Hardscape Features: Stone Walkways
A backyard living space reflects each homeowner’s personality and acts as a relaxing retreat whether entertaining guests or reading by a fire pit. Hardscape design refers to the surfaces in the backyard particularly walkways, steps, and structures. Stone walkways offer both a functional and aesthetically pleasing design feature for outdoor spaces. Whether pathway from a gate to a patio, garden, shed or door, homeowners have a myriad of options. The experts at Shoreline Pools provide insider tips and advice for designing a durable and luxurious stone walkway for your outdoor space.
Selecting the Right Walkway Design
The shape of your stone walkway design determines how traffic will flow to and from its path. Formal walkway designs are more rigid with straight lines, right angles and well-manicured landscaping. In a formal walkway, homeowners should be able to see their destination. This type of path design leads the eye to a focal point, which may be a fountain, garden, or gazebo. In a formal garden design, two paths often intersect at a ninety-degree angle to form a cross.
Informal stone walkway designs usually display various types of stones in irregular patterns with sweeping curves and whimsy landscaping tickling outside garden beds. Curved and intricate patterns create a casual appearance, as the natural, flowing shape of a walkway can be soft and relaxing to the eye. To make a small garden appear larger, hide the end of a curved path behind a structure or landscaping; this tricks the eye into thinking that more lies ahead. To emphasize a path’s organic shape, try growing a variety of plants along its edge.
The most popular choice of stone for exterior walkways is Slate, Limestone, and Sandstone; the choice is entirely up to the homeowner and or design architect. Slate comes in different colors and textures and offers a rigid surface providing a durable, attractive flooring option. Slate is ideal for high traffic areas such as pavers or steps due to the nature of its’ uneven texture it easily disguises damage.
Limestone displays an earthy appearance softly streaming your gaze throughout the entire backyard. This type of stone is available in subtle pastel and natural colors of brown, gray, taupe, and tan. This blends in beautifully with today’s minimalist trends and is best used for paving and floor tiling. In addition, Limestone is salt-resistant, making it ideal for moist pool areas.
Known for its loose grains and rough texture, Sandstone has an amazing range of colors, including beige, ivory, red, gray, tan, blue and taupe. Sandstone’s loose grains result in a porous composition that allows liquids to flow through. It is not slippery when wet. In the winter using a de-icing solution causes no damage or change in its appearance. It is not reactive to acid rain or other atmospheric poisons that will degrade other stone. Unlike limestone, sandstone does not change in density or hardness over time. Finally, there is little maintenance required when using Sandstone.
Walkway Installation and Cost
The cost of installing a stone walkway or patio will depend on factors such as shape, size, stone and labor. A formal walkway slightly varies in cost, being less compared to an informal pathway. Complex walkway designs involve reconstruction or demolition projects and may need specialized cutting, grading, or extensive measuring.
- Stone stair treads start at $150
- Stone pavers start at $45 per square foot
- Freeform Stone slabs start at $250 per slab
Before beginning any construction project it is important to check for any drainage issues in your backyard to ensure the ground below your walkway will compact properly. The best time to install stone walkways is before winter as heavy frost can cause the ground to shift. A ground shift often results in an unstable base. Installations during the late summer and early fall are highly recommended.
Creating Your Ideal Stone Walkway
There are many options to consider when creating your ideal stone walkway whether you choose a formal pathway or informal, the design and material should complement your backyard. The design team at Shoreline Pools, are experts at installing stone such as Slate, Limestone, and Sandstone for walkways, treads, and stairs in exterior designs. If you live in the New York or Connecticut area contact Shoreline Pools to install a stone walkway that is sure to enhance your backyard.