Enjoy the Uniqueness of Travertine Cladding

Are you in love with the beauty of natural stone? While you will see many patios and even indoor flooring created with natural stone, below your feet is not the only place to put stone. One of the most popular options in stone products is travertine, which can be quarried into pavers, flagstone or tiles. While travertine will be found as a paving material, its beauty can go to bigger heights when used as wall cladding for your home.

What is Travertine?

Travertine is a limestone that has beautiful porous veins similar to marble. Like marble, it is often quarried in Italy, with many more quarries in Turkey. Travertine has an elegant style that is often deemed luxurious due to the higher cost of the stone. While it can stain, the new options in sealing can protect the stone, giving it more versatility in uses.

Indoor or Outdoor Wall Cladding

If you want to give your home a unique and stunning look, consider using travertine wall cladding. This can be a gorgeous style for your entry way, using travertine cladding as siding around your front door. Another option is bringing it indoors. Travertine can add natural beauty to your kitchen, bathroom or sunroom as indoor wall cladding. When sealed, it can retain its beauty and be protected from staining, helping it last for decades.

If you want to explore new options for decorating your home, consider travertine for paving and wall cladding. Visit your local quarry to view the many types of travertine to find the colors and types of cuts to create interesting variations for your indoor and outdoor wall cladding, as well as paving and flooring.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

Different Types of Flagstone

When it comes to building hardscapes, flagstone is a popular option found in many backyards. However, flagstone is not a particular type of rock, it is a method of cutting and quarrying rocks. Flagstone can be made from many different types of sedimentary rock that is naturally layered. The cut pieces of these layers make the flags that are excellent for paving and other projects. Here are some of the popular types of flagstone that are used in many hardscape projects.

Travertine

The weathered, pitted look of travertine is popular for flagstone projects. Travertine is a compacted limestone that comes grays, browns, tans and bluish-grays, valued for its cool surface that is perfect for pool decks and pavement in warm regions.

Slate

The blue, gray, copper and green variations of slate can add variety to paved surfaces and walls. This metamorphic rock is best when sealed to prevent staining.

Bluestone

Like its name, bluestone is a sandstone that tends to be blue or grayish in color. It is a denser form of sandstone that can handle colder temperatures. Bluestone is a non-slip paving stone that must be sealed to preserve the natural color.

Sandstone

The less dense sandstone often found in Arizona or the southwest is porous and better used in dry, warmer regions. The colors range from beige and reds to softer pastels like pink and shades of beige. The surface stays cool but should be sealed to prevent staining.

If you are looking for a paving stone for your walkway, patio, pool deck or entry, there are many different types of flagstone available. Visit your local quarry to see the different flagstone options available to find the best rock type for your project.

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

Why Sand is the Best Option for Backyard Play Areas

Having an area dedicated in your backyard for child play encourages kids to get outside for healthy exercise. Swing sets, slides and other outdoor play equipment are a wonderful gift for children, but you want to ensure it is safe and durable. One of the considerations when building a backyard play area is the ground cover. Here is why sand is the best option to protect your kid’s play area.

Benefits of Sand

Obviously a paved area is not a good idea for swings and climbing equipment. One fall and it could mean a trip to the ER for fractured bones. However, even grass or turf has its drawbacks. Grass requires water to keep it healthy; sprinklers near outdoor play equipment can cause rust and rot, hastening deterioration and making it unsafe. Sand, like the white sand used for sandboxes, offers a few benefits:

  • It is soft and less likely to cause injury if a child falls
  • Kids love playing in sand – it is great for playing with big and small toys
  • It is easy to maintain, requiring no watering or cleaning
  • Insects are less likely to be lurking in sand versus grass or mulch

Sand is a nice option to cover the ground in your child’s play area. It looks neat and is the safest option. You want to choose a quality white sand that is made for play areas and sand boxes. Contact your local landscape supplier – many quality suppliers offer white sand and can deliver it in bulk quantity right to your home to make it quick and easy to build your backyard play area.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Creating a Curved Flagstone Walkway

Flagstone is a stunning natural paving option for walkways. You can create paths that curve around your garden on your own if you know the tricks. A curved flagstone walkway is a great DIY project that can save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a professional. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started on building a gorgeous flagstone walkway with curves.

Outline Your Path

You can use a garden hose to create the outline of your curved walkway. This gives you a chance to try different options to find the look you desire. Make sure it is wide enough to walk on comfortably and avoid going over tree roots – these can cause problems down the road if they reach the surface. Once you choose a design, use spray paint to mark the outline of the walkway and calculate the square footage you will be covering.

Choose Your Flagstone

Flagstone comes in a variety of colors, shapes and thickness. Choose flagstone that is about 3” thick for walkways, reducing the chance it will crack, but thin enough to cut if needed. You will want natural shapes and various sizes to help you build your walkway and enough to fill the square footage needed. Your landscape supplier can help you choose the right stones for your project.

Build Your Walkway

You will need to dig about five inches down to build your walkway, then cover it with landscape fabric. Layer two inches of sand and tamper it down. Start in the middle of the path, putting pieces of flagstone in place like a puzzle. On the edges, trace the line where the stone overlaps the outline to make cuts in the stone to fit inside your pathway outline. Add small pieces between bigger stones to reduce gaps. Sweep fine sand over your flagstone to fill in between the stones.

It does take patience and hard work, but you can build a curved flagstone walkway that will be beautiful and functional. Carefully plan your project and take your time to ensure it turns out like you envision.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

5 Steps to Planning Your Natural Stone Project

Whether you are building a stone patio, walkway or retaining wall, there is planning involved to ensure your project goes smoothly. Taking the time to prepare can save trips to the landscape supply store and help you make sure you complete your project correctly the first time. Here are five steps to plan your natural stone project to save time and money.

Choose the Type of Stone

There are many options in natural stone. Flagstone, fieldstone, ashlar and travertine are some of the options available. Plus, each type can come in a variety of colors. Flagstone and travertine are popular for patios and walkways; fieldstone and river rock are great for natural retaining walls or fire pits. Know what you want to use before you head to the supply store.

Choose the Cut

There are many different types of cuts of stone. You can choose cobblestones or rubble cuts for building pits or walls, or thin, flat cuts for paved surfaces. Research what will work best for your project.

Will You Need Mortar or Sand?

Most stone projects will require mortar or sand to fill between the stone slabs. Add this to your shopping list and determine how much you will need for your project.

Do You Need Any Tools?

There are not many tools needed for most stone projects, but you may need a shovel to dig out your surface area or a trowel for applying mortar.

Will You Need Framing Materials?

Some patios, pits or walkways may need wood framing boards that are pressure treated to create the borders. You will need to cut these to size.

The old adage, “measure twice, cut once” also applies to stone projects. Take the time to plan your project to limit trips back and forth to the supply store, getting all the items you will need at one time. This will save you time and minimize the cost for an efficient DIY project.

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

7 Uses for Landscape Timbers

While natural stone has become the go-to landscape material for many projects, landscape timbers can be a great alternative. They are light, inexpensive and are versatile, making them an outdoor building material that most DIY landscapers can use easily for backyard projects. Here are seven ideas on how to use landscape timbers in your landscaping in the upcoming season.

  1. Flower bed. Landscape timbers can quickly create a raised flower bed anywhere in your yard. Three or four stacked make a shallow flower bed that can be installed in just a few hours.
  2. Edging. Want to create an edge or border for your yard or garden? Use landscape timbers to create a wood border for a clean appearance.
  3. Retaining wall. Need to stabilize a slope or want to create a tiered planting area on a hill? Landscape timbers can be used to build small retaining walls around your property.
  4. Hillside steps. Carve steps into your hillside and frame them with landscape timbers. Fill the interior with gravel for natural steps up your slope.
  5. Fencing. Timbers can make a simple wood fence for around your garden or as a border to your lawn or driveway.
  6. Planters. You can build smaller planters or raised planters for starting your garden with some spare timbers.
  7. Build a pergola. If you are handy with a hammer, landscape timbers can be used to build a beautiful pergola for your patio area.

There are so many ways to use landscape timbers in your landscaping. Visit your local landscape supplier to check out the different options in timbers available and bring a load home for your next landscape project.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Fertilizer Basics for Your New Sod

Are you considering adding new sod to create a lush lawn? Picking the right sod is crucial, but you need to know how to ensure that your sod takes hold. Not only is it important to prepare for your new sod, you must care for it once it is installed. Maintenance for your new sod will be important to whether it thrives or even survives. Part of that maintenance is feeding the grass the nutrients it needs. Here is what you need to know about fertilizer for your grass.

Know Your Numbers

Fertilizer has ratios of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) listed. For greener grass, you want a higher nitrogen content. Fertilizer for grass should have a much higher percentage of nitrogen than the other components. You may see combinations with little or no phosphorus. You want the best NPK ratios for your grass type.

Frequency of Fertilizing

For new sod, you will want to fertilize the first time about six weeks after installation. After that, you should plan on fertilizing every two to three months, depending on your grass types. For example, fescue grass normally only needs fertilizer every three months, starting in March and ending in December in warmer regions. Varieties like Bermuda and zoysia may need more frequent fertilizing, about every two months starting in March, but not after September due to dormancy.

Talk to your local landscape supplier about the right type of sod for your needs and the best fertilizer to keep it healthy. Feeding your new sod the right nutrients can help your grass grow greener and fuller, creating the beautiful lawn that you desire.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Boulder Fire Pits for a Unique Style

A fire pit can add light and heat to your outdoor living space. Imagine late nights conversing around a fire, right in your backyard. Make s’mores, stay warm and light up the night with a fire pit that also matches your style. If you love a natural look, a boulder fire pit may be the perfect style for your patio.

You will see many different types of fire pits if you spend some time on Pinterest. Brick, concrete, pavers and natural stone are common materials to create a fire pit for your patio. However, boulder fire pits are less common, yet can be a unique option for those who want a natural-style fire feature. Large boulders can last for decades, making a perfect enclosure for your fire.

Types of Boulder Fire Pits

While you can use boulders that are free-standing to make a fire pit, for a cleaner, professional design, mortar is necessary. Boulders can be used to create the main border, with mortar in between to create even and solid walls. Another option is going big – a boulder large enough to encompass the fire on its own. Creating a dip on the top of a giant boulder is the ultimate in natural stone fire pits, a beautiful focal point for your patio.

If you want to build a unique boulder fire pit, it all starts with finding the right boulders. Visit your local quarry that has boulders for sale to find the right sizes and shapes for your new fire pit. You can create a fire pit that will last for many years, adding beauty, warmth and light to your outdoor space.

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

Natural Stone Options for Your Slopes

Do you have a slope in your yard that is hard to plant or adorn with landscaping features? Slopes can be challenging when it comes to landscape design, but there are some creative natural stone features that can add an interesting flair to your yard. Here are some ways to incorporate slopes into your landscape design with natural stone.

Tiered Waterfalls

Slopes are the perfect formation for creating a waterfall in your yard. The natural slope gives you the gravity you need to build a flowing waterfall. A waterfall can begin anywhere on your slope with tiers of natural stone as it cascades down to your yard. This creates a natural look, adding the relaxing sound and glittering effects of moving water with the backdrop of beautiful stone.

Slope Staircase

Natural stone is excellent for building an in-ground staircase on your slope. Slabs of flagstone can be used to make treads that are staggered up your slope. Not only does a natural stone staircase make your slope easier to climb, it is a stunning feature to add to your landscape design.

Tiered Gardens

Another option for your slope is creating tiered gardens for planting flowers and vegetables. Small natural stone retaining walls allow you to make flat tiers for planting. Use two or three retaining walls to build tiers that allow you to finally utilize your slope for planting without worrying about erosion. You can also build a natural stone staircase to make it simple to access your tiered gardens.

Natural stone can help you make the most of your sloped areas. Visit a local quarry to explore the different stone options for building interesting features on your slopes.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

Why to Choose Natural Stone Veneer Over Faux Stone Siding

Natural stone for siding, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and many other applications is popular, but real stonework can be expensive. An alternative is using stone veneer, a thin covering that creates the appearance of a stone structure. There are many options and styles of stone veneers to create almost any look, both with natural stone and faux stone siding. While faux or manufactured stone veneer is less expensive, it is worth the investment to choose natural stone product when using veneer.

Advantages of Natural Stone Veneer Vs. Faux

Both natural and manufactured stone veneer can be beautiful and have the appearance of masonry or stone surfaces. However, the differences are similar to why natural stone is preferred to concrete or manufactured pavers. While faux stone siding may look similar, it does not have the attributes that is loved about natural stone. Some of the advantages of natural stone veneer include:

  • Unique stones and patterns
  • Durability of real stone – some faux products are prone to disintegration
  • The look can closer match other natural stone features
  • More options and styles available

Real stone veneer was not available decades ago – it is only with advanced cutting tools that creating thin natural stone veneer is possible. Most people cannot tell the difference between natural stone veneer and real stone structures, creating a valuable look that will last.

If you are considering stone veneer for your home, talk to a quarry that carries natural stone veneer. Often the prices are comparable to higher-end manufactured stone veneer, yet the product has higher value and durability, making it a better choice for many home improvement projects.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249