Paging through todays landscape magazines and journals, you discover a wide array of products, materials and designs. Materials in today’s industry have evolved and improved greatly, however all product still mimic features that can be found in natural stone. Whether it is the coloring of a blue stone slate, or the texture of a weathered edge limestone, or size of a glacial boulder, manufacturers today can produce replicas close to the real thing.
However, when it comes to durability, strength, texture, and color, natural stone far surpasses anything that todays industry can produce. Natural stone has many benefits, as it is not as porous as concrete products, which means less wear on the actual stone. Another is the strength of natural stone. Some concrete products, to get to an equal strength of natural stone can get as thick as 70-80mm. This can become bulky and cumbersome during installation, thus slowing that process down. Lastly the color of a natural stone is un-matched. Natural stones deep color variation and vibrance is hard to match, when attempted to mimic through concrete products, colors become muted and lose many of those desired characteristics. If color and texture are elements that you or the designer are searching for, natural stone is the choice in materials.
Benton project update: The Benton project has progressed since the last update. The stair risers are all veneered with a Fon du Lac stone and some stair treads are cut and installed. Now most would not think of a stair tread of being difficult to install, however when dealing with a curved surface and natural stone that does not bend, things tend to be more difficult. In a previous update we mentioned that the true art is in the installation crew and their abilities to transform drawings into reality. Well the following picture goes to show how much craftsmanship goes into a Ground One installation. These cuts take a great deal of time, knowledge, and preparation.
The stair treads are comprised of a Lilac Stone which obviously does not bend to the outline of the new step. There are many ways to fabricate this curved step, one could be by using multiple pieces and wedge shaping those to flow around the curve, however there would be many joints and lines that would take away from the beauty of the stone and the elegance of the curve. Ground One, the design team, and the homeowners all agreed that cutting those treads on site out of larger stone slabs, was the proper way they should be built.
The stone slabs came on site in lengths of 4-10′, those then were marked and a crew member began cutting out the curve or lines set forth in design. In the end there will be minimal joints, which in return poses all focus on the stone and its beauty rather than many joints of distraction. Other progress on the Benton project includes, the installation of the lights beneath the step treads and the grade prep of the new cut and patterned patio. The backyard project is evolving and visual progress is being made. Soon a grill and outdoor kitchen will be fabricated, creating another area for entertainment.