Applications of Granite Rock
In last week’s article we went deep on the topic of what granite is and how it is formed.
This week let’s look at some examples of how residential and commercial properties use granite as a building material and as a beautification material.
Everyone knows granite slabs are used for counter tops, so we’re not even going to bother discussing that!
Ok, let’s get started.
Xeriscaping (landscaping rock, crushed rock)
‘Xeri’ comes from the Greek word ‘xero’ meaning, ‘dry’, which makes sense, because if you’ve ever seen xeriscaping you’ll notice that it is a type of landscape design that requires little if no irrigation, by using native plants and an abundance of crushed rock.
One of the ways you can make a property more ‘green’, is by removing sod & grass, and replacing them with crushed rock. And of course by ‘green’ we mean more environmentally friendly.
The simple fact that you don’t have to ‘water’ rocks, saves the property a fortune in water consumption, and also helps lessen the water supply burden.
And that is where crushed granite comes in. It is often used as a decorative rock for landscapes, swapping out mulch or grass, and replacing it with low-maintenance crushed granite rock.
Where will you find granite being used as a landscaping rock?
There is an innumerable number of potential applications for landscaping rock. In essence, anywhere there is a building that has grounds, there is an opportunity to use crushed granite rock as part of the landscape design.
Here are some locations:
- Commercial properties & grounds
- Golf courses
- Parking lots
Walkways, pathways, driveways
Interlocking pavers are another very common application for granite. The durability of granite rock is perfectly suited for patios, driveways, and wherever there is high traffic. While concrete is cheap and is strong, when it is poured in slabs it is prone to cracking, which can be a real headache to replace!
You need not look any further than the 2000 old roads in Rome for a testament on the durability of natural stones (like granite), to be used as a ground building material. If you want your hardscapes to last a lifetime then, put them in stone! (pun intended!)
Another decorative use of granite is in the form of retaining wall blocks. These can be from small residential sitting walls, to massive 15+ foot highway overpasses.
Precast concrete blocks are more than sufficient for retaining walls, but if you want to go all in, and have the strongest and longest lasting rock possible for your wall, then granite is your go-to.
Don’t let your walls crumble by using concrete when you can have them galvanized with granite.
Don’t underestimate the visual impact and value of a well-placed massive rock! A classic landscape design technique is to use large boulders as focal points, or to break up a one-dimensional un-interesting scene.
It’s worth noting that here at Kalamazoo, at your request we can drill into landscape boulders, creating a cut out, which then allows you to place landscape lighting in the recesses. This way you get the best of both worlds, an imposing natural boulder, and then cool light coming out of it, with no ugly plastic.
While not the sexiest of applications, detention basins are a vital part of our cities, and without them our storm water systems would be crippled, and our towns flooded!
Water flows into a detention basin inlet, and it hits crushed rock, which forces it to slow down. The water then gradually seeps into the ground.
A great variety of rocks can be used in detention basins, they need not be granites, but they must never be soft rocks such as sandstones, which will erode, and thus defeat the purpose of having rock to slow the flow of water.
Erosion control (Rip Rap)
You guessed it! Granite is also a great rock for rip rap.
There is some debate on the origin of this unusual sounding word, some say it is imitative of the sound of rocks smacking together. Regardless of that, rip rap is essentially a crushed rock in a size from 4 inches to 2 feet, which is used to shore areas that are vulnerable to erosion (like river banks, or slopes). Keep in mind that you need a very exact size of crushed rock depending on your slope angle, so as to prevent the rocks from rolling down the slope. We at Kalamazoo have got this nailed, and we can calculate the ideal size rock your slope needs.
As you’ve seen there is no shortage of usages for granite! And this list isn’t even close to exhaustive! There are many other uses from statues & monuments to building office building edifices.
If you want to learn more about Kalamazoo’s crushed rock capabilities, give us a call! We’d love to get in touch and answer any of your questions: 520.575.9601