the Most Ancient Paving Method
Local stone is generally preferred for paving applications so we see cobblestones made of granite, porphyry, basalt, sandstone, and limestone depending on regional availability. The most durable of these stone types are igneous—the basalts, granites, and porphyry, but hard limestones and sandstones are also common.
Properly maintained cobblestone roadways can last centuries. When these old roads are upgraded to modern construction standards, their cobblestones can be reclaimed for use in modern applications. These weathered and worn cobbles have great aesthetic characteristics highlighted by worn surfaces, weathered patinas, and unique colors and shapes. Some also come with great pedigrees, having been harvested from well-known ancient roadways.
Reclaimed cobblestones are now used extensively as paving stone for driveways, driveway aprons, walkways, decorative borders, edging, and accent stones. Where environmental factors are a consideration permeable installations can also be achieved using reclaimed cobblestones compounding the benefits of this sustainable product. Cobblestones are also strong enough to be used as building stone or veneer although these are less common applications.
Finding the right natural stone for your project has never been this easy.
Basalt is another igneous stone (like granite and porphyry) used for paving. It’s generally gray to black in color, although there are some gray-green examples. Some basalt also contains voids, or holes, that formed during the lava’s cooling process. The basalts used for cobblestones are generally those without voids, although there are exceptions.
Black basalt cobbles are used extensively as the local cobblestone in the Azores, where they are combined with white limestone cobbles to create unique designs and borders. Basalt makes beautiful cobblestones that are very durable and desirable where dark stone is specified.