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What Are the Different Types of Walkway Stones?

Some walkways are designed to create a smooth, uniform surface that leads to the front door.
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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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Walkway stones can be smooth or rough textured with a glossy or matte finish. They may be laid in a single color or multiple colors to create attractive designs. Walkway stones are available in traditional rectangular, square, and round shapes as well as more elaborate designs such as octagons, pentagons, and triangles. The most common materials are slate, granite, and limestone. Materials such as travertine, bluestone, gravel, and river rocks may also be used as walkway stones.

Walkways can be designed to create a smooth, uniform surface leading to a front door or a rustic footpath to a garden or water feature. Smooth-textured stones are often utilized for the front portion of a home while rougher surfaces are typically installed in the backyard area. Single color stones are generally used with traditional patterns such as basket weave, stretch, and herringbone. Walkway stones in multiple colors and textures are often found in more elaborate, unique designs. Simple patterns are generally made up of traditional rectangular, square, and round shapes while elaborate designs often feature octagons, pentagons, and triangles.

Several different materials may be used to make walkway stones. Slate is a smooth and durable stone with a natural, non-slip texture. This material is well suited for outdoor use and sold in colors such as green, blue, black, gray, and red. Some varieties of slate have an attractive, multicolored surface. Highly polished slate typically has a darker appearance. A sealant is sometimes applied to the surface to enhance durability.

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Granite walkway stones are typically very strong and heavy with a naturally rough texture and available in colors such as gray, black, white, yellow, and red. Synthetic granite stones are also very durable and can often be purchased at large home improvement centers. Limestone is another common walkway material. Typical limestone colors include yellow, red, brown, and green.

Travertine is a type of marble that also makes good walkway stones. It provides a cool, slip-resistant surface in all kinds of weather and is sold in several different finishes and colors. Travertine colors typically include red, blue, and white, as well as shades of brown and gray. Bluestone is a type of sandstone that is often used for walkways. This material comes in many different shades of blue-gray, green, and brown.

Loose gravel is frequently used for walkway stones and typically composed of marble, slate, or granite. This material requires very little maintenance and is ideal for areas with poor drainage. River rocks are also utilized for walkways and can be an economical option for particularly long paths. These rocks typically have a smooth, dull surface. River rocks may be purchased in several different colors and sizes.

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