When designing your outdoor living space, it's important to select the right hardscaping materials to achieve your vision. Two popular options for landscaping stones are patio stones and stepping stones. Though they may seem similar at first glance, there are some distinct differences between these two types of natural stone pavers that impact how they can be incorporated into your yard.
In this blog post, we'll explore what sets patio stones and stepping stones apart. As long as you understand the unique characteristics of size, shape, and texture, you’ll be equipped to choose the best natural stones for your needs. Whether you're building a new patio, creating a garden path, or upgrading your landscape, read on to learn more about selecting patio stones vs. stepping stones to complete your project.
Stepping stones are slabs made of natural stone like granite, slate, or limestone that can be used to create paths and patios in outdoor spaces. Arranging stepping stones in winding patterns allows you to add visual interest and texture to gardens, lawns, or other landscaped areas around your home. The natural colors and varied shapes of the stones complement plants and greenery. Stepping stone paths are an attractive, durable walking surface for outdoor areas.
Stepping stones are versatile in design and offer numerous benefits for landscaping and gardens.
Stepping stones made from natural stone provide a practical, low-maintenance walking surface for outdoor spaces. For example, arranging stones in winding paths through your yard allows you to traverse gardens and lawns without causing damage to your plants.
Stepping stones offer endless possibilities for creative landscape design. You can arrange them in meandering paths, spirals, or geometric patterns to add visual flair to your outdoor space. Feel free to mix stones of different shapes, sizes, and colors to create a one-of-a-kind walking surface that reflects your personal style. Stepping stones are the perfect versatile solution for upgrading lawn aesthetics without breaking the budget.
Stepping stones provide an easy upgrade to garden paths and yards. Installing stepping stones is a simple DIY project that doesn't require excavation or concrete work. Just place the stones in your desired pattern and they're ready for use! Stepping stones are the perfect solution for enhancing your landscape's appearance while avoiding complex construction projects. Let your creativity shine by arranging stones in fun patterns throughout your garden.
Stepping stones provide an anti-skid walking surface so they're ideal for outdoor walkways. Their textured natural stone material gives steady footing, even when wet. A stepping-stone path creates a safe route across your yard or garden for all ages. The stones can be placed close together or farther apart depending on your preferences. Stepping stone walkways add charm while preventing slips and falls in outdoor areas around your home.
Stepping stones that are made of natural stone are highly weather and waterproof. Unlike materials like wood that rot, the mineral composition of stones protects them against water damage. This means that rain and snow won't negatively affect your stepping stone path or cause safety issues. The stones won't warp or degrade from exposure to the elements. Stepping stones create a long-lasting walkway that withstands all types of weather.
Stepping stones come in a variety of natural stone types that offer durable options for pathways.
Slate is an ideal natural stone material for laying garden stepping stones. Its layered foliation and muted colors create visual interest underfoot. Slate is weather-resistant and provides reliable traction from its naturally non-slip texture. Slate stepping stones can guide the way through garden beds, patios, or pathways. They add durable charm and allow plants to grow up between them for a cohesive landscape.
Flagstone is a smart choice for a natural stone stepping stone project. It has a flat shape and is perfect for laying an eco-friendly path across the ground. Flagstone comes in many earthy colors to complement any landscape. This sedimentary rock layers nicely when setting multiple stones. Durable flagstone stepping stones offer a safe, reliable tread underfoot for moving through gardens and patios.
Fieldstone makes for an attractive natural stepping stone walkway in the garden. These uncut, irregularly shaped stones have an organic, rustic look when laid into the ground. Fieldstone comes from glacial deposits and comes in many colors and textures. This diversity provides visual interest underfoot. Fieldstone is one of the most readily available and affordable stepping-stone materials for DIY landscaping projects.
Create a unique walkway and highlight the natural charm of your outdoor area with custom stepping stones made from granite, slate, limestone, and other earthy materials. Contact us today to have durable, handcrafted stones made just for your garden.
Patio stones, also called stone patio pavers, are solid patio materials made from natural stone, concrete, or brick. Installing a patio with stone pavers creates an attractive, durable outdoor living space. Patio stones come in many shapes, colors, textures, and patterns, so it's easy for you to add character and visual interest to your outdoor area. Arranging the patio stones in creative designs results in a customized patio perfect for relaxing, dining, or entertaining. Patio stones stand up well to heavy foot traffic and the elements.
There are many benefits of patio paver stones; they're an attractive, durable, and low-maintenance solution for upgrading outdoor living spaces. Benefits include aesthetic appeal, longevity, and eco-friendliness. Let's explore these more in-depth below.
Patio stones made of natural stone or concrete pavers have excellent compressive strength. In other words, they're very durable for outdoor patio use, as they can withstand heavy foot traffic without cracking. Stone patio pavers don't dent or compress as other patio materials can. They have a sturdy construction that provides a stable surface for patio furniture.
Patio stones are versatile for enhancing outdoor space. Natural stone pavers can be used to create patios, walkways, pool decks, courtyards, and around water features. Their durability makes them ideal for driveways and high-traffic areas too. The wide range of colors, shapes, textures, and patterns of patio stones enable you to use them for multiple purposes and tailor your landscape design.
Patio stones made from natural stone provide a hard-wearing base for outdoor spaces. They have a dense mineral composition that makes them an extremely durable hardscape material. Unlike materials like wood that can rot, properly installed paver stone flooring will last for decades with minimal maintenance. Rest assured that patio stones stand up well to heavy foot traffic, furniture, and weather due to their hard stone construction.
In addition to functionality, patio stones offer visual appeal for outdoor spaces. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to find the right mix for your aesthetic. The tones and textures of stone pavers create an attractive, high-end look that elevates any landscape. Whether you want a rustic or contemporary vibe, patio stones can complement the surrounding hardscape and plantings. Their versatility enables appealing designs for various purposes.
Another plus is that patio stones made of natural stone are an eco-friendly hardscape choice. Stone is one of the most common materials on Earth, so it's inherently sustainable. Installing patio stones avoids the use of concrete, which has a higher carbon footprint. Their solid form also works as a weed barrier. Overall, stone pavers are an environmental win for your backyard renovation or new build project.
Patio pavers come in a range of natural stone types that are beautiful, durable, and versatile.
A popular choice for natural stone patio pavers is sandstone. It has earthy beiges and browns that can unify your entire garden landscape design, unlike concrete or cement. Sandstone also has good slip resistance which means it's ideal for patios, walkways, and pool surrounds. This sedimentary stone stands up well to weather and foot traffic. Sandstone pavers bring warmth and texture to outdoor living spaces in an eco-friendly way.
Limestone is commonly used for natural stone patio pavers. Its neutral tones can complement an entire garden landscape. Compared to other solid patio materials, limestone offers more surface traction, especially important around pools. This sedimentary rock withstands weather well and blends with plantings. Limestone pavers create an elegant yet relaxed look for outdoor living spaces when installed in patios, walkways, or courtyards.
Slate is an ideal natural stone for patio pavers. It has inherent foliation that gives it a striking, layered appearance. Slate comes in muted shades of grey, purple, green, and blue that can match diverse landscapes. This metamorphic stone stands up well to weather and foot traffic and slate pavers add sophisticated texture underfoot. As a bonus, it provides a naturally slip-resistant surface around patios and pools.
Another option to consider is travertine. Travertine is a unique natural stone used for patio paving. It forms from mineral springs, creating an organic texture filled with small pits and holes. These cavities make travertine lightly porous yet still durable outdoors. The earthy beige and brown shades blend well with natural plantings. Travertine pavers offer a sense of movement and visual interest to patios, walkways, and pool surrounds with their distinctive look.
Transform your outdoor space with a natural stone patio installed by seasoned professionals. Choose from bluestone, slate, travertine, and more to create a patio that's durable and beautiful. Contact us at Stone Center today for a free consultation on how to turn your vision into reality with custom natural stone pavers.
While patio stones and stepping stones are both used in hardscape features, they serve different purposes and have distinct qualities that make them ideal for certain applications.
Patio stones and stepping stones serve different hardscaping needs. Typically, patio stones are used for high-traffic outdoor living spaces like patios, walkways, pool decks, and driveways. They have a smooth, even surface that allows for furniture, foot traffic, and accessibility.
Stepping stones create a path through lower-traffic areas like gardens, side yards, or lawns. They're spaced apart to allow plants to grow between them. Stepping stones don't provide the same smooth, solid surface but rather act as individual placeholders along a walking route. When deciding between the two stones, consider traffic flow and placement.
When it comes to hardscaping materials, patio stones are usually more expensive than stepping stones on a square footage basis. Patio stones are designed for broader areas like patios, walkways, and driveways. They require excavation, a gravel base, leveling, and cutting for a professional installation.
Stepping stones have a simpler installation for smaller spaces like gardens or side paths. They just need a shallow hole dug and dirt tamped around each stone. The irregular shape of natural stepping stones also avoids cutting costs. Overall, stepping stones are a more affordable option for small-scale projects.
Durability is another important consideration. Patio stones tend to outperform stepping stones in the long run. Patio stones are installed tightly together, which distributes weight and impact across the paved surface. This can help minimize cracking or shifting over years of use.
Stepping stones bear weight individually as singular objects. This makes them more prone to gradual sinking or deterioration from weather exposure on all sides.
However, both patio stones and stepping stones made from enduring natural stone materials like granite, bluestone, or limestone can last for decades with proper installation and maintenance.
Patio stones and stepping stones each create distinct visual effects outside. The uniform pattern and smooth expanse of patio stones look formal and refined, working well for contemporary designs.
Stepping stones have a more organic, free-flowing look as individual objects spaced apart in the landscape. The gaps between them allow greenery to soften the hardscape. Stepping stones made from diverse natural stones like slate, sandstone, or fieldstone produce an eclectic, rustic aesthetic.
Whether you prefer a tidy, seamless paved surface or a whimsical garden path, patio stones, and stepping stones create contrasting visual styles.
Whether you're looking to pave an outdoor living area or meander through your garden, understanding the distinctions between patio stones and stepping stones is key for your hardscaping project. Consider the costs, durability, purpose, and aesthetics to decide which option best fits your landscape vision and lifestyle needs.
For expert guidance in selecting the perfect natural stone pavers or stepping stones for your property, visit one of Stone Center's conveniently located showrooms in Columbus and Cincinnati. Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the right materials to achieve your ideal finished look. Contact or visit Stone Center today to get started designing your new outdoor oasis.
Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.