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Lylac bluestone adhesion problems

8620 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  tkle
I've read through all the bluestone questions that have been on this forum but still have a couple of questions. My bluestone slabs are anywhere from 4' long x 2' wide to 4' x 4', 3/4" to 1.5" thick, some are heavy as hell. I'm laying 200 ft2 on a 4" concrete walkway that is broom finished and clean. the bluestone are clean. Problem is that I am having about 1/3 of the stones not bonding which is entailing removing the mortar underneath and relaying. My mix is 1:3 type10: masons sand to a consistency of thick oatmeal. I'm buttering the backs of the stone with a slurry mix with a brush.
I read about the stones swelling and thusly popping off the mortar bed. Would it help to use thinset instead of the slurry mix and cover the stones with wet blankets to facilitate the curing? I'm at a real loss here and it's really eating up time. Thanks for any suggestions
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Stone curl can be maddening. It is usually caused by differential wetting in the stone. The bottom of the stone soaks up moisture from the mortar and swells, thus causing a curvature in the slab. The stone swells and expands, but it usually does not fully contract after the wetting cycle and the stone bow remains.
This is similar to the problem of Thermal Hysteresis in marble cladding.

As I see it you have 3 options.
1. .Seal the back of the stone with a brushed on coat of slurry, let that set up and then come back and brush on a fresh coat of slurry and install it in mortar or thin set. This slurry coat keeps the mortar moisture from migrating into the stone.
2. Saturate the stone with wet blankets or immersion for a day or two before setting it so it all swells, then set it and cover it to hold in moisture until the mortar cures.
3. Install it with a non-water based material such as epoxy. Expensive, but it will work.

Since I have not seen the job site or the stone I can't say which is best.
Good luck.

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Casey, thanks! thought it was me! what is going to happen with "stone curl" when the tops get wet due to weather? Will you end up with the same curl or will the mortar be enough to prevent that? I like the idea of a base of cured slurry..make sense...thanks
I would use thinset to reset your stone. I have laid a bluestone patio using thickbed thinset mortar. No problem with adhesion. Downside is that it is expensive and messy.
Just finished with thinset, nice call...thanks I am going back and forth with 4:1 type S vs type N for the grout..... suggestions? thanks
I wouldn't use any stone that curls. If it's taking in that much moisture, you're going to have durability problems.
If it popped due to curling the hardened base, I'm guessing,would be deformed to the shape of the stone, thinset may or may not work to fill any voids. Either way the stone is being raised the thickness of the thinset. That as well may not be a problem. In the middle of a paving job it stands out. I've seen guys use straight glue successfully.
Whats going to keep this from swelling in the future? I know bluestone is common back there and has been used for years. We don't use it here, but anything I can think of that absorbs water is going to pop and split and look like shi... rhymes with split.
Read Stacker's flagstone thread below for grout suggestions. If you're in a heavy freeze area, lime, I believe, gives your grout certain air entrainment qualities that are desirable. I don't worry about that here.
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