When looking for the best rocks and stones for your hardscaping, it may be difficult to determine which is the best option for you. While some materials have benefits that others lack, the one that you go with will depend on your needs, your environment, and how much you’re willing to spend.
With all of that in mind, here are the seven most common rocks used in hardscaping projects.
Choosing Your Materials
The goal of hardscaping is to take your landscape to the next level. Whether you’re DIYing your garden or using a professional stone flooring service, here are the top materials you should consider.
Limestone is a time-tested building material and it is one of the most commonly used materials for hardscaping. This stone works well for creating walls or as a flooring material for patios or walkways.
A downside of type I limestone is that it has a high water absorption and it can wear down in certain environments with a lot of rain. However, type III limestone is rated well for rain resistance, low wear, and high strength. Make sure to speak with your hardscaping service when picking out your limestone to ensure that you get the type that you need.
Bluestone is highly distinct and known for its bluish-grey hue. It is popular in the northeast, where it is commonly used in hardscaping. Bluestone can be used for many different hardscaping purposes and many people use it to create steps. It can also be used for walls and flooring, as well as for creating benches. As a boulder, it can be an eye-catching accent piece or a focal point in a rock garden.
Granite is well known for both its beauty and its durability. While it’s often used for kitchen countertops, it’s also a great choice for outdoor hardscaping. Capable of standing the test of time better than almost any other material, granite is the perfect choice for homeowners looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Outdoors, it’s often used in flooring, although some people also use the whole boulder as an accent piece. Granite can even be found as gravel if you prefer that appearance instead of slabs.
Slate can be found in blue, green, and grey colors, and it is easily cracked into separate slabs. Due to how easily it can be broken, it is popular to use it as a paving stone. Slate is highly water-resistant, making it good to use in areas that see a lot of rainfall. It can also be used around water features or pools for a sleek, natural look.
Fieldstone was so named because these stones were typically found in open spaces or fields as opposed to quarried directly from the ground. Used throughout history, these stones are still a staple in hardscaping. Commonly used for walls, they can also be used to line flowerbeds, walkways, or water features.
Quartzite is exceptionally hard and dense, making it a good choice for hardscaping. It can be found in a variety of colors, including white, grey, and yellow. At night, it can also give off a slightly shiny appearance, which can make it stand out and seem quite vibrant. This stone is most commonly used in the western United States, although it is quickly gaining popularity elsewhere. It is often used as a flooring material as its durability allows it to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
Quartzite gravel is also a good choice for use in flowerbeds or garden paths.
Sandstone is another popular hardscape material and it can be found in colors ranging from reddish-brown to white. Good to use as a paving stone, it can be easily broken apart into neat slabs. It can also be a good choice to use in retaining walls or privacy walls. Its naturally earthy appearance can definitely be an eye-catching showstopper.
Which Stone Is Right For You?
All of these stones can be beneficial when used in hardscaping. However, the type that you go with will depend on the appearance you want, your environment, and how much you want to spend. Granite, for example, is more expensive than limestone and, depending on how much you need, it’s worth considering the overall price.
Work with a hardscaping professional to learn more about what materials would benefit you, and before you know it you can start enjoying your gorgeously hardscaped yard.