Stepping stones make casual pathways across sod, garden borders or other areas of the yard. Adding a stepping stone pathway enhances your garden landscape by creating a visible path that stops children and visitors creating muddy tracks across grass or flower beds. Limestone and concrete pavers are common choices for stepping stones, both with their own attributes.
1. Composition Differences
Limestone is a natural, quarried rock that is cut and shaped into paving slabs. Concrete pavers are fabricated from a composite mix of water, cement and aggregate, with optional color tints. The resultant mixture is poured into shaped molds and left to dry and harden.
2. Shape Differences
You'll find concrete pavers available in a variety of different shapes, patterns and sizes. It's a durable paving choice that provides a wide range of design options. Shapes and sizes of limestone pavers are limited, although it's a "soft" rock and you can cut or shape it to fit your own design requirements.
3. Color and Texture Differences
Limestone slabs have an even color and fine texture. The variety of available colors is limited; it is usually possible to find limestone paving slabs only in shades of gray, cream or tan. Black limestone is available, and a fashionable choice, but it may fade after constant exposure to sunlight. Limestone is also susceptible to acid rain damage, causing pitting and wear -- a concern if you live in an area with high acid rainfall. Concrete pavers can be tinted in a variety of colors and finishes and may even be stained, stamped or designed to resemble natural stone or brick.
4. Cost Differences
When planning your stepping stone path you'll find that cost varies greatly between limestone and concrete pavers. You can expect to pay up to four times more for limestone than for concrete pavers. In addition supplies of limestone are limited in regions such as the California coast and the Pacific Northwest, so prices can vary according to location. However, concrete can be stained to resemble limestone.
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources: Missouri Limestone
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- Concrete Network: New Concrete Walkways and Sidewalks
- University of Illinois, Department of Materials, Science and Engineering: The Basic Mix, A Teacher's Guide for Concrete Preparation
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