Rustic Granite Stabilized Pathway - Downtown East Commons - U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN

A Short Guide to What You Need to Know about Decomposed Granite

While decomposed granite (DG) might not be on your radar, it’s a common material you come across in your garden, in a park, or on a pathway or walking trail through your community. It crunches under your feet at the baseball field. It can can be compacted to create a beautiful, natural surface while remaining firm and permeable, and stabilizing additives can be added to further enhance these valuable qualities. It’s in more places than you think, but after checking out this guide, you might have a few ideas of your own for the broad variety of uses and aesthetics decomposed granite brings to the table.

What is decomposed granite?

Granite is the most common igneous rock (rocks forming through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava) on Earth. In the case of granite, it originally crystallizes below Earth’s surface where its slow cooling allows large crystals to form. You may have seen granite take shape as some of America’s favorite sights like Yosemite Valley or a few guys on Mount Rushmore.

Decomposed granite is the completely natural derivative of granite. When granite erodes and endures weathering over time, it easily starts flaking and crumbling away from its parent source. This decomposed granite crumbles into various sizes of particles and can be further crushed and screened to specific sizes for different project needs. Granite weathers into decomposed granite in part because one of its components, feldspar, chemically weathers into a clay mineral called kaolin, which, when exposed to more water, further deteriorates.

Where can you find decomposed granite?

Crushed decomposed granite is produced by more than 100 quarries throughout all regions around the United States. Because of the varying levels of chemical composition around the U.S. and Canada, quarries in different regions will produce DG of different colors. In Kafka Granite’s home turf, vibrant reds, browns, and golds are most prominent. Other regions may be known for their tans or greys. Because of the demand for DG in a variety of colors, Kafka Granite also crushes natural stone to mimic the qualities of decomposed granite, and therefore Kafka Granite is able to offer more than 50 different colors—a rare offering by most suppliers. Our natural decomposed granite and crushed stone alternatives are crushed and screened to size and can be used interchangeably for decorative and practical applications.

What is decomposed granite used for?

Many would assume that granite and all of its derivatives are primarily used for countertops and architecture, but you may be surprised to hear that once granite has been transformed into decomposed granite it’s applications take on a multitude of uses. Despite its name, decomposed granite is still very strong. In fact, DG is harder than marble and the unique composition allows it to compact firmly for patios, ballparks, driveways, pathways and landscapes, or more high-traffic applications such as roads, while yet maintaining drainage characteristics not found in most other hardscape surfaces.

Caramel Quartzite Stabilized Pathway - Grande Cheese Headquarters & Research Center - Fond du Lac, WI

Caramel Quartzite Stabilized Pathway – Grande Cheese Headquarters & Research Center – Fond du Lac, WI

Kafka Granite is an industry leader in DG and offers both standard, stabilized, and polymeric wax decomposed granite mixtures. These innovative mixtures are comprised of various colors of granite, quartz, marble and in some cases, recycled materials such as porcelain, kiln slag, copper slag, firebrick, and more. Thanks to the care we give in creating attainable eco-friendly products, Kafka Granite has been able to assist many designers and architects receive LEED and SITES Certifications. Decomposed granite is a versatile and robust material that can be used in everything from the trails and Erin Hills Golf Course to the Downtown East Commons at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

How can you stabilize granite aggregate?

Sometimes standard DG just isn’t right for your project. You may need more stability and durability. Your pathway might need to be able to withstand heavier traffic, or your ballyard may need the moisture-retaining properties of an organic binder to minimize dust and mud. Kafka offers several crushed granite mixes that have been engineered to support high traffic areas, such as our stabilized and wax polymer pathway mixtures.

Whatever the reason, crushed granite can be stabilized with natural binders such as Organic-Lock and Stabilizer Solutions. These binders help create a durable surface that resists the erosive powers of weather or heavy traffic—all while maintaining the natural aesthetic you may have been going for in the first place. This means stabilized decomposed granite is an excellent alternative to obtrusive or less-natural looking asphalt or concrete pathways, driveways, etc, while still remaining permeable.

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway – Erin Hills Golf Course – Hartford, WI – Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

For the highest level of erosion resistance and durability, the Kafka Granite wax polymer pathway mixtures is an optimal solution. This hearty mixture can withstand intense erosion and be laid on the steepest of hills, due to its completely sealed, impermeable surface. However, this surface yet retains a natural aesthetic and can be easily maintained and manicured overtime, unlike traditional hardscape materials.

Where can you buy decomposed granite?

Decomposed granite can be purchased in a variety of ways. Depending on the size and scale of your project, we’ll be able to assist you with finding your ideal decomposed granite mixture. It is usually easier for smaller-scaled operations to source our aggregate mixtures from a member of our expansive dealer network. With dealers spread out all over the Midwest, finding a Kafka Granite near your next project is easy.

When it comes to large-scale projects, we most commonly assist contractors, architects, and designers by providing direct quotes for their architecturally specified projects. With a versatile portfolio comprising standard, stabilized, and wax polymer pathway mixes, we can help any project find its ideal pathway mixture.

When you get in touch directly with Kafka, you’ll be able to speak with one of our crushed granite pros who can help you determine exactly what you need for your specific project. You can also receive samples and ask questions before making a final decision.

Caramel Quartzite Stabilized Pathway - Grande Cheese Headquarters & Research Center - Fond du Lac, WI

How Much Aggregate Do I Need for My Pathway?

When starting any new pathway project, one of the first steps when assessing your construction needs is calculating how much decomposed granite aggregate you will need to complete your project. As a landscape architect or contractor, knowing exactly how much to specify or order is somewhat of an art. If you order far too much aggregate surplus, you could have just wasted part of your budget that could’ve been put elsewhere. Estimate too little, and you’ll endure the burden and costs of shipping what little amount of material you need to complete the pathway, on top of delays on the jobsite.

With our experienced team members and innovative online tools, Kafka Granite is here to help you through the entire ordering process. Our experts can help you determine how much decomposed granite you’ll need in tons depending on the purpose of your pathway, or you can utilize our easy-to-use coverage calculator to help you find an accurate estimate according to your measurements.

Factors to Consider When Planning A Pathway

Pathway Cross Section

Standard & Stabilized Pathway                                       Cross-Section Diagram

When planning for a pathway project, there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration. Whether it’s color or permeability, decomposed granite aggregate pathways have quite a few variables that need to be figured out before investing in the material.

How Deep Should Your Pathway Be?

This is one of the main determinants for how much material you should use. Measurements you need to know before ordering pathway materials include the path’s length, width, and depth. While you may already know its projected length and width, which will help you determine its area in square feet, do you know how deep your pathway should be? Kafka recommends going no shallower  2″ compacted for wax polymer pedestrian pathways and 3″ compacted for standard or stabilized pedestrian pathways.

2” Deep: A 2-inch depth is only suitable for a pedestrian-traffic pathway using wax polymer pathway mix. It is not recommended to intall any standard or stabilized pathway at a 2-inch depth.

3” Deep: A 3-inch depth is necessary to create a standard or stabilized pathway suitable for pedestrian traffic. A 3-inch depth is also required to withstand vehicular traffic using wax polymer pathway mix.

4” Deep: A 4-inch depth should be used for standard or stabilized pathways that will sustain heavier traffic weight. If vehicles will use your standard or stabilized pathway, plan for this depth.

Kafka Granite most commonly sells decomposed granite aggregate by the ton. This calculator will help you determine how many tons of DG is right for your project. Simply input the square footage of your crushed stone path and discover an estimate for how much you need based on the pathway’s depth.

The most cost effective way to order pathway material is in bulk truckload quantities. If ordering in bulk doesn’t work for you, we can also ship the product in 3000-lb. supersacks. For any of our pathway color or mix options, the DG is crushed and screened to a 1/4” minus size, which always allows for a firm surface that compacts well. Each pathway material including standard, stabilized, and wax polymer mixes utilize their own sizing specifications. Architectural specifications can be found below:

Three Pathway Mixes to Choose From

In addition to the depth of your pathway, you should consider what mix of aggregate your project would benefit from the most. Kafka offers three DG pathway mix options: standard, stabilized, or wax polymer.

Platinum Granite Standard Pathway Material - Metropolitan Correctional Center - Chicago, IL

Platinum Granite Standard Pathway Material – Metropolitan Correctional Center – Chicago, IL

Standard Pathway Mix: Durable, beautiful, natural and environmentally friendly—it’s hard to beat the value of standard DG pathway mix. With a specific size of ¼” minus with fines, our standard mix is the ideal size for perfect compaction while still allowing water to permeate and recharge the earth below. Choose this option if your pathway will be serving as a low-traffic walkway, nature path or rustic garden trail.





Rustic Granite Stabilized Pathway - Downtown East Commons - U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN

Rustic Granite Stabilized Pathway – Downtown East Commons – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN

Stabilized Pathway Mix: The core of our stabilized pathway mix is a similar mix design as the aforementioned standard mix, but a stabilizing binder is preblended to the DG. We have different stabilizers available depending on factors such as your pathway’s climate, slope, use, etc. Stabilized pathway mix is more durable than standard mix as it resists the erosive effects of weather and traffic better—all while retaining its environmentally friendly permeability.





Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway – Erin Hills Golf Course – Hartford, WI – Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Wax Polymer Pathway Mix: The toughest of pathway mixes, wax polymer pathway mix combines crushed stone with engineered polymers. Wax polymer pathways require no water during installation. When looking for a dustless, sealed, non-permeable pathway material that looks far more natural than asphalt or concrete, this wax polymer pathway mix may be just what you’re looking for. Consider this option if your pathway is going to be in a particularly well-traveled area since it simply doesn’t get muddy—no matter the rainfall. Wax polymer is incredibly strong and durable, meaning it can stand up to the heaviest foot traffic.




What Color Works with Your Design

Lastly, consider the color of crushed stone that would go best with the pathway’s surroundings. Kafka offers nearly 50 colors of crushed stone and recycled materials, so you aren’t restricted to only a few common colors. Make your pathway pop or blend in; modern or rustic. The choice is up to you.

Find Out What You Need to Get the Job Done

Your project is important, so making sure every checkpoint along the way goes as planned, including ordering the right amount of material, is crucial. By simply plugging in the square footage of your pathway, you’ll be able to create an estimate for how much material to order using our calculator above. This crushed stone pathway coverage calculator can help you determine your budget and overall needs. Assess what type of traffic your pathway will endure, determine what pathway mix will work best for your project, pick just the right color and there you have it—the perfect decomposed granite pathway mix for your project. Contact us today and let’s start building.

Glitter Series Raw Stone

Kafka Granite Acquires A New Quarry

Kafka Granite has grown mightily since its inception in 1979. What started as a one-man operation run by Glenn Kafka has turned into one of the top decorative aggregate providers in the country. Through sweat, hard work, and a couple of tears, Kafka Granite has transitioned from a one-man decomposed granite operation to the most diversified aggregate providers in the country (while remaining family owned and operated). Through all of our changes and growth, we’ve retained what matters most to us: our brand identity and history. No matter how much we grow, we still strive to maintain the same values that Glenn Kafka started out with nearly 40 years ago.

Currently, Kafka Granite provides over 60 different color varieties of granite, marble, quartz, and recycled aggregates, but we are excited to announce that this new quarry has been shown to yield something a little extra – sparkle. Due to the high concentration of mica intertwined with strong quartzite, this beautiful glittering natural phenomenon is something that is not commonly found among aggregates. If that wasn’t rare enough – the colors range from black, to green, to pink. With only 60 of the 700+ acres exposed, we are yet to discover all the colors that may lie beneath the surface.
We are beyond thrilled to incorporate this thrilling new product into our product lineup. With the addition of the various colors mica enriched quartzite, we will be able to provide our customers with an even wider variety of manufactured sands, accent pieces, landscape stone, and natural stone veneer. With its signature look and feel, this remarkable stone is opening up a lot of opportunities for Kafka Granite and our loyal customers and supporters.


Kafka Granite Glitter, LLC

Exploring Our New Mica Enriched Quartzite Quarry

At over 700 acres, our new quarry is an abundant deposit of mica enriched quartzite. This spectacular stone develops naturally into multiple distinct colors and two different hardnesses and consistencies, making the possible applications of this rare find seemingly limitless. Geologists estimate that our mica enriched quartzite deposit was formed around three million years ago when tectonic plates deep inside the earth slammed into the Canadian Shield, heating the host rock of clear quartz and colored mica until it reached liquid form. The color from the mica then transferred into the clear quartz during cooling, resulting in beautiful, vibrant colors of quartzite laced with an abundance of mica.

Kafka Granite Glitter, LLC

Although the deposit was created horizontally in different colored layers, it was later thrust up vertically into a 10.5-mile-high mountain with the colored layers becoming vertical bands/transitions through the deposit.  This means that now the

colors appear next to one another, not on top of each other. Overtime, the glaciers removed the mountain top overburden. With minimal ground cover to clear, this leaves the company with easy access to the different color bands of stone, and a far more sustainable approach to blasting and quarrying. According to geological estimates, the deposit runs approximately a mile below the surface; however it’s estimated to contain over 20 billion tons of material sitting above ground alone.

We have identified a plethora of color varieties at the site so far, including an enticing black, vibrant pink, and various shades of green, but have barely scratched the surface.


The Glitter Series

The new shimmering stone sourced from this quarry will accurately be named the Glitter Series. The Glitter Series is set to debut with five new manufactured sands. Those sands will include our newest colors Galaxy Glitter, Rosa Glitter, Mint Glitter, Aspen Glitter, and Plum Glitter. These new color variations will accompany the other 60 aggregate colors that Kafka already provides to customers across the United States.

Mint Glitter

Mint Glitter

Aspen Glitter

Aspen Glitter

Galaxy Glitter

Galaxy Glitter

Rosa Glitter

Rosa Glitter

Plum Glitter

Plum Glitter




Galaxy, Mint, and Rosa are also available in beautiful varieties of decorative stone and large boulders for stunning accents, show-stopping water features, and unique retaining walls.

Mint Glitter Landscape Stone

Mint Glitter Landscape Stone

Rosa Glitter Landscape Stone

Rosa Glitter Landscape Stone

Galaxy Glitter Landscape Stone

Galaxy Glitter Landscape Stone

Multi-Glitter Landscape Stone

Multi-Glitter Landscape Stone







Galaxy Glitter - Dimensional Cut

While the product will be made available to our customers as manufactured sands, landscapes stone, and accent pieces, early on we determined this remarkable stone was far too special to merely crush. This product has also propelled us to start a new business in fabricating and supplying a unique line of building stone products in 2018. This new venture is set to include a variety of “Glitter Series” products, while also launching a “Legacy Series” of classic Kafka Granite colors you already know in love – made available in thin and full veneer.

And that’s just the start. As we dig through our new deposit we plan on unveiling additional stone colors, as well as new products; so stay tuned!


Experience The Glittering Beauty Of Kafka Granite’s Newest Quarry

We are beyond thrilled to be able to share our newest quarry with our valued customers and friends. Sitting on picturesque Reynolds Lake, the glittering stone from this new quarry perfectly reflects the natural beauty that can be found surrounding our latest quarry. We urge those wishing to learn more about our newest quarry or about the product that the quarry is expected to yield to call their representative or to contact Kafka Granite directly at 800-852-7415.

Photo courtesy of Unilock

Using Unilock at Navy Pier: A Kafka Granite Case Study

Kafka Granite has been supplying aggregates to some of the country’s largest remodels and revamps for years. From the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, NY to the Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, WI, a wide range of Kafka Granite products can be found at some of the country’s most popular attractions. Such attractions include the Buckingham Fountain, Yankee Stadium, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. The Navy Pier project was one of Kafka Granite’s crowning achievements. Through hard work, determination, and collaboration with Unilock, Kafka Granite was able to help the city of Chicago restore their historic landmark.

Navy Pier was first opened in 1916 and has seen millions of visitors since. Most recognize Navy Pier by it’s glowing ferris wheel and lively family-friendly entertainment. In 2016, to celebrate the Pier’s 100th birthday the city of Chicago decided to give the beloved destination a makeover. The goal of the project was to preserve the history and integrity of Navy Pier while making it more eco-friendly and ensuring its longevity for future generations. Navy Pier is a massive venue with over 50 acres of stunning lake front property. When city officials began researching ways to revitalize this historic landmark they knew that whatever products they decided to utilize would have to withstand hot Chicago summers, wave barrage from Lake Michigan, and the harsh winters that cover the Midwest every year.

Kafka Granite has a long history of creating green alternatives that can be utilized in a variety of applications. Some of Kafka Granite’s eco-friendly projects include the white roofing materials and decomposed granite mixtures. However, one of the most common ways Kafka Granite can help projects attain a LEED or SITES certification is through the use of their recycled aggregate blends, and the Navy Pier project is a perfect example. Through a partnership with Unilock, Kafka Granite was literally a key ingredient in restoring one of America’s most iconic landmarks and achieving the prestigious SITES Gold Certification through GBCI.


Renovations began in 2013 in order to be complete for Navy Pier’s 100th Anniversary in July 2016. The project was awarded Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES ) Gold Certification in November 2016.


Navy Pier needed to cover the entirety of the 50-acre pier with a high quality, yet aesthetically pleasing, concrete pavers. In the eyes of the design team responsible for the Pier’s redesign, the pavers needed to act as an organizational device that could help inspire the design aspects of the other areas of the Pier’s new design and serve as the fabric that tied the entire redesign together as a whole. The new pavers made in partnership with Unilock and Kafka Granite can be seen on the tree-lined South Dock Promenade, as well as the expansive and newly developed Polk Bros. Park and Fountain.


James Corner Field Operations ultimately won the competition that the Navy Pier was holding to choose their next design firm. James Corner Field Operations then decided to partner with Unilock. Unilock is a leading manufacturer of interlocking precast concrete pavers. Unilock knew that they needed to partner with a local, regional aggregate provider to create the pavers that the James Corner Field Operations were looking for, and Kafka Granite was a natural fit.


James Corner Field Operations, the company who won the right to lead the redesign of this historic landmark, needed a paver that could function in a variety of settings. For this project, the paver ultimately chosen needed to work in areas of heavy-duty pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and in areas that were designated as heavy-duty vehicular roadways. Additionally, certain areas needed to be permeable to help direct rainfall away from the storm sewer systems and back into the natural ecosystem. If that weren’t enough, James Corner Field Operations had a few additional qualifications when it came to choosing their winning paver.

  1. The company who provides the paver must be able to provide support for the lifetime of the project
  2. Pavers must meet SITES certification standards
  3. Pavers must be comprised of at least 30% recycled content
  4. Pavers must come from and be manufactured from within the region
  5. Any aggregates used in the pavers must be regionally extracted
  6. Pavers must have a high SRI value


The vision of the leading-edge landscape architects at James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) was brought to life in part due to an innovative partnership between Unilock and Kafka Granite. One major goal of the Navy Pier’s redesign was to establish an area that was less commercialized and more focused on uniting green space and people. The first challenge of this project was buried in trying to expand the desired green spaces and improve pedestrian access while concurrently improving stormwater management and using recycled materials in an effort to have the project SITES certified. Due to the Pier’s proximity to lake Michigan, all care and consideration had to be put forth into the design and development of the runoff system for the Pier’s vast 50-acre surface area.

Kafka Granite and Unilock responded to the call and rose to the challenge of creating this new urban oasis landscape while remaining environmentally conscious by creating a one-of-a-kind Navy Pier collaboration. As the nation’s premier manufacturer of concrete interlocking pavers, Unilock was an obvious partner when it came to creating a gorgeous surface for the improved landmark. In order to meet the rigorous specifications JCFO established for materials to be used, Unilock teamed with Kafka Granite to create a solution that would check all the boxes mentioned above.

Kafka Granite’s recycled copper slag was an imperative part of the Navy Pier redesign puzzle. With Kafka providing recycled crushed aggregate to Unilock, specifications were precisely met while environmental needs were surpassed. Not only was a portion of the pavers permeable, which will aid in stormwater management, but their clever incorporation of recycled materials made this project’s SITES Gold certification possible. In total, 30% of the materials used for the entirety of the redesign were made from recycled content.

Kafka Granite has been incorporating sustainable processes and products into the aggregate industry for years. From its state-of-the-art crushing facility to its use of recycled porcelain, kiln slag, copper slag, firebrick, glass, mirror, and more, Kafka Granite is a company that understands the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. By using recycled copper slag that would have otherwise found its way into a landfill, Kafka made it possible for Navy Pier, and various other projects, to achieve highly a sought after SITES certifications. Not only will the Navy Pier’s new design have a positive effect on the city of Chicago, but the gold certification acquired using Kafka Granite recycled aggregates rendered the redesign to be the first project to earn such a pristine level of eco-friendliness under SITES v2 requirements. Kafka Granite looks forward to helping many more companies and project become eco-friendly and be awarded green certifications in the years to come.

Wheelchair Accessible Pathway

Kafka Granite’s Guide to Wheelchair-Accessible Pathway Materials

Every year we help hundreds of clients create stunning outdoor spaces. From ballparks to city parks, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the areas that we assist in creating, that’s why offering commercial wheelchair accessible materials is so important to us.

Providing accessible pathways is a federally mandated priority for all designers and architects. In 2010, the Department of Justice published revised regulations for Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. These regulations set minimum requirements for newly designed and constructed State and local government facilities, public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Firmness, Stability, and Slip Resistance In Wheelchair Accessible Walkways

Under the 2010 ADA regulations, accessible outdoor flooring and ground surfaces must be stable, firm, and slip-resistant. The ADA regulations define a stable surface as something that resists movement, while a firm surface is something that resists deformation by applied force, and an accessible surface is something that remains unchanged by external forces, objects or materials.

Exceptions to the ADA Regulations:

  • Animal Containment Areas
  • Areas for Sports Activities
    • This does not imply that sports arenas and sport viewing areas do not need to meet the ADA standards, this exception only refers to the physical area when the sport shall be played. An example would be a football stadium. The stadium itself must have accessible entrances and accommodations, but the actual field does not need to exhibit these traits.

Wheelchair Accessible Pathway Specifications

To be classified as an accessible route, pathways must meet or contain one or more of the following requirements and attributes:

  • A running slope no steeper than 1:20
    • The cross slope of walking surfaces can not be steeper than 1:48.
    • Changes in level with a maximum of ¼ inch are permitted to be vertical.
    • Changes in level between ¼ inch and ½ inch need to be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1:20.
    • Changes in level greater than ½ inch must be ramped.
  • Doorways that provide a clear width of 32 inches
  • Curb ramps excluding flared sides
  • Elevators with accessible features
  • Platform lifts

The width of your pathway must be at least 36 inches; you are allowed to narrow your walkways to 32 inches wide for a length of 24 inches every 48 inches. An example would be if you wished to have planters that protrude onto your pathway, those planters can only stick out 4 inches onto the pathway and they must be spaced 48 inches apart.

Two additional features your pathways must contain are passing space and turning space. An accessible route with a width less than 60 inches must provide passing spaces at intervals of 200 feet. Additionally, if your pathway contains any 180º turns, your turning space must be either 48 inches, or 60 inches, depending on the width of the pathway.

pathway diagram

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself after you have finished designing your structure’s new accessible pathways.

  1. Is there a route available that does not include stairs?
  2. Is that route firm and slip resistant?
  3. Are your pathways at least 36 inches wide?
  4. Can all objects that protrude onto the pathway be detected from the vantage point of someone in a wheelchair or by someone with a visual impairment?
  5. If your walkway is lined by curbs or raised edging does that edging drop off at entrances and exits on the path?
  6. If ramps are present is their slope less than 1:20?
  7. Do ramps that are longer than 6 feet have railings on both sides?
  8. Are any railings present sturdy and between 34-68 inches high?
  9. Are all public spaces on an accessible route?
  10. Is there a 5-foot circle or a T-shaped space for a person using a wheelchair to reverse direction?
  11. Are all signs mounted with their centerline 60 inches from the floor?
  12. If there are restrooms available on the property is at least one restroom fully accessible?

Kafka Granite Commercial Wheelchair Accessibility Materials

Common materials for wheelchair accessibility include asphalt and concrete. However, what happens when a natural look and feel is desired but wheelchair accessibility is required? Kafka Granite has a solution with their stabilized pathway mix.

Decomposed Granite as an Asphalt Alternative

Botticino Marble Stabilized Pathway - Midwest Palliative & Hospice - Glenview, IL

Botticino Marble Stabilized Pathway – Midwest Palliative & Hospice – Glenview, IL

Stabilized decomposed granite pathways are an excellent alternative to asphalt and concrete pathways. Not only does decomposed granite traditionally cost less than asphalt and concrete over the span of its lifetime due to its limited maintenance, but our Stabilized Pathway Mix made with Organic-Lock has been tested for ADA accessibility and has met the maneuverability performance requirements of ASTM F 1951-09b.

Kafka Granite is an industry leader in natural pathway products. Our stabilized pathway mix is comprised of decomposed granite or crushed stone screenings crushed to spec and blended with a stabilizing binder called Organic-Lock. This combination binds and locks the pathway mix to provide a durable, permeable, and natural aggregate surface. Kafka Granite’s Stabilized Pathway Mix resists the erosive effects of weather and traffic better than traditional gravels or limestone screenings, and when installed correctly, can qualify as an ADA accessible pathway surface. With a natural look that is much less obtrusive than concrete or asphalt, our stabilized pathway mix blends in well in natural settings, making it an attractive option for use in botanical gardens, green roofs, nature paths, greenways, golf course cart paths, trails, or any environment where a more organic feel is desired.

Kafka Granite offers Stabilized Pathway Mix in over 50 colors. The pathways are easy to install, require little maintenance and offer various edging options such as pavers, concrete, sod, natural grasses, or wood chips.

Stabilized Pathway Installation Instructions

  1. Prepare the subgrade and spread the base course material to the approved depth and compact with a 1-3 ton roller. Allow for 20-25% compaction. A crushed, angular road base such as a ¾” minus is an optimal base material. For pedestrian applications, base should be 4-6 inches compacted; for vehicular applications, base should be 8-12 inches compacted. To assist in the bonding of materials, pre-soak the base course before placement of the stabilized pathway mix.
  2. Pre-hydrate the stabilized pathway mix at the job site — this activates the stabilizing binder. Turn the pathway mix until a moisture level of 10-12% has been reached. If you can easily make a ball out of the aggregate with your hands, there is too much moisture.
  3. The stabilized pathway mix must be spread and compacted. Screed if possible. For large installations, using a paving machine for this step is highly recommended to ensure the material is evenly spread at the specified depth.
  4. Compact the stabilized pathway mix using a 1-3 ton double drum or single static drum roller. Do not use a vibratory plate compactor or vibratory setting for this step. When no further visible roller marks can be seen on the surface, compaction of the pathway is complete.
  5. Ensure the pathway is level. The pathway should rest true to elevation and shouldn’t vary more than ¼” at any spot when tested with a straightedge. The surfaces should be crowned at a minimum of 2% and be flush with adjacent materials or edges. The pathway should also be sloped at least 1% to drain away from structures.
  6. After the pathway has been compacted and leveled, apply a light spray to the surface to give it a clean appearance. Once the water begins to run off the surface, stop spraying the pathway.
  7. Once the surface of the pathway has visually dried, light pedestrian traffic can take place on the new surface. However, the stabilized DG pathway should fully cure before vehicle traffic is allowed. Depending on the path’s moisture content, time of installation, climate and depth of installation, curing times vary.

Creating Accessible Pathways for All

Make your outdoor pathways accessible to all with Kafka Granite. Our experienced team of experts is here to help ensure that every visitor will be able to thoroughly enjoy your next outdoor pathway project. Our stabilized pathway mixes are perfect for both green spaces and commercial locations alike. Let us help you make your next pathway project accessible to all.

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Erin Hills Golf Course: A Kafka Case Study

Just over two hours away from Kafka headquarters in nearby Hartford, Wisconsin, sits a beautiful picturesque golf course. Carved from glacier movement thousands of years ago, Erin Hills is a golf venue that cannot be rivaled by many. The 652-acre course still maintains some of the streams that were carved by the last glacier to cover Wisconsin, and it offers visitors exquisite vistas composed of rolling hills and swaying grasses.

Erin Hills is so breathtaking that it has been chosen to play host to the 2017 U.S. Open. The 2017 U.S. Open will host 156 players from all over the world. With so many players coming to the course to play along it’s stunning route, Erin Hills decided to replace their existing walk paths with new highly durable paths that could withstand the harsh Wisconsin winters and the course’s hilly terrain.

Kafka Granite was called in to replace Erin Hills’s highly erosive existing pathway system and replace it with a custom blended aggregate color of both stabilized and wax polymers pathways. With a long history of working with various aggregate binders for these purposes, we at Kafka Granite felt confident that we could deliver a pathway system that would complement the natural beauty of Erin Hills and reduce the maintenance for their grounds crew.

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

WHEN: Fall of 2012 to Spring of 2017

WHERE: Erin Hills Golf Course, 652 acres of property in Hartford, Wisconsin.

WHY: Erin Hills desired natural looking cart and walking paths that blended in with the course, but there were issues with erosion due to the hilly terrain. Their grounds crew was spending far too much time maintaining their walking paths when their valuable time could have been spent maintaining the course. Refusing to settle for obtrusive hardscapes such as asphalt or concrete, they opted for a natural aggregate path blended with wax polymer thanks to Kafka Granite. On flatter terrain, they chose to combine their aggregate with a stabilizing binder. With the first ever U.S. Open to come to Wisconsin to be hosted at their course in 2017, pressure was on to update all of the walking paths with Kafka Granite materials before the June 2017 event.

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

WHO: Our product is designed to be simple to install and maintain, so for this project the Erin Hills ground crew was able to install their new pathway system themselves.

WHAT: Erin Hills decided to use both stabilized and wax polymers pathways. Our stabilized pathway mix consists of decomposed granite or crushed stone screenings blended with a stabilizing binder. This mixture binds and locks the pathway mix to create a durable, permeable natural aggregate surface. Our stabilized decomposed granite surfaces are crafted to better withstand forces that would otherwise lead to erosion, which was the issue with the previous pathway mix that Erin Hills had been using.

Our wax polymer pathway mix combines natural crushed stone screenings or decomposed granite carefully pre-blended with an engineered polymeric wax in an entirely waterless process to create a unique paving alternative. This wax coated aggregate mix creates a dustless, sealed, non-permeable, but yet natural-looking surface that is perfect for use on a golf course as it can stand up to extensive wear and tear and the hilliest of terrain.

Erin Hills was looking for a natural solution that would blend in perfectly with their gorgeous scenery. At Kafka Granite, we offer over 50 different colors of pathway solutions. It was no problem to create a specialized blend for the Erin Hills golf course walking paths that was a perfect color match for what they had envisioned. 

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

HOW: One hurdle that we had to overcome while working on the Erin Hills project was finding the correct binder for the pathway mixes. We choose our binders based on local climate, pathway slope and individual aggregate type. With a property as large as Erin Hills, our dedicated team members worked hard to derive the proper binders needed. During this process our team was able to devise and implement a brand new wax polymer binder that was cleaner and performed better than the planned original binder.

Custom Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI

Joe Sell (North Shore Superintendent), Chris Zugel (Whistling Straits Superintendent), Glenn Kafka (Kafka Granite Owner), and Zach Reineking (Erin Hills Superintendent) during installation at Erin Hills

The wax polymer pathway mixes present much less of a challenge as our wax polymer pathway is pre-blended for easy installation and maintenance. No water is needed for the installation of this product. Crews chose not to compact the new pathways with a one to two ton roller. Since Erin Hills desired a more natural looking pathway system, it was decided to let foot traffic compact the new pathways naturally. Wax polymer pathways were a great alternative for the Erin Hills project because these pathways do not get muddy or dusty like more traditional walkway options. This will help keep all golfers and observers dry and clean during the U.S. Open and will make the pathways ideal for local golfers all season long. Additionally, the Erin Hills grounds crew will no longer be spending large amounts of time maintaining the pathways and will now be able to focus on the course itself. Our wax polymer pathways are easy to maintain and can be easily manipulated if subtle changes are needed. These new pathways won’t have a problem standing up to the harsh freeze/thaw cycles that the course is subjected to in Wisconsin due to their nonpermable composition.

The stabilized pathways used at Erin Hills were chosen for their affordability, permeability, and design. With 50 different color variations, Kafka Granite was able to duplicate the custom aggregate blend already used for the wax polymer pathways that allowed for a seamless transition into the stabilized pathways. The stabilized pathways were used in flatter areas of the course, as the use of Stabilized Pathway Mix is not recommended on slopes over 10%. Kafka Granite stabilized pathways are made to withstand heavy foot traffic, reduce mud, dust, and erosion, while still remaining permeable. Following installation recommendations, Erin Hills installed 3 inches of prehydrated stabilized pathway mixture over a DOT approved base course for proper stability and drainage.

Kafka Granite’s stabilized pathways are a more affordable option than Wax Polymer Pathways, which helped Erin Hills to conserve costs. Because of its affordability and versatility, Erin Hills utilized our unique stabilized pathway mix whenever the more durable wax polymer mix was unneeded. Through a combination of both wax polymer and stabilized pathways a truly remarkable pathway system was created.

Custom Erin Hills Blend Wax Polymer Pathway - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI - Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Photo courtesy of Paul Hundley

Instead of going with a high-maintenance, easily eroded option, Kafka Granite helped Erin Hills find the perfect pathway mixture for their one-of-a-kind golf course. Thanks to the hard work performed by our team in conjunction with the groundskeepers from the Erin Hills golf course, these new walkways can be enjoyed by all for years to come. Zachary Reineking, Director of Course Maintenance for Erin Hills had this to say about their new pathways at the end of this project,  “Over the years Erin Hills has tried an array of products for our undulating walk paths. The wax polymer and stabilized crushed granite from Kafka Granite provides a superior combination of ease of installation, durability, limited maintenance, and great aesthetics.”

With over 60 colors of specialty crushed aggregates for manufacturing, architecture and landscaping available, we are able to create customs products that will perfectly reflect your design vision. Our knowledgeable sales representatives are eager to help you find the ideal Kafka Granite solution for your next project.

Rustic Granite Stabilized Pathway - Downtown East Commons - U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN

Great Landscaping Ideas: Different Ways to Edge Your Decomposed Granite Paths

When it comes to your landscaping, the possibilities run as far as your imagination can. Whether you’re planning an entire landscaping overhaul or simply want to improve upon existing landscaping architecture, Kafka Granite can help with inspiration and the ideal landscaping materials for your project. One of our specialties is our broad variety of pathway materials. When creating a decomposed granite pathway, choosing your color, binder, width, and route are only a few things to consider. Another element that will affect the overall look of your pathway is the edging. Luckily, there are several different viable options available. From blending into the natural surroundings to creating clean, crisp lines, choosing the proper edging for your project will help keep your pathway design looking sharp for years to come.

Why would you want edging for your pathway?

There are many reasons why edging your pathway is not just an additional design element, but is actually a very functional feature. Aesthetically, edging your decomposed granite pathway will give it some more structure. Edging enables your pathway to have a precise look instead of a more natural finish. If you have an especially winding pathway, edging provides a crisper curve, especially when using a metal edging.

While edging will help your pathway’s structure look precise, it will also help keep everything in place. When you construct a decomposed granite pathway, although compacted, the top layer of stone is meant to be a loose, natural layer. Some of the loose aggregate may migrate with heavy foot traffic or natural causes such as wind and rain. While some are okay with this natural migration, others but may want to prevent the loose top layer of pathway material from shifting to the surrounding landscape.

That’s the beauty in edging options – whether a nature path through a forest or a well manicured courtyard, your edging can play a significant role in the design to take your path from natural to sophisticated, or anywhere in between, depending on your client’s preferences.

Beige Blend Marble Wax Polymer Pathway - Deer Grove Forest Preserve - Palatine, IL

Beige Blend Marble Wax Polymer Pathway with Natural Edging – Deer Grove Forest Preserve – Palatine, IL

Natural Edging

Natural edging is a good choice when your landscape design calls for a rustic solution. While there isn’t a definitive barrier between the pathway material and the surrounding area, keeping a natural edge with clear delineation between the pathway and its surroundings is possible. Considering your surroundings is important for a natural edge: A wooded surrounding may be more fitting for this edge since it won’t matter as much if some material scatters.

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway - Walgreens Corporate Headquarters - Deerfield, IL

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway with Sod Edging- Walgreens Corporate Headquarters – Deerfield, IL

Grass Sod Edging

Using grass sod as your pathway’s edging material is a popular option if your goal is to maintain a natural look, but want the path surrounded by a manicured lawn. It’s a great looking edging alternative that butts pathways right up to the grass.

Wisconsin Granite Boulders - Max McGraw Wildlife Reserve - Dundee, IL

Midnight Blue Stabilized Pathway with Wisconsin Granite Boulder Edging – Max McGraw Wildlife Reserve – Dundee, IL

Cobble/Stone Edging

When you’re looking to strike the perfect balance between structure and nature, Kafka’s cobbles could be your ideal solution. Available from smaller sized solutions, 3- to 6-inch cobbles, to large boulders, you have a variety of options to suit the needs and scale of your pathway. If your project is being built into a natural environment—a pathway through a park, a woodsy clearing, or other natural terrain—using cobbles as edging could be just the right transition from pathway to nature’s surroundings while keeping people on the right track. The mix of materials also creates visual interest. If looking to create more of a barrier between pathway and surroundings, consider larger boulders. They will create a clear demarcation of the pathway while appearing less obtrusive and restrictive than a fence would, for example.

Platinum Granite Standard Pathway Material - Metropolitan Correctional Center - Chicago, IL

Platinum Granite Standard Pathway with Paver Edging – Metropolitan Correctional Center – Chicago, IL

Paver Edging

These manufactured concrete pavers are built to connect with one another so that installation is relatively easy and foolproof. Depending on the product you choose, this landscape edging option can be a great budget friendly option, or offer a high-end decorative finish. While manufactured pavers add a great texture and natural feel to a space, it isn’t as rustic as natural granite cobbles. These stones are also a more substantial and durable option to cheap plastic edging. Be aware that bricks and pavers are not all made equally – and both the decorative finish and durability will be reflected in the quality of product used. If you’re hoping to maintain the curvature and cleanliness of your pathway with a neat stone solution, pavers could be the best choice for you.

Caramel Quartzite Stabilized Pathway - Grande Cheese Headquarters & Research Center - Fond du Lac, WI

Caramel Quartzite Stabilized Pathway with Metal Edging – Grande Cheese Headquarters & Research Center – Fond du Lac, WI

Metal Edging

When your landscape architecture calls for crisp, precise lines and superior aggregate control, metal edging may be your best option. Typically either steel or aluminum, metal edging will hold its shape and its versatility enables you to create any radius you need when it comes to garden beds or pathway curvature. With its strength, metal edging won’t crack in the cold, shift with maintenance, or erode over time.

How to Find the Perfect Pathway Edging for You

Before starting your pathway project, figure out how much edging you’ll need. And as always, consider your budget and desired finish.

If you want the desired aesthetic that natural granite cobbles bring to a landscaping project, chat with Kafka Granite today. When it comes to landscape architecture and creating a natural sidewalk, courtyard, or natural trail to your environment, our variety of pathway solutions may be just what you’re looking for. We can send free samples as well as help you determine how much product is necessary for your area.

Think beyond color, binder, width, and route. The often overlooked detail in pathway edging is worth considering to put the perfect finishing touch on your next pathway project.

Photo courtesy of Unilock

The Unbeatable Benefits of Decorative Precast Concrete

(cover photo courtesy of Unilock)

Decorative precast concrete is a superior option for creating practical accents to your architectural or landscape design. Through the use of the incredible variety of precast concrete products, you can incorporate custom fixtures including planters, tables, columns, chairs, light poles, water fountains and more into your design that will last a lifetime. The variety of precast concrete pavers allow for a durable and incredibly decorative hardscape for your unique design. Permeable pavers have become incredibly popular, blending the decorative and high-end finish of decorative precast pavers with the eco-friendly benefits of stormwater runoff control. Nearly any paver or amenity you can dream of, decorative precast concrete can create to add just the right touch to your project.

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Kafka Granite can supply crushed granite, marble, quartz and recycled materials for use in decorative concrete fixtures. Whether you’re planning amenities for a restaurant, hotel, office building, plaza, park, government building or university, or designing a new public space with a beautiful, yet permeable, hardscape, Kafka Granite supplies aggregates to many of the highest quality producers of decorative precast concrete products, including Wausau Tile, Unilock, Oldcastle, and more. The combination of high-quality raw materials and the exceptional craftsmanship of our customers calls for the best selection of decorative precast concrete products. When seeking durable outdoor solutions that are both functional and beautiful, precast concrete could be your solution.

What Is Decorative Precast Concrete?

Before 1950, precast concrete was a relatively unknown building material. When the Walnut Lane Memorial Bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania finally opened to carry traffic across the Monoshone Creek, it was the first time such a structure had been built using prestressed concrete girders. The implementation of precast elements made this first-of-its-kind bridge 30 percent cheaper than a regular concrete arch bridge design. The success of the Walnut Lane Bridge caused precast concrete to quickly become the trend for quickly constructing a variety of structures across the nation. Today you would be hard-pressed to look across a city and not see a variety of buildings utilizing precast concrete wall panels dotting the skyline.

Standard concrete applications are poured and cured on the jobsite. Precast concrete, in contrast, is poured off-site and brought to the site once cured, which is what adds the “precast” element to the name. It’s a way to work around potential job site restrictions that disable you from creating a feature on-site, as well as achieve complex customizations you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Precast concrete can serve as architectural elements, such as walls, ramps and beams, as well as decorative features and amenities. These concrete structures can take on nearly specification you may have for your project. Since they can be produced off-site, multiple phases can be occurring for a project at the same time. Precast concrete created off-site doesn’t have to wait on the progress of on-site elements, allowing both to be crafted simultaneously. Once completed, each piece can be quickly assembled, cutting down on costs overall.

Decorative precast concrete enhance the practicality and durability of concrete products with a variety decorative finishes. These products offer a seemingly endless selection of designs, colors, finishes and details for whatever your project calls for, whether it be custom interlocking pavers or durable amenities such as benches, trash bins, planters—or even precast basketball hoop stands. Kafka Granite manufactures crushed granite, marble, quartz and recycled materials, like porcelain and copper slag, in its state-of-the-art crushing facility in the heart of Wisconsin. With a palette of more than 50 colors to choose from across the variety of aggregate materials, customization is inevitable. Many of Kafka Granite’s decorative precast concrete customers source a variety of aggregates in the production of their standard products, but also come to Kafka Granite for the best selection of crushed stone for custom designs.

Kafka crushes the natural stone or recycled materials to exact specifications—whatever size you may need—and gets to crafting the high-quality pavers or amenities you need to add the perfect unique flair to your project. Through a close partnerships with our customers, we are able to help provide you with one-of-a-kind elements.

Why You Choose Decorative Precast Elements

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

When the color variety of Kafka aggregates and manufactured sand is added to the exposed faces of precast pavers and amenities, your space suddenly goes from bland to memorable. You don’t always have to count on a flourishing garden or piece of art to bring life to a space when you could achieve stunning looks through the functional elements, too.

The veritable rainbow of colors you have to choose from can complement any space you’re constructing or designing. Flex your environmental muscles and choose the unique aesthetic quality of recycled porcelain or copper slag. When you dovetail precast concrete elements into your project, options are seemingly endless.

Don’t Forget to Look Down

Decorative precast designs go beyond large fixtures. Decorative precast concrete elements can include sidewalks, driveways, courtyards, and patios, too. Adding color and style variety to sidewalks, landings and stairway caps can bring a comprehensive beauty to an entire design. Considering every element is what will make your space truly stand out.

Transform your Decorative Precast Concrete Products with Kafka Granite

Ditch the bland amenities you think you might be stuck with. You don’t want to invest in something that is obtrusive to your design or simply isn’t durable. The addition of Kafka aggregates to precast concrete products not only adds a beautiful, decorative finish – but also strength and durability, which means the features you add will be there for the long haul.

Kafka stands by high-quality products and craftsmanship. Our quality checks ensure consistently produced aggregate for the production of decorative precast pavers and amenities. We also work closely with our Decorative Precast Concrete customers to help customize pieces, whether that calls for special colors and sizing, or incorporating recycled content.

If you’re a landscape architect looking for just the right solution, consider the possibilities of decorative precast concrete products. Get the high-quality products you need with all the decorative finish you crave. Necessary amenities such as trash bins or snuffers don’t need to be unsightly. Instead, create a thoughtful look so snuffers don’t distract from your overall design. Decorative precast concrete solutions will complete your project in the best way possible.

To be put in touch with several quality decorative precast concrete producers that utilize Kafka aggregates in their mix designs, call or send us a message today. Don’t let your next project finish without the durability, strength and aesthetic benefits of precast concrete solutions.

Ash Grey Basalt Interlocking Tiles by Norstone

How to Install Norstone Basalt Panels

When designing the interior space for any new office or commercial space, there are few products that look as good and are as easy to install as Norstone natural stone wall tiles. While stacked stone finishes are part of their impressive portfolio, the modern beauty of Norstone’s basalt tile collection is irresistible. As the world’s only medium-format lava stone cladding system, any ordinary space can quickly be made into an unforgettable one.

Whether you are looking for the perfect material to complete the exterior of your office or commercial space, or simply a stunning accent wall or fireplace in your own home, Kafka Granite is the Midwest’s exclusive distributor of Norstone products. Lynia interlocking tiles and Aksent 3D panels are crafted to bring a truly natural yet contemporary aesthetic to your next project. When seeking a modern natural stone solution that can be used both indoors and outdoors, basalt tiles could be your answer.


Ash Grey Basalt Interlocking Tiles by Norstone

Benefits of Basalt Tiles

Kafka is always seeking opportunities to bring you the best materials for the job. Just as we stand behind our broad variety of aggregate, we fully trust in the unquestionable quality and beauty of Norstone products, which is why we offer them to you. With two basalt tile options, you are guaranteed a natural wall cladding solution that offers a cleaner, more modern touch than Norstone’s more rugged rock panels.

Lynia IL Tile Collection

Ebony Basalt Interlocking Tiles by Norstone

Lynia interlocking tiles start as large slabs of cooled basaltic lava rock, the most common type of volcanic rock type. Once ready, these slabs are cut and honed into individual basalt strips that range in height. The assorted heights add a pleasing visual variety instead of bland uniformity when fully assembled. Once honed, the precision-engineered strips are then mesh mounted. Nine staggered strips, including spaces for grout, are included on each mesh-mounted unit.

Lynia IL Tiles are available in Ash Grey and its darker counterpart, Ebony. Ideal for modern atmospheres, these shades of grey can add a timeless design no matter where applied. These tiles can be used indoors or in the elements, as they’re durable enough for whatever the outdoors throws at them. Consider cladding feature walls, backsplashes, water features, fireplaces, service counter fronts or business signs to add a unique and sleek aesthetic. Popular commercial applications include hotels, restaurants, office buildings and casinos—wherever a professional and contemporary design is desired.

Aksent 3D Panels

Ebony Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Norstone’s 3D panels are a truly one-of-a-kind stone veneer. Similar to Lynia IL Tiles, each tile originates from a slab of cooled basaltic lava, but each is cut and honed at varying thicknesses. When mounted together on a sheet, the varying thicknesses of basalt tiles create a three-dimensional look that adds another level of depth and visual appeal. Additionally, Aksent 3D tiles offer a “stepped” interlocking edge profile. This means that these panels are designed so that each unit tightly interlocks into its neighboring panels in a seamless design. There are no grout gaps to fuss with and no vertical seams to stress about. The clean, seamless look will leave you (and all who see it) in awe.

Aksent 3D panels are also available in the same contemporary colors as the interlocking panels; Ash Grey and Ebony. Popular in office lobbies, exterior facades, pools, spas, water features and fountains, retail areas and more. When craving a contemporary and natural solution, look no further than the depth and variety of 3D panels.

Easy-to-install Wall Cladding for Anywhere

You don’t have to go broke for beauty. Norstone Basalt tile options will save you significant time and money when it comes to installation. The precision by which these tiles are engineered and pre-mounted render installation a quick and painless process.

Tools Needed for Installation:
Tile Saw
Unsanded Grout (for Lynia IL tiles only)
Stone Sealer

**Don’t use mastics as they aren’t suitable for the rock panel collection.

Step 1: Prepare Your Surface

Basalt tiles can be installed on cementitious surfaces, such as cement board, brick or block, or over a traditional lathe and scratch coat. Do not install these products over drywall or sheetrock. Since stone wall cladding is relatively heavy, ensure your wall or surface is able to withstand and support the weight of the product.

Step 2: Apply Thinset

Before laying each panel, apply a generous amount of thinset to the surface and to the back of each tile unit. Notch the thinset on the wall as you would if you were installing a tile backsplash or wall.

Step 3: Place the Tiles

When placing each tile unit, make sure you press it firmly into place while rotating the unit just a little. Norstone Basalt tiles are designed to easily interlock with neighboring units, so be sure to follow the installation pattern of your product. When necessary, cut panels to size using your tile saw. During this step, ensure to remove any thinset that may get onto the face of the tiles before it hardens.

Step 4: Grout and Seal

If you choose Aksent 3D panels, the interlocking edges and 3D aspect don’t require grout. However, Lynia IL tiles require the application on unsanded grout once the panels have fully set. Once you’ve grouted your Lynia IL tile feature, wait for that to fully set before moving onto the next step.

The final step to completing your gorgeous and contemporary basalt stone veneer wall is cleaning and sealing its surface. Sealed stone is easier to clean and maintain, which makes everyone’s life easier in the long run. Choose a sealer appropriate for the environment—indoors or outdoors, humid or dry—and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Before applying sealer to the whole space, test in an inconspicuous area first.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Timeless Design!

With the time and money saved on installing Norstone tiles, the final step is to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your one-of-a-kind basalt application will create a warm and natural aesthetic while feeling modern or edgy. If you have questions about how to get started with your Norstone tile project, whether it’s to create a clean office environment or a modern commercial space, call or message Kafka Granite. We can guide you through choosing the Norstone product best for your project as well as answer any questions you might have about the product or installation. For a clean and modern design, let’s talk today.

WHITE IS THE NEW GREEN: White Roof/Cool Roof Epoxy Overlay

Going Green: Three Materials Perfect for White Roofs

A big piece to the environmental puzzle is reducing the planet’s energy use. While this might seem like too grand of a feat to contribute to on a personal level, it is very possible. Every individual business’s contribution to reducing energy use or emissions, no matter how small, adds up to make a greater impact. By recycling, using energy-efficient appliances and keeping a close eye on where you can make a difference, every eco-conscious commitment helps.

One difference to better the environment that any business can make is to install a white roof, otherwise known as a cool roof. Kafka Granite has been making eco-conscious strides toward providing environmentally friendly products manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility. Offering white roofing options is one way we can help you earn LEED accreditation points and have a positive impact on the environment in your city.

Dark Roofs and Urban Heat Island Effect

The term “Urban Heat Island” has joined the list of climate vocabulary in recent history. Due to growing populations, metropolitan areas have expanded faster than ever. There are more energy-consuming people, more buildings reaching into the sky and more cars idling on city streets in urban areas than in sprawling suburban counterparts. All of this has lead to Urban Heat Islands (UHIs).

In short, the Urban Heat Island Effect is when a city exhibits a higher average temperature than its rural surroundings. Metro areas are stocked with hard built surfaces that reflect the sun’s rays where suburban areas have fewer built surfaces and more vegetation. There are many factors inherent to cityscapes that lead to UHI Effect, including:

Dark Roofs:

Roofs are often the culprits of heat absorption. Roofs crafted from tarpaper or other dark materials cause roof temps to climb upward of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more on summer days, which increases energy use to keep air conditioners and fans running on high.

Energy Consumption:

Cities are fully stocked with energy-consuming machines. Thousands of offices, restaurants and large venues need to be heated, cooled and lit nearly all day long. Add in idling cars sputtering out exhaust during never-ending rush hours and the city is suddenly stuffed with emissions from energy consumption.

Trapped Heat:

Most cities are outfitted with buildings that are much taller and closer together than suburban surroundings. This tight configuration allows for diminished airflow, which inevitably traps heat and raises temperatures.

Heat-absorbing and reflecting Surfaces:

White Quartz White Roof Overlay - Bensenville, IL - Installed by CentiMark Corp.

White Quartz White Roof Overlay – Bensenville, IL – Installed by CentiMark Corp.

Skyscrapers are tall mountains of glass and metal—all reflecting heat to one another and onto the surfaces that will absorb it. Glass-clad buildings essentially act as large mirrors bouncing sun to the ground all day long. The heat-absorbing asphalt and cement streets and sidewalks soak in the heat all day, causing them to release heat well into the night, when the sun is nowhere to be seen.

Increased heat reflection, heat absorption and energy consumption render large cities into literal hotbeds. In addition to compromised air quality, UHI also endangers water quality. Increased pavement and rooftop surface temperatures significantly warm rainwater runoff. This heated water runs into surrounding waterways like rivers and lakes, which could alter and damage native aquatic life and ecosystems.

Three Cool Roof Material Choices

Many people don’t realize they can play very direct and simple roles in reducing the effects of UHIs. From reducing energy consumption, utilizing environmentally friendly designs and incorporating eco-friendly building materials, any construction project can be a little friendlier toward the environment. One way Kafka Granite can help achieve a reduction in Urban Heat Islands is the implementation of cool roofs, or roofs that don’t trap heat as much as dark roofs. Cool roofs are lighter in color, strongly reflect sunlight, and can efficiently cool themselves.

1. White Quartz

White Quartz SandAvailable as sand or aggregate, white quartz is a naturally occurring stone that can be crushed to your specifications. White Quartz is the Kafka Aggregate with the highest SRI, or Solar Reflectivity Index, so it is the most effective choice.


2. Recycled Porcelain

Recycled PorcelainWhen seeking a white roof option that could garner even more LEED accreditation points, recycled porcelain is your go-to solution. Kafka is capable of crushing discarded porcelain in our state-of-the-art facility to become an ideal recycled aggregate or sand for use as a white roof material.


3. Birchwood Granite

Birchwood Pebbles

Birchwood Granite pebbles and 1.5” ballast is made up of a white color palette with some variation in the form of brown or black granite. It’s the whitest round stone available, and a perfect solution for a traditional roof ballast in a whiter color.



Installing a white quartz or recycled porcelain cool roof requires the use of a two-part epoxy. After the epoxy is spread, the aggregate or sand is evenly spread across the epoxy for a durable and long-lasting surface. Birchwood Granite is applied as a traditional roof ballast.

Implementing a white roof will dramatically reduce energy consumption and a building’s contribution to an urban heat island. The demand for electricity used for cooling interior spaces increases 1.5–2 percent for every 1-degree increase in air temperature. This results in 5-10 percent of communitywide electricity being used to compensate for the heat island effect. Increased heat can affect the local climate, aquatic life and health of those at risk in especially hot or humid climates.

Kafka Granite Can Make Hot Roofs Cool Down

Halting the rise of detrimental heat islands in their tracks can be possible if everyone contributes to eco-friendly efforts. Implementing a cool roof over your existing roof or installing one when it comes time to replace a rooftop is one smart way to pave the way for a greener tomorrow. Through the use of cool white quartz, recycled porcelain, or birchwood granite white roof material options, your business can start seeing lower energy consumption (and electricity bills) during your environment’s hottest months.

If you have questions about any of Kafka’s white roof materials, becoming a dealer of white roof material, or starting your plan for installing a white roof, call or message us today. Our experts are waiting to answer questions about our products and their environmental benefits today.