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10 Stones to Use in Your Hardscape


6
Granite
Although you're likely to find granite in many kitchens, people also use it for hardscaping.
Although you're likely to find granite in many kitchens, people also use it for hardscaping.
Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

Popular for indoor kitchen countertops, granite is now also being used in outdoor kitchens as well. Granite is an igneous rock, meaning that it comes from magma deep within the earth that was slowly cooled to create rock [source: Harding, Symes and Taylor]. Granite has large, course crystals of quartz, feldspars and mica [sources: Bradley-Hole, Harding, Symes and Taylor]. Granite's different minerals can give it a speckled look ranging from an almost black to a cream [source: Harding, Symes and Taylor].

Granite is a good choice for outdoor areas, because it's hard and nonporous [source: Bradley-Hole]. "It will stand up better than virtually any other material you can think of," says Larry First, president of Lang Stone Company.

For granite countertops, you might want to think about two different surface applications as opposed to the high polish usually done in indoor kitchens. A leathered finish gives a more matte look and can blend more into the natural setting, while a brushed finish can give the top a rougher surface [source: First].

Granite's other applications outdoors include flooring as well as accent boulders and occasionally even gravel [sources: First, Geo. Schofield Co. Inc., Walls, Walks & Patios].


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