Adding a waterfall to your landscape is a brilliant idea—one of those, “I wish I’d done this sooner!” ideas that speak to a waterfall’s ability to create a soothing atmosphere along with unparalleled visual interest. Choosing the right materials for a waterfall is part of the fun, whether you choose natural stone or specially manufactured concrete materials that closely resemble the look of natural stone. In this article we will explore why you may want natural stone for your Glen Cove, NY, waterfall.
Stones are what makes a waterfall a waterfall. Careful selection of stones, and their placement, not only bring out the stones’ natural beauty but creates a unique symphony of sound in your landscape. There is really no “perfect” stone for waterfalls, but here are some tips to help you choose the one best suited for your needs and aesthetics.
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Type of Stone
In the eastern United States, fieldstone is abundant. Take a drive in the country and you’ll see plenty of dry-stacked stone walls. Most stone in the New York area is either granite or sandstone, and part of its charm that when exposed to the elements, it weathers beautifully over time.
Natural Stone from Unilock
Unilock sources premium natural stone from Europe and Asia that features low water absorption and excellent freeze-thaw durability, making it the perfect choice for water features.
Sandstone is available in two warm colors (Autumn Harvest and Indian Coast) and one neutral tone (Stone Cliff Grey). Choose from a variety of thicknesses, depending on whether you want a more natural look or a cleaner manmade look. The natural edge steps are close to 6” thick, which look great stacked. If your waterfall aesthetic leans toward more of a modern water wall, choose the thinner (2”) natural edge coping interspersed with ultra-thin 0.875” slabs. Custom options are also available, giving you the most versatility in creating a naturalistic waterfall. Contact your Unilock Authorized Contractor for details.
Limestone is available in three gorgeous shades of grey, reminiscent of the granite found in the region. The Unilock limestone line features various sizes that can be stacked artfully to create elegant water features.
There is some debate as to whether limestone is a good choice for waterfalls. It depends on the limestone. Some limestone is hard and dense, while some is soft and porous. Softer limestone increases the pH and hardness of the water as minerals leach out, which encourages algae growth. However, Unilock limestone, is chosen for its hardness and low porosity. When in doubt, check pH levels often, especially if you have fish.
Stacking the Stones
How you stack stones depends on whether you want a natural looking waterfall, or something clearly manmade but still artistic. Although stacking flat stones one on top of another is easy, it’s not a natural look; in which case a “consciously haphazard” stacking pattern will work best.
Man-made waterfalls can still feel natural even if the arrangement of stones is clearly manmade, with the addition of lush vegetation to soften the look.
A stacked waterfall is a popular option. It makes no pretense about being natural but the deliberate placement of stones creates visual interest as well as a wonderful sound: a gentle burbling sound from stones placed close together, or a roaring waterfall sound when the water is allowed to drop several feet.
Water features are desirable backyard features that add peace and tranquility. Adding a water feature takes careful planning and design, and well as the installation expertise of a Unilock Authorized Contractor.
The title image features Rivercrest Wall, which resembles natural stone.