types of stone

With so many stones to choose from, which would be best for your patio?

The building materials you use in your landscape set the mood for your garden. Since permanent, solid or non-living parts of your landscaping will likely last a long time, make sure you think carefully about your choices. Stone, for example is a good-looking and durable construction material. It makes an easy-care flooring material for a patio and can last many years.

Stone can come in random flat pieces as with flagstone. It can be cut into blocks or sliced smoothly into neat geometric shapes. Rock can also be tumbled which will give it a rounded edge. Different stone will create different effects on a patio floor.

There is a wide range of color and texture in stone. Quarried from different parts of the world, there is an endless variety of effects you can find. Because stone was created by nature, the same stone may look different when taken from different parts of the same quarry. For years a flagstone called ‘Three Rivers’ was very popular with its dark gray color and interesting embedded patterns. More recently the same rock has been harvested from the same quarries but shows a distinctly purple tint and looks considerably different from past shipments of ‘Three Rivers’.

Chose stone colors for your patio that blend well with your home and the style of your garden. The red tones of Arizona Red Flagstone are ideal to create a Tuscan or Southwestern feel. Pennsylvania Bluestone is a very popular stone since it ranges from blues, to browns and even green or lilac in hue. These colors can add character to a color scheme in a garden design. Camas flagstone has a neutral, rustic gray coloration that looks just right in a natural-looking, native or wildflower landscape design.

There are different kinds of stone with different effects for a patio floor. Sandstones tend to be smooth, Travertine can have fine perforations or extensive textural holes. The light color makes it ideal for contemporary designs, a clean, light background or an elegant appearance. Some stones polish up nicely for a more formal look. A stone like marble is too soft to use outdoors and will wear away, crack or disintegrate with weather.

When choosing your stone, consider where it will be used. You will want a textured stone around areas that will get wet like by pools or those that get wet from irrigation so there is traction and a reduced chance of slipping. Dark colors will heat up in hot, sun-exposed locations. Smooth, light colors may show grease, stains and spatters if set as flooring around cooking or barbecue spaces.