Without a doubt, granite has become the indoor building material of choice among high-end custom homebuilders and upscale commercial property developers. However, most don’t realize is that it’s also the first material choice for landscapers and architects? It’s true that the same characteristics that make granite perfect for countertops become even more relevant for an outdoor application. This is why many contractors use granite pavers in landscaping projects.
Where do developers and homebuilders use granite?
First, let’s consider the homebuilding industry and how they are using granite.
The National Association of Home Builders says that 64% of all new homes use granite countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms. Commercial real estate developers use granite frequently in the lobby and common area design. This is in addition to the various countertop and indoor water feature applications.
No longer is living space enclosed by four walls. Instead, the trend for both homeowners and commercial property owners is an increase in the popularity of outdoor entertainment areas. They want kitchens and restaurants, and even sculpted gardens for relaxation. Pools, fountains, and other water features figure prominently in these outdoor spaces. As much attention goes into their design and architecture as it does into the house itself. Because of this, high-end custom homebuilders, landscape architects, and designers must learn more about the landscaping products residential and commercial customers want, and one of the most popular is granite.
Why are granite pavers in landscaping so popular?
The reason granite is so popular in the kitchen is its exceptional durability, low maintenance and a wide range of color choices. It is also a material that immediately lends elegance, sophistication and increases the value of the property. These same characteristics also make granite popular outdoors.
Logically, this makes sense. After all, granite is a natural stone product that has its origins “outdoors.” It withstands temperature fluctuation, resists wear and tear, and literally lasts a lifetime. As with an indoor application, when used outdoors, granite pavers and landscape elements contribute to the increase in the property value. They also drive down maintenance and replacement costs. Public and community spaces rely on granite pavers and coordinating elements of landscape design for their longevity which is required for extensive use, while homeowners enjoy the aesthetics and the stately sophistication offered by this timeless material.
Also important is the fact that granite is a “green” material; granite pavers can be recycled or reused, unlike concrete pavers, which have to be disposed of, creating a large burden on the landfills.
5 Ways to Use Granite in Landscaping
If you are unfamiliar with granite, you may not realize all the different ways it can be used in landscape design. The reality is that the only limit is your imagination. However, to help get your creative juices flowing, here are some of the more popular ways to use granite.
1. Granite Edging
Granite comes in all colors from pink to black. Use a contrasting color to edge a walkway or as a “wow” factor around a swimming pool. Split-edge edging can add a rustic, Old World character to the outdoor space, while a honed or thermaled clean-cut edging will lend a modern touch. Designers consider granite a type of functional art.
2. Granite Walkways
Granite pavers are quite versatile as a landscaping material. As stated, there is an endless variety of color, but you can also get creative with multiple types of finishes available to implement almost any vision. Combine different finishes of the same stone in a single outdoor space to create visual continuity with subtle matching.
For instance, you can use bush-hammered or thermaled granite pavers to produce a non-slip surface perfect for patios or walkways. You could also use the same granite with a honed, polished, or split-face finish. This works well for outdoor cooking surfaces, walls, benches, or inlay borders around patios.
3. Granite Benches
Granite benches offer beautiful and functional accents to gardens, patios, parks and public spaces. For commercial applications, using granite for benches makes sense. Granite requires little upkeep, endures longer than metal or wood, and will not fade in color.
4. Granite Walls
It’s interesting to note that granite countertops have made their way from indoor kitchens to outdoor dining areas and now granite walls, once an outdoor landscaping feature, have found their way back into the house.
Modern, contemporary-styled buildings, could feature a honed granite accent wall for a minimalist feel. The sleek look and natural stone exude luxury. For a truly unique design and artistic element, cut different color granites and combine to create a mosaic wall. You can also combine different finishes of the same granite for a textured and cohesive appearance. Whether indoors or outdoors, granite walls can make an interesting architectural element.
5. Granite Patios
With proper installation, a granite patio requires little to no maintenance. Mix and match different colored granite pavers to create interesting patterns or use the same color granite throughout with an inlay border of a differently finished granite, or ever several rows of granite cobblestones to add definition. This can create the illusion of having a bigger space. Once you complete the patio, use the same granite to build outdoor bars and tables, matching firepits or outdoor fireplaces.
How can you learn more about uses of granite in landscaping?
Blackhill Granites works closely with architects, designers, and landscape professionals to provide quality granite products for both residential and commercial applications. We provide CAD drawings of our products and ASTM specifications for architectural stone and also manufacture custom granite materials to fit your application. If you are located in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or any part of the Mid-Atlantic region, call Blackhill Granites today and let us discuss the possibilities of granite products for your next project.