Like many types of natural stone paving, Indian sandstone is indeed porous. Some prefer the term permeable, but they essentially mean the same thing - that it’ll allow moisture to penetrate its surface. This doesn’t mean it’s unsuitable for use in your garden, driveway or patio - quite the opposite! - but the permeability of natural Indian sandstone does make proper installation all the more important. Here are the most crucial things to remember.
Indian sandstone slabs need a full bed of mortar
Some people think that a full bed of mortar is only required for Indian sandstone if they’re being used to build a driveway, but the truth is that you’ll need a full bed no matter what you’re planning for your Indian stone! This process involves bedding down each slab individually, which accounts for any variation in individual thickness and ensures that the slabs stay structurally resilient and aesthetically pleasing.
Paving slabs are sometimes laid using an alternative method called the dot and dab technique, but we should make clear that this method is unsuitable for Indian sandstone. Basically, it involves using spots of cement to adhere the stones to a layer of hardcore. However, this poses several problems.
The main one is that since Indian sandstone is permeable, the moisture underneath the stone can start to seep into it. This often gives rise to distinctive rings on the top of the stone, which can really spoil the effect you’re trying to create for your outdoor space.
What’s more, water can start to collect in the gaps underneath. When it freezes in winter, it can even start to lift the stone by forcing it away from the adhesive. This not only damages the aesthetic appearance of your outdoor space, but can even lead to dangerous tripping hazards. And on that note…
Indian sandstone needs to be installed the right way up
It might sound a bit silly, but you might be surprised at how often this happens! Indian sandstone slabs have a top and a bottom side, even though it may not look like that at first glance. The bottom side has edges that taper off slightly, allowing water to run off and preserving the effectiveness of the joining compound. If they’re laid the wrong way up, the joining compound won’t be protected in quite the same way, which can lead to your Indian sandstone having a shorter lifespan than it would if it were properly laid.
These are the main points to bear in mind - but if you’ve got any questions or you need any further help or advice, we’re always here to help here at Bridge Street Stone! We’ve got a fantastic range of natural Indian sandstone paving right here on our website, in a great choice of colours ranging from stunning Golden Leaf to the sophisticated Kota Black. All are sourced directly from India, and we’re able to offer free delivery to most areas. To make an order, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 860571.