Homes & Interiors
by Aspect County

The Sandstone Story

Favoured since medieval to contemporary times, Jim Hollingworth takes you through the choices available. Yorkstone; also known as York stone, is a variety of sandstone. It comes from quarries in Yorkshire that have been worked in since medieval times. It is one of the most prestigious paving options on the market.


Yorkstone paving is made from the minerals present in Yorkshire. These include quartz, mina, clay and iron oxide. This mix of minerals results in York stone colours, ranging from a deep sandy shade to grey with hints of silver and blue. It has been a premier choice of pavers for centuries. The commercial market also opts for Yorkstone paving due to its quality, strength and versatility.

Yorkstone is actually a generic name. It is what all stone quarried from York is called. Yorkstone is characterised by its fine, tightly packed grains. These create a paving option that is an ideal, hard-wearing material.


New, sawn Yorkstone is a lovely material with a slightly sparkly surface and lots of life in each slab. These work well laid, both in a traditional and contemporary way, but both look best pointed with an exterior tile grout at 3mm wide, rather than more traditional sand and cement pointing. Reclaimed Yorkstone is never pristine and often arrives with holes or bits of old metal in and is hardly ever calibrated (in other words, sawn to the same thickness to make it easier to lay) it is best laid in a random pattern with a conventional cement mortar. Although it has great natural draining properties it can become slippery when wet as its surface has already been smoothed by many years of foot traffic where it was originally laid. It does add instant history to a scheme and works well with reclaimed gritstone and granite cobbles.


The more expensive natural stones — granite, limestone and basalt are often slippery when wet and should have a textured surface applied before laying. This can be a sandblasted or bush hammered finish; both create dents in the surface of the slabs to provide grip but this process does leave the slabs with a matt surface which can often seem a little lifeless. They can work well when combined with other slabs of a bright hue as a border or detail. Many of the best grey and cream slabs lie within the limestone range but all should be approved for outside use.

All materials, even man-made ones, will discolour and age over time, which in most cases helps to settle the scheme into its surroundings. Algae are the scourge of paving stones and there are many products available on the market to help deter growth. It is always a good idea to speak to the supplier you purchase your stone from for their advice on a cleaning product as natural stones tend to react in different ways to different cleaning agents.

We at Pennine Paving pride ourselves with over 30 years of knowledge from dealing with all different types of paving from the traditional Yorkstone to Indian, Chinese and others including Porcelain and travertine. We also stock all types of building stone, slates, flat and half round coping and more. Browse through our website and find the right stone for your next project.