Building Stone Thin Stone Veneer

5 Trends in Thin Stone Veneer

We want to take some time to catalog some significant modern trends in thin stone veneer and explore the driving factors behind those trends. We will also spend some time talking about specific thin stone veneer applications, with emphasis on the versatile utility of the product as it relates to interior and exterior architecture and design.

In general, builders often choose thin stone veneer for several reasons. Thin stone veneer weighs less than full stone veneer, which can make for more efficient shipping and subsequently reduce costs. You may also install thin stone veneer relatively easily, without the need for support ledges or footings. And with proper preparation and installation by a professional mason, it can adhere to numerous surface types, including plywood, paneling, metal, drywall, and concrete.

1. Striving for Sustainability

Among the reasons for choosing the material in a remodel or new build, perhaps the most modern motivation driving building trends is the desire for sustainability. Using various plastics and other synthetic materials for building facades or accent walls can seriously increase the carbon footprint of a project. 

You may find that some manufactured veneer is cost-efficient, but when it comes to sustainability, natural stone is the better choice. Kafka Granite offers a wide range of colors and cuts for a variety of thin stone veneer applications, all thanks to the abundance of mother nature. 

Additionally, we aim to make the most of our stone with every opportunity. When we cut our thin stone veneer to size, we send the cut-offs that result from this process to our crushing facility so they may be crushed into a specialty aggregate product. 

2. Adhering to Authenticity

In today’s age of digital interaction and communication, the driver for authenticity in an experience is at an all-time high. When it comes to aesthetics, designers and consumers alike prefer the authentic feel inside and outside – just look at the recent surge in farmhouse-style design. 

In fact, some popular thin stone veneer applications can bring the outdoor look indoors with natural color choices and complementary design elements like timber beams. Whether you use thin stone veneer to cover an accent wall or for floor-to-ceiling fireplace stonework, your guests will feel welcomed by the authentic and organic environment.

3. Making Interior and Exterior Spaces Modern and Sleek

Another approach to using thin stone veneer in commercial and residential aesthetics is that of a modern design. It seems that everywhere you look, modern architecture consists of an ingenious mix of sleek, simple, and professional aesthetics. 

Contemporary thin stone veneer cuts that pair well with a variety of modern styles include the Sawn Dimensional and Dimensional cuts. This is mostly due to the consistent sawn heights. Other noteworthy cuts with more niche style pairings include Castle Cut and Ashlar, which provide more traditional and rustic looks. 

4. Eye-Catching Colors that Don’t Distract

There was a time when colors that popped were everywhere – from fluorescents of the 80s to pastels of the 90s. Certainly, eye-catching qualities in design elements are important, but the natural look is in. What better way to follow eye-catching trends than with a natural assortment of colors?

Kafka Granite has a wide range of light gray to black natural stone veneers, all of which have unique characteristics that blend themselves seamlessly into a variety of design styles and material mixes. Gun Metal Marble and Galaxy Glitter are among the most popular colors we sell in thin veneer. Our Misty Gray Marble appears especially white when paired with a white mortar, while our Starlight Black is a dark charcoal gray, which can take on a jet-black appearance with the use of a natural stone enhancer. 

5. Improving the Quality of the Outdoor Experience

Nothing looks quite as natural and fitting as stone used as an outdoor design element. The beauty of using natural stone veneer in outdoor projects is that you can accentuate the atmosphere without the extensive installation drawbacks of full stone veneer.

Whether adding a wall in a landscaping project or improving the aesthetic of an outdoor entertainment area, designers use thin stone veneer to greatly improve the experience of outdoor recreation and relaxation. You can find it used around pillars, garden walls, planters, outdoor kitchens, and more.

However, these are merely enhancements. The most popular way to utilize the beauty of thin stone veneer is as an exterior siding alternative. Thanks to their natural aesthetic and versatility, these stones complement a wide range of residential and commercial styles. 

Complement Your Design with Natural Thin Stone Veneer

At Kafka Granite, we source our natural stone from quarries across the Midwest and Canada, which means you have access to a wide spectrum of natural thin stone veneer options. Kafka Granite natural thin stone veneer wears and weathers beautifully and will retain its natural color for years. Learn more about your thin stone veneer options by contacting us today.

Harvest Gold Sandstone Sawn Cut Drywall and Caps

Why Kafka’s Natural Stone Hardscapes Should Be Your Go-To Choice for Exterior Projects

Landscape projects can bring out the best in a property, and natural stone hardscapes are the perfect choice for a lifetime of durability and beauty. The right application of natural stone will help owners better define their landscape, highlight the attractive elements of a garden or living space, and provide sturdy, skid-resistant walkways and patios. The ideal outdoor setup will include all these elements and more, as each individual stone hardscape application may be complementary to the next.

Kafka Granite has supplied natural stone products to contractors and businesses for over 40 years. We’ve put together this post to give you a close-up look at why our Natural Stone Hardscapes should be your first choice for outdoor needs.

A Quality Perfected by Nature

We source our natural stone from quarries throughout North America, with the majority coming from our home state of Wisconsin. The beauty of using natural stone hardscapes is that there’s no need to concern yourself with factors like longevity and durability.

Where faux stone or alternative material options may wear out and lose their charm, natural stone lives on. Granite and quartzite also have an inherent resistance to abrasion, thanks to their hardness – so, less wear and tear from weather and foot traffic. In other words, stone stairs or retaining walls are sure to retain their integrity for years to come, possibly even saving you money in the long run.

Functional Designs with You in Mind

Whether we’re talking landscape updates, outdoor living renovations, or expanding on a new build, there are numerous ways natural stone may be applied to add functionality to commercial and residential properties.

Take, for example, our sawn thermal-top stone steps. These slabs embody the spirit of our natural stone hardscape selection in that they come with all the benefits you would want out of your hardscape selections.

Their sawn heights make for easy stacking and installation (we recommend always using a professional for installation), and the thermal surface provides skid-resistance to help prevent slips by property owners and their guests.

Unmatched Beauty

Natural stone products make a long-term difference both in curb appeal and in owner satisfaction. After all, especially with commercial projects, these applications will be gazed upon daily – all the more reason to go with natural stone hardscapes rather than manufactured stone.

Because natural stone color is through and through, the product’s color will not wear, weather or fade like manufactured products. And these natural colors are unique; their identity is a testament to the geological formations that surrounded them. In other words, each piece of natural stone comes with its own story and their hue helps to tell it.

At Kafka Granite, our natural stone hardscapes come in four classic colors, all of which stand to provide a property with complementary elegance. From sleek, strong Imperial Gray to the warm tone of Harvest Gold, you’re sure to find the color you need to bring out the beauty of the property.

What Makes Our Product Special?

We put a lot of consideration into our hardscapes, especially when it comes to simplifying installation. Our sawn cut drywall, for example, is built with efficiency in mind. Where products like outcropping stone require extra time and care to stack and level—due to unlevel surfaces and inconsistent heights—Kafka’s sawn cut drywall has sawn heights designed to streamline the installation process.

Other natural stone hardscape products include our treads, caps, and coping which can add a finishing touch to your outdoor living project. We also offer sawn edging designed for convenient installation in landscape and pathway endeavors.

Kafka Granite – Providing Quality Natural Stone Since 1979

We pride ourselves on providing solutions that adhere to your project demands. From major commercial builds to residential renovations, we offer an extensive catalog of natural stone products that meet a variety of specs and situational needs. 

Connect with us today to learn more about the benefits of natural stone hardscapes, to request a quote, or to receive a sample.

Custom blend of Gun Metal Marble and Misty Gray Marble Dimensional Cut Thin Stone Veneer, with extra rust tones added.

New Home Building Spotlight: The Return of the Cape Cod Style

Easy to find in just about every state in the lower 48, this style is far from niche and extends well beyond Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At Kafka Granite, we are passionate about the beauty and functionality of natural stone as applied throughout a residential or commercial property. We’d be remiss if we didn’t share the ways that natural stone products can pair with the Cape Cod style, especially in a new build or renovation.

About the Style

While the build gets its origin from around 17th century England, Cape Cod style homes rose significantly in popularity in early-to-mid 1900s America. The architecture that was made famous by the little slice of land in Massachusetts found its way into the designs of American suburbia, and the rest is history. Now, the style’s popularity has returned as younger generations of home buyers seek classic original or new builds for their families.

What Makes Up a Cape Cod Home?

There’s much more than a few dimensional or roofing elements that make up the Cape Cod style house. Browse the interior and exterior of a Cape Cod home and you’ll typically find the following features:

  • Side gables
  • Steep roof
  • A centered front door
  • Shuttered windows
  • 1.5 stories
  • Large living spaces with low ceilings
  • Classic colors complemented with whites and grays
  • Building symmetry

These homes are generally low in square footage yet make the most of the available space, which is why they are popular among first-time homebuyers or empty nesters. Also note that while Cape Cod homes share similar features, there have been a few variations in the architecture. These variations are commonly known as Half Cape, Three-quarter Cape, and Full Cape styles.

Natural Stone and Your Cape Cod Home

As it does with just about any build, natural stone has a way of seamlessly integrating with the Cape Cod style. Both interior and exterior stone applications lend well to this architecture, as do a wide array of products. Especially applicable in the Cape Cod vein are natural thin stone veneer and various natural stone hardscapes.

Natural Thin Stone Veneer

Popular for its convenient installation capabilities and lightweight build, natural thin stone veneer is an non-structural alternative form of natural building stone, which has become increasingly popular for its lower shipping costs, simpler installation, and versatility. Natural Thin Stone Veneer is most often used in exterior facades, but due to its lightweight, can also easily be brought inside for accents. Natural Thin Stone Veneer can be installed throughout a Cape Cod style home in applications such as:

  • Exterior facades
  • Outdoor living areas
  • Fireplaces and chimneys
  • Interior accent walls

Where these two elements mesh well is in their classic visuals. A Cape Cod style home will exhibit a lot of rustic charm and strong, earthy elements – making it a perfect match for natural stone. In other words, thin stone veneer will help you achieve the symmetry, subtlety, or even elegance you’re after in your Cape Cod house.

Natural Stone Hardscapes

Perhaps it’s the timeless design of a Cape Cod home, or maybe it’s the style’s simplicity, but more often than not when you search for images of Cape Cod homes, you’ll find these properties filled out with lush gardens and harmonizing natural stone. Possible Natural Stone Hardscapes applications for a Cape Cod house include:

Vast in their applications and hard to beat in beauty and functionality, natural stone hardscapes are an easy choice for bolstering the value of a property and adding depth to your Cape Cod style home.

Kafka Granite – Over 40 Years of Pairing Beauty and Functionality

Whether you’re a contractor working on a new home build or you’re a homeowner kicking around some ideas with your architect while designing your dream Cape Cod, you can trust that natural stone products do more than provide aesthetic appeal. They bring functional practices to an owner’s home that’s been around since humankind first began laying stones for shelter and protection.

At Kafka Granite, we’ve provided stone products that meet the needs of residential and commercial properties for over four decades. Give us a call or reach out online to learn more about how natural stone hardscapes, thin stone veneer, and other stone products will complement a new or existing home or business.

Platinum Stabilized Pathway Mix

Great Landscaping Ideas: Different Ways to Edge Your Decomposed Granite Paths

When it comes to your landscaping, the possibilities run as far as your imagination can. Whether you’re planning an entire landscape overhaul or simply want to improve upon existing landscape architecture, Kafka Granite can help with inspiration and the ideal materials for your project. One of our specialties is our broad variety of pathway materials. When creating a decomposed granite pathway, choosing your route, width, material, and color are only a few things to consider. 

Another element that will affect the overall look of your pathway is the edging. Luckily, there are several different viable options available. From blending into the natural surroundings to creating clean, crisp lines, choosing the proper edging for your project will help keep your pathway design looking sharp for years to come.

Why Would You Want Edging for Your Pathway?

There are many reasons why edging your pathway is not just an additional design element, but is actually a very functional feature. Aesthetically, edging your decomposed granite pathway will give it more structure and a finished look instead of a more natural, irregular edge. If you have an especially winding pathway, edging provides a crisper curve, especially when using metal edging. And natural stone edging delivers a distinct transition between your pathway and the surrounding landscape.

While edging will help your pathway’s structure look more distinct, it will also help keep everything in place. When you construct a decomposed granite pathway, although compacted, the top layer of stone is meant to be a loose, natural layer. Some of the loose aggregate may migrate with heavy foot traffic or natural causes such as wind and rain. While some clients are okay with this natural migration, others may want to prevent the loose top layer of pathway material from shifting to the surrounding landscape.

That’s the beauty in edging options – whether a nature path through a forest or a well manicured courtyard, your edging can play a significant role in the design. Edging just may take your path from natural to sophisticated, or anywhere in between, depending on your client’s preferences.

Imperial Gray Granite Sawn Edging

Natural Stone Sawn Edging

The beauty of Natural Stone Sawn Edging is that it is also produced by Kafka Granite, so you can easily coordinate the edging with your Kafka Granite Pathway Mix.  Sawn to consistent 4” heights, Sawn Edging stone is cut to create a distinct, cohesive aesthetic alongside pathways and gardens. Married well with our stone hardscape selections, this border stone also comes in three sophisticated colors and may be easily matched with a wide range of styles. 

Your client’s vision, whether they’re looking for professional aesthetics on a commercial property or a welcoming border on a residential pathway, is one step closer to fruition with the right stone edging. Kafka’s Sawn Edging is a great choice to help get them there.

Midnight Blue Stabilized Pathway Mix

Natural Edging

Natural edging is a good choice when your landscape design calls for a more rustic solution. While there isn’t a definitive barrier between the pathway material and the surrounding area, keeping a natural edge with clear delineation between the pathway and its surroundings is possible. It’s important to consider your environment when you go with a natural edge. A wooded surrounding, for example, may be a better suited area for this edge should some of the pathway material scatter.

Botticino Stabilized Pathway Mix

Grass Sod Edging

Using grass sod as your pathway’s edging material is a popular option if your goal is to maintain a natural look, but want the path surrounded by a manicured lawn. It’s a great looking edging alternative that butts pathways right up to the grass.

Stabilized Pathway Mix Brooklyn Bridge

Cobble/Boulder Edging

When you’re looking to strike the perfect balance between structure and nature, Kafka’s cobbles could be your ideal solution. Available from smaller sized solutions, 3- to 6-inch cobbles, to large boulders, you have a variety of options to suit the needs and scale of your pathway. If your project is being built into a natural environment—a pathway through a park, a woodsy clearing, or other natural terrain—using cobbles as edging could be just the right transition from pathway to nature’s surroundings while keeping people on the right track.

The mix of materials also creates visual interest. If looking to create more of a barrier between pathway and surroundings, consider larger boulders. They will create a clear demarcation of the pathway while appearing less obtrusive and restrictive than a fence would, for example.

Pathway Standard MCC

Paver Edging

These manufactured concrete pavers are built to connect with one another so that installation is relatively easy and foolproof. Depending on the product you choose, this landscape edging option can be a great budget-friendly option, or offer a high-end decorative finish. While manufactured pavers add a great texture and natural feel to a space, it isn’t as rustic as natural granite cobbles or sawn stone edging.

These stones are also a more substantial and durable option to cheap plastic edging. Be aware that bricks and pavers are not all made equally – and both the decorative finish and durability will be reflected in the quality of product used. If you’re hoping to maintain the curvature and cleanliness of your pathway with a neat stone solution, pavers could be the best choice for you.

Rustic Stabilized Pathway Mix

Metal Edging

When your landscape architecture calls for crisp, precise lines and superior aggregate control, metal edging may be your best option. Typically either steel or aluminum, metal edging will hold its shape and its versatility enables you to create any radius you need when it comes to garden beds or pathway curvature. With its strength, metal edging won’t crack in the cold, shift with maintenance, or erode over time.

How to Find the Perfect Pathway Edging for You

Before starting your pathway project, figure out how much edging you’ll need. And as always, consider your budget and desired finish.

If you are looking for a natural stone solution that will blend seamlessly with your decomposed granite pathway material, Kafka’s Natural Stone Sawn Edging is a great choice and we’d be happy to chat with you about the options! When it comes to landscape architecture and creating a sidewalk, courtyard, or natural trail within your environment, our variety of pathway solutions may be just what you’re looking for. We’d be happy to send you free samples and help you determine how much product is necessary for your area.

So think beyond the basic options of color, material, width, and route. The often overlooked detail in pathways – the right edging –  may add that perfect finishing touch on your next pathway project.

Pathway Material Technical Data

Quality Control 101: What Is a Sieve Analysis and Why Does It Matter?

When selecting aggregate for commercial use, there are a number of tests the product goes through to evaluate its suitability for a certain application. Among these tests is a sieve analysis. A sieve analysis helps companies to evaluate aggregate for use as a quality product in pathway mixes, architectural and decorative precast concrete, epoxy resin applications, epoxy overlay, and much more. We’ve put together a quick summary that highlights the significance of sieve analysis and why it matters to the aggregate industry.   

Evaluating Aggregates for Their Intended Uses

The practice of sieve analysis is especially important for the performance of aggregates in their intended uses. Each of these uses will require a specific size or gradation of aggregate, including the percentage of material allowed for each sieve size in the gradation. This can be critical for the strength of the material, compaction of the aggregate, and the visual aesthetic and surface area of the stone.In other words, the process of sieve analysis assists with the gradation of aggregates.

What Is Gradation in Sieve Analysis?

The gradation of aggregates is the distribution of aggregate particles, by size, within a given sample. The purpose of gradation in this capacity is to enable compatibility of the aggregate with product control requirements, designs, and verification specifications.

Gradation via sieve analysis works particularly well for aggregates because of the shapes of the stones and particles. Material that is not somewhat spherical—say, closer to cylindrical—may not lend to successful sieve analysis.

Sieve Analysis: Step by Step

The procedure of sieve analysis starts with the stacking of sieves, or screens, from the largest to the smallest size. Typically, the mesh of these sizes can range from 1 inch or 25.4 mm to what’s known as the “No. 400” or .037 mm of an opening.

Then, the bulk aggregate is placed carefully on the top sieve and the material is screened through the various sieves and subsequently become separated by size. Aggregates that couldn’t pass through a ⅜” sieve screen, for example, will stay in that sieve while the others pass through until they’re caught in the proper sieve. However, simply dumping your aggregate through sieves is not enough for accurate parsing – that’s what sifters are for.  

Sifting Methods

Depending on your machinery, sifting can be a relatively painless and time-saving process. Mechanical sieve shakers will shake the stacked sieves, causing each stone and particle to fall to its coinciding sieve screen. Note that there are different methods for sifting, common methods include:

  • Horizontal sifting: where the sieves are sifted in a horizontal motion
  • Throw-action: a sieve method whereby vertical force combined with circular motions is applied
  • Air jet: uses a vacuum or other means of creating an air stream to transport and separate finer particles
  • Tap: circular, horizontal motions with frequent tapping  
  • Wet: uses water to support the sieving process, but is a far less common practice than the traditional dry methods  

Once sifted, each sized aggregate is weighed and noted as a percentage of the overall sample—that is, the percent of aggregate retained per sieve is noted as well as the percentage passed through that size (known as the passing aggregate). These details are then recorded, and the quality aggregate is sent for distribution where it will then await its new home. 

An Example: How to Read a Sieve Analysis

In general, specialty crushed stone products must have consistent sizes and fall within acceptable tolerances. For a real-life example of the sieve test as it relates to Kafka’s quality control, we’ll unpack the sieve tests as they pertain to our stabilized pathway mix.

Kafka Granite’s Stabilized Pathway Mix must adhere to specifications as outlined by the binder manufacturer, Organic-Lock.  With the gradation specification, there is an acceptable range and distribution of particle sizes that is to exist within the stone sample. While each sample and sieve will vary slightly, it’s vital that the samples for stabilized pathway mix fall within this range because a success ensures one of two things: the pathway mix is consistently well-graded, and it will compact properly.

Let’s take a closer look at the gradation specification for Stabilized Pathway Mix and how it works. First we must understand what U.S. Mesh sizing is. U.S. Mesh Sizing is defined as the number of openings per one square inch of a screen. Therefore, the larger the number, the smaller the screen size. The example below shows each sieve size translated to metric sizing, but you can also use a helpful screen size / sieve conversion chart

The first pass calls for 80-100% passing the #4 mesh screen. In other words, 80-100% of stone particles must fall through a #4 mesh screen. Then, 65-90% of the stone particles should pass through an #8 mesh screen. You can see the rest of the required pass percentages in the below table. Once you reach the bottom of the chart, you’ll see that 5-15% of the stone particles should fall through the #200 mesh screen, which is an extremely fine, dust-like material.. If this were a “clean” or “chip” aggregate, there would not be such fine material included in the mix. 

Sieve Sieve Size (mm) Percent Passing
4 4.75 80%-100%
8 2.36 65%-90%
16 1.18 40%-65%
30 0.6 25%-55%
50 0.3 15%-35%
100 0.15 10%-20%
200 0.075 5%-15%


It is important that the pathway mix meets the gradation requirement above; it is vital for the product’s functionality. In order for the binder to work properly, the surface to compact, and rain water to drain, the gradation must be consistent and within the defined tolerances.

This is, of course, just one of many sieve analyses we run at Kafka to check a product’s gradation, and only one of many tests used to analyze quality. Contact us to request a sieve analysis or other product information.

Galaxy Glitter and Ebony Glitter Thin Stone Veneer, and Starlight Black Granite Sills, Caps, Treads, Thermal Flagstone, Thermal-Top Steps, Hearth Stone, and Mantel.

New Home Building Spotlight: Pairing Natural Stone with a Modern Farmhouse Style

The modern farmhouse has been a new home trend for the last few years now, and the style shows no signs of slowing down. When you consider the farmhouse style, you likely think of typical features like a large family kitchen, an open and spacious porch, tall windows to fill the home with natural light, and nostalgic aesthetic designs that accentuate the style’s callback to a simpler time. The colors tend to be a simple, more neutral color palette with some natural color accents. And the homes are often built on a stretch of open greenery, providing ample opportunity for outdoor living created by dynamic and complementary natural stone hardscapes.

Architects and homeowners who want to give the modern farmhouse style an extra boost of that classic, yet upscale, appeal can look toward the various uses of natural stone in interior and exterior applications. While complimenting other natural products such as wood beams and shiplap, and providing a break in texture and color, the addition of stone products to your modern farmhouse design is one you won’t regret.

Incorporating Natural Thin Stone Veneer into the Farmhouse

Traditionally many farmhouses incorporated full stone veneer sourced from the surrounding fields. This look can be modernized and simplified with a much easier to install natural thin stone veneer. At less than 15 lbs per square foot, this product can easily ship throughout the country allowing you to source the perfect color and style for your project. It is an excellent choice for complementing the farmhouse style that’s both flexible in its uses and guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

Exterior Applications

When it comes to the home’s exterior, thin stone veneer may be used to bring the core organic elements of a farmhouse to the forefront. Thin stone veneer may be applied as the home’s façade feature and installed in lieu of siding or used as an accent for wainscoting or columns. Natural stone provides a beautiful contrast with metal roofs, a staple of the farmhouse style. Additionally, thin stone veneer can be used for a variety of applications around the property, including patios and outdoor kitchens, water features, and more, to tie your property together.

Interior Applications

It is a natural transition to bring the exterior stone selection inside for use in the fireplace or accent walls. With a wide range of cuts and colors available, you can also mix it up and choose a different stone inside to pair with interior design ideas, fixtures, and furniture.

Benefits of Natural Thin Stone Veneer

There are several benefits to thin stone veneer, especially when compared with full bed veneer. Perhaps most significant of its perks: this alternative veneer option may be installed without the need for support ledges or footings, greatly opening up the possibilities of where to take your natural stone accents. While the product is fabricated to be cut thin, which cuts down on transportation and labor costs, it still has the beauty and character of natural stone – which means no two pieces will be identical and the color is through and through. 

Outdoor Living at the Modern Farmhouse

There’s something about natural stone landscape projects that bring out the best in the farmhouse aesthetic. When you have a look at samples of modern designs, you’ll find that many of these homes don’t stop at the porch – outdoor living is an important part of the Modern Farmhouse Style.

Natural stone hardscapes bring unmatched beauty and functionality to landscapes and are perfect for the farmhouse style home. Kafka Granite offers the following hardscape products — available in Starlight Black Granite, Harvest Gold Sandstone, Sierra Granite, and Imperial Gray Granite — to create a showstopping addition to your outdoor living: 

Sawn Cut Drywall

A functional, yet desirable, outdoor oasis at your private residence may benefit from Kafka Granite’s 8” Sawn Cut Drywall. These solid stone retaining wall blocks are sawn to height, which enables a simpler installation and provides a sleek, yet natural, look. Kafka’s Sawn Cut Drywall is sure to add sophistication and elegance to dry stacked walls in your outdoor spaces.

Thermal-Top Steps

If you’re looking for steps with natural character to complement the farmhouse style landscape, look no further than Kafka’s Thermal-Top Steps. With a thermal top finish to provide necessary traction, these steps are a quality investment that will hold up against harsh weather conditions and maintain their integrity for decades. What’s more, while Kafka Thermal-Top Steps are sawn to height for installation efficiency and functionality, they are also rockfaced to accentuate the stone’s natural beauty and character.

Thermal Flagstone

Meander through your garden or enjoy a relaxing evening on your patio with the incorporation of Kafka Granite’s Thermal Flagstone. Available in four colors, Kafka’s Irregular and Pattern Flagstone have sawn heights with a ½” tolerance, which drastically cuts down on the installation time re-leveling. The thermal finish adds much needed traction, but also brings out the stone’s unique character and natural color. Kafka’s Thermal Flagstone is available as irregular shaped flagstone for a truly natural look, or in a sawn pattern option for a more sophisticated presence.

The Details Make the Difference

To truly tie your project together for a show stopping first impression, Kafka Granite also offers a variety of custom natural stone accents and accessories. Finish off your Thin Stone Veneer with a coordinating natural stone sill or cap, or include a natural stone hearth or mantle to take your fireplace to the next level. Kafka’s Natural Stone Sawn Edging can create the perfect border for your garden beds, while our custom cut treads can create a beautiful approach to your front door. With the inclusion of Kafka’s Natural Stone products, you will be welcomed home to a cohesive and enduring design for decades to come. 

Pair Your Farmhouse Style Project with Natural Stone from Kafka Granite

At Kafka, we source our natural stone from quarries throughout North America, and our product line is not limited to the products highlighted here. For over forty years, a wide variety of manufacturers, natural stone suppliers, and contractors have benefited from our quality products in a diverse range of residential and commercial projects. We will work with architects, contractors, and property owners to ensure our product meets the unique specifications that their project demands. Have questions? Give us a call or connect with us online today to learn more about our offerings. 

Autumn Blend Wax Polymer Pathway Mix

Golf Course Design: Natural Looking, Erosion Resistant Cart Paths

There are several factors that can compromise the integrity of a golf course cart path. When using a crushed stone, extreme weather conditions like heavy rain and ice may lead to erosion. Debris left unchecked can accumulate and compromise the quality of the pathway. Even everyday foot and cart traffic has the wear-and-tear potential to negatively affect the path’s visual appeal as well as its functionality. 

Asphalt or concrete paths will combat the issues of mud, dust, and erosion, but at what cost? Hardscape paths often require special equipment or contractors to lay, and never look as good as the day they were first installed. Freeze thaw cycles, tree roots, and wear and tear cause the surface to crack and crumble overtime, resulting in costly patching or replacement. From a design perspective, the inclusion of asphalt or concrete is often obtrusive when surrounded by well manicured greens and softly blowing fescue. 

With the right makeup, however, a crushed stone cart path can combat and prevent these pitfalls. Kafka Granite Wax Polymer Pathway Mix was designed with this in mind: to create a natural looking, easy to install pathway mix that eliminates mud, dust, and erosion. 

Erosion Resistance

Erosion is an enemy of both form and function. The degradation of a golf course cart path shouldn’t be a concern for golfers or a priority for maintenance crews. Unfortunately, oftentimes grounds crews spend valuable hours maintaining crushed stone paths due to erosion due to rainfall, wind, freeze/thaw cycles, or traffic.

Our pathway mixes are designed to create a beautiful, natural looking walking surface that compacts well, but when mixed with our patented wax polymer technology, the combination resists the material degradation that occurs via water in the erosion process. 

No Dust

That’s right, Kafka’s patented Wax Polymer Pathway Mix is dustless; providing a cleaner look while still delivering the natural appeal and feel you’d expect from a golf course’s crushed stone pathway. And it doesn’t get muddy, either, which means a cleaner surface that requires less upkeep than other options. Eliminating mud and dust is a game changer for guest experience, especially when tens of thousands flock for tournament play or other special events.

Natural Look and Feel

Speaking of natural look and feel, nothing beats the look of nature than nature itself. All of our pathway products are made of natural stone, and although they are meticulously blended with an engineered polymeric wax, it was Kafka’s design goal to maintain a natural crushed stone look. When we manufacture our pathway mixes, we do so without compromising the inherent look of these stones. We do not want our product to look like concrete, asphalt, or another hardscape. The goal is to have a natural looking path that is easy to install and maintain. Kafka’s Wax Polymer Pathway Mix blends in seamlessly with a variety of golf course styles. 

Easy Installation 

Kafka’s Wax Polymer Pathway Mix was designed to be easy to install and maintain. No need for special equipment or specially trained contactors; golf courses generally have the tools and skills needed to install the product in-house. Unlike Kafka’s Standard and Stabilized Pathway Mix, the Wax Polymer Pathway Mix requires no water for installation. All that’s required is that you lay the material over your prepared base, level the surface, and compact. The product has no working time or shelf life, which means material can be stockpiled and work can be phased, if needed. Additionally, if there comes a need to access utilities or modify site plans, the material can even be dug up and re-laid if needed!

Adaptability = More Design Possibilities 

Unlike other crushed stone pathway options, wax polymer mixed pathways may be installed at a steeper degree slope without terrain and/or environmental influences compromising the pathway’s integrity. 

What does this mean for a golf course? Well, the design of a golf course becomes less restricted with a more adaptable pathway product. With Kafka’s Wax Polymer Pathway Mix, you can achieve one cohesive, natural looking, and long-lasting solution throughout the entire grounds, regardless of terrain.

Little-to-No Maintenance

When there’s a demand for regular maintenance on a cart path, owners and managers can lose extensive hours of labor (that could be spent elsewhere) and a blow to their bottom line. Wax polymer pathways, however, require little to no maintenance. If an area is damaged or a refresh is desired, a quick scarifying of the surface at 1/8” with a nail drag (exposing fresh underlying material) and a recompaction is generally all that is needed. This maintenance is best performed on a hot sunny day, when the surface is more malleable. 

A Leader in Natural Stone Solutions for Over 40 Years 

Since 1979, Kafka Granite has provided natural stone solutions to manufacturers, architects, and contractors. We harvest our stone from a network of quarries throughout North America and custom produce Central Wisconsin. Kafka Granite may be a new name in the golf industry, but we have a long history of solving problems using natural stone. We are eager to help golf clubs across the country achieve beautiful, low maintenance cart and walking paths. Give us a call or contact us online to learn more.

Natural Stone Hardscapes Colors and Finishes

What Finish Is Right for Your Natural Stone

When carefully done by a professional mason or landscape contractor, the right stone finish will provide superb functionality and elevate the visual attraction of your masonry or hardscape project. Deciding which color is only half the battle, but choosing which finish is best is simpler than you think. There are generally two main considerations when choosing a stone finish for your natural stone accents or natural stone hardscapes: aesthetics and functionality. For example, you may love the contemporary accent a sawn or honed natural stone sill provides, while it is important your natural stone steps have a finish to increase traction. Kafka Granite has put together this list of our most common stone finishes to give you a more up-close look at their purpose and how each look is achieved.

5 Stone Finishes, All with Unique Qualities

From hand tools to machinery and even open flames, the process for finishing natural stone hardscapes and other natural stone products is one of the many ways Kafka helps customize your project. And while each of these approaches differs from start to finish, they share one thing in common: every finish adds multi-faceted value to stone projects.


Using a rock hammer or pitching tool, our experts chip away at the face of the stone slab to produce a rugged-yet-crafted, natural appearance. This process is known as rock-facing. Rock-facing is typically reserved for the edges or faces of a natural stone product. You’ll commonly find rock-faces on Kafka’s natural stone sawn cut drywall, thermal top steps, caps, and sill. 


Also known as a flamed finish, a thermal finish is produced by running a high-temperature flame over a moistened stone surface. Layers of the stone flake away due to the expansion of the moisture, resulting in a textured surface. Once treated, the thermal finish process produces a subtle, non-skid texture that is an excellent choice for stone walking surfaces like flagstone and thermal-top steps. The act of thermalling also further accentuates the natural character of the stone, which also makes it a preference for purely aesthetic reasons. 


Stones are “bush hammered” using a repeated impact method, which causes the surface of the stone to develop a rougher texture. Consequently, bush-hammered finished stone provides more slip resistance than other finishes while still achieving a visually appealing, robust texture. Bush-hammered stone finishes are a popular choice for natural stone steps and flagstone, especially in commercial or high traffic areas. 


The sawn finish gets its name from the means by which it is applied – that is, the sawing of the stone to create a flat, sleek surface. Unlike some other methods, the process of applying a sawn finish doesn’t require treatments. You’ll find that many stone products will come standard sawn on one or more sides, depending on the order or purpose. When sawn on top and bottom, stone slabs may be easily stacked and installed for a variety of applications. Sawn finishes will show fine lines of the saw on the surface of the stone.


For a stone surface with a clean, contemporary, and easy to clean surface, a honed stone finish is a classic option. Finished by way of grinding and sanding, these surfaces are smooth but not glossy and complement both exterior and interior environments. Honed finishes are commonly applied to more contemporary coping and sill, or to elevate fireplace mantels and hearths. 

A Common Scenario with Simple Solutions

Still unsure which finish is right for you? Consider the following example. Suppose that you’re working with natural stone hardscapes and you’re assisting a property owner with an extensive outdoor application – let’s say you’re installing a retaining wall, a walkway, and steps leading up to the property. 

For the retaining wall, you may want to go with a rock-faced stone finish as the rock facing will complement the natural elements of the outdoors, while our sawn heights allow the cut drywall to be installed without extra time sorting and shimming. Steps and walkways have some leeway in terms of how they’re finished. But, at the very least, these should have a finish that provides traction while also withstanding the elements – thermal, for example, or bush-hammered finishes.

Over 40 Years of Natural Stone Solutions

Since 1979, Kafka Granite has provided stone products for applications ranging from large-scale, commercial projects to private, residential renovations. Whether you’re working with a commercial property in need of a facelift with an updated landscape design or you are tracking down thin stone veneer for a new façade, our extensive catalog of natural stone products and their various custom stone accents will allow for endless possibilities. Connect with our office today to learn more about our natural stone hardscapes, the finishing options, or to place a custom order.