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.

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway - Perkins Woods - Evanston, IL

Pathway Through Perkins Woods: A Kafka Granite Case Study

Perkins Woods, a suburban forest preserve in Cook County, is seven acres of heavily wooded land where wildlife, migratory birds and citizens of Evanston, Illinois come together. Serving as the romping ground for people of Cook County who want to enjoy the serenity of nature without traveling too far, Perkins Woods is enjoyed by many.

So many people, in fact, that the existing asphalt trail had become dilapidated and deteriorated over time. Worn, cracked and crumbly, the path had grown to be a hazard to those trying to walk through the woods. The debate over how to replace it, though, grew to be bigger than just deciding whether or not to replace the five-foot-wide problem path.

Residents argued over whether to replace the asphalt trail with a larger 10-foot-wide concrete path or a more natural crushed granite trail. After heavy pushing from a small group of residents, it was decided that a smaller granite path, which could allow water to seep through while retaining a natural look and feel, would only enhance the beauty of Perkins Woods.

Perkins Woods Stabilized Pathway Installation

The material was delivered to a nearby side street, where the aggregate was then pre-hydrated using a water truck and skid-steer.

WHEN: October, 2013. As all stabilized pathway projects, the material had to be installed before a freeze cycle occurred.

WHERE: Evanston, Illinois. One square block of heavily wooded land.

WHY: The existing five-foot-wide asphalt path had broken down with use and over time. Perkins Woods is an especially damp and wet area as well, and the culverts beneath had been silted in, causing further deterioration to the path due to standing water and lack of drainage.

WHO: Century Contractors was chosen to remove the old path and install the new one. Paul Williams of Williams Design Group was volunteering as part of the Perkins Woods Steering Committee, and was instrumental in selecting the material and designing the new installation. Although it was their first time working with Kafka, Williams and the Committee knew it would be an ideal match as they had seen Kafka’s crushed granite used nearby at the Ladd Arboretum in Evanston.

Perkins Woods Stabilized Pathway Installation

Century Contractors installed the new pathway. Working space was tight as they wound through the forest preserve.

Both Kafka sales representative Dan Steidl and members of the Cook County Forest Preserve were on-site during the installation of the path. Kafka Granite sends sales representatives to job sites when possible to aid with installation. Funding for the new path came from the Cook County Forest Preserve, which also came to observe installation. It was great to have them at the job site so they could see how poor the existing path was and how much of an improvement the new path would be.

WHAT: The Cook County Forest Preserve chose to use Kafka’s Pewter Granite-colored Organic-Lock stabilized pathway. Installed at a three-inch depth, this is an all-natural pathway. The color of the crushed granite complements the natural tones and hues found within the woods while the improved permeability of the crushed granite when compared with the old asphalt path would help the surrounding soil and plants.

Water pooling during heavy rain was also a problem that existed with the asphalt pathway. The stabilized pathway with Organic-Lock stabilizer would minimize pooling, redistribute that water to surrounding land and could remain non-slip so to ensure the safety of nature-seekers who might get caught in the rain. And when installed correctly, Organic-Lock stabilizer is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; so although the pathway is natural, it’s completely wheelchair accessible.

Kafka’s crushed granite stabilized pathway served as the perfect and natural alternative to the previously obtrusive and non-permeable asphalt path.

Perkins Woods Stabilized Pathway Installation

The designer chose a natural edging option, to allow the path to blend with its surroundings.

HOW: There were several hurdles to jump during and after installation of the Perkins Woods walking path. The first issue addressed was how to dampen the material. The Organic-Lock binder has to be “activated” — activation of the stabilizing binder happens by mixing it with water. This process has to happen in a location where the pathway mix won’t become contaminated with dirt, leaves or other debris, making activation in the middle of the woods impossible.

A solution was found by mixing the stabilized pathway mix outside of the woods on a nearby side street with the help of a skid steer and a water truck.

Another issue arose soon after installation of the path. Perkins Woods has above-average moisture levels, extending the cure time of the stabilized pathway. While not yet cured, a tree-trimming group had driven a vehicle onto the path, disrupting it and causing minor damage.

Pewter Granite Stabilized Pathway - Perkins Woods - Evanston, IL

The completed path is now enjoyed year-round by local residents.

Working well with the contractors, Kafka’s recommendation of investing in an extra super sack of the Pewter Stabilized Pathway Mix was acted on. After scarifying the surface of the damaged area, the extra pathway mix was blended with water to activate, leveled and compacted over prepped areas of the pathway. After a proper cure time in the environmental conditions of Perkins Woods, the new pathway can withstand the weight and abuse of nature goers and vehicles, and the Cook County Forest Preserve is happy with the completed pathway.

Instead of opting for a large and obtrusive concrete pathway, Kafka Granite helped Perkins Woods find a pathway that complements the natural essence of the land by both its aesthetic value, and its ability to allow water to drain instead of pool and deteriorate the path. With proper maintenance, the Cook County Forest Preserve and the residents of Evanston can enjoy this natural pathway for many years to come.

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.

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

LEED Credits With Kafka Granite

Since 2000, LEED Certification has served as the industry standard for measuring a building’s environmental sustainability. LEED, standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a way to establish and recognize a building as a “green” or eco-friendly structure or project.

Kafka Granite offers an incredible amount of products that could help your new or old construction project get acknowledged as green and receive one of four levels of LEED certification: certified, silver, gold or platinum.

From energy-efficient options such as white roofing aggregates to recycled materials like crushed porcelain or glass, Kafka offers repurposed and all-natural solutions to be used in a variety of ways. We can also help ensure architects are selecting regionally specific aggregate in order to achieve Regional Priority Credits. Since some of Kafka’s products are sourced from around the nation, it’s critical to ensure you’re getting materials that fulfill “geographically specific environmental priorities” in order to garner LEED credit for RPCs. To learn about all the ways Kafka materials can be used in your project and get it closer to LEED certification, talk to us today.

Why should your project be LEED-certified?

LEED certification will reap different incentives depending on which state your project is in. Not only will an impressively sustainable or eco-conscious build garner media attention or community support from those who appreciate green efforts, but they could also receive tax credits or fee reductions/waivers among other things.

Eight different green aspects of a building are taken into account:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Location and Transportation
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional Priority

Depending on the type of the project, there are 110–136 credits that can be earned. The more credits earned (the more criteria fulfilled) will translate to a higher LEED-certification level: 40–49 credits for certified, 50–59 credits for silver, 60–79 credits for gold and more than 80 credits to achieve platinum certification.

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

“Using more green materials, including renewable materials, recycled materials, and natural materials, is good for the building occupants and the environment.” Using organic or recycled materials from Kafka Granite can earn a project more points toward a higher level of LEED certification.

Is being LEED-certified more expensive than not building with recycled/natural materials?

Aiming to build a LEED-certified project, according to this study, will only initially cost as much or slightly more than a project not building with recycled or natural materials. However, the benefits and incentives gained from LEED certification may likely outweigh or outearn the extra construction and materials costs paid up front.

By working with Kafka Granite on your next LEED-certified project, you will get the best possible natural or recycled materials — such as our expansive variety of decomposed granite, crushed aggregate, and recycled materials — to aid in your green initiative. To discuss your specific needs or potential solutions, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable experts.

 

Kafka Granite Recycled Smoked Glass

Kafka Granite Paves Way for Sustainability

Investing in sustainability and eco-friendly ventures is costly. Despite the obvious and necessary environmental benefits, the sheer price tag of going green prevents many businesses from making this ecological leap. Kafka Granite, a family owned small business, has found an impressive number of ways to bear its eco-conscious muscle and help the environment despite its size.

In addition to offering decomposed granite aggregate solutions, which are an inherently environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt or concrete, Kafka Granite offers a broad portfolio of other green solutions, such as white roofs and permeable paver grit. Thinking outside of the granite box, Kafka has even teamed up with several other businesses in efforts to recycle waste product such as porcelain, glass, mirror, firebrick and slag.

Decomposed granite is a natural product and is the result of granitic rocks being weathered and eroded. Although organic stabilizing binders can be added and the aggregate is compacted, the permeability of decomposed granite aggregate perseveres. Beyond natural decomposed granite, many other eco-friendly hardscape solutions are becoming popular. In addition to supplying manufacturers with aggregate to create permeable pavers, Kafka Granite also specially produces permeable paver grit, the joint filler between the pavers.

Sunset Pink Permeable Paver Grit- Buckingham Fountain - Chicago, IL

Sunset Pink Permeable Paver Grit- Buckingham Fountain – Chicago, IL

An added benefit of Kafka Granite’s permeable paver grit is its ability to complement the pavers’ color or design. It can be practically camouflaged or can lend itself to the aesthetics of the area while providing the appropriately sized joint filler. Using the correct size, and hardness, of aggregate between pavers ensures that joints between pavers won’t become clogged and the permeability of the joints will remain optimal during its lifespan.

The incredible permeability of Kafka’s aggregate prevents water runoff or unwanted flooding — instead, the water permeates the aggregate and is reabsorbed by the soil and water table below. Ancillary benefits of Kafka aggregate include its lifespan — requiring fewer replacements than alternatives.

Some of Kafka’s aggregates are manufactured for other environmental causes such as white roofs. Also known as cool roofs, Kafka produces recycled porcelain and white quartz which can be applied to pre-existing rooftops using a two-part epoxy overlay. Naturally round Birchwood granite is also available for traditional rooftop ballast applications. White roofs diminish the heat island effect — the occurrence of higher temperatures in urban areas versus rural ones — exhibited by dark roofs. By reflecting the majority of the sun’s rays, the ambient temperature surrounding a white roof is dramatically lower. The cooling costs of a structure with a white roof are also reduced, saving costs for homeowners, business owners, and the atmosphere.

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

Kafka Granite Recycled Copper Slag

As a Wisconsin-based company, Kafka looked to native-Wisconsin businesses Wausau Tile and Kohler Corporation to join in a recycling initiative. Kohler Corporation’s rejected porcelain toilets and sinks, as well as the corporation’s other landfilled materials like slag and firebrick, get crushed to size and used in place of natural stone. Recently adopted was the recycling of glass screens from outdated televisions and computers, as well as two-sided mirrors. Recycled materials can be used as aggregates in precast concrete, terrazzo flooring and countertops, epoxy overlay surfacing, pathway materials and more. The smoky recycled glass serves as an impressive alternative to expensive natural quartz, while the two-sided mirror creates a unique, high-end finish to flooring and countertop products.

Using recycled and sustainable materials helps architects earn points toward LEED certification. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and serves as third-party verification to determine whether new construction is truly green or eco-friendly. By using sustainable materials or recycled products manufactured by Kafka, designers and architects can establish themselves as leaders in green design and construction — a highly sought after quality in modern construction trends.

Kafka Granite's Dust Collection System

Kafka Granite’s Dust Collection System

Even the byproducts of Kafka’s manufacturing process are reused. Taking an eco-friendly leap forward, a state-of-the-art dust-collection system was installed at Kafka’s crushing facility. A huge asset, the system winds through the crushing facility, acting like a large vacuum and collecting dust. This innovative system not only keeps otherwise wasted dust from polluting the air, but after it has been collected, it is being reused in the creation of other products such as pathway mixes.

Kafka’s sustainable efforts aren’t only rooted in the core of the business through the sustainable and recycled product offering, but these efforts branch into big-picture efforts to increase efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint and look for solutions to aid in a greener future. Even its less-noted efforts, like using secondhand pallets for shipping, accumulate to create a more sustainable tomorrow and serve as an example for how even small businesses can aid in the green movement.

Kafka Granite manufacturing

A Simple Guide to Kafka Granite’s Commercial Offerings

From specialty crushed stone in over sixty different colors for manufacturing, to beautiful multi-colored, naturally round granite boulders for landscaping, Kafka Granite is one of the largest and most specialized producers of architectural and landscape aggregates. Having been a leading and established supplier of granite, quartz, marble and recycled materials for over three decades, many of the top architects, landscape architects, contractors, and manufacturers turn to Kafka Granite aggregates for variety of projects, including:

  • Architectural precast aggregates for exposed precast concrete office buildings, medical complexes, skyscrapers, sports stadiums, etc.
  • Specialty crushed aggregates and manufactured sands for manufacturing decorative precast concrete pavers, or bricks, and precast concrete amenities such as trash cans, tables, planters, etc.
  • Over 60 colors of granite, quartz, marble, and recycled materials crushed, dried, and bagged for use in manufacturing epoxy resin countertops, tile, and terrazzo flooring.
  • Epoxy Overlay Aggregates for High Friction surfacing applications that provide high-friction, non-skid surfaces for bridge decks, entrance/exit ramps, curves, bike paths, and pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Bulk quantities of decorative landscape stone that includes various colors and sizes of crushed stone, round pebbles, multi-colored granite boulders, and decorative rip rap boulders.
  • Decomposed Granite pathway materials for a more natural alternative to traditional hardscape solutions such as asphalt, concrete or pavers.
  • Premiere ball yard infield mix, warning track mix, and mound clay available at a variety of price points to provide lower maintenance, better drainage, safer footings, and consistent ball hops.

With so many products available, sometimes it’s difficult to understand all of the choices, but we are here to help! The Kafka sales team is standing by to help with your next project, but this short guide might be a simple first step in answering many of your questions. Let us break it down:

Architectural Precast Aggregates

Architectural precast is one of the most durable materials used in the exterior construction of commercial buildings today.  But it is the exposed precast stone aggregate that truly gives the final product its unique aesthetic. Architectural precasters are looking for the perfect combination of aggregate with a very specific combination of stone size, color, and strength to create the perfect end product.  With a massive network of stone quarries throughout North America and the unique ability to meet any size specification, Kafka Granite has the perfect aggregate and will work with you to make your next project a success.

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Photo Courtesy of Wausau Tile

Decorative Precast Concrete Aggregates for Decorative Paver and Brick Manufacturing

Concrete bricks and pavers are always a popular decorative hardscape solution. However, adding Kafka Granite’s naturally colored aggregates to your precast concrete mix has the power to make them even more unique, by adding visual interest to the face-mix. Many of the top producers of decorative precast concrete pavers, bricks, and amenities trust Kafka Granite as their aggregate supplier–especially for the specialized colors, sizes, and recycled content not found anywhere else. With the rise in popularity of permeable pavers, we also offer complimentary permeable paver grit that’s crushed to size to ensure proper drainage and durability in freeze/thaw conditions.

Epoxy Resin Aggregates for Countertop, Tile, and Terrazzo Floor Manufacturing

With the ability to crush, dry, and bag 60 different colors of granite, quartz, marble, and recycled materials, Kafka Granite has a long history of supplying crushed stone chips for manufactured countertops, tiles, terrazzo flooring, and other epoxy resin based manufacturing. Many of the top producers of Manufactured Quartz Countertops use a variety of Kafka’s aggregates and recycled materials in their production. Furthermore, Kafka has a longstanding relationship with T&M Supply, who distributes Kafka’s aggregates for stunning terrazzo flooring solutions throughout the world.

Epoxy Overlay Aggregates for High-Friction Roads and Non-Slip Pedestrian Walkways

There are many times when traditional concrete and asphalt are simply unsafe for high traffic roadways and walkways.  During certain times of the year, these surfaces can become extremely slippery and unsafe, especially on bridge decks, sharp curves, and entrance/exit ramps. High Friction Surfacing is the perfect solution, with Kafka Granite’s Epoxy Overlay aggregates offering a high level of traction in all kinds of weather, while also being durable enough to withstand harsh freeze/thaw conditions. The epoxy overlay aggregates can also be used for Streetscape applications such as crosswalks, medians, sidewalks, and bike lanes to create a non-slip surface for pedestrians while also enhancing the aesthetics of the pre-existing hardscape.

Landscaping Stones and Boulders

Kafka offers a wide variety decorative landscape stone and boulders that will provide the perfect solution for landscape designers and contractors.  Offered in a variety of colors and sizes, use Kafka’s Decorative Landscape Stone to define walkways and driveways, to enhance gardens and flower beds, or to brighten heavily shaded areas.  Kafka Granite also offers a beautiful array of naturally round, glacially deposited multi-colored boulders that range in size from 3-6-inch cobbles to massive boulders over 60-inches in diameter. Use round boulders, or consider the variety of Decorative Rip Rap boulders, for retaining walls, water features, ponds, shorelines, or simple, yet effective, accent pieces in your landscape design.

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

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

Pathway Materials

For pathways, bike paths, and other trail systems where a more natural look and feel is desired, consider a more organic material that is both aesthetically appealing and durable.  Sometimes traditional concrete or asphalt just won’t do. The Standard Pathway Mix is made from decomposed granite or crushed stone, screened to a specific size to ensure a maximum compacted surface that retains firmness, flexibility, and permeability.  Kafka also offers two additional levels of durability. The Stabilized Pathway Mix includes an organic binding agent for a stronger, more stable, and less erosive surface.  Meanwhile, the Wax Polymer Pathway Mix is the best pathway solution for extremely high traffic areas or steep inclines, as it’s non-permeable surface allows water to bead off the surface, eliminating mud, dust, and erosion.

Ballyard Materials

Finding the proper materials for baseball or softball diamonds can be a nightmare; most of the traditional materials are too muddy, too dusty, and too high maintenance, which all take valuable time away from both the groundskeepers and players. However, Kafka Granite specializes in low maintenance, high drainage products that minimize mud and dust, while retaining the natural playing surface that players know and love. From standard high-drainage top dressings, to high-quality, professional grade infield mixes and warning track mixes, Kafka Granite offers a variety of solutions for any price point: from the little league to the major league.

Kafka Granite Does It All!

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just ask! After all, most of Kafka Granite’s products were originally developed to meet customer requests, and we are not limited to the product lines you just read about. We are a custom-orientated company, so whether your firm is trying to match an aggregate used in a pre-existing structure, meeting a unique size specification for your manufacturing process, or just making a statement with a completely unique, custom color combination, Kafka Granite will work with your team to make it happen.

 

 

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

A Guide to Decomposed Granite Pathway Materials

When it comes to selecting pathway materials for high traffic areas, there are plenty of options for buyers to consider. Concrete, asphalt, brick, and pavers are among the most common materials to use for high traffic hardscaping projects. Many of these applications are effective, but some can take a beating and chip and crack over time. Other applications require regular maintenance and may not be as friendly to the environment. As an architect, landscaper, engineer, or contractor, what is the best choice you can make for your project that’s better for the environment without sacrificing quality? The answer might be found in decomposed granite.

Decomposed Granite – The Natural Look

Decomposed granite is an ideal material for firm pathways where a natural look is preferred. It’s where hardscape meets softscape: a durable surface with natural qualities. Its resilience to high traffic wear and tear works well for pathways that carry pedestrians and vehicles on a daily basis. It is affordable, environmentally friendly, and an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional hardscape materials. Commonly known as DG, decomposed granite is granite that is naturally broken down into gravel and sand by millions of years of pressure underground. Solid quarry rock and recycled materials can also be carefully crushed, sized, and blended into aggregates that mimic decomposed granite composition, so you have even more natural colors to choose from.

At Kafka Granite, we offer more than 50 different color options that are crushed and screened to the perfect size and gradation for your specific project. All of our naturally decomposed granite and crushed stone products are organic and environmentally safe. We blend these materials into three main variations for pathway applications: Standard Pathway Mix, Stabilized Pathway Mix, and Wax Polymer Pathway Mix. Let’s take an in depth look at how these pathway materials can be used for different high traffic project applications.

Standard Pathway Mix – A Practical Application for Pathway Durability

Kafka Granite’s Standard Pathway Mix is generally screened to a fine ¼” minus size for a firm surface that compacts well and retains permeability. The specific gradation warrants maximum compaction while allowing water to permeate and drain through. Standard Pathway Mix provides the substantial durability of granite with a naturally beautiful look and feel that complements well with landscaping and architectural plans. It is suitable to use for smaller scale projects in areas such as nature paths, bike trails, courtyards, patios and residential driveways that have regular traffic.

Stabilized Pathway Mix – A Natural Alternative for Large Commercial Projects

Stabilized Pathway Mix offers many of the same advantages of our Standard Pathway Mix, but is pre-blended with a natural stabilizing binder to create an even more firm, durable, and resilient pathway. Its strength is suitable for larger, high-traffic applications such as botanical gardens, golf cart paths, bike trails, nature paths, and commercial properties. Stabilized pathway mix offers better resistance to weather and traffic erosion than traditional pathway mixes, and it blends well to natural surroundings.

Since binders work differently in variable conditions like local climate, individual aggregate type, and slope angles, Kafka Granite offers a choice between two kinds of binders for our Stabilized Pathway Mix – Organic-Lock and Stabilizer Solutions. Both binders are made from 100% natural materials that strengthen surfaces, reduce maintenance, and prolong the life of the pathway.

Custom Erin Hills Wax Polymer Cart Path - Erin Hills Golf Course - Hartford, WI

Custom Erin Hills Wax Polymer Cart Path – Erin Hills Golf Course – Hartford, WI

Wax Polymer Pathway Mix – A Creative Solution for Demanding High Traffic Projects

Our Wax Polymer Pathway Mix is a unique alternative to pavement that offers a waterless and dustless pathway solution. We combine the aggregate color of your choice with an engineered wax polymer 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 allows greater creativity in design applications for architects and landscapers.

 

 

Got a Specific Goal in Mind? Let Kafka Granite Help You Achieve It

At Kafka Granite, our state of the art crushing facility meets nearly any color and size specification. Through testing and approval, our sample lab and sales team will work with you to help you achieve your unique project goals. To learn more about our services and what we do, contact us for a free quote and complimentary product samples. We are also happy to give you a tour of our facilities or schedule a free Lunch and Learn presentation for your team. Our knowledgeable sales team is ready to help you discover the solutions to your project needs.

With Kafka Granite on your side, the possibilities are endless!

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

Minneapolis Pathway Materials

Sometimes designs require a quality pathway that blends well with the natural setting. Or perhaps you need a more environmentally friendly alternative to obtrusive concrete and asphalt. Kafka Granite offers a number of natural options for decomposed granite pathways. Each option offers an aesthetically pleasing and affordable alternative to the more traditional pavers, asphalt, concrete, or other hardscape materials.

The three options you have to choose from for any commercial pathway in Minneapolis metro area are discussed here in more detail. Learning all you can about the different options will allow you to make an educated decision regarding which product is right for your particular needs.

Standard Pathway Mix

Decomposed granite, commonly referred to as DG, occurs naturally and is created through a process of compression that spans millions of years. As a result, the granite is broken down into a mixture of gravel and sand. When you browse our selection in this option you will find there are more than 40 different colors to choose from. Kafka Granite offers both naturally occurring decomposed granite, as well as a variety of granite, marble, quartz, and recycled materials that are carefully crushed to mimic the composition of DG.

Both options – the naturally occurring decomposed granite and the crushed stone offered by Kafka Granite, are organic and therefore environmentally safe. Our mixture compacts well, which will create a firmer surface than traditional gravel options, while still allowing water to go through the surface. The standard pathways option is ideal for low traffic areas, such as garden trails, nature paths, residential driveways and walkways.

Botticino Stabilized Pathway - Friendship Village - Bloomington, MN

Botticino Stabilized Pathway – Friendship Village – Bloomington, MN

Stabilized Pathway Mix

This option includes decomposed granite, or crushed stone, that have been blended with an organic stabilizing binder. This process binds and locks the pathway mix in order to provide a permeable, durable, and completely natural surface. Due to the nature of the stabilized surface, this option better resists the erosive effects of traffic and water, compared to the more traditional gravel materials, while still offering a natural look that blends well into natural settings. The Stabilized Pathway Mix is often used for trails, golf course paths, greenways, nature paths, green roofs, botanical gardens, or any other environment where a much more organic feel is wanted.

However, here at Kafka Granite we understand that each option is unique and therefore we can provide a unique solution. There are two different binding options to choose from, including Stabilizer Solutions and Organic Lock. Different scenarios call for different binders and we will help you determine which option is right for your particular project.

Wax Polymer Pathway

This option features a combination of granite, marble, quartz, or recycled materials with an added engineered polymer. The process used to create this option is completely waterless and offers a popular paving alternative. Also, this option offers the added benefit of being a completely non-permeable, sealed, and dustless natural surface for plazas, driveways, golf cart paths, patios, and pathways. The unique process provides for a much larger amount of creativity in terms of design applications and offers solutions for projects that are heavily traveled.

The Wax Polymer Pathway option is always pre-blended, which ensures an easy installation process. Minimal maintenance is also required and no water is necessary for the product. All you have to do is lay the material, level it onto the surface, and then compact it. Once applied, it is able to be dug up and then re-laid when necessary to provide subsurface access to various utilities, or for a site plan modification and maintenance. Another extremely appealing feature of this option is that the Wax Polymer Pathway is completely dustless and it will not get muddy.

When you consider the options that are available, you can clearly see why Kafka Granite is a leader in the industry. Browse the available options and discuss them with our industry professionals to find the right solution for your particular project. When it comes to commercial or residential pathways in Minneapolis, finding the right material is essential. We can walk you through the process, step by step, to ensure you achieve the results you desire.

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

Chicago Pathway Materials

Kafka Granite pathway materials are available in the Chicago Area. Our pathway materials are offer a more natural and appealing alternative to hardscape surfaces. Pathway materials are perfect for bike paths, nature trails, walkways, gardens, cart paths, and just about any type of track and trail system. Our decomposed granite pathways are beautiful, affordable, and natural compared to obtrusive hardscape such as concrete, pavers, or asphalt. Our decomposed granite pathways are available in 50 different colors and three different varieties:

Standard Pathway Mix

This is one of our most natural options for a pathway. This decomposed granite occurs naturally when granite has been compressed for millions of years, causing it to break down overtime. At Kafka Granite, we not only offer a variety of colors of naturally decomposing granite, but we also offer over 40 different colors of crushed quarry rock as well as recycled materials to very carefully mimic the composition of DG.

You can trust that our decomposed granite and crushed stone is entirely organic and safe for the environment. To create our Standard Pathway Mix, we combine ¼” minus gravel, with fine sand to ensure the maximum compaction, while still retaining high-drainage characteristics. This pathway mix is perfect for regular traffic paths such as:

  • Dog Walking Paths
  • Bike Trails
  • Nature Trails
  • Garden Trails
  • Residential Driveways
  • Courtyards

If you’re looking to use decomposed granite for a higher traffic area, we suggest using Stabilized Pathway Mix instead to achieve a long lasting finish that further reduces mud, dust, and erosion.

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

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

Stabilized Pathway Mix

Our Stabilized Pathway Mix offers a long-lasting finish that can withstand a high level of traffic. This mix is composed of a combination of decomposed granite, or crushed stone, and an organic stabilizing binder. The pre-blended stabilizing binder helps produce a more firm and resilient surface, while retaining the natural look and feel we love. The Stabilized Pathway Mix is designed to better resist weather and traffic erosion, unlike other standard gravel materials. The final look is natural and fits well with natural settings, which is why it is often used for:

 

 

  • Garden Trails
  • Green Roofs
  • Greenways
  • Nature Trails
  • Bike Paths
  • Corporate Walkways
  • Golf Cart Paths
  • Or anywhere that needs a more natural-looking trail system is desired

At Kafka Granite, we understand that every project has its own unique needs. That is why we offer two different types of stabilizing binders: Organic-Lock and Stabilizer Solutions. Kafka Granite’s sales representatives are experts in our products and stabilizing binders so you can be sure that they will personally help you find the material and binder that is right for your project. Don’t settle for anything less than the best materials and binders on the market. Don’t settle for anything less than Kafka Granite.

Wax Polymer Pathway Mix

Our Wax Polymer Pathway Mix is produced by combining decomposed granite, or crushed stone, with an engineered wax polymer. The application process of this mix is done entirely without water, offering an excellent alternative to traditional paving materials. This mix is dustless and seals to create a non-permeable, natural looking finish, perfect for locations that have a much higher level of traffic or steep slopes, such as:

  • Driveways
  • Plazas
  • Patios
  • Golf Cart Paths
  • Hilly Track & Trail Systems

Our Wax Polymer Pathway comes pre-blended, which is one less thing for you to worry about. You’ll never have to add water to the mixture in order to use it, just lay the material down, level the surface, and compact. When necessary, Wax Polymer Pathways can easily be dragged and re-compacted to bring new life to the surface or to perform minor repairs. This type of pathway mix is dustless and will never get muddy.

Trust Kafka Granite as Your Pathway Material Solutions

Our representatives are here to help you find the right pathway material for your project. So why choose Kafka Granite?

  • We provide quality customer service and our representatives are experts in both our products and pathway projects.
  • Our materials are of the highest quality and provide a beautiful, long-lasting, and natural-looking finish.
  • We have a variety of pathway materials to choose from that will give you the final look and durability you desire.
  • And of course, because Kafka Granite has been around since 1979, so you know that we provide lasting value!