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.