How to handle large bluestone slabs


I'm looking for tips on how to handle large bluestone slabs. Each is 24" square, 1.5" thick, and weighs 80 lbs. They are geo-cut with thermal surface treatment.

Presently I have 100 of these slabs sitting on two pallets in my driveway. The pallets are right next to the patio but to reach the patio surface requires going up 4 ft of concrete steps. I'm debating moving each slab by hand up the steps as I place them vs running several slabs around the yard on a hand truck. Any tips on moving slabs from the pallet to the patio.

Having moved a few slabs already I find that the edges chip easily. We are going for a clean modern look (dry-laid with minimal joints in a regular grid pattern) so I would prefer to minimize on the "natural beauty" of chipped stone edges. Any tips on avoiding chipped edges? I plan to leave an 1/8" gap (filled with stone dust) when I place these to reduce chipping with thermal expansion. I was contemplating filing off the edges but it's 400 edges and I worry I won't get good results without some sort of a jig.

Can I use a vacuum-style tool to pick and place slabs? Do you recommend the hand-held style used for countertops or am I better off renting something larger that runs off a compressor and is designed to be maneuvered by two people?

I've also seen images of slab lifters that grip the edges of the slabs but I'm not sure how well these will work when I try to place one slab right next to another.

Best Answer

Wheels! I would recommend a hand truck, furniture dolly or a wheelbarrow.

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