Flagstone is a generic term for sedimentary rock split into layers. It is a term used to describe various types of stone laid as “flags” in patterns on outdoor surfaces. Below are types of stone that are typically quarried and laid as flagstone.
For more information: What Is Flagstone

Type of Stone Description Appearance Regionality Colors Pros Cons


Sandstone (common type: Arizona Flagstone)

A sedimentary rock formed by layers of sand

Contemporary or earthy look

Most commonly found in the Southwest

Soft pastel colors from beige to red: Pinks, buckskin gold, and dark red

Cooler surface temperatures in summer. Weather resistant in dense, tightly packed varieties.

Porous and tends to absorb water which can cause damage in freeze/thaw cycles. Should be sealed to avoid staining.


Quartzite

A form of metamorphosed rock

Glossy, smooth surface. Ageless appearance.

Commonly found in Idaho, Oklahoma and Northern Utah

Wide range of colors including silver, gold, and lighter tan, blues, grays, and greens

Resistant to wear and tear, rain, and harsh chemicals. Non-slip surface, more stain resistant than sandstone.

Prone to etching, hard to shape, requires routine maintenance to prevent soiling on its rough, textured surface.


Bluestone

A type of blue-gray sandstone but much more dense

Very flat with a rough texture. Classical looking.

Primarily found in Northeast (Pennsylvania and New York)

Shades of blue, gray, and purple

Dense, tough paving, non-slip surface, holds up to Northeastern harsh winters

Requires proper sealing to preserve color, to resist chlorine or salt water and to protect from scratching and staining.


Limestone

A common sedimentary rock composed of calcite

Natural split surface, can be polished. Elegant.

Commonly found in Indiana

Range of colors including gray, beige, yellow and black

Good for humid climates, weather-resistant, long-lasting

Very heavy, susceptible to damage from acid


Travertine

A compacted variety of limestone

Weathered look with pitted holes

Found naturally in Oklahoma and Texas. Quarried in Western US states.

Various shades of brown, tan, and gray-blues

Durable, higher-end stone, stays cool for outdoor surfaces

Can be difficult to finish and maintain because of surface pits


Basalt

An igneous or volcanic rock

Lightly textured

Commonly found in Montana and British Columbia

Natural gray, beige or black

Great insulation and sound absorption

Can become dull-looking


Slate

A metamorphic rock layered with clay-like minerals

Very flaky, softer than sandstone or quartzite. Antique-looking.

Commonly found in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont and New York

Silver gray, green, copper

Easy to chisel and shape, usually used for wall-cladding

Easily splits, limited availability in large sizes, requires sealing for stain resistance and to reduce efflorescence

Landscaping Network

Follow us on: