A Rocky Subject

Flagstones, Field Stones, Pavers, Boulders . . . aren’t they all just rocks? Plans to create an outdoor living space such as a patio, retainer wall or water feature can be confusing if you’re unclear about the terms used by stone suppliers. To have a project completed as you wish, you must be able to communicate with contractors and suppliers. Crucial to that communication are basic definitions of the variety of rocks in question. Each supplier may have an assortment of specialty products, but here we’ve compiled a brief vocabulary that is used industry wide.


An easy way to differentiate between types of rock is whether they are quarried or simply found close to the Earth’s surface. Stones that are quarried are cut from a larger bed of sedimentary rock. One of the benefits of using flagstone is its natural relative flatness, a result of the way these beautiful slabs of history develop. Thanks to their broad surface area, they are ideal for covering large areas such as a pool deck, walls, stairs or a garden path.

Field Stones

Pretty rocks that little boys find and give their mothers are a great example of Field Stones. No one knows when farmers realized the annoying rocks they pulled from their fields could be used for construction, but that’s where we got the term Field Stone. In today’s lingo, it simply refers to stones that are gathered close the ground’s surface and don’t need to be cut from a bed of rock. Often these rocks were deposited by ancient ice flow movement and may be found nearly anywhere you look. Field stone may be used for virtually any project, including those that require cut stones to create a level surface.


Despite the common root word, pavers are not the same as pavement, which is basically any outdoor surface you walk on. Pavers are uniform artificial stones made by mixing concrete with a coloring agent, pouring it into a mold and allowing it to set. A variety of shapes and colors are available to use in all sorts of hardscape projects. If you are looking for symmetry or uniformity in your finished feature, pavers may be the product of choice.


Simply put, boulders are big field rocks. Specifically, rocks that measure over 10 inches in diameter. They can be used for structural elements in your landscape like walls, creek beds or informal seating along a path. Boulders may also make a striking statement piece alongside a water feature or as a relaxing spot to enjoy nature.

Whether you’re designing an outdoor living area or an entire hardscape for your home or business, Alliance Stone carries the best quality materials for your needs. We aim to provide excellent service and want you to depend on us for all your hardscape supplies. Call or emails us to help you in bringing your next stone landscaping project to life.

Posted on behalf of Alliance Stone