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Top 7 Benefits Of Natural Stone Pavers Vs Concrete Pavers

Stone Paver vs. Concrete Paver

Natural stone pavers or concrete pavers? Choosing the right material for the hardscape of your outdoor space will play a vital role in the outcome of your landscape. It’s a significant commitment in comparison to deciding which type of furniture or plantings to get, since changing them will not be as simple after installation. So you need to choose and think about your decision carefully.

The questions our STONEarch clients usually ask us is which hardscape material will work best with their landscape. There’s no easy answer to this since it will all boil down on your vision, aesthetics, and of course, budget. It is essential on your part to consider and analyze these factors to determine the most suitable option for your landscaping needs.

  1. Timeless Elegance
  2. Low Maintenance
  3. Ages Beautifully
  4. You Have Plenty Of Style Choices
  5. Easier To Install Than Concrete
  6. Better Investment
  7. Eco-Friendly And Sustainable

What Makes Natural Stone Pavers Unique?

Natural stone pavers include bluestone, travertine, granite, flagstone, and limestone. These natural materials come in different colors and have characteristics unique to them. They have that earthy look combined with an opulent and textured look.  

You can also find these pavers in various shapes, sizes, and textures. There are irregular flagstone pavers that can provide your patio with an interesting character and high level of visual interest, which you can’t achieve with concrete pavers. You can give your outdoor area a naturally crafted charm with the subtle symmetry and rugged lines that natural stone pavers can offer. 

These landscape materials came from actual rocks and each piece possesses a distinct appearance, from weathering to formational methods and natural aging. This also means that Mother Nature will determine its color and texture. 

What About Concrete Pavers?

Since they are manmade, concrete pavers are available in almost any size, shape, texture, and color. Their shape can range from large square forms and classic brick shapes to elongated ones similar to plank pavers. There are also concrete replicas of natural stones, bricks, and other materials. They are created with durability and strength in mind, but concrete pavers are prone to crack even with preventions. Concrete pavers may be an inexpensive option, but they are slippery when wet, and repairs can be quite expensive as well. You will need to consider these issues when making your decision. 

Reasons To Choose Natural Stones Over Concrete

1. Timeless Elegance

Natural stone pavers come in varying types, from light beige standstone if you want to get that tropical vibe to dark ebony granite for achieving a majestic feel to your patio. Depending on where the stone is quarried, each piece has a distinct texture and color. Using natural stones on your landscape is a surefire way to captivate your guests and give your hardscape some personalization.

2. Low Maintenance

Stone pavers don’t usually develop cracks. If for some reason they do, you can easily replace or repair them. Simply remove the paver with cracks and replace it. That’s it! They also have smaller joints, so their sand joints are less likely to encounter seed germination. And the best thing about natural stones? They’re effortless to clean!

3. Ages Beautifully

There is no doubt that stones look even better as they age and have a very long lifespan. Unlike concrete, the colors of natural stones are not pigmented, which only add to their beauty. They’re also not made from mixtures of composite aggregate like concrete pavers, so they can preserve their beauty as they age, mature, and fade. There are even certain stones that can attain their complete elegance and beauty with little age. And they will look as beautiful as the day of their installation even after hundreds of years.

4. You Have Plenty Of Style Choices

You will not fall short with style choices. You’re sure to find the right paving material for the landscaping project you have in mind, whether it be limestone, slate, flagstone, or travertine. Natural stones are also available in either irregular or flat surfaces, as well as varying shapes, from triangles and diamonds to rectangles, and so much more.

5. Easier To Install Than Concrete

You don’t need to acquire new skills to install natural stones. You can lay it on your patio floors like with concrete. On the other hand, installing concrete pavers is often more expensive than stones. They will require several aspects like labor, grading, and backfilling. They are also prone to breakage and shifting. To prevent this, you need someone with the right installation skills and can hinder the unfavorable effects of age and weather. Plus, you need to maintain concrete regularly, which you may not have time for if you’re a very busy person. 

6. Better Investment

Utilizing natural stones on your landscape will add more value to your home. It’s an investment that will pay for itself in the long run. They are also regarded as materials with high value and quality. Traits like prominence, elegance, and sophistication are connected to them as well. Also, landscape projects created with natural stones are considered to be distinct, well-built, unique, and genuine, which helps add to the re-sale value of any property. 

7. Eco-Friendly And Sustainable

These landscaping materials are probably one of the most sustainable available today. Our planet has vast stone resources, and although their regeneration may not be as visible as that of trees, the process is endless with a lasting life-cycle. And since they are natural, they are recyclable. You can also re-use them as crushed for aggregates or reclaimed paving. 

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Different Types Of Landscaping Stones: How To Pick The Right One For Your Project

Landscaping stones are an excellent way to improve and enhance not just the style of your backyard, but its functionality and comfort as well. It’s an essential part when designing and planning your landscape.

You can use various kinds of stones in a wide variety of techniques in your landscaping. They are not only beautiful but ever-lasting and versatile as well. You can use them for your garden pathways, patio surfaces, stepping stones, walkways, garden accents, water features, planter walls, garden steps, entry porches, swimming pool decks, gazebos and even as decorative accents.

However, not all will be suitable for the project you have in mind. The type you’ll pick will depend on your area and how you’ll use it. But with so many available options on the market, how will you know which landscaping stone to choose? Several factors such as coordination with your surroundings & plants, color, texture, landscape theme, stone layout pattern, size, and shape, to name a few, will come into play in your decision.

So, if you want to update your outdoor space with texture and variety, you’ll want to consider these 7 different types of landscaping stones:  

  1. Decomposed Granite
  2. Pea Gravel
  3. River Rock
  4. Crushed Granite Gravel
  5. Lava Rock
  6. Flagstone 
    6a. Limestone 
    6b. Sandstone
  7. Boulder

1. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite has that rustic appeal thanks to its sandy texture and reddish-tan shade which mimics the color of the granite where it originates. This type can provide the surface of your deck and patio, yard, or garden trails with a soft and rustic charm. You can also use it as a ground cover, around the trees in your yard, or as topdressing around dried up plants.  

2. Pea Gravel

As the name suggests, these rocks are pea-sized. They are rounded and small and come in different sizes from half an inch to an eighth of an inch. They are available in a wide array of colors, including brown, tan, and white. You can use pea pebbles for covering your driveways, in between the crevices of your pathway, and garden beds instead of mulch. 

3. River Rock 

These landscaping stones, also called pebbles, are usually smoother and bigger than pea gravel – almost the size of your palm. Their costs may vary, as well as their shades and sizes. They are ideal for creating a structure like a fountain or retaining wall. You can combine different river rock sizes or use the same ones depending on what kind of look you’re trying to accomplish. You can also use them for creating direct drainage within your property or creek beds that are dry.

4. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed granite gravel are similar to decomposed granites but with larger particles and thicker texture. They’re also not as smooth as pea gravel making them an excellent choice for your garden and pathway or as a transition between your walkway and patio plants. It has a natural look that can give your space a contemporary but refined look. 

5. Lava Rock

These rocks are low in density and came from volcanoes that are no longer active. They possess a unique, bold appearance, and typically comes in black or red color. They may be a bit more expensive than some of the landscaping stones on this list, but they can provide your landscape with a lovely and one-of-a-kind accent. You can also use these lightweight rocks with whatever landscaping design you have in mind. The best thing about lava rocks is that they have the ability to absorb heat throughout the day and then release it as night time falls. 

6. Flagstone

Flagstones are one of the most common types of landscaping stones you’ll see in gardens. This type includes a variety of stones such as sandstone and limestone. You can use them in a wide range of landscaping designs. They normally have an irregular outline but versatile enough to use as both decorative accents and for functional purposes. They can be cut flat or in whatever diameter you want to suit your project. They are often used for patios, stepping stones, stair treads, and walkways.

6a. Limestone

Limestone, a type of Flagstone has an earthy character that can give your walkway or patio with some softness and subtle vibe. The most popular type of Limestone is Bluestone, which is mostly used in hardscaping outdoor areas. It can range from corals to shells, and other sedimentary rocks. It may have a limited color selection, but when sanded and smoothened, it will provide you with a rustic and unique appearance.

6b. Sandstone

Sandstone, a type of Flagstone have a coarse texture and loose grain features and looked a lot like compressed sand. They are usually available in shades of Brown and Tan, but they also come in a range of beautiful colors such as black, Gray, white, and red. They are great at adding a natural vibe and texture to your landscaped areas for an even more pleasing look. 

7. Boulder

These massive landscaping stones come in all shapes and sizes, which you can buy by tons. Its color and appearance will depend mostly on the kind of stone you’ll get. They are perfect for creating an impactful statement in your landscape. You can also use smaller ones as borders, water features, and accent pieces.