Limestone Vs Sandstone Paving

Limestone Vs Sandstone Paving

Limestone Vs Sandstone Paving

When shopping for your outdoor paving project, a question you might have is what are some of the differences or similarities between limestone vs sandstone paving? Both materials are commonly used for outdoor paving, are both very durable options for external use, and also share a lot of similarities in functionality. To answer this question, this post will cover the differences between limestone vs sandstone and outline how these may relate to your decision to use one or the other for your outdoor project.


Limestone is a sedimentary rock, that can be formed over millions of years. The layers of sediment contain traces of fossils and other elements such as calcite, which adds to the natural character of limestone and provides a unique texture with every tile having a one-of-a-kind combination of fossils.

Sandstone is also a sedimentary rock, composed of grains of sand with high amounts of quartz and feldspar. Compared to limestone, there can be a greater variety of colours and textures available in sandstone tiles and pavers, with the variation in tone being the main attraction.


Both limestone and sandstone have been used for building and flooring for thousands of years and are therefore well known for their strength and durability. Limestone is denser than sandstone, but both types of stone are very dense compared to others and are very resistant to things such as heat and impact which may occur in your outdoor space. Whilst both options are porous, their density also means both limestone and sandstone stand up well to wet weather outdoors, as well as provide good grip under foot with their natural texture and pitting.


When it comes to the look of both paving options, limestone and sandstone do differ a little more. The surface texture of both stones can be altered depending on what type of finishing process has been used, however in its natural state limestone is usually slightly smoother and features occasional pitting. An example of this finish would be the Dijon tumbled limestone pavers, which feature a good level of grip whilst still being pleasingly smooth underfoot for patio spaces.

On the other hand, sandstone can often have slightly more texture, with more of a rippled surface texture compared to limestone, also providing good outdoor and wet weather grip. For an example of the natural sandstone look, take a look at our blog on Natalie’s sandstone kitchen renovation using the Abbey Time Worn sandstone. Both limestone and sandstone pavers are available with the ever-popular tumbled edges, and if you prefer a more textured limestone finish then a product such as the Tuscany seasoned limestone pavers are the perfect choice.

As mentioned, sandstone can be quarried in a wider array of colours, but the range of limestone pavers still offers a good variety of different shades, from warmer, beige tones to greys and neutrals.

Installation & Maintenance

Whilst outdoor pavers do not generally see as many spillages or possible stains as a kitchen tile for instance, there will still be situations where ease of cleaning and upkeep come into many people’s consideration. Outdoor dining and cooking is more popular than ever, so food and drink spillages are always something to take into account, along with algae and leaves. Generally, limestone and sandstone are both very resilient to staining due to their density. Although not as crucial as indoor stone, sealing is an excellent way to protect both limestone and sandstone from staining and will also make your outdoor pavers easier to clean.

The ease of the cleaning process itself is also an area where limestone and sandstone are both very comparable. Very occasional jet washing is a good way to rejuvenate your outdoor pavers, and can be done seasonally, such as before and after winter. For more topical cleaning, products such as Lithofin Power Clean are especially effective for removing stains. Our guide to natural stone aftercare is a great resource for tackling all your maintenance needs. Beyond these methods, there is little else to worry about with maintaining both limestone and sandstone – it really is that easy!

In terms of installation, limestone and sandstone are also functionally the same in the methods used. They can both be easily cut using a wet cutter and for thicknesses 20mm or above, laid on a normal compacted hardcore base. It is also important to use only a white sand and cement mortar, so as to prevent any pigments from other colours bleeding through as natural stone is porous. For more information on limestone and sandstone outdoor paver installation, please see our guide here.

In conclusion, there are a lot of similarities between limestone and sandstone. The main draw of one over the other, is that sandstone can often feature a greater variation of in colour and texture, whereas limestone can often be a little more uniform and have a smoother texture. Both offer a beautiful and durable outdoor option that, when cared for, can really stand the test of time and enhance the look of your outdoor space.

As ever, we recommend a visit to one of our UK tile showrooms to see the beauty of limestone and sandstone in person. If you’re unable to visit a showroom, you can order up to 4 free hand samples, or 8 hand samples for £5, as well as larger samples for a small charge – all delivered to your door. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are also available over the phone, live chat and email for further advice or to answer any questions you might have.