12 Jun Outdoor uses for Granite
Granite has been used as a building material outdoors for hundreds of years due to its availability, hardiness and character.
Some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks use it in their build. For instance, Truru Cathedral is built from St Stephen’s granite. London Bridge’s exterior is built from Cornish granite. Bell Rock Lighthouse is built from Aberdeen granite. And, let’s not forget Nelson’s Column, which is built and carved from granite.
Suffice to say, granite is an immensely popular building material wherever a structure is expected to stay a very, very long time. This makes it a durable choice for your home and garden. No other natural stone is as hardy and tough. Granite has a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Marble rates in at between 3 and 5. A huge difference.
Using granite outdoors
If granite is a suitable building material for immense structures, you can rest assured it’s suitable for use in your garden.
Often, granite offcuts are used outdoors to build structures. However, this need not be the case. You can buy granite for outdoor use. If you are an experienced DIYer, you can cut it yourself. You’ll need a good saw and a masonry diamond blade to get the job done. Cutting it wet is the best way to reduce the risk of chipping and breaking.
Here’s some interesting uses for granite outdoors:
Granite is an excellent material choice for patios. Rough and matted granites work best here, because they hide dirt. You can replace your existing brick, paved or concrete patio with granite to create a classier outdoor space.
- Table tops
If you have a very sturdy table base, a granite table top is a fantastic way to create a luxurious outdoor eating area. You can build the base yourself using metal or wood and buy in the granite pre-fabricated by ourselves.
Longer granite slabs are perfect for benches. Granite is an exceptionally tough material so can take the weight. Just remember to properly support the granite. The granite should be supported at either side and in the middle.
- Bird baths
Granite slabs can be hollowed out to create a beautiful bird path. A square slab, such as an offcut, is perfect for this. You’ll need a thick slab, so the bath isn’t too shallow. You can polish the bird bath or rough it up to your taste.
- Pond fountains
If you have a pond, granite fountains are available to spruce it up. Alternatively, you can make a fountain yourself as a DIY project. Since it’ll have quite a few parts, make sure you use a proper masonry glue or resin to bring them together.
- Garden edging
Granite is an extremely popular material for garden edging. You’d buy the edging as cut rocks or as a slab and cut them yourself. Because granite is a natural stone, it’s perfect for use as edging and will stand the test of time.
- Stepping stones
Stepping stones are used as a crossing in gardens. Most are made from concrete. A classier and more durable choice is granite. Granite stepping stones are available in an unlimited range of shapes. You can also make them yourself at home.
- Gate and house signs
If you have a gate with an iron plaque, granite is an upgrade. Granite can be drilled so can be affixed to a gate whether it’s wood or metal. You can paint your house number on the sign or carve it out using a chisel. Do this by hand for a rustic look.
Is granite a good material for use outdoors?
Granite is an igneous rock that’s been mined for centuries. It’s used in construction around the world due to its hardiness and durability. It is an excellent choice for use outdoors because it doesn’t weather over time (well, it does, but so slowly it isn’t noticeable). That’s why granite gravestones still look new after a hundred years. Sometimes more.
Granite can also be sealed to make it non-porous. This makes the surface impenetrable – perfect if you’ll be using it as a table top. For all other applications, you’d leave the granite as is, to allow organic matter to grow into it and create a new layer of character. After some time, the granite will take on a whole new look.
If you do go it alone and cut granite yourself, always wear goggles and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself. Flying debris is extremely dangerous.