The Geology of Natural Stone

Designers, architects, and stone masons get to see quite a variety of stone products, from specialty aggregates to natural stone veneer. Even more people get to see the end results of Kafka Granite’s products—in the form of building facades, bridge overpasses, golf cart pathways, and more. But have you ever wondered about where that stone comes from, and how it came to be? Where, exactly, do we get these striking colors and high-quality material? 

Today, we’re backing up a few steps to take a look at the geology of natural stone. And don’t worry if you don’t remember anything from your middle school geology class—we’ve got you covered with this peek into the rock-solid foundation of our industry.

Where Does Natural Stone Come From?

Geology is an earth science that deals with understanding the structure of the planet. It also holds the key to every natural stone product out there. Before the Earth was a solid mass dotted with features like oceans and volcanoes, it was a ball of mineral gases. Natural stone is the result of those mineral gases solidifying and being compressed over millions of years. 

As the Earth’s crust solidified, heavier minerals were pushed towards the core of the planet, where they were subjected to intense pressure and high temperatures. Eventually, these newly solidified minerals were pushed upwards towards the surface, where they formed rock beds. Some of these deposits became the very quarries from which we extract our own natural stone today. 

3 Rock Types to Know

Quartz, granite, limestone, and marble are just some of the natural stones that we use in our products, but these various kinds of rocks can all be classified into three main types.

Igneous

To put it simply, igneous rocks were here first. This type of rock is created when liquid magma or lava cools down and becomes solid. If that process takes place below the surface of the Earth, it results in intrusive igneous rocks, like granite. But if the lava erupts and cools on the surface, we’re left with extrusive igneous rocks, such as basalt. You’ll find these kinds of rocks everywhere from basins to deep in the oceanic crust.

Sedimentary

Sedimentary rocks are fairly self-explanatory: they’re formed by solidifying sediments, such as volcanic ash. The distinctive mesas that litter the landscape of the American Southwest are a prolific example of sedimentary rock. The exact nature of the sediment determines the type of rock that is formed. Clastic sedimentary rocks, such as shale and sandstone, are created from pieces of pre-existing rocks that become compacted. Organic sedimentary rocks form from plant and animal debris being compacted over millions of years, while chemical sedimentary rock is created by dissolved minerals depositing and solidifying from water.

Metamorphic

Again, the name offers a hint: metamorphic rocks were once igneous or sedimentary rocks that underwent a transformation. That transformation involved extreme conditions, like high heat and pressure, that changed the chemical composition of the rocks. Metamorphic rocks include marble and quartzite, two popular choices for specialty aggregate and stone product manufacturers.

How Does Natural Stone Get Its Color?

If you’ve worked with natural stone before, you’ve likely noticed that no two pieces are exactly the same. In fact, this is one of the major draws of natural stone as a building material; the color variations add a kind of character that is difficult to replicate with man-made products. 

So, where does natural stone get its array of colors from? It’s all thanks to the nature of the minerals and other organic components that make up each type of stone. Depending on the exact minerals and the way in which they settle, blocks of stone extracted from the same quarry can vary greatly in color, texture, and pattern. Marble, for example, is widely known for its veined pattern. Those veins are caused by deposits like iron oxide and feldspar. The “purest” marble is largely white and free of color variation, but particular varieties are actually sought after to lend a certain look or color to a project.

Applications of Natural Stone

It’s worth noting that different types of rocks are useful for different building purposes, depending on their hardness and other key physical properties. There are ASTM Standards set out that describe the minimum and maximum specifications for a variety of natural stone types, which is invaluable for quality control

Today, natural stone is extracted from quarries around the world—Kafka Granite owns a number of them across North America. While our business isn’t nearly as old as the rocks that we crush into specialty aggregates, our decades in the industry have shown us that there are nearly endless uses for natural stone. The material is ideal for thin stone veneer products, where all the color variations of a stone can be put on display. Natural stone can also be used in the creation of retaining walls, accent pieces, pathway mixes, and a whole host of other applications. 

Incorporate the Beauty of Natural Stone Into Your Project

Whether you’re an architect seeking a solution for a large commercial project or a designer planning out a rustic, farmhouse-style home, Kafka Granite has the right product for your unique needs. We’re eager to help you find the ideal natural stone product for your project. Contact us today to speak to a knowledgeable sales representative.

The Unique Geology of Wisconsin

Though Kafka Granite sources stone from quarries across the continent, we’re proud to call Wisconsin our home—and the wellspring of many of our beautiful products. But what, exactly, makes this great state the perfect spot for our business? 

Essentially, it’s all in the geology of the area. We’ve put together an overview of the thousands of years of history and natural forces that have made Wisconsin’s geology so unique today. Read on to learn more about this fascinating state.

Wisconsin Stone Over the Centuries

Wisconsin’s uncommon geology didn’t happen in a year—or even a century. It took hundreds of thousands of years for Earth’s cooling and heating patterns to transform the area into what it is today. More specifically, we have glaciers to thank for the vast majority of Wisconsin’s mineral deposits and topography.

The Wisconsin Glaciation

About every 100,000 years, the planet goes through a long period of cooling, followed by a shorter period of warmth. The last occurrence of this cycle, known as the Wisconsin Glaciation, began about that long ago—with the Laurentide Ice Sheet advancing across North America. Large swaths of Wisconsin became covered in ice, which was diverted and interrupted by the natural topography of the area. 

It took thousands of years for the ice to halt its approach and for the glaciers and sheets to melt or retreat from Wisconsin, but that slow process left us with a natural landscape unlike anything else seen in U.S. geology. The shrinking Laurentide Ice Sheet left behind the many lakes and rivers that characterize parts of the state, as well as a wide variety of glacially deposited minerals—the very minerals that create many of the colors in Kafka Granite’s collection!

A Wealth of Minerals

Wisconsin contains deep deposits of iron and other ores, which have characterized the state—just look at the University of Wisconsin’s mascot, Bucky Badger, an homage to the local lead miners of the early to mid-1800s. But you can also find deposits of minerals and gemstones from A to Z across the length of the state. Quartz and calcite are just two extremely common finds.

Decomposed Granite in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s unique geologic makeup, coupled with thousands of years of natural erosion, also resulted in large deposits of decomposed granite (DG) throughout the state. When feldspar, one of the main components of granite, breaks down, it results in flaking, crumbling material that can be further crushed for projects like pathways and baseball fields. Wisconsin boasts a variety of hues of naturally occurring decomposed granite, from bold reds to vibrant golds.

Decomposed granite mining is limited to certain geographical locations throughout the country, but Wisconsin is particularly rich in this material. Today, DG is extracted from the ground, then sent through a screening process. If needed, this natural resource can be crushed to specific sizes and gradations to meet specifications for a particular mix or project. 

What Does Wisconsin’s Geology Mean to Kafka Granite?

Thanks to the rich landscape created by the last Ice Age, Wisconsin offers an invaluable variety of materials, from natural round boulders to crushed quartz, granite, and marble in a startling range of colors. This selection enabled the rapid growth of Kafka Granite—because we were able to source and acquire so many different colors quickly, and in close proximity to our home base.

A Variety of Colors and Stone Products

This level of variety is not normal in much of the country. Head to another state, and you’ll see nothing but gray limestone for miles. Some areas of the country may not have any granite at all, or may only have one such deposit. It’s not easy to source all of these colors if you’re in the middle of Kentucky, for example. 

Wisconsin’s geology—and that of its surrounding states—allows Kafka Granite to source materials like black, pink, and gray granite, or gray limestone, all within 200 miles. In Pennsylvania, you’ll find more gray granite than you can use, but you won’t find the same range of other products and colors. 

It’s that level of convenience that has allowed us to meet the needs of architects, designers, and stonemasons around the country. In fact, about 85 percent of our colors are sourced from Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula. 

We have an immense variety of naturally occurring materials, which you can even pick up on from the comfort of your car. The next time you’re in the area, take a drive around the state—notice the shoulders of the road, which are created from whatever stone is locally abundant. You’ll see shades like purple, gray, and green, all of which will tell you that there’s an abundance of stone that color in the area. Around our facility, you’ll notice plenty of gray and black granite.

Natural Stone Products From Kafka Granite

We’re immensely proud of the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit that has made Kafka Granite a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty aggregates and other building products. Clearly, beautiful, rugged Wisconsin has played a pivotal role in the growth of our company over the years. Not only is it home to our crushing facility; but Wisconsin’s geology means that it offers plenty of natural resources and mineral deposits to satisfy the high demand for unique colors and products.

If you’re looking for natural stone products in a wide variety of colors and sizes, you’ve come to the right place. Contact Kafka Granite today to speak to a knowledgeable sales rep about your project.

Stabilized Salt & Pepper Pathway - Brooklyn Bridge Park - New York, NY

Healthy Landscaping: Fitness Parks for the Greater Good

City parks and nature reserves are places where whole families can go for a fun retreat from the rigors of the day. Outfitted with a variety of amenities ranging from groomed pathways to open fields to playground equipment and basketball courts, parks are a way for everyone to unwind with a breath of fresh air. Kafka Granite has played a role in paving parks and pathways with high-quality aggregates for decades. From large projects like Brooklyn Bridge Park in the heart of New York City, to smaller local parks and community recreation facilities, Kafka knows the importance of creating healthy public spaces that anyone can enjoy.

With incredible varieties of pathway mixes and ballyard materials, we’ve been able to help pave recreational walkways and athletic surfaces for a wide variety of public and private applications. That’s a lot of fun memories being made on our aggregate mixtures. Throughout the decades, we’ve seen the evolution of city parks as we know it, and there is a new trend in public arenas that has us excited: exercise parks. In lieu of the traditional teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds for children, exercise parks are built with health-related stationary equipment for adults to boost their heart rates and enjoy physical activity in the company of friends and community members.

The Need for a Healthy Outdoors

It’s no secret—obesity has become a veritable pandemic throughout America. Scales are tipping as new data shows that more than one-third of U.S. adults are considered obese with 1 in 20 reaching extreme obesity. An addiction to sugar, easy access to cheap processed foods, and longer working sedentary working hours have created a population of people who need more options for getting fit. Many barriers to exercise include poor proximity to a gym or the cost to join the gym. Additionally, a lot of people don’t like the feeling of being boxed into a gym—the smell, the congestion, and the crowds can be turn-offs for many.

Exercise parks are an excellent alternative for people looking to get fit for free in the great outdoors. They’re also a way for cities to show that fitness and health are public priorities that will help everyone live longer, happier lives. As more cities realize that accessible fitness spaces are good for everyone, the more you can expect to see them pop up. Priority for construction is in “fitness deserts,” or areas where there aren’t many (or any) fitness options.

These areas also open the floodgates for people who are new to working out; they can try a simple machine at first and work up to more at their own pace. And the convenience is virtually unbeatable. Long gone are the days of watching your kids play at the park from the seat of a park bench. Instead, adults can keep an eye on young ones from their perch on the elliptical or weight machine.

Wide Variety of Exercises and Benefits—for Free!

You may be wondering how an exercise park can include more equipment than playground staples like monkey bars or ladders. The evolution and affordability of weather-resistant, tamper-proof exercise equipment is surprising. Equipment targets the full range of muscle groups and joints, and they’re easy to use by people of all skill levels and abilities. From bodyweight equipment such as chest presses, body curl stations and parallel bars, to cardio machines like ellipticals and hand cycles, these parks truly serve as a well-rounded fitness arena for anyone to use, anytime of the day.

While many exercise parks include one clearing with the equipment planted in a common area, some parks are starting to incorporate fitness trails. A walk or jog along these trails will have you coming across a variety of fitness stations that each target different muscle groups or fitness activities. Not only will the fresh air keep participants motivated, but the natural surroundings are sure to be more pleasant to get fit in than a muggy and crowded gym. Kafka has, of course, been more than happy to help urban developers find the perfect standard or stabilized stone pathway mixtures that make the perfect exercise trail.

Planning an Exercise Park Can Be Easy

Does your next outdoor project include planning and building an exercise park? Kafka Granite can help. A successful exercise park is going to need to be supported by any number of additional attractions, such as walkways to and from the park, ballparks for play, and bike paths for commuters to reach the park. The materials chosen for these additions needs to be able to withstand high amounts of foot traffic, digging and cutting from busy feet, and a variety of weather types. Kafka may have just the solution you’re seeking.

With a palette of nearly 60 colors to choose from, any exercise park can get a bold injection of color or a natural aesthetic with Kafka Granite stone through high-end pathways materials. And with a broad range of ballyard mixes, your ballfield won’t be left out when redesigning your entire park space. The materials used in both our pathway and ballpark mixtures can withstand rigorous activity while providing active park goers with safe footing while on their way to or enjoying their favorite outdoor activities. Additionally, with our permeable aggregates, both pathway and ballyard mixes, your park visitors will be able to enjoy your park’s facilities regardless of rain or shine.

No one wants to slosh through mud to get to your exercise park or neighboring ballfield. Maintaining clear pathways will eliminate one more obstacle that’s keeping your community members from getting active. Both the elderly and young will rely on dry, non-slip pathways to get them where they want to be in your finished exercise inclusive park. If the entire park goes from fitness haven to swimming pool, the value of the equipment is lost and deterioration could set in if the machines are left surrounded by a moat of water keeping would-be exercisers away.

Instead of making health-hungry citizens wait days for a path to clear to reach their new favorite exercise park, install a solution like a stabilized decomposed granite surface. Natural, permeable, and durable, this option would be able to hold its own against rigorous exercisers and torrential downpours alike. It’s also easy to install, maintain, and replace over the years. Less obtrusive than cement or asphalt, it’s a popular pathway choice for outdoor facilities.

Jumpstart Your City with Healthy Goals in Mind

If you’re stuck wondering what the perfect addition to your city would be, consider an exercise park. Grants can be obtained to help alleviate financial restraints and the benefits for the community are undeniable. Playgrounds are evolving and adults can now have some fun, too. Instead of taking a backseat to their kids running around, adults can get in on the fun and break a sweat, too.

If you’re considering incorporating an exercise area into your next park, or if you’re already in the planning phases of construction, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call and ask about our ideal landscape material options. Avoid getting stuck with unsightly asphalt and nonporous cement. Instead, use a beautiful, durable, permeable and more supportive surfaces to help everyone achieve their fitness goals.

Burma Red Hilltopper Infield - UW Madison Softball - Madison, WI

Keep Your Ballyard from Getting Muddy Or Dusty

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Kafka Granite only has one thing to say; “Let’s play ball!” Kafka is proud to manufacture a variety of premier ballyard, warning track and clay mound materials. We have helped create stunning fields for every field from little league to the majors. Visitors can view Kafka ballyard materials at Yankee Stadium, Northwestern University, and the Buffalo Grove Sports Complex, to name a few.

Our top-quality ballyard materials are made of decomposed granite mixtures that have been crafted to withstand a variety of environments. From torrential rains to blistering heat, our ballyard mixtures can take a beating and still performs at their highest level. With our wide range of ballyard products, we are able to work with your budgetary requirements and deliver a top-quality finished product. At Kafka Granite, we offer three variations of ballyard mixtures; Standard Mixes, Stabilized Mixes and Hilltopper* Mixes.

Traditional mixes that are comprised of clay, silt or sand become muddy and collect standing water in rainy conditions. By utilizing a proprietary decomposed granite blend, our ballyard materials are highly durable and permeable, meaning that they allow rainwater to quickly drain. This feature will drastically decrease the number of rainouts you experience each year and will keep your ballpark mud and dust-free.

Standard Ballyard Mix at Kafka Granite

Burma Red Standard Topdressing

Kafka offers both Burma Red Standard Topdressing and Standard Warning Track Mixes. Our Burma Red Standard Topdressing is a great addition to existing fields due to its excellent drainage characteristics. With our Burma Red Standard Topdressing, you can eliminate puddles on your field and substantially reduce rain-outs.

Additionally, our Burma Red Standard Topdressing is a cost-effective way to refinish your existing ballfield to achieve safe footing, consistent ball hops, and smooth sliding. We recommend a depth of ¼-inch to  ½-inch when adding Burma Red Standard Topdressing to an existing ballpark.

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to refinish your existing ballfield while improving your field’s draining capabilities and correcting any imperfections that have accumulated over time, our Burma Red Standard Topdressing is the best option for you. Our Burma Red Standard Topdressing can be used on the infield, warning track, batter’s box or pitching mound.

Estimated Standard Topdressing Coverage Rates

 

BASEBALL FIELD

(90 bases with a 95’ arc)

Exposed Skinned Area 1/4” Topdressing 1/2” Topdressing
Grass Infield 11,550 sq ft 12.5 tons 25 tons
Skinned Infield 18,300 sq ft 20 tons 40 tons

 

LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD

(60 bases with a 50’ arc)

Exposed Skinned Area 1/4” Topdressing 1/2” Topdressing
Grass Infield 3,850 sq ft 4 tons 8.5 tons
Skinned Infield 6,700 sq ft 7.5 tons 15 tons

 

SOFTBALL FIELD Exposed Skinned Area 1/4” Topdressing 1/2” Topdressing
55’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 10,443 sq ft 11 tons 22 tons
60’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 11,190 sq ft 11.5 tons 23.5 tons
65’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 11,974 sq ft 12.5 tons 25 tons

Standard Warning Track Mixtures

Our unique Standard Warning Track Mixtures offer a highly durable warning track solution for those looking to replace their current warning track. Our Standard Warning Track Mixtures come in three vibrant colors: Burma Red, Red Cedar and Ruby Red. With its signature crunch, Kafka Standard Warning Track Mixtures help players know when they are approaching the outfield fences to prevent injury.

Our Standard Warning Track Mixtures are durable and are created to withstand the abuse of maintenance vehicles and harsh weather alike. Due to its coarser nature, our Standard Warning Track Mixtures require less maintenance than other traditional Warning Track Mixtures. We recommend that our Standard Warning Track Mixtures be installed at a full depth of 3-4 inches around the entire perimeter of your ballfield. Our team of experts can help you estimate the amount of Standard Warning Track Mixture that you need for your next ballfield project today.

Stabilized Ballyard Mix At Kafka Granite

Stabilized Infield Mix

If you are tired of puddles that just won’t drain, our Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix is the perfect solution for your ballfield. Pre-blended with a stabilizing organic binder, our Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix is one of the best permeable infield mixes available. By utilizing an organic binder, our infield mix provides a firm, resilient playing surface that results in minimal mud or dust accumulation. Our Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix has an excellent water-bearing capacity and load-bearing strength.

Even after heavy rains or high traffic, our Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix will stay in place while retaining its flexibility and cushion. Stadiums can drastically cut down on wind and water erosion damage by utilizing a Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix. All of the previously mentioned features combined result in near immediate play after rainfall, and fewer hours will be needed for ballyard maintenance.

Stabilized Warning Track Mix

Our Stabilized Warning Track Mix offers the same great features as our Standard Warning Track Mix, but requires less maintenance and can withstand heavier traffic. The Stabilized Warning Track Mix is ideal for larger projects, or areas that receive excess rainfall. With the addition of the stabilizing binder, the Stabilized Warning Track Mix retains water longer, requiring less manual watering. This Stabilized Warning Track Mix is ideal for universities and large sports complexes.

See How Kafka Granite Stabilized Infield Mix Stands up to the Elements

Estimated Stabilized Infield Coverage Rates

 

BASEBALL FIELD

(90 bases with a 95’ arc)

Exposed Skinned Area 3” Compacted

Depth

4” Compacted

Depth

Grass Infield 11,550 sq ft 165 tons 231 tons
Skinned Infield 18,300 sq ft 262 tons 366 tons

 

LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD

(60 bases with a 50’ arc)

Exposed Skinned Area 1/4” Topdressing 1/2” Topdressing
Grass Infield 3,850 sq ft 55 tons 77 tons
Skinned Infield 6,700 sq ft 7.5 tons 15 tons

 

SOFTBALL FIELD Exposed Skinned Area 1/4” Topdressing 1/2” Topdressing
55’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 10,443 sq ft 150 tons 209 tons
60’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 11,190 sq ft 160 tons 224 tons
65’ arc with 25’ foul territory skin 11,974 sq ft 172 tons 240 tons

Kafka Granite Stabilized Infield Mix and Warning Track Installation Instructions

Before you begin installation of your new Warning Track or Stabilized Infield Mix, make sure that you are familiar with the field’s drainage patterns and how the surrounding areas affect the field during heavy rains. Both infields and warning tracks should be sloped at ½% to drain laterally off the field.

  1. Measure and layout infield or warning track according to field dimensions.
  2. Flag sprinklers if already installed.
  3. Excavate future infield or warning track area to allow a minimum 3-inch depth. Complete drainage construction if desired.
  4. Prepare native soil to use as a base. Sand is not an acceptable base. Level, preferably with a laser grader.
  5. Water native soil base. Allow time for drying before proceeding to next step. Soil should be damp, but not muddy.
  6. Compact native soil using a one-ton drum roller. A plate compactor can be used in tight areas.
  7. Spread Kafka Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix with a front end loader. Lay down loose material to allow for a minimum of 3-inch compacted depth. The estimated coverage for Kafka Stabilized Infield and Warning Track Mix is 70 square feet per ton for a 3-inch depth and 50 square feet per ton for a 4-inch depth.
  8. Level with laser grader to achieve ½% slope.
  9. Thoroughly water to activate the stabilizing binder. It is better to over-water than under-water. Wait 24-48 hours, depending on the climate and the amount of water used. The field should be damp, but not muddy.
  10. As soon as the field allows, compact with one-ton roller. Do not use a vibratory plate or the compactor or vibratory setting on roller drums, as it may cause the binder to separate from the aggregate.
  11. Check for low areas, add additional infield or warning track mix as needed, and compact.
  12. Install base anchors and home plate.

Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix at Kafka Granite

Hilltopper* Ballyard Infield and Warning Track Mixes are the kings of ballyard mixes. With the help of today’s cutting-edge technology, we have been able to pair our custom aggregate blends with a water-shedding polymer coating developed by Stabilizer Solutions.

This unique technology creates a ballyard that is waterless, dustless, and completely free of mud, which will save your grounds crew hours in maintenance and watering. Our Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix has been used in such exciting venues as Harvard University, Dartmouth College, University of Iowa and more. Additionally, visitors can see our Hilltopper* Ballyard Warning Track Mix at Yankee Stadium!

The decomposed granite used in our Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix has been crushed to the best size to provide stable footing, consistent ball hops and optimal sliding conditions. You’ll see with our one-of-a-kind Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix that water beads on the surface of the field and then rolls away before your eyes. Our Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix is ideal for newly constructed ballyards, where we recommend a depth of 3-4 inches for our infield mix. If you’re ready to implement a Kafka Granite Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix at your ballpark our team is prepared to help you find the perfect solution.

Hilltopper* Mound Clay

Save time and money with our Hilltopper* Mound Clay Mix. Our Hilltopper* Mound Clay Mix contains the same polymer coating as our infield and Warning Track Mix and can be used on the mound, in the batter’s box, or wherever a clay alternative is desired. With Kafka’s Hilltopper* Mound Clay Mix, no water screening is necessary.

Our Hilltopper* Ballyard Mixes
  • Preserves flexibility and cushion
  • Eliminates the need for watering
  • Dramatically reduces maintenance demands and costs
  • Creates firm and stable playing surface in all weather
  • Withstand rain, wind, snow and drought

Play Ball with Kafka Granite

Whether you decide to add some Topdressing to your existing field, refinish your field with a Stabilized Mix, or choose to implement a Hilltopper* Ballyard Mix in your next stadium build, our specialists can work with your budget to find you the perfect ballyard solution. Our team of experts is sure to knock your next ballpark project out of the park!

 

Hilltopper* is a registered trademark of Stabilizer Solutions. Kafka Granite no longer utilizes Hilltopper* in the composition of their ballfield mixes.

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

Healthy Landscaping: Exercise Parks and the History of America’s Parks

In People Places: Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space, Galen Cranz (1982) identified four major periods of development in the American Park System: the pleasure park, the reform park, the recreation facility, and the open space system. The four listed park systems accurately reflect the wants and needs of the American public through the years. Now a new park system has evolved – the exercise park. In an effort to create more healthy landscaping across the country, more and more cities are turning to exercise parks for their public outdoor spaces. Kafka Granite is well-versed in the art of creating parks that excel in both form and feature. Our stone aggregates can be found in many outdoor spaces across the country. From paver grit to pathway materials, Kafka Granite can create custom stone blends that fit any criteria.

Pleasure Parks

Midnight Blue Granite Stabilized Pathway - Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation - Dundee, IL

Midnight Blue Granite Stabilized Pathway – Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation – Dundee, IL

In pleasure parks, aesthetics were of the utmost importance. SPUR defines pleasure parks as a “vast landscape of alternating trees and meadows, undulating hills, slowly meandering waterways, and broad reflecting ponds.” Pleasure parks were meant to be enjoyed at one’s pleasure, usually in the early morning or after a meal. Pleasure parks utilized broad areas of rolling hills and natural beauty while pointedly leaving out some of the most common features we see in today’s parks. For example, pleasure parks rarely included flower beds or sculptures, and they had few to no buildings in the park.

Frederick Law Olmsted was one of the foremost pleasure park designers of the time (1850-1900). Olmsted was said to have believed that the greatest compliment to any city’s urban development was pure wilderness. This belief is responsible for the rolling nature of pleasure parks. Olmsted didn’t want any elements in his parks that would remind people of the city, or look to have been placed there by man. Of course, there were some structures in pleasure parks, such as pergolas and performance areas, but these constructions were made to be light and airy – allowing for shade while still offering an unobstructed view of the surrounding area.

Circulation paths were also a common sight in pleasure parks. Several circulation paths and their subsequent pleasure parks can be seen in paintings by the famous artisans of the time. A beautiful example is Women In The Garden by Claude Monet which he painted in 1866. The scene depicts four women conversing while enjoying some sun on a circulation path in a pleasure park in Paris.

Reform Parks

Wineberry Granite Stabilized Pathway - LaSalle II Magnet School - Chicago, IL - Project Credit: Site Design

Wineberry Granite Stabilized Pathway – LaSalle II Magnet School – Chicago, IL – Project Credit: Site Design

Next up came the reform parks, these parks became popular during the progressive era of the 1900-1930s. It was during this period that urban development was booming. Factories were being constructed, and more families were moving into the city to find work. During this period of construction there seemed to be a few groups of individuals being left unconsidered, one such ground was the children.

It was here in the 1900s that people first started campaigning for playgrounds to be constructed in the city. It was decided that children needed more daily exercise because at the time children only had the opportunity to play when their families went to the country on the weekends. Families wanted more than pleasure parks, they wanted areas for their children to run and play and the current neighborhood parks tended to be flat areas that were only one or two blocks wide. These desolate parks usually only contained straight walking paths and a few benches. The much needed change in the city park landscape was ushered in with the invention of the field house. These new field houses were built into the city parks and contained gyms, showers, meeting rooms, and communal rooms for events.

The new field houses were flanked by playing fields and playgrounds, and the parks themselves underwent a large transformation. No longer was it desirable to have parks look untouched by man, now grass gave way to sand and asphalt, and natural tree groupings gave way to flowerbeds and shade structures. With the evolution of the reform parks came organized sports and activities. Reform parks quickly became an integral part of a neighborhood’s composition.

The Recreation Facility

Ruby Red Stabilized Warning Track Mix - Buffalo Grove Park District - Buffalo Grove, IL

Ruby Red Stabilized Warning Track Mix – Buffalo Grove Park District – Buffalo Grove, IL

You’ll see that parks turned into facilities between 1930-1965, this change was prompted by the realization that parks needed to serve everyone, not just small children. Whereas the reform parks were created to give children a place to play by building playgrounds, recreation facilities were built to serve the greater public. It was in this era that adult public sports became acceptable in culture; today you probably know someone who plays on an intramural sport team of some kind. Back in the 1930s organized adult sports such as football, baseball, and basketball became very popular among working class adults.

Something else that became widely popular in the 1930s – bulk ordering. Recreation facilities were a huge success; with the addition of swimming pools these facilities saw thousands of visitors year round. As the suburbs developed people’s homes had less and less green space, facilitating the need for large community provided green areas to play. And so standards developed for park design and community programs. But with all progress comes errors, in the case of the recreation facilities their success was so great that communities wishing to create similar structures and programming rarely considered their individual needs or situations. Here is where bulk ordering came in.

If you produced picnic tables, fencing, gym equipment, or bleachers from 1930-1965 you were in a very good place. To say that sales boomed who be an understatement. Anyone who lived through the great Tickle Me Elmo Christmas rush of 1996 will understand how once something becomes hugely desirable everyone will want one and will pay anything to get one. Such was the case with recreation facilities, and sadly like your Tickle Me Elmo that is probably sitting in a closet somewhere, recreation facilities became so common that they lost popularity. What was once viewed as revolutionary and fun was now seen as ordinary and lackluster.

Open Space

After the 1960s it seemed that every bit of available land was being snatched up for development. Giant parks had been created that had everything from basketball courts and swimming pools to running tracks and outdoor theaters. It was in this time that people started to ask themselves “is all this development too much development?” Unlike the days of the pleasure parks, cities no longer had ample green space to relax in. One could go to the community recreation center but with all of the activities offered it became hard to find a quiet moment.

It was during this period in history that people started viewing undeveloped land as ready to use. Instead of wondering how many structures could be built community members were now ready to leave green space as it was – green. More unique and available forms of play sets were conceived using materials that were readily available, such as tires and railway ties. People were done with cookie cutter playsets – they wanted an opportunity to create a play structure that was unique and suited to their community’s needs. These structures were called adventure playgrounds.

Tot lots also became popular; these were usually made of smaller items, such as one or two tires and sand pits. These tot lots traditionally took up a small portion of the greater park. Aside from the tot lots and adventure playgrounds the rest of the park was left open in what was called an urban plaza. What Frederick Law Olmsted thought would take acres could now be accomplished in a mere block with these new open spaces. The plazas were almost everything Olmsted wanted – large open spaces that appeared to have been untouched by man.

Exercise Parks

Parks have always served as a means to get exercise. From young to old, parks were created to give all a way to exercise with friends and family. Other countries have been incorporating more direct means of exercise into their public parks for years, and in the early 2000s the U.S. joined in. Previous iterations of parks served the general purpose of getting people active; exercise parks are the first form of parks to be created with a specific purpose – to get people to exercise.

Studies have shown that people prefer to exercise outdoors as opposed to indoors and with the rise in obesity the importance of having accessible exercise opportunities cannot be understated. Kafka Granite is passionate about making aggregate blends for these special parks. Outdoor fitness parks are traditionally created in one of four styles.

  • Composite Fitness Station
    • A single piece of equipment, a composite fitness station is ideal for smaller parks.
  • Fitness Trail
    • A long pathway network that moves through the park naturally. This is a great option for parks with long walking paths.
  • Fitness Cluster
    • A collection of equipment that is set up to be used in a collaborative manner.
  • Joint Use Fitness Zone
    • Typically arranged in a semi-circle, a joint use fitness zone is set up so that adults using it can keep an eye on their children.

It is important for exercise parks to allow users to work their total body in something that Playcore calls Total Body Fitness. To achieve Total Body Fitness, an exercise park must offer:

  • Aerobic fitness via cardio endurance activities
  • Muscle fitness via strength, resistance, and endurance training
  • Core fitness via abdomen, lower back, and pelvic exercises
  • Balance and flexibility training to promote stability, coordination, range of motion, posture, and more

Let Kafka Granite Help You to Create an Exercise Park in Your Community

Exercise parks are quickly gaining popularity across the United States. Kafka Granite is proud to offer various products from pathway materials to decomposed granite mixtures, that can be utilized in the creation of these new-age parks. Kafka has been contributing aggregate blends for the construction and restoration of parks for years. Our state-of-the-art crushing facility allows us to create custom tailored aggregate blends that can be used in pleasure parks, reform parks, recreation facilities, open space parks, and exercise parks. If you are ready to either revamp your communities current park or create a new destination, contact Kafka Granite today.

Standard Red Cedar Granite Pathway Mix - Cityville Dog Park - Des Moines, IA

Clever Uses For Decomposed Granite Pathway Material

We at Kafka Granite make an incredible amount of pathway material each year. Our standard, stabilized, and wax polymer pathway material options are perfect for long and winding paths through public parks, woodsy bike trails, and even golf courses. While we know our decomposed granite makes for an excellent walking, biking, or golf-carting path, we also know it’s good for a few unexpected uses.

 

Traditionally, clients come to Kafka Granite to find the perfect aggregate blend for any number of diverse projects. And with over 50 color varieties, and a custom crushing facility, we are able to meet the needs of even the most challenging of projects. Yet we do get the occasional unusual project, but we know that every project is unique and has its own special needs and demands. That’s why we offer standard, stabilized, and wax polymer pathway mixtures.

 

Standard Decomposed Granite Pathways

Standard DG pathways are all natural solutions to your walkway needs. Standard pathways perform better than conventional gravel pathways as they create a firmer surface while remaining natural and allowing water to permeate through. A standard pathway is ideal of low traffic, outdoor walkways, and spaces.

 

Stabilized Decomposed Granite Pathways

For commercial applications or in higher traffic areas, a stabilized pathway mix is the more suitable option for most. The Kafka Granite stabilized pathway mix is comprised of decomposed granite or crushed stone blended with a stabilizing binder. It’s this combination that binds and locks the pathway mix to provide a durable, permeable, and natural aggregate surface. A stabilized pathway resists the erosive effects of weather and traffic better than traditional gravels or a standard pathway mix, making it a great option for areas that receive heavy rain or snow. Stabilized pathway mixtures are ideal for firmer outdoor pathways that can withstand heavier traffic but still provide a natural look.

 

Wax Polymer Decomposed Granite Pathways

The Kafka Granite wax polymer pathway mix is a unique alternative to pavement that offers a waterless and dustless pathway solution. With our state of the art crushing facility, we have the ability to combine the aggregate color of your choice with engineered wax polymers for a sealed, non-permeable surface that does not get muddy or dusty. This unique mixture provides solutions for extremely high traffic areas, steep slopes, and other demanding pathway projects. The pre-mixed formula can be easily installed without water, and is easy to maintain. It also allows greater creativity in design applications for architects and landscapers.

 

Choosing The Untrodden Path

As aforementioned, the traditional uses for our DG pathway mixtures typically include recreational trails, resort walkways, and corporate pathways. But we always love assisting landscape architects and contractors create something out of the ordinary with any of our DG pathway mixtures. Next time you have one of these projects lingering on your to-do list, consider using one of Kafka’s decomposed granite pathway mixes!

Salt & Pepper Granite Stabilized Pathway - Toro Corporate Headquarters - Bloomington, MN

Salt & Pepper Granite Stabilized Pathway – Toro Corporate Headquarters – Bloomington, MN

Serene Water Feature

Want to create your own babbling brook? Or perhaps you have great ideas for a fountain in your future! Whatever watery focal point you’re looking to create, consider using our decomposed granite as the perfect surrounding material for your next water feature. We offer nearly 60 different colors of decomposed granite—including recycled materials—and it can complement practically any aesthetic you’re craving.

When you’re drawing up plans for your dream backyard pond or water feature, consider the color and material variations available to you. From vibrant and bold colors to natural hues of brown and grey, your possibilities are endless. Ensure your new pond has a serene surrounding. Adding bright pathway materials around your pond will make the entire water feature a work of art in your space.

 

Desert Spar Gold Granite Stabilized Pathway Mix - Bay Park Dog Park - East Rockaway, NY - Installed by Laser Industries

Desert Spar Gold Granite Stabilized Pathway Mix – Bay Park Dog Park – East Rockaway, NY – Installed by Laser Industries

Dog Run Done Right

Creating a great dog run can be endlessly useful yet tricky. You may leave the grass in the running area as is, but over time the lawn is going to deteriorate. The continual movement of man’s best friend is going to tear up the grass, make muddy pits, and look generally unpleasant. Cleaning it will become a hassle, and you could find yourself starting each summer off by laying new sod. To get out of sod purgatory, consider decomposed granite pathway materials instead of leaving the grass.

Dog runs don’t have to be unsightly. Kafka’s wide palette of decomposed granite colors will leave your dog run a vibrant complementary feature to your yard or an unnoticed part disguised by granite that goes unnoticed. Whatever design element you’re looking to achieve with your dog run, DG can help you with it. What’s more is that a dog run with a decomposed granite base won’t get worn down and muddy with continuous use. Dogs’ little “presents” are easy to scoop and DG allows everything to permeate into the ground. Your canine friend will be a little cleaner, too, as they won’t have sand or dirt stuck to them after a good run like they would if you went with a different substrate. For the most functional and beautiful dog run on the block, check out our decomposed granite pathway materials.

Xeriscaping

You may be wondering what xeriscaping even is. While you may not have heard much about it in the past, you’re sure to learn more about it in the near future. Xeriscaping is creative landscaping that has the ultimate purpose of conserving water. Once intended for drought-stricken areas, such as Arizona or other perpetually hot geographic areas, xeriscaping is trending as freshwater resources are depleting and people become more environmentally conscious.

Xeriscaping saves water, requires less maintenance, can achieve any desired landscape design, and doesn’t need any sort of fertilizer or pesticide to look beautiful and up curb appeal. Using decomposed granite as your topdressing for your xeriscaping project enables water to permeate to the soil while reducing weed growth — plus, your landscape is sure to look beautiful with Kafka’s color and material variety. Pick a color or multiple colors to complement or contrast your home and drought-resistant plants. While xeriscaping may seem harder than traditional landscaping using bark mulch, it really isn’t. Plus, decomposed granite topdressing won’t erode as much, which means you won’t be replacing it every year.

Bocce Ball

While decomposed granite pathway materials make great decorative and functional surfaces, they also make great athletic surfaces! What isn’t to love about that? Decomposed granite pathway material is a proven surface for bocce ball courts. It will never become muddy as water can permeate through the DG and into the ground below.

Bocce ball courts using decomposed granite as their foundation can be easily maintained and won’t take long to dry after a heavy rain, which means you can go back to playing bocce as soon as the sun is shining again.

Kafka Pathway Materials for All Occasions

As it’s plain to see, our decomposed granite pathway material is ideal for many situations. The durability and permeability make DG an excellent choice for much more than walkways! Plus, our seemingly never-ending list of color choices makes it possible to fulfill any landscaping design you’re going for. What can you think up? We can help you find the DG that’s right for you today.  

Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix - Mosinee Youth Baseball - Mosinee, WI

Kafka Granite Has the Best Ballyard Materials to Up Your Game

The quality, composition, and maintenance of your infield, mound and warning track mixes could make all the difference in how your baseball game is played. Kafka Granite knows the detriment that can happen with an ineffective ballyard material—poor ball hops, flooded diamonds, disappointed fans and more. A lot of ballparks, especially little league or municipal parks, don’t have the right kind of infield mix and aren’t maintained as they should be to ensure a good game.

Ballyard mixes play a huge role in playability, traction, ball response and safety of the athletes running the bases. There has been a lot of research conducted concerning the proper mix of materials: What is the best ratio of clay, sand and silt after all, and are those even the best playing materials? Kafka has the solution, though, in our variety of excellent ballyard material solutions that will perfect play throughout your next season.

Standard, Stabilized and Hilltopper* Mixes Can Help Your Baseball Game

Kafka’s standard ballyard mixes are comprised of our quality decomposed granite (DG). The advantages to using DG instead of the common sand/silt/clay blend are numerous. When it comes to imperfect infield blends, your ball field is at risk for flooding or inconsistent moisture levels, slimy clay, uneven surfaces and therefore dangerous conditions. When it comes to the baseball mix right for your field, you have to take some things into consideration:

  • Level of Play
  • Budget
  • Maintenance Requirements

Kafka Granite offers several options of infield and warning track mixes to satisfy your ballyard needs. Once you’ve decided how much you are able to spend and how much time you can devote to maintaining your field, you’re ready to make the next decision on your ballyard mix. Our Standard Ballyard Mix is a decomposed granite-option that gives any baseball or softball field premium permeability and stability in a cost-effective way. The Standard warning track mix is a bit coarser than the infield mix as it should provide a more audible “crunch” underfoot so that players can hear and feel when they’re approaching a wall or fence. Our Standard topdressing mix is ideal for cost-effective field improvements as it should be used over your existing field materials.

When you’re on the hunt for the right material to replace your existing infield or use for your new ball field construction, consider Kafka’s Stabilized or Hilltopper* decomposed granite mixes. Stabilized Infield Mixes are made up of DG preblended with an organic binder while our Hilltopper* is a high-quality combination of DG and a water-shedding polymer. Both of these are superior baseball dirt options as they absorb or shed water almost instantly, prevent flooding, provide needed stability and compaction, and don’t turn into mud or dust. Both Stabilized baseball mix retains just the right amount of moisture, which means less maintenance and watering for the groundskeeper, while Hilltopper* is a waterless, sealed solution. Hilltopper* mixes are also available for your pitching mound, batter’s box, and more. With such little maintenance needed for this mix, you can see instant savings and increased quality of play.

If you’re sick of games being rained out or dealing with an unbelievable amount of dust, Kafka has the answer to your baseball dirt needs. The athletes on the field won’t get bogged down in muddy fields, they won’t twist ankles in sunken spots after heavy rain, and they won’t have to reschedule games due to poor field conditions. Instead, players will be able to run the bases with confidence, feel stable and secure, and simply have a great ball game.

Refresh Your Baseball or Softball Field with the Best Mixes

From cost-effective Standard topdressing to the water-shedding powers of Hilltopper*, Kafka Granite has the ideal baseball infield mix that will leave you dry, safe and playing ball. Expect consistent ball hops and don’t get lost in dust clouds ever again. Minimize how much watering and screening you have to do, and sit back as spectators admire the field as much as they admire the athletes.

Call Kafka today to discuss your baseball infield, warning track and pitching mound needs. By understanding a bit more about your project and budget, we can match you with the right decomposed granite-base baseball dirt for you. We can even send over samples. Stop compromising the integrity of a good baseball or softball game by keeping your damaged or deteriorated field. Instead, rejuvenate it with a topdressing or rebuild with the best baseball and softball mixes on the market. Experience how the right mix can truly change the game.

 

Hilltopper* is a registered trademark of Stabilizer Solutions. Kafka Granite no longer utilizes Hilltopper* in the composition of their ballfield mixes.

Burma Red Hilltopper Warning Track Mix - Yankee Stadium - New York, NY

Top 10: Most Interesting Places to See Kafka Granite

 

 

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

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

10. Walgreens Corporate Headquarters – Deerfield, IL

Application: Pewter Stabilized Pathway Mix

Found in 1901, Walgreens is one of the most prevalent pharmacies nationwide with over 8,200 stores across the U.S., the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Walgreens Corporate is a bustling campus of employees. As of 2009, 5,200 employees funneled in and around the headquarters every day — all of them walking on Kafka’s stabilized pathway mix.

 

 

9. I-94 Bridge over St. Croix River – Hudson, WI and Lakeland, MN

Application: Platinum Granite DOT High-Friction Surfacing

In order to endure the intense freeze and thaw cycles of a Midwest winter, the bridge overpass over the St. Croix River was covered with Kafka’s Platinum-colored granite high-friction surfacing. Now thousands of commuters and travelers and cross state lines without worrying about spinning out on an icy bridge. This type of high-friction surfacing aggregate is extremely hard and can endure the abuse of harsh winters and relentless snow plows.

Burma Red Hilltopper Infield Mix - UW Softball Indoor Practice Facility - Madison, WI

Burma Red Hilltopper* Infield Mix – UW Softball Indoor Practice Facility – Madison, WI

8. University of Wisconsin, Madison – Madison, WI

Application: Burma Red Hilltopper* Infield Mix

Staying stateside, Kafka Granite was able to provide the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a beautiful outdoor softball infield using Burma Red Hilltopper* mix. After proving hugely successful with softball-wielding Badgers, Kafka was then asked to install Burma Red Hilltopper* infield mix in their state-of-the-art indoor softball field.


7. Buckingham Fountain – Chicago, IL

Application: Sunset Pink Permeable Paver Grit

Located in “Chicago’s front yard,” the Buckingham Memorial Fountain in Grant Park has been pumping water and churning out impressive light shows since 1927. Standing as one of the largest fountains worldwide, more than 20 million people visit the fountain and park annually, making it the second-most visited park landmark in the United States. Kafka Granite provided the eye-catching sunset pink paver grit located around the expansive fountain in Grant Park, complementing the aesthetic beauty of both park and fountain.

 

Salt & Pepper Granite Stabilized Pathway - Brooklyn Bridge Park - Brooklyn, NY - Project by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Salt & Pepper Granite Stabilized Pathway – Brooklyn Bridge Park – Brooklyn, NY – Project by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

6. Brooklyn Bridge Park – Brooklyn, NY

Application: Salt and Pepper Stabilized Pathway Mix

Aiming to be a “world-class park that is a recreational, environmental and cultural destination,” Brooklyn Bridge Park is 85 acres of renovated post-industrial waterfront in Brooklyn, New York. Construction began in 2008, and the park was roughly 74% complete by the end of 2015. Enjoyed by thousands of park visitors every year for its concessions, volleyball courts, playgrounds and natural habitats, Kafka is proud to have its Salt and Pepper Stabilized Pathway serve as a means to walk through and enjoy the scenery.

 


5. Erin Hills Golf Course – Hartford, WI

Application: Erin Hills Custom Blend Wax Polymer Pathway Mix – Pathways

Gearing up to be the host of the 2017 U.S. Open of the United States Golf Association, Erin Hills is a broad expanse of rolling hills and valleys carved by glaciers. As a cartless, walking-only course, Kafka Granite is using a custom blend wax polymer mix to create walking paths for easier access and maneuverability around the glorious course while being unobtrusive and offering a beautiful natural aesthetic.

 

4. Navy Pier – Chicago, IL

Application: Unilock Decorative Precast Pavers using Kafka’s Recycled Copper Slag

Kafka’s unique recycled copper slag aggregate offers recycled content to precast pavers throughout Chicago’s Navy Pier. As a not-for-profit tourist site, Navy Pier attracts nearly nine million attraction-hungry visitors every year — this ranks it as the top leisure destination in the Midwest.

 

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

3. U.S. Capitol Plaza – Washington, D.C.

Application: Wausau Tile Decorative Precast Pavers using Kafka Granite’s aggregates

At the East Capitol Street entrance to the U.S. Capitol building sits the U.S. Capitol Plaza. Lined with wrought-iron and bronze light fixtures, benches for taking in the capitol and precisely placed shrubs and trees of many varieties, Capitol Plaza is a place where visitors can take in the essence of the U.S. Capitol. Kafka’s aggregates only add to the natural aesthetic of the area by being used in decorative precast pavers throughout the plaza.

 

2. Yankee Stadium – Bronx, New York City

Application: Burma Red Hilltopper* Warning Track

Yankee Stadium is home to one of the most well-known baseball teams in history. Having had names like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez on the roster, fans flock to the Bronx to not only watch great baseball, but to also watch a little bit of history. Burma Red Hilltopper* mix from Kafka is what such a prominent sports team uses for its warning track around the field and under the cleats of greats.

 

1. Times Square – Manhattan, New York City

Application: NYC Blend Epoxy Overlay Streetscape application

Often referred to as “the heart of the world,” Times Square is one of the busiest and most recognizable intersections worldwide. From being featured in countless movie scenes to serving as home to harrowing Harry Houdini stunts, the crossroads of Broadway and Seventh Avenue gets pounded by the feet of over 300,000 people every day. Wisconsin’s Kafka Granite is featured as an epoxy overlay streetscape and adds vibrant life to the ground to complement the lights in the sky, while offering a non-slip surface for pedestrians. The streetscape color is a custom New York City blend and is comprised of 37.5% recycled porcelain.

 

 

Hilltopper* is a registered trademark of Stabilizer Solutions. Kafka Granite no longer utilizes Hilltopper* in the composition of their ballfield mixes.

Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix - D.C. Everest Softball - Schofield, WI

Kafka’s Stabilized Ball Yard Mix Installation

Easy Steps to Installing Stabilized Infield Mix & Warning Track Mix

Kafka Granite’s Burma Red Stabilized Infield and Warning Track Mixes are made of a premier blend of our decomposed granite-based infield or warning track mix and a natural stabilizing binder by Stabilizer Solutions. To ensure that maximum stability, permeability and cohesion are achieved from this infield mix, proper installation is critical.

One of the advantages of a decomposed granite-based ball yard mix is its ability to offer superior permeability due to its granular nature while staying compacted better than sand-, limestone- or clay-based infields. Appropriate preparation and installation of the infield or warning track mix and its base materials will help make any ball field safe and stable for all players while significantly minimizing maintenance for groundskeepers down the road.

Ruby Red Stabilized Warning Track Mix - Buffalo Grove Park District - Buffalo Grove, IL

Ruby Red Stabilized Warning Track Mix – Buffalo Grove Park District – Buffalo Grove, IL

Easy-to-Follow Installation Steps

Measure and lay out infield or warning track. Per your specific field dimensions, measure where the infield or warning track will be laid. This includes marking where existing sprinklers are.

Excavate. Once laying out the field is complete, it’s time to break ground. For the Burma Red Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix, make sure a minimum 3-inch depth is reached all around.

Level native soil. Native soil, the soil that is native to the ground that was just excavated, is often an acceptable base for the Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix. However, if your native soil is sandy, you will have to bring in a different clay-based soil for a compacted base. After the base is laid, it should be leveled, preferably with a laser grader.

Water and compact base layer. After the base layer has been leveled, water thoroughly. Allow the base to dry until damp. The base layer should not be muddy. Then, compact the native soil base using a one-ton drum roller. A plate compactor can be used, if necessary, in hard-to-reach areas.

Spread Kafka’s Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix. Using a front-end loader, the loose material should be laid down to allow for a minimum 3-inch compacted depth. Note: The estimated coverage for Kafka Stabilized Infield Mix is 70-square-feet per ton for a 3-inch depth and 50-square-feet per ton for a 4-inch depth.

Ensure the infield or warning track is sloped at ½%.  A ½% slope of the infield or warning track allows water to drain laterally off the field, which further helps prevent flooding and delayed gameplay. Using a laser grader is preferred to ensure a consistent slope.

Water newly laid infield or warning track. Thoroughly watering Kafka’s Burma Red Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix after it’s been laid and sloped will activate the stabilizing binder. It is always better to overwater the infield than not water it enough at this stage of installation. The field should be damp but not muddy.

Compact infield track. Wait 24–48 hours after watering to compact the infield or warning track. The amount of wait time depends on the amount of water used and the local climate. As soon as the field allows, compact with a one-ton roller. Do not use a vibratory plate compactor or the vibratory setting on the roller, as the vibration may separate the stabilizing binder from the aggregate.

Quality assurance and finishing touches. Check the field for low areas. If any exist, add infield or warning track mix as needed and compact. Repeat as necessary until all low areas are gone. Install base anchors and home plate, and get ready for a great season!

If properly installed, Kafka’s Stabilized Infield or Warning Track Mix will provide a low-maintenance, environmentally friendly ball yard that offers the best permeability and stability around. Expect safer footing and consistent ball play all season long.

Burma Red Hilltopper Infield Mix - Chicago Bandits Stadium - Rosemont, IL

Kafka Granite: Perfecting Baseball & Softball Infields

Burma Red Hilltopper Infield Mix - Penn Park - University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

Burma Red Hilltopper* Infield Mix – Penn Park – University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA

Play Ball, Rain or Shine

Kafka Granite is perfecting the art of ball yard mixes. Offering Standard, Stabilized and Hilltopper* varieties, Kafka understands the fluctuating needs of every ball field’s infield and warning track.

Comprised of decomposed granite, Kafka’s infield and warning track mixes offer a premium ball-playing experience. While most infields use a blend of sand, silt and clay, Kafka realizes the vast advantages of decomposed granite when it comes to player and fan experience. Whether it’s permeability of the infield or its ability to act consistently with hopping balls or skidding players, decomposed granite offers more than other typical infield mixes.

There’s a fine balance when it comes to creating an infield that drains well, yet remains compact enough to provide a firm, stable playing surface. Kafka Granite utilizes a decomposed granite-based infield mix, which reacts better to rain and gameplay than merely compacted clay, sand, or limestone.

Kafka Granite’s decomposed granite is crushed and screened to size and in some instances, pre-blended with either an organic stabilizing binder or an engineered wax polymer for the most cutting-edge technology in ball fields. Continue reading for a brief summary of our infield options and to learn what sets them apart from your everyday muddy and dusty fields.

Standard Topdressing

Kafka Granite’s Burma Red Standard Topdressing mix is a premium, yet cost-effective solution for existing infields. Only ¼” to ½” of depth is needed to cover existing infield material to provide the safe footing, smooth sliding and consistent ball hops known to come standard with Kafka infields.

Stabilized Infield Mix

The Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix combines the best of two worlds: Kafka’s decomposed granite infield mix with Stabilizer Solutions Organic Binder. Stabilizer Solutions’ proprietary natural binder coupled with Kafka’s decomposed granite infield mix provides enhanced stability and footing with increased cohesion while maintaining permeability. With the ability to hold 12 times its weight in water and release moisture when the infield runs dry, Burma Red Stabilized Infield Mix’s ideal moisture reduces mud and dust, provides preferred cushion and flexibility, and requires less maintenance and preparation — which means more time to play ball!

Hilltopper Technology

Hilltopper* Technology

Hilltopper* Infield Mix

Comprised of Kafka Granite’s Standard Burma Red Mix, the Burma Red Hilltopper* Infield Mix also incorporates a water-shedding wax polymer proprietary to Stabilizer Solutions. The cutting edge of infield technology comes from Kafka Granite; the wax polymer combined with the tried-and-true decomposed granite infield mix makes it possible to continue gameplay minutes after a storm has passed, or even during the rain if you wish! As soon as the clouds roll out and the rain stops pouring, this infield mix provides players with a waterless, mudless and dustless playing surface while providing fans with less waiting and more gameplay.

 

 

Hilltopper* is a registered trademark of Stabilizer Solutions. Kafka Granite no longer utilizes Hilltopper* in the composition of their ballfield mixes.