Stone working, masonry, construction, decoration – we are fascinated by these inescapable and transformative technologies. For thousands of years, we’ve been developing newer technologies and building materials, but somehow we always come back to the things that remind us of our history and our home on this planet.
Let me take a step back before I get a bit too enthusiastic and start waxing poetic here. Despite all that humanity has seen and built, there is still something marvelous about beautifully designed and decorated homes that incorporate natural stone into their architectures. Natural stone makes backyards, walkways and everything in between pop with its beautiful, natural colors and shapes. So where does it come from, and why are we so drawn to these pieces of our planet that can seem so mundane yet create entrancing atmospheres when used in just the right places?
The Origin of Flagstone, and Why We Love it
True flagstone is what’s known as a ‘natural stone,’ but it is nowhere near alone in this category. In fact, the term natural stone can apply to any number of naturally-formed and quarried stones. This has lead to the misconception that any stone can reasonably be called flagstone, when in fact flagstone is a specialized industry term that refers specifically to a sandstone and feldspar conglomerate that together make a relatively flat and smooth rock. Over thousands of years, running water deposited fine layers of sediment, mud and fossil remains on top of each rock, forming layers upon layers of smooth, slightly differently colored and textured rock. When quarried, the rock is separated into stones just thick enough to use as pavers or for facades, each type coming from a particular region, and broken into small and closely colored pieces. Even though they’re closely colored, because the flagstone is all natural, no two pieces are ever the same. Some, like our Rocky Mountain Rose variety, have a reddish, roselike quality because of the high amount of iron oxide in the soil where the stone is quarried.
Natural color is one reason that we’re so taken with flagstone. Psychology teaches us that the colors we surround ourselves with, especially in the places we regularly spend time, like our homes, have a significant impact on the way we feel and behave. Soft, mid-toned colors, like the color of a fair portion of the natural flagstone we offer, have the effect of providing an atmosphere where we feel comfortable, relaxed and at peace. While more intense shades stimulate the mind and body, if you’re looking to build a personal relaxation pavilion in the backyard, great for both barbecues and reading your favorite book on a summer evening, natural stone might be just what you need.
Flagstone is nothing new, people have been using it to build for hundreds and possibly thousands of years. In earlier times, it was used as more than a decorative element for a home, like this one that was built entirely out of the material. While this house may not exactly demonstrate the natural beauty of the stone, it does show how strong of a material it is and how it has stood the test of time.
Flagstone and Modern Style
Fortunately for us, we can use flagstone in much more modern styles. Flagstone pavers can provide a great garden walkway, a stylish patio or a rustic indoor escape. One favorite use for the natural stone is setting up outdoor and indoor bars, the flagstone sets the mood for a relaxing evening and invites guests to be a part of the atmosphere. Another fun application for the stones is using them as a facade on the outside of stone fixtures like fireplaces and ovens.
To get a real sense of what flagstone can make a room or space feel like, you really have to see it for yourself and in the context you might actually experience it. At Semco Outdoor in Cincinnati, the showroom features many of the varieties of flagstone we offer for sale. There’s nowhere else in Cincinnati where you can enjoy the experience of what installed flagstone looks like, and get a better idea of the kind of stone you want for your space.
If you’re looking for flagstone, you’ll want to drop by Semco Outdoor in Cincinnati because we have relationships with some of the best contractors and installers in the Cincinnati area. With over 100 acres of stone on our lot, you can see what it might look like installed in your home or business, plus you can take it with you that day, saving you delivery charges and making it easier on your contractor to get it installed. In the unlikely event that we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can order it for quick delivery from within our own company – part of our business is quarrying the stone itself. We give you the best service and a full purchasing experience, plus the product we deliver to you is a product we make and guarantee ourselves.
Making the Right Choices
So maybe it’s obvious by this point, but Semco loves its flagstone! That being said, despite it’s natural beauty, make sure to consider wether flagstone is right for you. Since it is a sedimentary rock, if it isn’t properly maintained with correct sealants it will eventually break down, leading to cracking and pitting. Compared to regular pavers, the price point can be quite a bit higher, especially if you choose a quality stone and an experienced installer (both of which we highly recommend if you’re installing natural flagstone). However, one of our specialty suppliers, Belgard, provides a flagstone paver designed to offer the same appeal as the natural stone without the steep price tag and regular maintenance. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty against damage from wear. This means you can enjoy the beauty of natural stone, without all the hassle or expense!
The conclusion: Flagstone is an excellent, beautiful choice when creating a space that showcases your style while creating an atmosphere of comfort, relaxation and general well-being. For those who aren’t ready for true natural stone, there are options that can provide nearly the same experience at more manageable price. If you want to explore your options more thoroughly, or even just want to plan ahead for what your dream home will look like, drop by Semco Outdoor just outside Cincinnati. We’re looking forward to meeting you and helping you build the home you’ve always imagined!