Your driveway has a very simple job, but there’s a surprising amount of decision-making that goes into creating it. Choosing the right stone for your driveway is one of the first choices you’ll have to make - there are a couple of key options, but most people find it comes down to a choice between limestone and Indian stone paving.
They’re both amongst our specialties here at Bridge Street Stone, and we’ve got years of experience in helping our customers to achieve exactly the effect they want for their homes and driveways. Over the years, we’ve found that certain questions about Indian stone paving keep cropping up over and over again, so we’ve taken a moment to answer some of the most common below.
Is Indian stone suitable for driveways?
This is one particular question we get asked a lot at Bridge Street Stone. Other common variations include questions along the lines of ‘can patio stones be used for driveways’ or ‘can you use paving slabs for driveways’? The answer to all of them is basically the same: yes, but you have to ensure that the stones aren’t too thin, because otherwise they’ll crack under the weight of the cars moving over them.
You may have heard it said elsewhere that paving flags (whether Indian stone or not) have to be at least 50mm thick. This is true in one sense, but this 50mm refers to the full bed, not just the flagstones. Basically, the ‘full bed’ refers to both the flagstones and the sub base of underlying mortar beneath them, and that each slab is bedded individually. Happily, that means you’ll have no issues using Indian stone paving slabs of 22mm. As long as there’s a strong enough sub base, you’re good to go!
Does Indian stone actually come from India?
The short answer is yes. This isn’t all that surprising when you think about it - India is a massive country, at almost 3.3 million square kilometres, it’s 13 times bigger than the UK. A country of that size naturally has a highly diverse geology, and every year it exports massive amounts of sandstone, limestone, slate and granite. Here at Bridge Street Stone, we’ve been importing Indian paving for over 20 years, and we’re now established as one of the North West’s largest importers of Indian stone. That means you’ve always got plenty of choice - as we’ll explore in just a moment!
What are your driveway paving options?
Before you get started on the details, the first thing you’ll probably want to consider is how you use your driveway - is it a ‘working’ driveway, which you’ll use to park up your regular family cars? Or will you be using it as a space to store other types of vehicles, like caravans, motorcycles, or motorhomes? The answer to this question will sometimes affect the answer to the next one: namely the aesthetic you want. You’ve definitely got no shortage of driveway paving options - Indian stone comes in a wide range of types, colours and patterns.
How good is Indian sandstone for driveways?
In a word: excellent! Indian sandstone is not only reliably durable, but also provides you the choice between a huge range of styles and patterns. Riven sandstone is a particularly popular type of Indian stone we provide here at Bridge Street Stone. This has been expertly hand chiselled to leave natural grooves and other imperfections in the stone, giving it an appealingly rugged appearance. It can be used to create a variety of laying patterns, including coursed designs, recurrent square patterns, or more random arrangements. (The choice between these patterns is purely aesthetic - none of them affect the relative strength or durability of the finished driveway.)
Tumbled sandstone is another frequent favourite. This type of Indian sandstone will have been passed through specially designed machinery which rounds off its corners, softening its edges and profile. This also creates natural undulations in the stone, giving it a slightly worn look for extra rustic character and traditional charm. It also makes the sandstone less porous, enhancing its stain-resistance.
Tumbled sandstone is often arranged into setts, a style of paving that dates back to Roman times. It consists of tumbled sandstone that’s been cut down into small, brick like pieces, and can be laid out in traditional or contemporary designs, or used to mark the edges of paths and green spaces.
If you’re looking for a bit more detail on exactly how to lay driveway paving, we’ve provided more information on laying patterns here, as well as a visual guide to some of the examples we mentioned above.
Indian sandstone colours
Whether you choose riven or tumbled Indian sandstone, you’ll always have a great choice of colours, ranging from muted, understated shades to bolder and more dramatic options. The main options that we offer here at Bridge Street Stone include Autumn Brown, Golden Leaf, Kandla Grey, and Kota Black.
Autumn Brown is one of the most versatile choices, blending with mid tones of brown, reddish brown and even some light greys, all of which combine to create an attractive look that’s perfectly at home in almost any environment. With its slight tonal variations, it’s great for adding a bit of warmth to an area, making it seem more comfortable and inviting. It’s normally used for living areas, but you can use it to give a bit of visual interest to your driveway, too.
Golden Leaf is one of the most popular colours with our customers, and the appeal is clear to see. Its light honeyed shade reflects sunlight beautifully, which makes it fantastic for brightening up a space in the sunnier months. If your driveway borders a green area, you can use Golden Leaf to make the entire area look warm and vibrant, which can put a smile on your face as you arrive home each evening.
Kandla Grey provides a different look entirely - its mid to light grey tones are perfect if you want a stylish, sophisticated effect for your driveway. It also reacts in some interesting ways to the elements; when weathered, it can produce warm brown and dark grey colourations. You might sometimes hear it referred to as blue grey, and it’s been known to contain some light elements of silver too.
Kota Black is the final option in our range. Its colour is darker and bolder than Kandla Grey, which is great if you want to create a space with a bit of dramatic flair. It’s an ideal choice if you want to turn the heads of passersby as they walk past your home, and you can create striking contrasts with nearby green spaces, or even the colour of your car. Really, the possibilities are endless - and the final decision is yours!
Does paving your driveway add value to your home?
In the vast majority of cases, yes. In fact, it’s often estimated to boost your property’s value by somewhere between 5% and 10%. That can easily translate to thousands of pounds, or even tens of thousands. The exact amount can vary depending on a number of factors, so it’s worth doing some more in-depth research before you begin - but you can be certain that creating a driveway with Indian paving stones is rarely a bad investment. Don’t forget, the majority of the cost of the job lies in the labour required to do it. That means if you go down the DIY route, as many people do, you may well find that it’s a lot cheaper to complete than you may have initially thought.
So that’s the bare basics! If you’ve got any further questions or you need some more in-depth advice, we’re always happy to help here at Bridge Street Stone. With years of experience behind us, we can work with you to narrow down your available choices, helping you to get the exact look you want for your driveway. Feel free to visit us in our Colne showroom, or give us a call today on 01282 860 571, and we’ll be only too happy to help!