has been used in Melbourne since our inception and due to its colour and quality is used extensively in modern building applications.