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Why Bluestone is Melbourne's Most Popular Paving Stone

“Bluestone is a distinctive feature of Melbourne’s streetscape, part of the daily fabric of life. There are kilometres of bluestone laneways in the city and suburbs; it’s in the foundations of many houses and buildings; it’s used for kerbs and gutters; and it’s the main material for a number of landmark buildings such as Pentridge Prison, the National Gallery of Victoria and St Patrick’s Cathedral’

Professor Stephanie Trigg, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Why is bluestone Melbourne's signature stone paver?

When most people think of bluestone pavers in Melbourne, it is usually an image of the signature bluestone cobblestones in the Melbourne laneways.

However, bluestone pavers have been popular in Melbourne homes and architecture for hundreds of years…

Bluestone (a.k.a. basalt) has been a prominent building material in Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs. It is part of the character of the City of Melbourne. Not only is it a beautiful feature, it was chosen because it is safe, environmentally sustainable as well as conserves the vintage heritage appearance.

Whether it’s bluestone pavers for a driveway, pathway, patio or around the pool, bluestone pavers are increasingly popular outdoor pavers in Melbourne.

Bluestone is gaining huge popularity amongst homeowners and property owners in Australia –especially Melbourne.


So, why have bluestone pavers retain (and continue) to surge in popularity in Melbourne?

Bluestone tiling in Melbourne for outdoor pavers
Melbourne bluestone pavers

Bluestone has been popular in Melbourne since the Gold Rush in 1850s...

This was due to the strength and because it is easy to work with.

Many of the earliest buildings in Melbourne such as the Melbourne Town Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Pentridge Prison (also known affectionately at “bluestone college”) and the paving on Collin’s Street are made entirely from bluestone.

In preparation for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, the council laid asphalt to freshen up the look of the city.

However, by the 1970’s a lot of the asphalt was damaged and cracking. The council realised that the original bluestone was a tougher material, and since then have been trying to upgrade the the Melbourne CBD with bluestone tiles.


Nowadays, if you walk in the Melbourne CBD, you’ll notice the bluestone paving and some original bluestone paving pitchers from the 1850s. Bluestone pavers are recognisable due to Cat’s Paw (air hole features naturally created from cooling lava) adorning the surface of the bluestone tiles.

The City of Melbourne is currently allocating funding to replace asphalt footpaths with bluestone pavers. The council is focussing on replacing the walkways with sawn bluestone paving around Southbank and Docklands.

Melbourne bluestone pavers with catspaw
European Bluestone pavers in Melbourne

The example pictured is European Bluestone. The veining in the pavers is known as catspaw.

Alternatively, some people prefer minimal catspaw in their bluestone. 

Unparalleled Beauty

Bluestone serves to be a natural, quarried material.

As per the name, this natural stone is typically available in natural hues of bluish or greyish shades.

Bluestone is instantly recognisable and sought after due to its characteristic catspaw detailing that’s formed from natural volcanic hot gasses projecting on its surface when it is formed.

Many architects and designers seek for bluestone with lots of catspaw as it is seen a decorative feature particularly popular in Melbourne urban design.

bluestone paving & tiles


As bluestone naturally appears to be a highly dense material, it is capable of withstanding typical Melbourne temperamental weather conditions.

Summers in Melbourne are famous for being highly humid. As such, when you go for the installation of top-quality bluestone pavers in the patio or outdoor area, there is no need to worry about the pavers fading due to increased humidity in the region. Natural stone is known to age well with the passage of time.

As winter would arrive in Melbourne and features freeze-thaw cycles, you will be glad to know that bluestone pavers tend to be highly resistant to these cycles as well. As such, you always remain in a win-win situation when you opt for natural bluestone pavers for your outdoor applications in Melbourne.


Bluestone is typically loved for its high non slip rating. For this reason, they’re a suitable paving and pool coping solution for homes with swimming pools and outdoor areas that may get wet.

The Melbourne CBD is famous for its bluestone cobblestone lanes and pavements. Due to its high non slip rating, the City of Melbourne has preserved and continues to develop the bluestone paving throughout the city.

Additionally, if you have children and/or eldery people in your home, this is particularly important factor to consider.

Ease of Maintenance

For busy Melbourne-ians, bluestone pavers are a practical paving solution. Keeping their pristine bluestone lustre is a lot easier than other materials such as marble or timber decking.

Once your bluestone pavers get a dirty, just high pressure wash them with water and wipe with a broom. Don’t use any abrasive cleaning chemicals (which may effect the surface).


Its highly recommended that you apply natural stone tile sealer to your bluestone pavers upon installation.

This will further ensure the pristine look and feel of your bluestone pavers for many years to come by providing a protective layer on top. Before purchasing a tile sealer, ensure that it is compatible with bluestone.

Contact the team at Stone & Slate Discounts if you’d like further advice or to purchase bluestone natural stone sealer.

Image of bluestone pavers in melbourne

You can’t go wrong with bluestone tiles and pavers. They are a great investment to upgrade and add value to your property. Check out the huge range of bluestone products here.

stone pavers melbourne

Need a hand with bluestone or want a quick quote?

Feel free to get in touch: 03 9706 9767


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