What Are the Major Types of Stone Used in Wall Construction Around Asheville?

Natural stone is the number one choice for architects, designers, landscapers, and builders in the Asheville area. Using natural stone is a way to convey strength, beauty, and distinctiveness, while constructing functional and practical walls. It offers widely ranging variations in texture, pattern, color, and sizes that can be used to create unique visual impacts. Natural stone and how it is put together for building walls, retaining walls, and other structures, can truly be seen as beautiful works of art. Not only is it beautiful, varied, and practical, it’s the most eco-friendly design choice.

Most of the natural stone that is local to the Asheville and Western North Carolina areas is one of the following: granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, or slate. These types of stone are either fieldstone or quarried stone.

What’s the Difference Between Quarried Stone and Fieldstone?

The basic difference between quarried stone and fieldstone is where it is found. Quarried stone is found beneath the ground and fieldstone is found on top of the ground or very near the surface (either in the topsoil or subsoil). Physically, the difference is seen in the color and texture of each.

In practice, the term “fieldstone” typically refers to any stone that is used in its natural shape for building, often for exterior walls and garden features.

Types of Stone Used for Building Walls

Fieldstone is the most common type of stone used for constructing natural stone walls, though it’s not unusual for walls to consist of quarried stone as well. Stone for building is usually sorted into different categories based on the size and shape of the stone. The following are some of the categories of stones used for walls and their most common uses:

  • Wall stone – Wall stone usually refers to a flat stone that ranges between one and eight inches thick. It can be either fieldstone or quarried stone and it comes in various colors and thicknesses. The horizontal surfaces of wall stone are fairly flat and good for stacking. It’s often used for dry stacked walls, retaining walls, garden walls, and exterior house walls.
  • Thin stone – Thin stone is typically a flat stone that is ¾” to 1 ¾” in thickness. It also can be quarried or fieldstone, and varies in face size, color, and thickness. Thin stone is ideal for dry stacked walls, garden walls, and some interior fixtures like veneer on fireplaces.
  • Building stone – Building stone, like wall and thin stone, can be either fieldstone or quarried stone. They vary in size from four to eight inches in thickness and can be found in various colors. Building stone is most commonly used for dry stacked walls, exterior house walls, and retaining walls.
  • Natural thin veneer stone – Thin veneer stone is different than the above stone. It is real stone that is used to create a mortared stone wall in which it is adhered to a structural base. Veneer stone is most commonly used on the exterior walls of homes but can also be used on interior structures like fireplaces, backsplashes, and other interior fixtures. Typically, veneer stone ranges from one to four inches in thickness.
  • Edging and caps – Edging and cap stones are used to put the finishing touches on various stonework projects including retaining walls, garden walls, and other hardscape pieces. They can be used in various ways and come in all different shapes and sizes.

Final Thoughts on Natural Stone Walls

If you are thinking about having a natural stone wall constructed on your property, you now know what some of the most common types of stone that are available to you. Of course, there are other types of stone, in various shapes, sizes, colors, and textures that you can find in the Asheville area.

If there is a specific natural stone, or something that you have seen and love, that isn’t mentioned above, let the experts at Ambrose Landscapes know. We will do our best to find what you are looking for or match it to the best of our ability. It’s our desire to design and install the walls that you envision to enhance the natural beauty of your yard or property.