Cobblestones have grown in popularity over the years due to their inherent old world charm. There are many types of cobblestones, but true cobblestones are natural stones that are durable, quarried into small shapes, used as a paving material to add traction, and reduce mud and muck in roadways. Today’s cobblestones come in different shapes and sizes, available in many types of finishes. Using the right cobblestones with the right finish is also very important, not just for aesthetic pleasure. For example, porphyry cobblestones known to be very durable, will benefit from more traction on steep driveways because of their split finish surface than travertine cobblestones with a tumbled surface.
The most common surface finishes for cobblestones include bush-hammered, split-finish, sandblasted, tumbled and exfoliated. Each gives a distinctive look, accentuates specific characteristics and attributes of the mineral inclusions and creates a slip-resistant surface.
– Bush-hammered finishes are made using a high-impact hand or machine tool to create small pits distributed uniformly across the surface. The result is a highly slip-resistant surface suitable for a wide range of applications. Colour variations are highlighted, emphasising tonal contrast. However, patterning is dulled. Bush-hammered finishes are common on granite.
– Each type of stone fractures in a particular way because of the way the minerals are aligned within the stone and how the stone was formed. Natural split finishes display an uneven surface that splits along these fracture lines during the quarrying process. A split finish highlights the grain, texture and striations that occur naturally in the rock. Porphyry and slate often has a split finish.
– Sandblasted finishes use fine sand to abrade the stone’s surface, resulting in a slip-resistant, finely textured surface. Colours are muted, lighter and softened. Sandblasted finishes are common on Bluestone, limestone, and marble.
– Tumbled finishes is a popular finish that creates a smooth look with edges looking worn out, as if the stone has been used for centuries. The stones are placed in a vibrating drum with other stones, sand and abrasives, which creates the soft surface and irregular edges. Our limestone and travertine come in tumbled finishes. Tumbling can be combined with other surface treatments for a custom look, like some of our marble that come in sandblasted finish with tumbled edges.
– Exfoliated, also called flamed surfaces, use high heat to fracture and spall the mineral inclusions. The result is a roughened, non-slip surface. Colours are muted, which masks irregularity in pattern and reduces tonal contrast. Granite often has this surface finish.