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!
Kafka Granite Crushing Facility - Mosinee, WI

HOW IT’S MADE: An Insight into Kafka Granite’s Manufacturing Process

To commemorate 35 years of growth in the specialty aggregate industry, Kafka Granite has developed this video to give our customers a closer look at what makes our manufacturing process unique.

 

 

Jack Caldwell, Project Designer at Waldrop Engineering, was one of the first to view Our Manufacturing video after recently taking a tour of our crushing facility. He noted, “We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the process and how much growth your company has experienced…we were able to see a much bigger picture. It’s a great video and a helpful tool for us to educate our design team with!”

Whether you are an architect or an engineer, a purchaser or a manufacturer, or one of the other many friends of Kafka Granite, we hope this video proves to be a helpful tool for you and your team as well!

Our new video is available for viewing on our new and improved website. While you are there, take a look around…there is a lot of updated information, photos, and other resources!

As always, please let us know if Kafka Granite can help you with your next project. We would be happy to provide you and your team with a tour of our facilities, a lunch and learn presentation, or samples of our products. Contact our sales team for more information. 

Like our video? Contact David Schulta Videography!

 

Video produced by David Schulta & Tiffany Kafka. Video directed and edited by David Schulta Videography LLC.