Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Properties of Natural Stone

What is natural stone?

Natural stone is a very popular landscape material used for

  • Floorings
  • Driveways
  • Pool decks
  • Patios
  • Walls
  • Countertops
  • And more!

These tiles are extremely durable and easy to install. On top of that, the hardscape material is available in a wide variety of stunning colors and patterns.

What is the quality difference in natural stone from different countries?

Natural stones from different parts of the world vary in characteristics and qualities. The reason for this is because the mix of rock formations and mineral deposits vary in different regions. Stone from a specific area may be more suitable for a certain application than other types. It’s important to remember that a stone from say Brazil, Turkey, India, or China, may not necessarily be more or less suitable for our North American climate. Natural stones were formed millions of years ago when climate was vastly different in each part of the world and many countries were entirely covered in oceans. Therefore, a local stone from Canada may not necessarily be more suited for Canadian climate today.

Why are some natural landscaping stones more expensive than others?

The cost of natural stone is mainly affected by its availability on the market. This means that if a certain stone color or type can be found in abundance, then the cost of the material will be lower. Moreover, factors like how difficult it is to extract a stone from the ground, cost of transportation, and currency exchange, can also vastly affect its price.

What does it mean if my granite or limestone has a thermal or flamed finish?

Granite with a flamed finish is produced when the stone is heated with an intense flame. This process causes the grains on the surface of the granite to burst and change color. The result is a rougher surface combined with a beautiful faded, natural look. Flaming the surface of a granite or a limestone can change the colour of that stone, commonly bringing out the crystallization and the

What are the different kinds of natural stone?

The different kinds of natural stones include granite, limestone, sandstone, travertine, slate, marble, quartzite, onyx, and soapstone. Granite is the most popular natural stone tile because it combines durability with affordability, while also being available in many striking textures and colors. Sandstone and limestone are also popular and durable natural stones, commonly used for outdoor landscape projects. Full set of differences are here: Different types of landscaping stones

Why can some natural stones not be used for exterior applications?

You can use natural stones for both interior and exterior applications. However, some types are more suitable for indoor use because they are not susceptible to extreme or harsh weather conditions, which can cause the stone to fade or crack. The best, most durable, natural stone you can use for your exterior landscape projects are granite, limestone, sandstone, travertine, and basalt.

What are different kinds/types of stone finishes?

A natural stone’s surface may be finished in numerous ways. Different types of natural stone finishes include natural, polished, tumbled, bush-hammered, sandblasted, mushroom, leather, honed, flamed, sawn, river wash, split face, cross-cut, veneer, vein cut, fleuri cut, gauged, and ungauged. When deciding on a natural stone finish, make sure that it’s suitable for the purpose you have in mind. Talk to a STONEarch expert to receive our complete guide to natural stone finishes for landscape use.

2. Selecting the right stone for a project

Is natural stone better than concrete pavers?

No doubt, concrete pavers are tough. However, natural stone pavers such as granite, limestone, and sandstone are more durable and everlasting. Also, natural stones have many benefits, such as low maintenance, ages beautifully, and an eco-friendly solution.

Concrete production contributes to nearly 10% of the world’s carbon footprint and many experts say that this industry leads to more carbon dioxide emissions than all the trucks in the world. So yes, we might be a little biased but natural stone is a far superior landscape material than concrete pavers.

Which is the most durable natural stone for landscaping?

Sandstone is a very popular choice among landscape architects for centuries because of its extreme durability. This natural stone can endure and weather out many years of exposure to different elements. Granite is another strong landscape material. It’s non-porous, very hardy, and can withstand very high temperatures, making it a good choice in places with tough climates. All our natural stones are also resistant to freeze-thaw cycles making them suitable for Canadian winters and climate in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and many other parts of North America.

How much variation can I expect from the sample of stone shown?

Every natural stone has a unique look. While some stone types show slight variations between each piece, others show more. In terms of colour, granites tend to show very slight variation. However, the grain density and patterns of the stone may largely vary. On the other hand, the colour variation of slates, even if it’s in the same palette, are wider in range. It’s always better to visit our stone supply in GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to see the natural stone on display at a larger scale.

What are different kinds/types of stone finishes?

A natural stone’s surface may be finished in numerous ways. Different types of natural stone finishes include natural, polished, tumbled, bush-hammered, sandblasted, mushroom, leather, honed, flamed, sawn, river wash, split face, cross-cut, veneer, vein cut, fleuri cut, gauged, and ungauged. When deciding on a natural stone finish, make sure that it’s suitable for the purpose you have in mind. Talk to a STONEarch expert to receive our complete guide to natural stone finishes for landscape use.

What are typical stone sizes?
  • Stone paver sizes: The standard size of natural stone in squares include 12×12”, 12×24”, 18×18”, 18×24”, 24×24” and 24×36”. Natural stone pavers come in two thicknesses – 1” and 1.25”.
  • Stone coping sizes: Natural stone copings come in standard 2” thickness, with various lengths including 48”, 60” and 72”. They come with a 12”, 14” and 16” tread.
  • Stone step sizes: Landscape stone steps are available in 6” and 7” rise and range between 3 to 8 feet in length.
  • We also have various other landscape stone products including pillar caps, stone curbs, BBQ slabs for kitchens, and offer custom landscape stone as well.
Can I use natural stone on pool decks and patios?

Natural stone is an excellent material for your pool deck, patio, and other outdoor projects. They are a beautiful and classic option that will provide your outdoor space with timeless elegance. For instance, granite can stand the test of time, repel water, and has a consistent appearance making it a superb choice for pools and patios. Another great option for pool decks is travertine landscape stone as it has a unique property which does not allow heat to remain on the surface of the stone, making it the best material for bare feet on a pool deck.

What criteria do I use to select a natural stone colour for my project?

Natural stone comes in a wide array of stunning, vibrant colours, and its criteria are dependent on the purpose you have in mind. The natural stone colour you choose can either make your space look warm and cozy or formal. Likewise, it can make an area seem smaller or bigger. Selecting the right stone comes down to the application, area, and overall design theme you are looking to achieve.

Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Darker granites like Black and New Ebony can make your small area seem even smaller.
  • Meanwhile, lighter limestone colours like Moderno Beige and Buff will make a small patio look larger and more spacious.
  • If you’ll use the stones for commercial purposes, granite is one of the best options as it is the most durable natural landscape stone suitable for high-rise buildings, offices, shopping plazas and other high traffic areas.
  • For easy installation use one of our pattern design options.
  • If you want to accentuate an architectural feature or a portion of an area, go for stones with dramatic patterns. You may also want to consider having the stones cut and customised to your preference.
What are the differences in coping profile edges (rock-faced, straight-edge, pool coping)?

Pool coping is the edging or cap installed around the rim of your pool. It is what separates your pool from the adjoining surface area and protects its structure. It is a clean, rounded edge that is gentle on bare skin and is most commonly used around pools but can also be used for steps or risers.Rock-faced stone copings are commonly applied in step treads or porches. However, you can also use it as a pool coping for that beautiful, natural rustic look.Straight edge coping profile is pretty much self-explanatory, and you can usually see it on the lip of a square pool. Straight edge or flat stone copings have recently become very popular for modern homes and higher-end premium landscape projects.

What is STONEarch stone?​

STONEarch stone is the highest quality natural stone you can find on the market today at unbeatable prices. Our natural stone collection includes exquisite building stones and premium landscaping stones, recognized around the world for their quality, innovation, and strength.

STONEarch landscape supply is a leading supplier of natural stone in North America, with a focus in the Greater Toronto Area. Natural stones are sourced from over a dozen countries including China, Brazil, India, Vietnam, Turkey, Spain, and Italy. STONEarch serves Dealers, Contractors, Architects, Enterprise, and Homeowners. Contact us for STONEarch pricing and project inquiries.

3. Installation, maintenance & care of natural stone

Are stones with natural cleft dangerous for tripping hazards?

Natural cleft is a finish unique to some natural stones and it is the naturally occurring layers in the stone when it is quarried. Although it has an uneven surface, you can still use it as flooring. Most of our natural landscape stones are calibrated on one side which allows for easy installation on a thin-set as the thickness of each piece is more controlled.

Some natural stones with heavy clefting like our Saga (Imperial Black) have a much more rough textured surface. This is why we discourage applications of this stone paver for areas with heavy foot traffic in commercial projects or young children in residential areas.

What care and maintenance of the stone products are recommended?

Maintaining natural stone surfaces is extremely easy. You only need to use a mixture of water and mild liquid soap to clean your stone floors. It is important to ensure you use a cleaner designed for natural stone and also test the product on a small area near the edge of your project. Make sure to avoid using cleaners with acid or other abrasive chemicals. Also, depending on the purpose of your natural stone flooring, it is advisable to seal it yearly or every two years upon installation.

Which types of natural stone do you recommend sealing vs. not sealing?

Many types of natural stones need regular sealing. The reason for this is because they are naturally porous and absorb bacteria, liquid, and particles. Not sealing your stone flooring, especially areas that receive the most traffic are more prone to wear and tear. Our granites are less porous, which means they usually do not need to be sealed. Reach out to a STONEarch expert for more information on whether or not you need to seal your selected natural stone.

What is the average weight of natural stone?
  • The average weight of stone are as follows:
  • 1″ – 14 lbs. per square feet
  • 1.25″ – 17.5 lbs. per square feet
  • 2″ – 28 lbs. per square feet
  • 6″ to 7″ – 90 lbs. per square feet.
What are different patterns I can use to install natural stone?

You can use the following patterns when installing your STONEarch natural stone pavers. There are various rectangular and square patterns found on our website that are suitable for coverage areas ranging from small 30-40 square feet stone patios to larger areas exceeding 5000 square feet.

What is an impregnator sealer? How does it help stone?

Impregnator sealers comprise of silicone balls that are microscopic in size. These sealers are meant to penetrate underneath the surface of the stone, either by coating the different minerals under the surface or depositing solid particles. They work by restricting dirt and oil from penetrating the stone, as well as creating a waterproof shield. Think of it as an invisible layer to protect your natural stone walkway or pool deck.

Will natural stone fade over time from sunlight?

Some natural stones will eventually fade, especially those exposed to direct sunlight. However, it will take many years before this happens. Also, proper care, maintenance and sealing of your stone pavers can help keep the beauty of your natural stone for a long time. Most of the stones that we have are time & weather tested and will not fade over time.

One particular stone – our Black (Kota Black) limestone – is one of the only natural stones that we carry which will fade over time from sunlight. Some clients like the faded, rustic look – while others prefer to seal the stone and retain the dark black color.

How much coverage will I get from a 1-ton bag of pebbles?

One ton of pebbles is approximately 2,000 pounds. So a ton of pebbles can cover around 100 square feet at 2 inches deep.

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