Sandstone began flooding the UK market from India in the mid 2000’s and is now the country's number one paving product.

We hear from many customers who have visited a local builders merchant or landscape centre and been completely puzzled and confused at what all the different sandstone names meant, with words like honed, antiqued & tumbled and so many variations available.

Here’s our quick summary and break down of the words that are used in conjunction with imported Indian sandstones and what they actually mean, and a rough price guide to each.

There are approximately 10 different colours of imported Indian sandstone, and 6-8 of those colours will fit into the main categories of finish found in most paving centres.

Antique Fieldmoor Sandstone Paving Slabs | Westminster Stone

Calibrated

This means that the stone has been made to an even thickness. The industry standard is currently 22mm and is strong enough for standard patio application, as long as they are laid in the correct method using a full bed of mortar.

Indian Sandstone Jargon Buster - Calibrated | Westminster Stone

Hand Cut Standard Indian Sandstone

This type of indian sandstone is the commodity product of the imported Indian sandstone market.  The stone is in it's truest form; split from the rock where it is quarried, cut with hand tools to dress the edges, and then very often calibrated (as described above).

This product would suit a property built in the last 80 years and RRP is £15-£28 per square metre, with some colours being more expensive than others.

Indian sandstone can be found cheaper than £15 per m2 but there are a number of reasons why these products should be avoided. Our advice would be to always buy a branded product.

Indian Sandstone Jargon Buster - Hand Cut | Westminster Stone

Tumbled, Antiqued & Aged Sandstone

Tumbled, Antiqued or Aged sandstone is effectively the same as the sandstone above, but goes through another process which rounds the edges and makes the riven more subtle.

With this product giving a more aged effect, this product would suit a property over 80 years old and the RRP for antique sandstone is £25 to £38 per square metre again colour and brand playing a big part of this.

Westminster Stone still stand proud that no Indian sandstone looks as traditional and authentic as the products we manufacture in our Aged effect flagstone range.

The process in which the effect is achieved can be seen in this video.

Sawn, Polished & Honed Sandstone

This type of sandstone again has been taken from it's natural form and processed to first of all to make all 6 sides completely flat and then often the surface polished.

We would recommend these products for indoors, as being highly polished they can be slippy, although an ever increasing number of customers are using them outdoors to great effect.

This product is suitable for the grand designs type build with very clean, clinical and contemporary look. RRP on polished sandstone is from £35 to £55 per square metre.

Indian Sandstone Jargon Buster - Polished | Westminster Stone

Lichen

Lichen is a build-up of block spots on sandstone which occurs as an algae growth, it is one of the downsides to imported sandstone and is very difficult or near impossible to get rid of.

Indian Sandstone Jargon Buster - lichen | Westminster Stone

Ethically Sourced Natural Stone

Ethics is a very important factor when sourcing stone, and buying from a stack it high and sell it cheap kind of merchant does not always bring peace of mind with a purchase.

Why does this matter? Having been in the paving industry for over 30 years, we've seen some horrifying images of children in sandals working with heavy slabs and machinery, and the awful conditions for some workers.

Ethically sourced sandstone may cost a little more but is done so in the knowledge that workers and employers abroad are vetted and checked for certain standards.

Choose carefully and source wisely and you shouldn’t go too far wrong with a good quality, ethically sourced branded sandstone product.

Indian Sandstone Jargon Buster - Ethical | Westminster Stone

SANDSTONE PAVING