After spending the last several articles discussing Flagstone; what makes for the highest quality, what types we carry and which we think are the best in our area that we carry, we now move on to the other main sizable rock used in stone landscaping projects: Fieldstone.
Although most of you are able to differentiate Fieldstone from Flagstone, many do not know the definition of what Fieldstone is. Put simply, Fieldstone is a “naturally occurring” stone that is found sitting on or just below the surface of the earth. By contrast, Flagstone is a flat stone that is usually mined from sandstone quarries (from beneath the ground or the side of a mountain).
Historically speaking that meant the price of Fieldstone was cheaper than Flagstone because no mining process was involved. More recently, the price gap between the two has tightened since some Fieldstone inventory, like the Tennessee Ashlar varieties that we currently carry here at Stone Distributors, take more work to find and haul out from the more remote areas where it is found. There are still plenty of varieties of the Tennessee Stack Fieldstone that come right from the fields and river beds, as do many of our boulders and steppers.
There are four main types of Fieldstone that come from Tennessee that we carry here: Stack Stone, Regular Fieldstone, Ashlar Cut, and Boulders.
The first type of Fieldstone from Tennessee that we carry is the previously mentioned Stack Fieldstone. The Stack Fieldstone tends to be used in stone walls, giving you a “stacked stone” look, as seen in this picture. The varieties of Stack Fieldstone include Thin Stack, Medium Stack, Thick Stack, Long Stack, and Broken Ends. Broken ends are the pieces left over when the break the ashlar. They are a nice piece to add to a stack stone wall. You can contrast the natural face of the stack stone by using the inside face or broken face of the ends to give a nice look to your wall.
The second type is our regular fieldstone, that comes in Thin, Medium, Thin Cap and Medium Cap varieties. This stone is just the natural pieces that can range from small dinner plate size to larger. The larger pieces are usually used for cap stone. This stone is usually set in a “veneer” look, not stack. Let’s talk about the word veneer for a second. In this industry it has two meanings and gets confusing. The first meaning is when it is used as how the stone is laid. That would be almost like a patio look on a wall. Therefore, you would have the stone in irregular shapes and sizes just laid on the wall, so it doesn’t look like a stack stone wall. The second use of the term refers to a man-made concrete product that looks like natural stone. This product tends to be put on homes up to a certain price. It can be a more expensive product but the labor to install is significantly lower. Because, the mason does not have to pitch and chip the stone to make it fit.
The third type is called Ashlar. That is when they take the natural product and break it into random squares and rectangles. It gives the stone more of a formal look. One thing I highly recommend, is if you are interested in the Ashlar look, and you want a wall or home with no mortar joints, you should lean towards the Flagstone Ashlar. Flagstone Ashlar has much more cleaner breaks and it is easier for the installer to line up the edges. The fieldstone will not be as smooth and the installer will still need to pitch and chip all the stone to make it but up evenly.
And our fourth main type of Fieldstone are the Boulders and Steppers. We have Landscape Boulders, Garden Boulders, River Boulders, Finger Boulders, Steppers, and Ledge Stones. Pretty much any type of Fieldstone you need for your landscaping or stone projects this spring and summer.
Here are a couple of important pieces of information for you to keep in mind as you are looking into Fieldstone:
- Fieldstone is not smooth like Flagstone: Therefore, you would not use it in a patio, walkway or on steps (although they do make a for a beautiful staircase looks wise) if it is going to be walked on with any regularity, or you are going to have parties. The one exception is an English garden walkway look. Therefore, Fieldstone is mostly used for walls, in garden beds and for water features. You can do steps and pathways, but more for aesthetic purposes.
- Color: This should not be anywhere near the top of your list for choosing this stone. Fieldstone is basically what you get. The color range is anywhere from grays, earth tones, and in some cases lilacs and reds.
If any of this has you confused, or you are just looking for the right stones and landscaping materials to make your vision of the optimal stone project come to life, then come on in and talk with our experts here onsite. We are happy to share with you how to find the best choices of Fieldstone for your rock wall, garden, water feature, or any other stone or landscaping project.
In the follow up article we will get more into the different sizes, and why it is becoming harder and harder to find thinner varieties of Fieldstone.
Contact us at (678) 354-0566 or by visiting us online at https://www.stonedist.com or on our Stone Distributors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stonedist/. We are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed on Sundays.