Creating Solid Pathways and Steps with Stone

Stone walkways are a gorgeous introduction to any home. Welcoming a guest with natural looking fieldstone path can make them feel at home. But stone paths and porches are not as simple and elegant as they look. These landscaping beauties take lots of consideration and time to construct. 

Flagstone and Fieldstone for Steps and Pathways

The path up to your front door is the first glimpse anyone has of your home and because of that, choosing what to use can be difficult. Most stone pathways are made up of either flagstone or fieldstone. 

  • Flagstone is cut from rock quarries to make flat surface rock that is perfect for stone walkways and porches and various other landscaping projects. Its flat surface makes it a stable footing for any porch or patio and is perfect for stone stairs.
  • Fieldstone is large slabs of rock found in fields. Fieldstone has a natural beauty to it that many admire. This stone is used in gardens and fireplaces put also works well for paths and patios. 

Both flagstone and fieldstone come in a variety of colors and sizes. Using a mixture of both creates a beautiful path which is highly customizable. Consulting with landscape material suppliers can help you find the right fit for whatever project you are planning. 

If you plan on redoing your walkway and front porch then maybe consider finishing off the look with stone walls enclosing your all stone path. Stone siding for your porch is a simple way to pull together the entire pathway. Flagstone and fieldstone may not be the right pick for this so asking for advice at your landscape supply store can be helpful, when you are unsure of where to start. These experts can always send you down the right path.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

5 Different Types of Stone for Stacked Stone Walls

Stone for wall-building generally comes in three basic shapes: dressed stone, round fieldstone, and flat stacking stone.  Each shape will give your landscape a different look and feel.  Round field stone, for example, will create a more rustic feel while dressed stone is best used in formal settings.  You’ll also want to consider its use since harder stones will be needed for water-based features and so on.

Your landscape supply center will provide the widest selection of stones to choose from.  Fieldstone, granite, limestone, and flagstone are the most readily available stone types.  The following are five very popular looks:

1. Chocolate Sandstone

Like its name, this stone has a rich hue that subtly blends in with its surrounding landscape.  This is a good choice if you’re looking for an earthy tone that won’t call a lot of attention to itself.

2. Colorful Sandstone

Sandstone is not limited to one single color, which can bring some very interesting options to your wall.  In fact, if you feel like using a variety of colors, nothing says you can’t.  This look even keeps things looking vibrant even in the winter months.  White, cream, brown, gray, red, yellow, pink, and even blueish tones are some of the many color varieties.

3. Mixed Limestone

Mixed limestone refers to the shape of the stones.  This method is usually a wall made up of both thick and thin blocks to form a more rugged look and pattern.  You can use both light and dark stones, as well, for further variety.

4. Tennessee Fieldstone

Tennessee fieldstone comes in a variety of earth tone colors including buff, gray, light brown, dark brown and reddish-brown, among other colors.  This is a good choice for those wanting a more ordered look.

5. Gray Granite

As its name suggests, this stone comes in one color though shading may vary.  Granite is usually cut for thick and flat piece, giving you a stocky or chunky wall.

The Exquisite Versatility of Flagstone

Flagstone is a natural stone with timeless appeal that has had extraordinary staying power in both residential and commercial landscaping. Roughly-hewn, highly-textured flagstone slabs are the stuff of picturesque, rustic walkways while geometrically-shaped, smooth flagstone pavers are used for all sorts of hardscaping, from steps and patios to retaining walls and pillars. Flagstone also has indoor applications; a gracefully-aging, natural flagstone floor adds solidity and understated grandeur to any kitchen, hallway or wine cellar and brings an earthy, outdoor ambiance to indoor settings.

Naturally occurring flagstones are cut from limestone, bluestone, slate and sandstone rock outcrops. The irregular colors, shapes, sizes and textures of natural flagstones are a key aspect of their distinct charm and appeal, since no two flagstones are ever the same. Nowadays, there are many manufactured concrete and composite products on the market that imitate the look of natural flagstone. While these may have their uses, it is helpful to know that artificial flagstones do not have the durability or special weathering qualities of their natural counterparts.

Outdoor flagstone elements such as walkways or patios can be installed in a number of ways. Flagstones can be set directly into soil or sand. Natural flagstones are fairly heavy and once tamped down into the ground, they will hardly budge. On the other hand, flagstones can be set down on a concrete base and jointed with mortar for a more stable, permanent installation.

Flagstones also allow for versatile layout effects. Setting flagstones close together creates a patio effect while setting them further apart yields a playful “steppingstone” look. Flagstones may be evenly spaced for more formal walkways or randomly spaced in an informal path. There is also the option of planting creeping thyme or other groundcovers in the crevices between flagstone rocks to reduce soil erosion and achieve a truly rustic look.

Whether you are bordering a garden or building a walkway, elegant, hardwearing flagstone is an excellent choice for your exquisite landscape designs.

Landscaping With Natural Stone

When you are planning your next outdoor landscaping project, don’t forget to include stone.  Natural or manufactured stone adds a classic, beautiful appearance to any landscape feature.  Many different types of stone are available to fit every landscaping need.

Landscaping stone varies widely throughout the country, but it can be roughly grouped into categories based on its finish and use.  Pavers are natural flat stone, bricks, cobblestones, or manufactured cement or other hard blocks that are used to create driveways, walkways, patios, and other hard, flat outdoor surfaces.

Flagstones are natural flat stones that are harvested from a quarry.  Flagstones are sometimes split to get the desired thickness.  Flagstones can be used as pavers, but their surface is a little more uneven than manufactured pavers.  Also flagstones are normally irregularly shaped but can be worked into more or less regular shapes if needed for your project.  Flagstones are also used in many different landscape features including walls, benches, fireplaces, and ponds.

Fieldstones are natural stones harvested from the topsoil.  They are generally more or less flat, but they not as flat and are much more irregularly shaped than flagstones.  Fieldstone is used a wide variety of outdoor hardscapes including fireplaces, ponds, outdoor grills, benches, walls, and waterfalls.

Boulders are larger, irregularly shape, naturally occurring stones that are harvested like fieldstones.  They have recently become more popular as the trend toward natural landscaping has continued to grow.  Boulders make for a visually dramatic addition to many landscape designs such as waterfalls, ponds, and to add texture and character to flowerbeds and other areas.

No matter what your next landscaping project entails, you will be able to find a stone landscaping product to meet your needs.

Flagstone

Flagstone is a very popular and versatile landscaping material.  Flagstone is a generic term for flat, natural stone that comes from a quarry and is used for a wide variety of landscaping applications.  Flagstone can be made from many types of stone including slate, granite, and sandstone.  Once the stone is quarried, it is either cut or split into flat pieces of various thicknesses.  Flagstone can be further finished into regular square or rectangular shapes or left with irregular, natural edges for a more rustic look.  Irregular flagstone pieces are fitted together like a puzzle to create an interesting and attractive finish.

Flagstone is available in a wide variety of colors, thicknesses, and styles.  No two pieces of flagstone are exactly alike, which adds to its natural, rustic appeal.   Flagstone is extremely durable and relatively easy to work with although it is heavy.  Properly installed, a flagstone patio, walkway or driveway should last for ten to twenty years or more.  It is easy to repair if damaged, requires very little maintenance, and is less expense than many other landscaping or paving materials. 

Flagstone’s textured, non-slip surface makes it an excellent choice for walkways, driveways, and patios, but it is also a great choice for siding, chimneys, fireplaces, ponds, retaining walls, waterscapes, and just about any other hardscape imaginable.   For walkways, patios, pool decks or driveways, flagstone can be set with mortar, sand, or polymeric sand making it easy to work with for do-it-yourselfers. 

For more information about flagstone, visit your local landscape supply company.  They will have many pallets of flagstone in various colors, styles, and sizes to choose from.  They can help you complete your project or recommend a reputable landscaper to handle the job.