What is Rubble Stone?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Rubble stone is irregularly-sized, rough stone which can be used for a variety of purposes, including rubble walls, fill, and stepping stones. People have been building with this type of stone for thousands of years, and it continues to be a popular building material in regions where there are ample supplies of rough stone.

Rubble stone has a rough texture and is often used to create stone walls.
Rubble stone has a rough texture and is often used to create stone walls.

This stone is essentially the scrap left over from quarrying and processing. Rubble stone may be roughly shaped into blocks, but it is not finished, and it has a rough texture and appearance. The development of uses for rubble undoubtedly stemmed from a desire to use as much stone as possible, rather than simply discarding waste materials. Many different kinds of stone are available in the form of rubble, including granite, shale, and sandstone.

Rubble stone can be used to create dividers between different landscaping features.
Rubble stone can be used to create dividers between different landscaping features.

Rough fragments of rubble can be stacked together to create a wall, with or without masonry, depending on the taste of the builder. Sometimes, rubble stone is used to create a decorative facing of rough stone when a builder wants a more rustic, rough look. It is also used to fill masonry walls, with the rubble being covered by a facing of smoother, more even stone.

Rubble stone walls, fireplaces, walkways, and other features can be made with an assortment of types of stone, and pieces in various shapes and sizes. Some builders will blend colors for a more varied look, and the stone can also be blended with pieces of cut and dressed stone for more visual variation. The rough nature of this type of stone can tend to hide some of the normal variations and natural beauty of the stone, giving rubble stone features a more subtle look which is suitable for a variety of settings.

One area in which rubble is tremendously useful is landscaping. The rough stone can be used to make stepping stones or walkways in the garden, along with low walls and dividers between different landscaping features. For people who are comfortable with do it yourself projects, working with rubble stone is quite easy; firms can also be hired to arrange and place the stones. Sometimes, it is possible to obtain scraps for free or at low cost from yards where stone is worked, although these scraps tend to be especially small and rough.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


@MsClean - Masonry stone work can be done by experienced stone masons or even landscapers depending on the requirements of the job and how skilled they are.

You should have a good idea of what you want the finished project to look like before contacting anyone. This will help both you and the masonry tradesman when determining the right person for the job.


I want a small round fire pit built in my back yard. Something small and cozy where friends and family can gather around when they come to visit.

My property sits on a lake so I have plenty of room for it but I don't have a clue how to build one myself, nor do I know anyone who does.

My question is who do you hire for this type of work and how skilled should they be?


My husband and I rented the most beautiful cabin I had ever seen up in the Smoky Mountains not long ago. It had natural stones mixed in with fine woodwork throughout the interior of the home.

In the living area was a free-standing floor to ceiling rubble stone fireplace surrounded by warm elegant furnishings. It was just gorgeous.

But the kitchen and dining area was my absolute favorite room in the house. One entire wall was crafted from thin layers of ledge stones that were strategically placed and framed with pine wood.

Additional layers of stones came out from the center forming the fireplace which was right in the dining area. It was absolutely stunning!

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