Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stone Walls


Stone has been used as a primary material in the construction of buildings, barricades and fortifications for a long time, and can therefore be seen in a variety of civic structures that we have around us – with some of them even dating back to ancient civilizations.
More recently however, stone has also found new applications within construction works. While it still serves the traditional purpose of providing strength to the structure as well as protecting the interiors from unwanted elements – both natural and otherwise, it is now also used in landscaping of living spaces, as well as in flooring and walls.
Examples of Stone Walls
A wide variety of stone walls can be constructed, primarily differing by the stone material, its finish or the intended purpose it serves, as also the type of construction.
Stone Walls by Material Type
Large stone walls are masonry constructions usually made of locally available (though not always!) stones such as flint, granite, sandstone, limestone or marble, etc. The primary purpose of using stone in the construction of walls with such hard and non-absorbing material is to prevent weathering and erosion or to provide strength and stability to the structure.
Stone Walls by Construction Type
Block stone walls are free-standing and are generally exterior facing. Such walls will typically have both seam and split faces. To further give it a unique and individualized personality, it can also be used with a combination of various naturally occurring stone products.
Alternatively, uniformly rising stone walls are constructed with a lesser height variation, run for shorter lengths and are in general smaller and easier to construct and maintain.
On the other hand, a thin stone wall is generally 1 to 3 inches in thickness (and is definitely less deep than the heavier stone walls discussed above). Such thin stone walls are increasingly becoming common, given the recent trend of using stones to provide an aesthetic appeal to construction or in landscaping.
Smaller stone walls may also be constructed as garden bed edgings. The intended use of this product is to provide a curbing for bordering driveways and walkways, in lawns and gardens, and to give a clean-cut and well-defined look. It may also be used to encircle trees and to prevent soil erosion.
Stone Walls by Finish
Stone walls can also be typically named after their shape and finish. Based on this definition, there can be three principal categorizations – rubble walls, squared rubble walls, and ashlar stone walls (or walls made of large dressed cubical blocks of stones), although each of these can have further several sub-classifications based on certain subtle differences. The imperviousness and strength of these rubble walls will vary based on the quality of mortar used to bind them.

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