Hardscapes are elements on a property that are sturdier and more long lasting than the grass, flowers, plants and trees that often make up the rest of a landscape. Often made of stone, they include walkways, steps, walls, firepits and water elements. Many types of natural stone are used to add their unique qualities to an Ann Arbor MI hardscape. Here are a few of them:
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, which means it was created by materials that accumulated over eons. It is made largely of calcite, which is a form of calcium carbonate and can be compact or full of the skeletons of tiny fossils. The color of limestone ranges from pure white to black. Other colors are yellow, pink, red and dark brown. Some types of limestone are too soft for hardscaping, but limestone designated as Type III by ASTM International is suitable for outdoor use. Type III limestone is excellent as pavers or steps.
Tough, Beautiful Granite
Strong, durable and beautiful, granite is a rock formed in the bowels of volcanoes. It comes in a rainbow of colors, from nearly pure white to solid black and can be used for outdoor flooring, walkways, seating, walls, statuary or fountains. Popular for indoor kitchen countertops, it is tough enough to be used for the counters of outdoor kitchens as well.
Sandstone is another sedimentary rock, made of grains of sand that have accumulated over millennia. Masons find sandstone easy to work with because it can be easily cleaved into slabs, which makes it good for walkways and garden walls. Colors range from white to reddish brown. There’s a type of blue-gray sandstone called, appropriately, bluestone. Good for seating and steps, sandstone adds a pop of interesting color to a garden.
Like sandstone, slate is easily broken into slabs, which makes it ideal for paving. As it’s water resistant, slate is good to place around water features such as ponds, pools or fountains. It comes in the familiar blue, green or gray.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock, which means it was slowly transferred from one kind of rock into another over countless years. In the case of quartzite, it was formed out of sedimentary rocks such as arkose and graywacke. It is mostly made of quartz with additions of mica, feldspar and other minerals. Quartzite is hard, dense and luminous. Like marble, another metamorphic natural stone, it seems to gather light into itself and throw some of it back. This makes it a particularly beautiful stone to use in an area where there’s outdoor lighting.
With the exception of slate and sandstone, these stones can be used as accent boulders or cobbles around a yard or garden. They can also be used as gravel in a pathway or at the bottom of a water feature. Residents of Ann Arbor MI shouldn’t hesitate to contact our company for their hardscaping needs or if they need more information about different types of natural stone.