What is Cobble Stone?
From the streets of historic towns to the nomadic garden pathways, cobble stones are some of the most palpable (and pleasing!) pieces of rock used in hardscaping. In layman’s terms, cobbles are rounded stones that are traditionally used to pave roads and pathways. They are usually around two and ten inches in diameter or length and are often taken from river beds, where the running water slowly wears away at the stone and forms those trademark round sides.
“Cobble stone” comes from the word “cob,” which means round or lumpy. For a long time, cobblestones have been used in many different places to build paved roads, which was a huge step up from dirt pathways.
Usage of Cobble Stone
It’s a known fact that carriage wheels, horse hooves, and even modern automobiles make a lot of noise when rolling over cobblestone paving. The noise might be thought of as a disadvantage, but it helps to warn the pedestrians of their approach.
Characteristics of Cobbles
Talking about the cobble stone size and how long they usually are, cobbles are useful sizes for humans because they are large enough to be used to build things, yet small enough to pick up and move one-handed by most people.
You can also break larger rocks into ‘cobble’ sizes without too much trouble. A typical cobble is about the size and dimensions of a large brick.
So ‘cobbles’ or ‘cobblestones’ are frequently seen in construction, particularly buildings and roadways, constructed before the widespread use of building products like cement and asphalt.
Cobblestones make a rough but durable road surface.
For ages, cobblestones are the first choice to beautify buildings, walls, and fireplace hearths. While rounded, oval-shaped cobbles are most commonly seen or heard, they can also be in a square and rectangular shape; however, they always retain their rounded, irregular edges.
Cobble stones are still in use primarily in a decorative manner. Cobbles are a popular choice amongst homeowners looking to capitalize on that ancient charm and are usually used to build pathways in the front and backyards. They can be used to make beautiful retaining walls for gardening. They’re also still a prevalent choice for fireplace hearths, as the charming, natural blemishes can give a place a little naive richness.
When looking to purchase cobblestones, there are numerous options available. Antique cobblestones, collected from real old-world buildings and paths, can be purchased and reused in your hardscaping projects though this will be expensive.
If you’re looking to buy new cobbles, you can get them in nearly any stone you’d like, such as granite, limestone, and basalt. They also are available in a wide range of colors, such as red, green, gray, black, pink, tan, and brown. Also, you might want to think outside the regular oval-shaped stones! Square and rectangular cobbles can create beautiful outdoor figures, and many homeowners like the more traditional patterns they can make.
However, a recent popular trend is to use cobblestones in different colors to create patterns, such as swirls, zig-zags, and other simple designs.
Types or Variations of Cobble Stone
There are two main variations of Cobble stones. Let’s go through each of them along with their sub-types, if any.
- Cobble stone from Indian Natural Stones
Granite Cobble stone
- Yellow Granite Cobblestone Pavers
- Red Granite Cobblestone Pavers
- Grey Granite Cobblestone Pavers
- Black Granite Cobblestone Pavers
Limestone cobble stones
- Black Limestone Cobblestone Pavers
- Grey Limestone Cobblestone Pavers
- Yellow Limestone Cobblestone Pavers
Sandstone cobble stones
- Raj Green Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Mint Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Chocolate Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Black Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Grey Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Agra Red Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Autumn Brown Sandstone Cobblestone Pavers
- Basalt cobble stone
Basalt is a magmatic rock that forms from the rapid cooling and solidification of Magma or Lava. This results in a solid stone that lasts a lifetime. Basalt is a matrix of very fine grains that are hardly visible to the naked eye but are visually strikingly.
Cobble stone paving
Cobblestones are commonly either set in sand or similar material or are glued together with masonry. Paving with cobblestones allows a road to bear heavy foot or vehicle traffic all year long. It prevents the formation of ruts, often a case with dirt roads. It has the additional advantage of immediately draining water and not getting muddy during wet weather or dusty in dry weather.
Cobblestone Paver Cost
Costs for cobblestone paving typically range from £75 to £100 per square meter. Also, the price also varies depending on the size and type of stone and factors such as transportation costs.
Costs for cobblestone typically on the stone itself; the price varies depending on the stone’s size and factors such as transportation expenses.
For DIYers, installation materials and gadget rentals can add up extra.
And if you are planning to call the professionals, the cost is going to shoot even higher. At an installed cost of roughly $40 to $75 per square foot, cobblestone is undoubtedly one of the most expensive of all paving choices.
Maintenance and Repair
Cobblestone paver driveways and walkways require very minimal maintenance. A thorough wash once or twice an year will be more than enough. Just make sure to pull out any weeds that grow through the joints.
A well-built cobblestone driveway can remain functional for as long as 100 years. And it is usually the base that fails as Cobble stones are made to last for life.
With sandset cobblestone pavers, the sand in the joints may settle or wash away. If this happens, just spread more sand and sweep it into the joints using a squeegee. At times, the underlying base of a cobblestone surface may settle, but it is relatively easy to remove stones, lay an additional base , and reinstall the stones. This concern is most commonly seen with cobble stone driveways that experience heavy traffic; however, good planning and preparation of the paving bed can prevent that.
Cobblestone paving that is joined using mortar is more susceptible to issues, especially in cold weather where frost cycles may cause the joints to open. Regular inspection along with necessary re-grouting can keep the surface consistently well.
Considered as a style icon, cobblestone paving is best suited for homes with vintage architecture that resembles the living places found in regions and historical periods where cobbles were the principal paving material.
Original cobblestones were water-worn stones collected from river-beds, so the more rounded and tumbled the stones are, the more authentic the paving will look.
Because genuine cobblestones are so costly, there is now a distinguished market for reclaimed cobblestones, which are less expensive and can lend authenticity to the paver installation.
Cobblestone Paver Installation | How do you make a cobble stone driveway?
Installing a cobblestone driveway is a labor-intensive task; however, it doesn’t necessarily require special skills or super heavy machinery. If you have time and don’t mind the challenge, DIY installation is a feasible option. The paving process is a project that requires time, especially if you are doing the work yourself. While a short walkway can be done in a weekend or two , for a large project like a full driveway that requires some serious digging time, expect the job to take at least a week or two and perhaps more if you are not working full time.
Here is the detailed 6 step process to install cobble stones.
- STEP 1: Prepare the Base
If you start in a bare soil area, dig down to give yourself a couple of inches of base till half the pavers’ height to determine your final patio height.
Otherwise, if you have to work on an already paved surface/base made of concrete, a simple pressure wash is needed to clean it.
If there is an area apart from the concrete, a base rock needs to be brought in to form a solid foundation. The base rock needs to be laid down so that it rises about an inch above the existing concrete, and then a compactor has to be used to bring it down, so it will be just slightly higher than the concrete.
- STEP 2: Add Sand
Pour sand over the whole area (both the concrete and base rock) and use a rake tool to spread it out about an inch thick. This sand base will form a cushion for the cobblestones.
- STEP 3: Lay Cobblestone Pavers
Cobble stones may come in irregular sides on either side, so it is essential to choose the correct positioning stones. The objective is to have a relatively smooth surface you can walk upon without twisting your ankle.
Some cobble stones may have some bows on the sides, and hence it is suggested to leave a 1-inch space between two adjacent stones. It also helps if we have a bump, and you can move the required stone accordingly.
- STEP 4: Pavers compaction
Avoid using a compactor over pavers that have been laid on a base of concrete as it may give a irregular height. Lightly spray the cobbles with water and push them down with a compactor if you have laid them on top of base rock, . Doing this will push them down into the base rock, but not all the way.
- STEP 5: Mixing the Grout
We can use a type of epoxy that, when mixed with sand, creates a grout that hardens once it dries up.
Use a handy cement mixer to mix the grout. Pour in one sack of sand along with the color of which will be the grout’s final color. Now, add one container each of the two-part epoxy. Finally, fill in tap water to these expoxy containers and add that to the cement mixer as well. The benefit of pouring the water into the containers allows you to first check water quantity correctly and also make use any remaining epoxy.
Let the grout mix well for about three to five minutes until the consistency resembles that to a pancake batter.
- STEP 6: Its time to Pour and Spread the Grout
Wet down a pushcart(to avoid grout sticking to it) and fill in the grout. Use a soft squeegee with a handle to spread the grout. Make sure the grout gets filled in all of the gaps in the cobble stone. It will harden in about 10-15 minutes of time.
Once the grout is spread into the gaps, use another squeegee to clean the left over grout from the pavers. Once you’ve run through the whole area, use a stiff-bristle push broom to clean up any remains again. Let the new cobblestone patio dry for at least five hours before walking on it.
Few precautions which can help:
- You may install some PVC Pipes for the electricity supply required later on as then you need not have to remove the cobbles.
- Maintain a slope not to let the water run down if the cobble stone paving is close to any wooden surface.
Top 5 cobble stone suppliers from India
Here is the list of the Cobble stone suppliers from India that have a proven track record of globally delivering quality cobble stones.
Below are some FAQs about cobble stone along with their answers.
How strong is cobblestone?
Going back to the two variations of cobble stones being formed from Lava’s solidification and the second one cut from the Indian Natural stone slabs, they are very sturdy and built to last for a lifetime.
Is cobblestone man made?
The cobble stones cut from the Indian Natural stone slabs are hand made as they are hand or machine cut into desired sizes.
How long is cobblestone?
The standard size is 14 x 14 x 4-6 cms; however, they can be cut to any size to make any new designs or patterns using different cobble stones.
How do you cut cobblestone?
They can be hand-cut or machine cut . Hand-cut is done using a chisel, but it need expertise.
Cobblestone Pavers vs. Concrete Pavers
The major drawback of right cobblestone pavers is their high price, and if budget is a concern, you can get a similar look by using much economical concrete pavers. Concrete pavers are available in various colors, and many are tumbled to give them an excellent resemblance to authentic cobblestones. These alternatives do not have the kind of lifetime durability found with original granite cobblestones, but you can expect them to last few decades.
Are Cobblestone Pavers the right choice?
Cobblestone pavers are a treat to the eye along with being durable, but they are not cheap. If you are looking for a low-budget driveway, you might be better off going for concrete pavers, gravel, or even asphalt. But if you want a solid, eye-catching, and quaint driveway, cobble stone becomes the only choice.
If you are fond of the look of cobblestone pavers but are unable to afford the cost of a driveway full of them, you may consider installing a cobble stone apron or border or a decorative cobble stone inlay in the middle of the driveway.