is the original “Green” building material. This abundant natural resource is very durable, naturally
beautiful and available in a full spectrum of colors, textures, and
shapes. Stone has been used for
centuries for creating buildings, streets, walls, flooring, and art. Savannah’s prized River Street ramps
and walls were was constructed with ballast stones from incoming ships. The still-standing buildings and walls
along the street were made from local brick and ballast stone, creating
beautiful and, obviously, long-lasting structures. Stone is a reuseable product and many homeowners are
choosing to use reclaimed stone in their new or remodeling projects. There is a natural stone option for
every project and every imagination.
- Travertine, limestone
and marble: These stone
cousins are great for interior and exterior applications. Honed and tumbled finishes will
add a classic finish on flooring, walls and backsplashes. Polished finishes add high style
to formal and commercial spaces.
Take them outside in a tumbled finish for a non-slip, cool to the
touch patio, pool deck or even a driveway. There are now a variety of products available for every
- Bluestone: This slate product quarried in
Pennsylvania and New York is very different from the imported slates that
arrive from India and China.
Good quality bluestone is resistant to flaking and shaling and does
not typically need to be sealed. Bluestone can be used in many forms. The irregular flagstone or pattern
flagstone with a natural cleft texture can be mortar-set or dry-laid for
patios, walkways, stepping stones and driveways. The quarries also produce large blocks of bluestone
that can be fabricated into step treads, coping, sills, thresholds,
curbing and other architectural elements. A range of available finishes include a non-slip
thermal (flamed) finish, bush-hammered, honed or even polished. Historic Savannah and Charleston
are laid with thousands of square feet of bluestone sidewalks, courtyards,
patios, and architectural details.
- Granite: Every where
you look in Savannah, you see granite curbing and cobblestones. Travel up the eastern seaboard and
you will see granite cobblestone streets in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia
and New York City. In Europe,
Roman roadways paved with granite cobblestones are still in use or can be
found underneath many modern streets. This hardy, classic stone is a perfect complement to
traditional and contemporary architecture. A popular and versatile stone, granite can be made into
honed and polished tiles and countertops.
- Coral Stone and
Coquina: Ancient oceans full
of aquatic life were long ago formed into fossil and shell filled
limestone. Cut from huge
blocks of stone that are now well above sea level, coral stone and coquina
is a perfect material for pool decks, patios and architectural
elements. Coquina contains a
huge array of shell and small animal fossils in each tile. Coral Stone contains a range of
preserved coral fossils. Both
of these light-colored stones stay cool in hot sun with a non-slip texture
perfect for pool decks and outdoor areas. The blocks of stone can be carved into anything you can
imagine; fireplace surrounds, balustrade systems, columns, tables,
benches, urns and more.
Limestone: Limestone quarried
in the Midwestern United States, especially Indiana and Wisconsin is a
beautiful addition to most any architecture. The first quarry in Indiana opened in 1827 and the area
has been producing stone for buildings across the country ever since. The Empire State Building,
Chicago’s Tribune Building and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC are
clad in limestone. Classic
courthouse design, seen in Ridgeland, SC, implements limestone water table, sills, banding and
pedaments. The limestone from
this area is very consistent in color and texture, making it an ideal
product for historic restoration as well as new construction. The large blocks of stone can be
fabricated into door and window surrounds, cladding, sills, steps, column
and wall caps, and pedaments.
The fabricators are capable of reproducing any architectural
drawings for decorative and structural elements.
- Fieldstone: Fieldstone refers to a stone
harvested from above ground, basically picked up in fields. This stone has been weathered and
aged to a rustic finish.
Quarries sort the fieldstone by size and shape into pallets. Historically, fieldstone was used
to construct low landscape walls to divide properties and contain farm
animals. Today, this stone is
a great addition to landscape as garden borders, retaining walls and
veneer stone for homes, businesses, and fireplaces. Different areas of the United
States produce different colors of fieldstone, so there is sure to be one
for any project.
- River Rock: River Rock has been culled from
stream and river beds and sorted by size. These smooth, mostly rounded stones are perfect for
many uses. The pea gravels
are used in driveways, walkways and planting beds. Slightly larger stones are a great
alternative to pinestraw or wood mulch as well as drainage areas. Large river rocks can be used for
borders and low walls.
River Rocks used as a veneer stone on a home or fireplace can mimic
the look of historic ballast stones and rustic mountain homes. A newer trend is using river rocks
imported from Mexico, Indonesia and South America. These countries offer a large
range of colors, including black, green, red, peach and white. Colored river rocks are a fine
accent in water features, fountains, planting beds and zen gardens.
- Clay brick
pavers: Clay brick pavers
installed in Savannah over 100 years ago can still be found on streets and
sidewalks all over downtown.
Clay brick pavers are fired to a high compressive strength and are
a durable alternative for driveways, patios, streets, sidewalks, and
crosswalks, as well. Clay
bricks will not fade or crack and require virtually no maintenance. Paver systems are easy to install
and repair. Clay brick pavers
are manufactured throughout the Southeast, making them a cost-effective
local resource. Many
manufacturers are now producing a permeable alternative to the classic
clay brick paver. These are a
necessary tool to facilitate drainage and to help maintain clean
groundwaters for a healthy environment.
9. Flagstone: Flagstone refers to a variety of slates and sandstones,
typically found in an irregular or broken shape. This material is quarried from many sites across the country
and is simply split and palletized in its irregular form. Most popular in this area are the
Tennessee and Oklahoma sandstones.
Tennessee sandstone incorporates a beautiful palette of brown, gold, and
beige with some black and pink.
Oklahoma flagstone is a more subtle mix of brown, gold and black. Flagstone can be incorporated into large
and small designs as pool decks, patios, walkways, stepping stones and driveway