There’s something undeniably attractive about the permanency of building with stone. The thick slabs hewn from the earth commonly used for patios have an air of the unshakable to them. Of course, while there’s nothing wrong with a sturdy wooden patio, you have to look after it or it’ll simply fall apart.
If you’re looking to make your mark on the world, natural stone patios are a choice that’ll long outlast you and be a wonder to your grandchildren. The generations that come after you may be able to enjoy the stone patio you built exactly as it stood the day you finished it.
If that sounds up your street, read on to find out more!
Natural Stone Patios
Firstly, not all stone patios are equal. Nowadays the majority of the stonework you’ll see used in a building isn’t real stone at all, but an amalgam of waste stone from the mining industry. These are often colored and shaped to look both natural and beautiful, but in the end, lack a certain something.
A slab of colored cement shaped to look and feel like the real thing becomes eerily skeuomorphic. We have an innate ability to appreciate the genuine while feeling a mild distaste towards the gilded or gaudy. This is a feeling you’ll know well from all kinds of poorly made simulacrums of the real thing which we’re forced to endure daily.
The feeling is one of half measures, of cutting corners. If you look at a fake stone and it shares a lot of the properties of the real thing, it’s hard, durable, and rough. Closer scrutiny may reveal the tell-tale signs of its industrial manufacturing process and once you see it, it’s all you can see.
Natural Stone vs Manufactured Stone
Sourcing natural patio stones aren’t as hard as you might first think, but the premium world-renowned types cost a pretty penny indeed. Caithness flagstone is a perfect example of the difference between artificial stone and natural stone.
A rock with an undeniable heritage. These flagstones are cut in sheets and blocks directly from the quarry and shipped all around the world. Its jet black appearance once polished makes it revered for some of the most beautiful natural countertops possible.
While stone is indisputably beautiful once polished to a gleam, a rough surface serves a purpose too. The natural beauty of a large slab of stone is in part due to its seeming agelessness, not in how well it’s been polished. The setting of irregularly shaped slabs speaks to the ingenuity of man and our love for naturally occurring materials.
Capturing an Ageless Beauty
We’re all reactionary creatures who navigate on sense and emotion. We can’t explain all the things we feel, or why, but for the most part, we can appreciate our emotions when we feel them.
There’s an intangible emotion that the solidity of natural stone seems to emanate. It’s this feeling that makes natural stone the first choice of anyone fortunate enough to afford it.
Our ancestors were possessed of the same appreciation we have even all these years later, waist-deep in modernity. It’s no wonder they saved the best and most venerable stones for the most important structures.
Many of these curious sites shrouded in the impermeable veil of history still stand today. It’s the material they were built with that allowed them not to be lost entirely.
They may have undergone some changes over time, being repurposed and abandoned, built upon, and changed as needs saw fit. Whatever their history, some jaw-dropping structures have stood the test of time long enough for us to wonder at them, and without exception are made of stone.
Natural Stone Patio Pavers
An appreciation for the types of natural stones for patios lifted from the earth rather than a mold is necessary to imagine how best to use them. Right angles and perfectly square constructions are possible with natural stone, but you’re fighting against their natural beauty. Irregular shapes look best when you work with them rather than against them.
Natural stone can be cut into any shape you like, of course. If you prefer cut natural stone over shaped fake stone from a factory, you’re far from alone. For the most part, naturally occurring stone is orders of magnitude harder wearing than manufactured stone, aged under the shifting pressure of a burgeoning planet.
Leaning into the natural and the irregular can spark creativity and imagination. Beauty is not all about symmetry, after all, nature is not symmetrical, and is the wellspring from which all ideas of beauty and appreciation originate. When picturing your patio, imagine the inclusion of rough edges and irregular surfaces and coloration as the focal point of your patio, rather than imperfections to be ground away or covered up.
A Foundation for Years To Come
The difference between faux and natural stone patios is night and day. At a glance, they may seem similar, but there’s no replacement for the real thing. If you’re going to go through all the work of building with stone slabs, you may as well labor knowing the outcome will be beautiful.
If you enjoyed this article and are interested in using natural stone around your home, why not have a look over some of the services we pride ourselves on delivering? When it comes to landscaping, we’ve got you covered!