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:
Trowel
Thinset
Level
Tile Saw
Sponge
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.

basalt bathroom tile

4 Walls Made Stunning with Basalt Tiles

When it comes to designing the perfect space, there are a lot of elements to consider. You need to incorporate the right textures, colors and functionality in order to make the most of your space, no matter where it’s located. If you’re in dire need of a timeless design feature to bring any space, new or old, up to date, check out the unique aesthetic and diverse benefits of basalt tiles.

Norstone has been innovating how natural stone can be used, which includes a variety of natural stone veneer applications. Precision-cut basalt veneer comprises Norstone’s Interlocking Lynia and Aksent 3D tile collections—both of which can be used in nearly any way you can imagine. Kafka Granite is the Midwest’s premier distributor of Norstone products, which means you can get started with adding modernity with a natural twist to your project now.

What Is a Basalt Veneer Tile?

Basalt is an all-natural stone, so while its dark gray tones insinuate a modern design, it still adds a natural element to the overall aesthetic. Basalt is an incredibly abundant rock that underlies much of the earth’s surface. Basalt is a volcanic rock that develops from quick-cooling magma after it breaks through the crust of the earth. Its fine-grained nature gives it a smooth and consistent appearance

Norstone has mastered the craft of cutting blocks of basalt stone into thin veneers that are hand-assembled into sheets that are roughly 1 square foot in area. By pre-assembling panels with precision, installation is easier than ever. There are two basalt tile veneer options being made right now:

Aksent 3D Panels: When you truly want your walls, backsplashes, water features (or whatever you like) to make a statement, Norstone’s new Aksent 3D Panels are a surefire choice. These tiles are dimensional, meaning each individual veneer is set on its panel in a precise way that adds depth and vividness to any area.

Lynia IL Tiles: Unlike Aksent 3D Panels, these mesh-mounted tile sheets are made up of nine staggered precision-cut basalt tiles that are set at a uniform height. Each tile is .4” to .6” in thickness, creating a sleek, uniform look across your project’s surface.

The Easiest Tile to Install

When you think of installing tiles on any project, your mind might instantly jump to thoughts of endlessly placing individual pieces. The time-consuming placement of spacers and working with single tiles over large spans of area is distant memory with Norstone’s basalt tiles. Both IL and 3D options arrive pre-assembled. They are expertly crafted so that each unit perfectly interlocks with its neighboring unit. Stepped edges ensure a cozy fit as well as a natural, varied look instead of long stretches of vertical seams.

By requiring very few tools and minimal experience, these have become some of the easiest tiles to install. Simply apply a scratch coat of a polymer-modified thinset and lay your pre-assembled sheets. Lynia IL tiles require the use of unsanded grout once the thinset has cured, but Aksent 3D panels don’t require grout so to better achieve the dry-stacked stone aesthetic. Both varieties require a natural stone sealer since basalt is a porous surface—doing this will ensure your basalt addition stays gorgeous for years to come in any environment.

Four Times Basalt Tiles Made a Boring Wall Awesome

Norstone’s basalt tiles can be used in virtually any setting: feature walls, backsplashes, bathrooms, shower enclosures, retaining walls, water features, indoors or outdoors. Anywhere a contemporary feature could make the perfect statement, these tiles can be used. These are four instances where a drab wall was ditched in lieu for a sleeker, sexier design.

1. Bringing Indoors Outdoors

There are a few reasons the Gray 3D Aksent Panels used in this bathroom really make the space what it is. The modern yet natural look and feel of dimensional tile made from a natural stone is mimicked by the modern bathtub that’s made warmer by a wooden surround. This bathroom feels both modern and midcentury through its fixtures and aesthetic. However, what really makes this bathroom stunning is the extension of the basalt tiles from indoors to the wall outside, which makes the room feel large and as if it’s extending outside. The versatility of Norstone basalt tiles is being used to its fullest here.

basalt bathroom tile

2. Residential and Commercial Kitchens

Whether you are designing the perfect kitchen in the home or looking to create a professional and durable commercial kitchen, Lynia IL Tiles can bring any kitchen into modern times. Bring incredible design to an incredible space with sleek and durable basalt that can deflect whatever food comes its way.

basalt tile kitchens

3. Large Focal Walls Made Easy

When creating a focal wall, it’s easy to pick a tile material or pattern that becomes overwhelming or too busy on a large scale. The smooth texture and cooling grays of basalt are soothing to the eye, even in big proportions, and won’t have you worrying if you chose too much of a good thing.

basalt tile accent wall

4. Modern Stone Pools

Picking a pool’s surround is a big job. It sets the tone for the area whether it’s indoors or outdoors, so being on-par with the surrounding aesthetic is important. However, it has to be a material durable enough to stand up to rowdy poolgoers, varying temperatures and constantly running water features. This pool and water feature are brought into a sleek and modern design with the use of Gray Lynia IL Tiles. Where the designer could’ve stuck with a bland cement surround or a blue liner, they chose an option that will stay trendy and contemporary for decades.

stone pool tile

Choose the Basalt Tile to bring Your Space up to Speed

When it comes to designing the ultimate contemporary space using all-natural materials, look no further than basalt veneer tiles. Get in touch with Kafka Granite today to find out more about the dynamic uses and durability of Norstone Tiles. Whether you need the ideal material for indoor or outdoor use, dry or wet areas, basalt can provide the natural yet modern appeal popular today for any room you’re working on.

Ochre Rock Panels by Norstone

Your Guide to Picking the Perfect Norstone Products for You

Picture immense feature walls covered in cascading natural stone or imagine your kitchen backsplash making a bold statement with modern lines in a contemporary gray. Norstone has been crafting natural stone tiles to fit a variety of design needs from natural to contemporary. Kafka Granite is proud to be the Midwest’s exclusive distributor of Norstone’s premium stone veneer panels and tile, and we’re always willing to help you find the right Norstone solution for you.

What Is Norstone?

Norstone is a premier manufacturer and supplier of natural stone products globally and has been focused on innovating natural stone as an interior and exterior design element. With its advanced stone systems, Norstone is able to provide thin stone veneers and tiles that turn ordinary spaces into remarkable ones.

Norstone products have been used to adorn everything from fireplaces and feature walls to pools and luxury showers. Large-scale businesses, such as hotels and concert halls, to private residencies have taken advantage of the immense beauty, functionality and ease-of-installation offered from Norstone products.

Charcoal Rock Panels by Norstone

Go with Natural Rock or Modern Basalt Tiles

Norstone makes a variety of natural stone products to fit the ever-changing needs and trends of today. They manufacture standard and XL stacked stone veneers, as well as natural basalt tiles that can be acquired in a three-dimensional panel or flat tile pattern. These varieties come in a smattering of different colors to match the aesthetic your heart desires and, the best part: they’re so easy to install, which insures a beautiful natural stone feature wall without the steep labor costs of individually placed stone.

Norstone Standard Rock Panels

Norstone Standard Rock Panels

 

Norstone XL Rock Panel

Norstone’s XL Rock Panel are still one square foot panels, but with larger stone pieces than the standard panels.

Norstone’s stacked stone veneers resemble large blocks of stone meticulously stacked and arranged in just the right way to fit your space. However, Norstone has ditched the bulk, time and weight of entire stones to bring you just the veneers—which are essentially just the face of the stone—preassembled into one square foot panels. With four different colors available of its natural stone rock panel tiles, as well as its bigger brother XL rock panels, nearly any design aesthetic can be achieved with this staggered natural stone option. Unlike assembling a wall out of stone piece by piece, these veneers will arrive in preassembled panels that seamlessly interlock with finger-jointed corners for a seamless design. The goal is to be able to create a luxury-level space in an easy and manageable way.

 

 

Basalt IL Tiles

Basalt IL Tiles

 

Basalt 3D Panels

Lynia 3D Panels are the only three dimensional basalt veneer rock panels on the market.

If a textured stone surface isn’t quite the match for your space, Norstone also manufactures sleek natural basalt tiles. The Lynia Tile Collection is a “righteous marriage of design, technology and extraordinary stone” that will make any room feel like a haven for all things contemporary. Available in two tones of grey, Ash Grey and a dark Ebony, basalt tiles can complement nearly any space design with modernity in mind. Unlike the flat Standard Lynia IL Tiles, Norstone’s new Aksent 3D Tile Collection is composed of sheets of staggered basalt tiles to create the only three-dimensional basalt panel on the market. Both varieties of basalt tiles are crafted by hand with unique interlocking edge profiles so that one panel of tiles will seamlessly interlock with neighboring panels.

Where Are You Installing the Tiles?

Before you commit to one of Norstone’s products, truly take into consideration where you are looking to install it. What is the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve? What is the aesthetic of the existing surroundings? For example, while you may love the look of Lynia IL Tiles, they may not be the perfect complement in a log home or rustic restaurant.

If you’re seeking a natural surround for around your fireplace, pool waterfall, retaining wall, or kitchen backsplash, Norstone’s Rock Panel Collection could be your best fit. The unique and varying texture that shows through on the face of these stacked stone panels will take you back to natural rock ledges or stony walls found in nature. The Ochre panels have a beautiful range in natural colors, while the stark White Quartz panels are more modern with still a rough, natural stone finish.

Ochre Standard Rock Panels

If sleek lines and contemporary fixtures will surround your project, then Lynia IL tiles will only add to the modern atmosphere you’re trying to achieve. The long, sophisticated lines of basalt tiles are the epitome of modernity.

Ebony Basalt Interlocking Tiles by Norstone

No matter which design appeals to you more, you can rest assured that all of Norstone’s panels are assembled by hand to ensure that meticulous specifications are met. Finger-jointed corner systems means you won’t have to miter corners or worry about cutting each tile with hopes they’ll fit together. The only iteration of Norstone’s tiles that requires grouting with an unsanded grout is the Lynia IL collection. However, these prearranged tiles are mounted on a mesh backing for a perfect one square foot sheet every time. The simplicity of installation will save you time when it comes to measuring, cutting, laying, and grouting.

The Perfect Stone Solution for Indoors or Outdoors

You don’t have to keep Norstone tiles restricted to indoor applications. While the naturally sourced stacked rock veneers and basalt tiles will “wow” anyone who comes into your space, they can also earn a great deal of curb appeal when used for exterior facades, retaining walls, water features, and landscaping. The applications are seemingly endless—you simply need to have a space that’s begging for an easy and beautiful update.

Ash Grey Basalt Interlocking Tiles by Norstone

A Short List of What to Consider

Budget: Consider your budget. With Norstone products, you’ll be spending a fraction on labor costs with these preset stone veneers than what you would spend on a mountain of full-sized, individually stacked stone to create the same look. And because this is a groutless solution, with the exception of Lynia Interlocking Tiles, you will be saving money on those associated expenses.

Design: By taking into account the aesthetic of the areas surrounding your project, you’ll be better guided in choosing between all of what Norstone has to offer. While all four product lines are made from naturally sourced stone that cannot truly be mimicked by machined or man-made stone, the standard stacked stone veneer will complement more traditional projects in a wide variety of settings while the modern basalt tiles will make any space feel more contemporary.

Time: Each panel is assembled to exacting specifications to that you can rest assured each will perfectly nest into the edge profile of its neighboring panel. With little to no cutting of individual tiles or corner miters, installing an entire project will take a fraction of the time than if you were to cut and set each stone individually. Groutless solutions mean your job is done after the adhesive has set, but even when grouting with Lynia IL tiles, you’re guaranteed consistent grout lines and a clean look.

Standard Charcoal Rock Panels by Norstone

Kafka Has the Natural Stone Veneer Solution for You

Chat with us today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your architectural project, send you free sample to help you make your decision, and point you in the direction of your nearest Norstone dealer for residential projects. We know you’ll be pleased with the burst of beautiful design Norstone adds to any space.

Chocolate Brown Granite Stabilized Pathway - Private Residence, WI - Installed by Lakeshores Landscape and Design

4 Reasons to Invest in Landscape Design

The space outside your home often takes up more square footage than the area inside your home, and it’s what most people first notice. No matter if you are in charge of maintaining an office building, a college campus or even your own home sweet home, making sure its landscape is well-designed can make a great and lasting first impression.

Creating a cohesive, unique and aesthetically pleasing landscape through a variety of flowers, plants, pathways and strategically placed water features or boulders could be exactly what you need to up your curb appeal. You can do-it-yourself, but we promise seeking out the help of a professional is well worth the investment. Here are four reasons why:

Ochre XL Rock Panels by Norstone

Ochre XL Rock Panels by Norstone featured in an Minneapolis Outdoor Kitchen

1. Create the Best Outdoor Living Space

When it comes to your home, living doesn’t have to be restricted to indoor areas. In 2016, one of the most desired features for a home to have includes prime outdoor gathering areas. Creating a functional living space isn’t simply adding a patio set and a few potted plants, though. To truly add value and create an ambient space, you may need an expert’s touch. Landscape architects or designers can masterfully curate the right materials, features, plants and furniture to make your outdoor living space not only incredibly functional, but also seamlessly integrated into the rest of your property as a whole.

Perhaps you want a great place to warm up by a fire in colder Midwestern weather. Creating a designated area to sit back and roast a marshmallow or have great conversations with family can be done through a thoughtfully integrated decomposed granite patio surrounding a stone or metal fire pit. Forget the chairs—dot the fire pit surrounding with natural granite boulders to create an outdoor living space that truly integrates with its natural surroundings. By crafting a hub for family and friends to gather outside will add immense appeal and usefulness to all parts of your home.

Midnight Blue Granite Decorative Rip Rap - Private Residence, WI

Midnight Blue Decorative Rip Rap creates stunning curb appeal at this Wisconsin home.

2. Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Most people feel better about going into a home that looks inviting on the outside instead of one that looks rundown or unkempt—this is where professional landscaping proves its value. If you are looking to sell your home, exact return on investment numbers vary as some people report a 20 percent increase in home value up to a 150 percent increase in value. It depends how much you can spend on your landscaping.

Kafka Granite has the landscape materials to add the perfect aesthetic to your space. From decomposed granite in nearly 60 colors to naturally round multi-colored boulders, we can supply the unique materials needed to put your yard ahead of the rest. Selecting the right landscape stone for your garden could be just the right feature to complement your home. With cleverly designed landscaping, including the right materials, textures and colors, your home could be the talk of the block.

Chocolate Brown Standard Pathway - Private Residence, WI

Chocolate Brown Standard Pathway Mix was a great solution for a permeable patio at this Wisconsin Lakehome. 

3. Help the Environment

When done properly, a great landscape design can also contribute to the environment. If you’re an eco-conscious person, look into a landscape architect who has specific know-how in how to make your landscape not only look great, but function better for the environment. Natural cobble retaining walls could help stave off erosion, which could stop urban soil from getting into nearby waterways.

Creating shaded areas also contributes to diminishing the urban heat island effect by helping lower temperatures in and around cities. And by considering how permeable your groundcover is, you could contribute to groundwater recharge and stormwater control. If you design a patio, driveway or walkway made from materials that offer little to no permeability, you could be harming groundwater recharge and stormwater control as the water has no opportunity to absorb into the earth—instead it runs into storm drains, which in large volumes causes flooding and pollution. If you choose to landscape with a permeable material, such as standard decomposed granite aggregate or landscaping stone, you’ll help rainwater or melting snow get right back to where it belongs; in the soil.

If you’re unsure how to create an outdoor space that functions well and looks beautiful, get in touch with your local landscape architect or nursery to start searching for eco-friendly solutions like these.

Wisconsin Granite Boulders - Private Residence, IL

A suburban Chicago residence created a tranquil water feature with Wisconsin Granite Boulders.

4. Add Peace in a Hectic City

Lastly, one of the more important aspects to having a landscaped yard, you could add much-needed tranquility. Especially if you live in or around a buzzing metro, creating a livable and peaceful landscape in your own backyard, office courtyard, etc., could be exactly what you need to clear your head. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve mood and memory in city-dwellers. Too much stimulation, the standard for your busy city, can weaken some of the mind’s functions.

If you take the time and consideration to create quiet spaces outdoors, in a natural environment, you can help make your yard more useful than ever. Block out the noise of the city and enjoy the outdoors!

Kafka Granite Can Help Create Your Great Landscape

If ever you’ve doubted the power of landscape architecture and design, these four reasons should have you considering its investment, environmental and aesthetic appeal. Kafka Granite supplies the cobbles, permeable pathway mix, landscaping stone, and thin-stone veneer you need to create an inviting and functional landscape that everyone can enjoy. Get in touch today to learn about where your nearest Kafka Granite dealer is, or, if you’re interested in becoming a dealer yourself, simply ask us about our dealer program! Why settle for a few potted plants and a lawn gnome when you could be enjoying beautiful crushed stone patios, winding pathways and natural retaining walls in a yard the neighbors will stop and awe? Make use of your valuable outdoor space now.

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.

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

How to Make a Pathway from Standard Decomposed Granite

Our parks and common spaces can be essential relaxing oases for everybody. Whether you want to craft a beautiful sanctuary clad with meditation fountains or you simply want to improve an existing walking or biking path through a public space, we have the variety you’re looking for in decomposed granite. When it comes time to laying a path down, you want it to be functional, durable and good-looking—the last thing you need is a muddy eyesore cluttering a piece of the great outdoors.

Kafka Granite can help you find exactly what you’ve been searching for. Whether you’re a landscape architect planning your next design or contractor seeking the best in decomposed granite for the project, give us a call today. Pathways made from decomposed granite (DG) are aesthetically beautiful, durable and can be incredibly permeable—all qualities you want in a pathway.

So you’ve been tasked to create or replace a pathway. Once you’ve chosen your vibrant, natural aggregate—which can be the tough part with over 50 different colors to choose from—you might be wondering what to do next. You’ll need your aggregate, water, and a 1-ton double drum roller (minimum) to get the job done. Are you ready?

Starting with a firm base is critical to a successful decomposed granite pathway, as they achieved with the Platinum Stabilized Granite Pathway at the St. Louis Arch.

Starting with a firm base is crucial to a successful decomposed granite pathway, as they achieved with the Platinum Stabilized Granite at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

1. Setting the Base

Laying a gravel path is easier than if you were to make one out of bricks, pavers, or flagstone. A hardscape path can take on more complicated twists and turns that might prove to be too much work when making a cobblestone pathway. Aggregate paths are beautiful and functional—able to endure traffic from pedestrians, bicycles and even vehicles.

First, you should decide where you want your path to be. You can do this simply be drawing a crude sketch of your vision and pathway location or even by staking out the path along your intended route. Once you’ve completed the direction, width and design of your path, you can start with the base. The compacted base depth varies depending on the path’s purpose. Remember, the subgrade should be even and free of debris.

Your local DOT-approved road base is a suitable base material for this application. Evenly spread this base layer at a depth of roughly four to six inches (four inches for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, six inches for vehicular traffic), water until damp, and roll with a 1-ton double drum roller until compacted to 95 percent. Hand tampers are acceptable for extremely tight spaces and nooks, but it is always recommended to use a 1-ton (minimum) double drum roller for the majority of a path’s surface to achieve proper compaction. The path’s base layer is essential to compaction and drainage, and it serves as the foundation for the path itself. Creating a solid base is crucial to the success of your pathway.

Note: You can opt to lay down a weed barrier or filter fabric over this bottom layer. Landscaping fabric is made up of tightly woven plastic fibers and can greatly diminish weeds from growing sporadically through your pathway.

 

Shamrock Green Granite Stabilized Pathway - Oakbrook Center - Oakbrook, IL

Oakbrook Center in Oakbrook, IL utilized both metal edging and sod for their Shamrock Green Stabilized Pathway.

2. Edging Your Path

Another step to consider is edging. If you’re worried that decomposed granite will stray from the path upon completion and leak into the surrounding grass, edging might be the right choice for you. However, if your path is cutting through more organic arenas, such as gardens or forests, you might not be too concerned about keeping your granite within boundaries and this step can be skipped.

Galvanized steel, pressure-treated wood, cobblestones, bricks, or plastic edging are all viable options for your pathway edges. Each type of edging has its own benefits and pitfalls, and your choice could ultimately come down to cost and aesthetic. Set the edging in place after you’ve compacted your base layer and added your optional landscaping fabric. Remember that when you spread your top layer of DG, you can have the top edge of your chosen border sit one ½ inch above the top of your DG layer so not to overflow or lose some of your gravel. You can also choose to fill your pathway until the DG is flush with the top of your edging. The aesthetic and functionality of your pathway is completely up to you and your desired outcome.

Salt & Pepper Granite Stabilized Pathway - Toro Headquarters - Bloomington, IL

A 1-2 ton double-drum roller is always recommended for optimum compaction, as they used on this Salt & Pepper Stabilized Pathway at the Toro Headquarters in Bloomington, MN

3. Add Your Standard Decomposed Granite

Finally, add your decomposed granite gravel. Using a steel rake or heavier machinery, evenly spread your top layer throughout the entire pathway. If using an optional edging, be careful not to overflow or damage your edging. Once your DG is evenly spread, compact to 95 percent with a 1-2 ton double-drum roller, resulting in a minimum of 3 inches for pedestrian traffic and 4 inches for vehicular traffic. Multiple lifts may be required. If installing at a depth greater than 3 inches, it is recommended to install in 2–3-inch increments. Once spread and compacted to required depth and compaction, water until the pathway is damp, but refrain from making it muddy. Watering the pathway will help the rock dust settle to the bottom and allow the beautiful kernels of stone to come to the surface.

If you’re using a stabilized or wax polymer decomposed granite for your pathway, watering happens at different stages in the process or not at all. Stabilized pathways need the binder to be water-activated, so is recommended to pre-hydrate the aggregate before laying the path and compacting it in order to achieve consistent moisture content. In contrast, wax polymer pathways don’t need any watering at all as they’re made to shed water. Refer to these installation guides if you’re not using a standard decomposed granite as your pathway material:

Stabilized DG Pathways
Wax Polymer DG Pathways

Kafka Granite Is Your Decomposed Granite Headquarters

From curious landscape architect to experienced contractor, Kafka can help you find the perfect decomposed granite product for you. We offer standard, stabilized and wax polymer pathway mixes. These different varieties offer a natural look and feel, no matter where the pathway is located, but with varying levels of added stabilizing binders or engineered polymers. When trying to decide which option would be best for your project, consider how much foot or vehicular traffic your path might need to endure as well as what you need in terms of permeability and erosion control.

For samples or answers to your questions, get in touch with us today. We have the widest decomposed granite color variety in the industry and know how to make a pathway look good. Get started today and complete your pathway project this season!

Stabilized Pathway

Best Pathway Materials for High-Traffic Areas

Best Solution for High-traffic Pathways

It’s no secret that pathways are incredibly useful. They keep your feet out of the mud when you cross over damp gardens or yards, they can help you transport heavy loads without getting stuck and they can guide you through forests or parks with ease. While their functionality may be the main purpose you put in a pathway, don’t forget that they can also be beautiful. They can blend in with your natural surroundings or stand out to make a landscaping design statement. No matter the purpose of your pathway, Kafka Granite can help make it happen.

Kafka Granite has been perfecting aggregates for decades. Our state-of-the-art crushing facility has been outfitting landscaping centers, architects, landscape designers, product manufacturers, and more with nearly 60 different colors of crushed stone and recycled materials for a while now—more than three decades. This know-how has made us well-versed in pathway materials, especially what it takes to create a pathway ideal for high-traffic scenarios. Perhaps you’re searching for a solution to building a path through a mucky woods area, or maybe you want to build a winding and clear route for golf carts to navigate around your course. Whatever you’re searching for, Kafka can help you find the right pathway material for your specific products.

What Pathway Material Is Right for Your Project?

When choosing the right pathway material, there are a few factors you should take into consideration.

Things to Consider for your Pathway

1. Environment
2. Traffic load
3. Cost
4. Design goals

What is the environment you’ll be constructing a pathway in? Is there a pre-existing pathway you need tear out? Are there steep hills? Is it highly erosive? Is permeability important for the surrounding ecology? Or are you trying to create a path through a damp and natural environment like Perkins Woods in Cook County? The type of environment a path is getting placed in will determine how you build the path as well as what type of pathway will work best, e.g., stabilized, wax polymer, etc.

How much traffic will this pathway need to be able to endure? The pathway material you use, as well as the depth the material is installed, will differ depending on if it will only carry foot traffic or a combination of foot and vehicular traffic during its lifetime.

No matter what project you take on, there is a budget in place. Decomposed granite pathways are an excellent alternative to asphalt or cement in terms of cost. While initial costs may not always be lower, pathways made from decomposed granite (DG) won’t endure the same type of damage asphalt or concrete will. Asphalt pathways can dip and sag over time with repetitive wear. Concrete has the tendency to crack as it thaws and freezes in colder climates. Both types of damage require repair and maintenance time and time again. Kafka’s decomposed granite pathways can flex with freeze/thaw cycles and can be easily repaired or freshened up by adding more granite until level, watering, and compacting in place. The cost effectiveness of DG over time is a benefit anyone can appreciate. With a little TLC and no major expenses, decomposed granite pathways will last as long as you want them too.

Lastly, consider your design goals. The aesthetic you want might not be achievable with cold-looking concrete or obtrusive asphalt. Kafka’s pathway materials, on the other hand, have a natural finish and are available in a wide variety of colors. From blacks and browns to whites and greens—our pathway aggregate blends are vibrant or neutral in color, making them suitable for practically any application.

Stabilized Decomposed Granite Pathways

This is a great option for pathways that may endure heavy foot traffic throughout its life. Stabilized DG pathways are crafted from crushed stone, screened to specifications that allow for maximum compaction and drainage, and are mixed with a stabilizing binder. We offer two different binders that are organic, come from renewable sources, and don’t distract from natural environments. Both Organic-Lock and Stabilizer Solutions are pre-blended for easy installation, but to truly decide which may be best for your project, call or send a message to one of our experts today.

Our stabilized pathways are more durable than our standard pathways, which don’t necessitate any sort of stabilizer or binder. Stabilized Pathways retain permeability, unlike concrete or asphalt, and thanks to added binders, they can stand up against erosive weather and foot traffic and remain wheelchair accessible.

Wax Polymer Decomposed Granite Pathways

Unlike stabilized pathways, wax polymer pathways provide dustless, sealed and non-permeable surfaces. This option comes premixed, meaning you just have to place it and compact it—no watering needed. And if you need to tear it up to get to utilities beneath or make major repairs in the future, simply remove, replace, compact, and it will be good to go. For minor repairs or to bring new life to the surface, simply scarify and recompact. Maintenance made simple, that’s what decomposed granite pathways are all about.

Wax polymer pathways are more durable and hardier than stabilized pathways. This material can be used on hilly terrain, steep grades and flat ground. The engineered polymer is incredibly durable, adaptable and dustless, and it will never get muddy or mucky. This pathway material is a popular option for cart trails at golf courses or for plazas, patios, trails, driveways and walkways that expect lots of traffic or have highly erosive areas such as steep slopes. Just like our other pathway materials, though, wax polymer pathways still lend more design to a space than concrete or asphalt and are available in the same versatile color variety.

Decomposed Granite Options for High-Traffic Areas

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of stabilized and wax polymer pathway solutions from Kafka, let’s talk today. Our professionals can answer any questions you may still have about which option is best for your project. We can also send you free samples so you can decide between our broad palette of color options. Whether you’re on the hunt for a vibrant walking trail or a natural yet durable path for golf carts or small vehicles, we have the best decomposed options for your high-traffic pathway.

Eco-Friendly Permeable Paver Grit in Chicago

Creating green environments—especially in urban areas—is on the rise. From the installation of a new solar panel project every two minutes to the emphasis on reducing carbon emissions, people are focused on reducing energy consumption and helping the environment for a greener tomorrow. Cities today are faced with the challenge of meeting the needs of urban dwellers as well as trying to foster an eco-friendly future. One way to help the environment is right beneath our feet.

Permeable pavers and permeable paver grit help reduce stormwater runoff as well as replenish groundwater. The permeability of these pavers and corresponding crushed aggregate between pavers means that stormwater—which can collect and carry harmful pollutants with it—can seep through the surface of the ground and be naturally filtered as it passes. The encouraged absorption of this rainwater also means that nearby rivers and lakes are less likely to be subject to pollutants and flooding.

Chicago Going Green with Permeability

Nearly 2.7 million people are living in the urban jungle dubbed Chicago. With that many people creating carbon footprints and siphoning energy, any push toward a greener tomorrow is a good one. Check out some of Chicago’s greenest grounds: Buckingham Fountain Plaza, Loyola University and the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Buckingham Fountain

buckingham fountian chicago

The pavers making the expansive plaza surrounding Chicago’s infamous Buckingham Fountain uses Kafka Granite’s aggregate between pavers. Our Sunset Pink permeable paver grit perfectly complements the aesthetic of this historic fountain and landmark while providing the green solution fit for Chicago’s eco-conscious efforts.

Permeable paving in Chicago is most effective in areas closer to Lake Michigan because they’re underlain with sandy permeable soils—which makes Buckingham Fountain the perfect place for a permeable paver grit solution. Kafka’s expansive color variety enabled the paver grit to be a  beautiful compliment to the unique Unilock pavers in this setting, as well as be the most functional solution for a permeable plaza.

Loyola University

loyola university chicago

Loyola University of Chicago is home to more than 16,000 students. When it came to grounds solutions, permeable paver grit was the go-to for this project. Used as fill between Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement, Kafka’s Mauve permeable paver grit (PPG) provides ample stormwater drainage. Our quality materials also easily stand up to high volumes of foot traffic and the grueling freeze/thaw cycles of a Midwestern winter. With Kafka’s aggregate as Loyola’s permeable grit, they won’t have to worry about the grit breaking down or clogging their runoff system.

Metropolitan Correctional Center

pavers at metropolitan correctional center

The Metropolitan Correctional Center was opened in 1975 and stands as a looming 28-story federal prison in the thick of Chicago’s downtown. While this may seem unusual, the prison as a whole fits into the architectural backdrop of the city. With a sleek combination of modern and urban design, complementing the design was important when it came to the surrounding plaza. The MCC’s unique landscape design called on using both Kafka’s Platinum Granite PPG and Wausau Tile’s permeable pavers. What’s more, our standard platinum granite pathway material was used throughout the patio area in order to allow for maximum drainage around the trees.

Superior Permeability with Kafka’s Superior Quality

Our state-of-the-art crushing facility can create permeable paver grit to match your exact sizing needs or standards. Plus our impressive variety of color options, nearly 60 colors in all, means you can find the paver grit to perfectly complement your paving project. The importance of a high-quality PPG that is properly sized for your project cannot be stressed enough. Opting for softer materials, such as marbles and limestones, leaves you at risk for clogged joints as those materials will break down with time. Similarly, a grit that is too small defeats the purpose of a permeable design as it will compact too densely and not allow for optimum drainage. If you’re paying a premium for permeable pavers, make sure to get the most out of them with the right PPG.

Thinking about permeability in your next project is important for the environment. By allowing stormwater to move through pavement, you minimize the risks associated with stormwater discharge. According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, permeable pavers and permeable paver grit:

  • Promote stormwater infiltration, groundwater recharge, and stream baseflow preservation
  • Reduce the discharge of stormwater pollutants to surface waters
  • Reduce stormwater discharge volumes and rates
  • Reduce the temperature of stormwater discharge

The importance of permeability in ground-cover solutions is especially important when protecting nature from harmful pollutants, which keeps our cities like Chicago beautiful places to live and visit. Plus, permeable solutions can earn you points toward LEED certification for your project. To hear more about the benefits of Kafka’s permeable paver grit, contact us today. Our experts can answer any question you may have and can help with your project.