Basalt Bubblers and Hardscaping in Vancouver, WA – GRO

Basalt is one of our favorite types of stone to use in our hardscaping because it can be sourced locally, it is extremely strong, and it is naturally beautiful. In this blog we will go over some basic facts about basalt and how we like to use it in our hardscapes. 

Basalt is an igneous rock, meaning it is formed during the cooling of volcanic magma. The pacific northwest, being no stranger to volcanoes and tectonic activity, is flush with basalt. The quarries we source from are located in Camas, WA and Hood River, OR. Aside from being super local, basalt is great for hardscaping because it is one of the densest and most durable rocks on Earth (even more so than granite). Many artifacts from human history, such as Hammurabi’s code of law, busts of Egyptian Pharaohs, and the heads of Easter Island, are all made from basalt. Basalt can be chipped, chiseled, and polished into any hardscape feature you could need.

One of our favorite basalt features is the basalt bubbler. We most commonly use basalt pillars that have not been modified besides the necessary holes for plumbing for our basalt bubblers. This allows the natural beauty of these stones to shine through. The structure of basalt molecules coupled with the rapid cooling under high pressure results in the imperfect hexagonal and columnar structure of the stones. These columns make for great natural fountain structures. Additionally, the water from the fountain when covering the basalt greatly enhances the natural brown, orange, and taupe colors of the stone. For more on our water features, click here. 

Basalt hardscape landscape steps in Vancouver, WA

Another way to utilize the natural beauty of basalt rockery is with landscape walls, boulders, and steps. Rough basalt steps and walls add a rugged beauty to any landscape while blending function and order with the natural world. The challenge with these installations is making sure each step is the same height in order to prevent anyone from catching their toe and tripping. This is done by chiseling the stone before installation and using gravel and other rocks below the step to insure it is level.

Basalt stepping stones and pavers in Vancouver, WA

When sliced horizontally, basalt makes for strikingly beautiful stepping stones. The irregular hexagonal shapes allow for an organically progressing path that blends beautifully with any landscaping. The patio in this same photo is also made from basalt to tie the home with the hardscape. 

The density of basalt (2.9g/cm3) makes it an awesome solution for countertops, tiling, and anything else you could imagine building out of stone. We’ve used it to make sinks, fire pit brims, hot tub coping, and more. The exterior of basalt is often gray, orange, and yellow, but when it is cut and polished, basalt has a deep dark black color. Oftentimes, stone workers will chisel and polish only part of the stone to add a contrast between the light colorful exterior and the dark polished interior. 

Whatever your hardscaping needs, Basalt is an awesome material for the job. For more information please feel free to reach out via phone at (360) 727-5975 or fill out our “Get Started” form.

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