Stone plays major role in outdoor designs


When it comes to enhancing a home’s exterior, hardscaping has become a major consideration for designers.

Outdoor living elements have never been more popular as far as exterior design is concerned and one of the biggest features of any garden design plan is the hardscape. Whether you enjoy sipping a glass of wine on your patio in the summer or sitting around a self-made fire pit roasting marshmallows, a well-maintained garden is a major incentive to enjoy the best of the weather.

The advantage of using stone in the construction of exterior projects is it is a dense structure that lasts forever and provides an ideal platform for additional garden features. Here are a few examples of the types of stone most often used to create the perfect hardscape.


Sandstone forms when grains of sand along with other minerals become tightly compacted together over time. Reddish brown in colour, although it can also take a much lighter appearance, sandstone works perfectly as a hardscape because itcan be easily broken into paving slabs.

The ease of construction makes it a popular choice for garden walls as well. To give the blandish colour some much needed appeal, add some climbing vines to create a brown/green combination.


Quartz is formed when sandstone is highly compressed and heated into a metamorphic state. The metamorphic rock is ideal for withstanding the elements, so it makes for a sturdy choice for any hardscape. The colours are also quite vast, with anything from grey to yellow and white. Quartz is often shiny, which means it can create a stunning natural glow when moonlight reflects off it.


Slate is often regarded as construction stone and nothing more, especially when you consider that many roofing installations are built using slate. Slate starts out as shale before it eventually turns into metamorphic rock. It can be grey, green or blue in colour and easily cracks to form clean, thin slabs of rock. This makes it a good choice for paving stones and natural wall tiling. It is water resistant and features heavily near rock pools and water features.


This stone gets its name from the fact that it was originally found predominantly in fields or open space after being mined out of quarries. It is rounded in shape and tends to have a random assortment of colours.

Fieldstone often comes in large pieces, which means it is a common type of wall stone, while it can also be act as the perfect flagstone. Other uses for fieldstone include the creation of freestanding walls and raised beds for gardens.

Thin veneer

Veneer comes from a variety of stone compacted into one. It is cut thinner to allow for more stone coverage and to make it look far less weathered. Some of the stones you might find bounded together to create thin veneer include sandstone, limestone and fieldstone. It is often used for outdoor fireplaces and kitchens, while many manufacturers are now using thin veneer to create their own outdoor cabinets.

Article provided by Mike, working together with Surrey-based stone tile specialists