One of the most popular landscaping products today is walling stone as it can help beautify your landscape walls, planter walls, facing of retaining walls, outdoor kitchen walls, fire-place walls, and BBQ area walls. However, building one can be quite intimidating. It involves a lot of research, planning, hard work, and patience on your part.
There are also factors you need to consider, such as architectural style of adjoining building, landscape theme, whether you want a mortared wall or dry-laid, etc. Whatever you decide, it will impact the sizes and shapes of stones or rocks you will use in your stone wall.
However, whichever wall type you choose, selecting the stone you’ll use will be the most crucial in terms of its functionality and beauty. Choosing the best stone material for your outdoor project will be influenced by several things like its availability, color preference, and wall application.
To help get your landscape project underway, here are some useful tips on how to select the right material and install your dream walling stone.
Wet Or Dry Stone Wall?
The first thing you need to determine is whether you want to build a mortared or wet walling stone or a dry-laid one. All your plans and decisions throughout the process will be based on this, so it’s vital to know which one you want from the start.
You’ll need to embed a footing for a wet wall, which starts from below the ground level to make it stable. Building a mortared wall is easier than dry-stone (also called as dry-stack) because the mortar will hold the stones together. You can select any stone shape and size since the structural integrity of your walling stone is not reliant on them. Additionally, you can build your wall in whatever height you prefer.
However, in the long run, you’ll find it easier to manage and maintain a dry-laid walling stone. If the wall gets damaged or there’s a sudden ground shift, you can just reconstruct it with the same stone. Building it is less costly as well since it doesn’t need mortar materials and a base footing made of concrete.
Keep in mind though that the height of a dry stone wall cannot be more than four feet. Furthermore, it should be built using stones in rectangular or square shapes or have a flat face as it will be more challenging to layer and fit round stones without the help of mortar.
Which Natural Stones Can I Use for Walling Stone?
The most common stones you can use in building a walling stone are the following:
- Granite. Granite natural stone is solid and durable and comes in a wide array of colors such as gray, black, brown, and white.
- Limestone and Sandstone. You can have limestone and sandstone cut in regular or irregular shapes. These landscape stones are available in various shades, from tan to gray and white.
You have many options in terms of how you want your walling stone to look and feel. You can go for blocky and big, elegant and smooth or weathered and old.
Our Walling Rustic is the perfect walling stone to achieve that old and weathered appearance. It looks old naturally and can be installed both outdoors and indoors.
On the other hand, blocky and big rocks can give your space the look of sturdiness and strength. Rectangular and square rocks are usually easier to fit collectively, unlike rocks with round or irregular shapes.
Choosing Your Location
One of the smartest options is to build your walling stone that can double up as a backyard seating. Cap your walls with Wall Copings to give it a nice finish and make it more aesthetically appealing. You can also create a lovely stunning retaining wall using natural landscaping stones, which can help in leveling up your landscape.
Mixing And Matching
Don’t limit yourself to one type of stone or rock when building your walling stone. You can use a variety of stones, from large and small to round, flat, and irregularly shaped ones. Combining these varieties can add an interesting and unique visual appeal to your stone wall.
It’s not only an artistic option as well, but you can save on your budget as well. By mixing different types of stones, you can utilize discounted or stones for sale, or visit your local landscape supply center.
Tips On How To Install A Dry-Laid Wall
Building an almost perfect stone wall will require excellent skills. However, you can build a good solid walling stone by following these basic rules, which you can apply in almost any dry-stone wall project.
1. Setting the stone length
Every stone is going to be a visible part of your wall. This means that each stone’s length is perpendicular to the direction of your wall. Placing the stones on the wall where their sides are visible will make your wall weaker, which is a mistake most people do, and one of the main reasons why walling stones fall.
2. Crossing the joints
There should be a joint crossing below each stone so that there will be a couple of stones underneath it. Refrain from doing stack bonds or running joints, which is when you stack stone to run vertical joints from one path to the next. Your wall will be really weak and look cheap with stack bonds or running joints.
3. Keep the stones level
Level the stones both along the face of your wall and in its core. Not leveling the stones will cause them to slide, leading to your stone wall’s internal stress, which will cause it to fall over time as it shifts.
Most walling stones are created using irregularly-shaped stones. If this is the case, keep your focus on leveling the top of the stones, to make it more manageable to build on its top. If having a level top is not possible, you can slope its top to a nearby stone on its left or right, but not pitched out or in the core of your stone wall.