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Natural Stone: Wall Stone & Flagstone

Homeowners seem to really like the idea of using natural stone for many outdoor projects. What wall, patio or terrace, entry walk, or porch stoop wouldn’t be enhanced in some way from the intrinsic beauty of natural stone?


Limestone, sandstone, and bluestone are some popular natural stones for outdoor home improvement projects. These stones are used for building walls, or as pavers.

Depending on the geographical location of a quarry, each stone will have its own unique physical characteristics including its color. For example, a limestone from one quarry may look different from a limestone from another region.

Most natural stone used in outdoor projects can be separated into two different categories of stone types: wall stone and flagstone / flagging.

Flagstone / flagging is a term used to designate natural stone based on it’s thickness (usually about 1.5″ – 2″) and top walking surface. These stones are used for walks, patios, and porches. They are very flat with very little undulation which makes them perfect for foot traffic.

Irregular flagstone entry walk. This is probably a limestone.


Flagstone is natural stone that has a very smooth walking surface.


A closer look


Full color dimensional bluestone flagging


Wall stone is stone used for walls, columns, and piers. Some wall stone can be flat, but a lot of stone quarried as wall stone is not flat. It has a very uneven irregular bumpy surface which can make it very unsuitable for foot traffic. In fact, it can be quite uncomfortable to walk on.

Wall stone is best suited for walls because of its irregular surface


Some homeowners use wall stone for walks and patios, although flagstone would have been a better choice. I have actually walked in the grass rather than on a walk built with wall stone, because it was just too cumbersome and uncomfortable to walk on.

Your local stone company typically labels natural stone as to what type of stone it is and what it can be best used as, such as flagstone or wall stone. This makes it easy for homeowners to choose the right type of stone for a project .

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