Ok so I’ve not long finished writing my review of the Mint Fossil Indian sandstone paving but now it’s time to write about another favourite patio slab of mine, the Kota Black limestone.
These really are a truly unique slab which are a shade of grey when dry, but look even better when wet when they turn a shiny black. The kind of shine that looks as though these natural limestone paving slabs look as though they could be porcelain tiles. In my opinion they actually look better when wet!
Like the natural sandstone paving, the Kota Black limestone paving is often advertised as having different shades of colours. I wouldn’t particularly agree as they have always looked the same colour when layed but since they are a natural stone, they do have a natural riven surface giving each limestone slab a unique pattern from one to the next.
The Kota Black limestone patio packs can be purchased as mixed sizes giving 4 different sized slabs on each pallet. These sizes include 900x600mm (large rectangles), 600x600mm (large squares), 290x600mm (small rectangles) and 290x290mm (small squares).
If you are after a black limestone patio but are looking for something a little more simple then you are in luck! You can get packs of large rectangles (900x600mm) or packs of just large squares (600x600mm).
Is the Kota Black limestone paving good value for money?
Compared to the majority of other natural patio packs on the market, I would say that the Kota Black limestone is excellent value for money with prices starting from around the £20 per squared meter mark if you shop around. But be warned, you will need to purchase by the pallet to get these prices which covers around 17.5 squared meters (£345…ish). As soon as you start purchasing by the squared meter and not by the 17.5 squared meter pack you could potentially see prices increase significantly.
Not only can you get these from the £20 per squared meter mark, but they are calibrated to 22mm meaning that you will be getting good quality, thick and heavy limestone patio slabs. There is a big difference in the quality of slab when comparing calibrated to non calibrated and compared to the majority of natural Indian sandstone paving where you would have to pay more than £20 per squared meter for the 22mm calibrated version, these Kota Black limestone paving slabs really are inexpensive compared.
How easy are the Kota Black limestone patio slabs to lay?
Only being available in the 22mm calibrated versions (from what I’ve seen at least), they can make for easy laying since they will all be (roughly) the same depth from slab to slab.
The majority of the limestone paving tend to have a fairly smooth surface compared to a lot of natural sandstone which adds to the ease of laying, but you do get the odd one here and there where the surface can be a lot more uneven to the rest which could give higher lips. I just put these to one side and lay them at the edges to keep a nice smooth finish. Well, as smooth as natural paving can be at least.
Being calibrated to 22mm, these black limestone slabs can be heavy, especially when carrying and laying the 900x600mm ones. I sometimes get help when laying them in awkward positions. But in my experience, the heavier they are, the better quality they are. They will also be less prone to future wobbles, cracks or anything else for that matter.
I would recommend purchasing the packs with machine cut, sawn edges and using 10mm spacers to keep an even gap between each stone. If you decide to use natural, hand split paving then you may find it difficult keeping a fairly even gap between each slab whilst keeping everything looking neat, especially when using the mixed size patio packs.
Oh and one last thing before I forget! Make sure you have a sharp cutting disc on your grinder for when you cut through your Kota Black natural limestone paving! Unlike sandstone, the surface of these natural limestone tend to chip and flake off when cutting so keep a steady hand and only cut when you need to!
What do I think about the appearance of the Kota Black limestone paving?
When dry, I personally wouldn’t class these paving slabs as being black but more look like a shade of dark grey with a hint of blue to them depending on the light. They still make for a stunning looking patio but it’s when they are wet that the limestone really sets off.
The Kota Black limestone changes from what I can only describe as a nice matt grey colour to a shiny black and reminds me of porcelain tiles or even a kitchen worktop.
Although they are natural limestone, they don’t carry the different shades of colours like the natural sandstone does but I think this gives off a much neater, smarter look. They do however have unique riven surfaces to show off the natural stone from one slab to the next.
Being black in colour, I would recommend using a jointing compound as opposed to using sand and cement when pointing to avoid staining. Naturally most people would go for the grey colour, but we recently used a buff colour which worked amazingly.
My overall thoughts on the Kota Black limestone paving
Don’t let the budget price tag that comes with these beautiful black limestone patio packs put you off! I’ve layed these many times now and they are a very strong slab and unlike the natural sandstone paving, we have rarely had any breakages when opening a new pallet upon delivery which speaks volumes in itself.
The colours that shine through this limestone is unlike any other. It’s like having porcelain paving slabs but without the price tag and have always left the customer speechless when layed. In a good way of course!
Overall the Kota Black limestone is a high quality, strong patio slab which comes with a lower price tag compared to most others, making it perfect for all homes looking to make their garden the envy of their neighbours, whether on a budget or not.