Easy Garden Path Ideas

Happy Earth Day! What better way is there to enjoy mother nature than by strolling through a beautiful garden path?

A well designed garden path can create an inviting atmosphere for you and your guests, plus it can enhance the functionality of your garden.

gardenpath

There are numerous ways you can create a alluring and fun garden path, you just need to think outside the box! A path that curves and disappears around a corner draws attention to what lies beyond. A straight, narrow path can make a garden appear longer, especially if the end point is hidden. We’ve collected some of our favorite garden path ideas to help inspire your design.

Idea #1. Elegant Entry with Techo Bloc’s Maya Stepping Stone


Garden Path Techo Bloc Maya Step

Techo Bloc’s Maya stone slab is an excellent way to enhance your garden path. These slabs come in 4 different earth tone colors to mimic the natural beauty of real stone.

Idea #2. Broken Beauty

Garden Path Irregular Bluestone

Irregular Bluestone slabs give off a rustic look. The irregularity and sharp edges of the stone will contrast nicely with the delicate softness of your flower surround.

Idea #3. Clean Lines

Garden Path Granite StoneGarden Path Granite Stone and Pebbles

Lay granite or bluestone pattern stock in crushed stone to create a minimalist garden path with clean lines.  You may opt to surround the granite with black Mexican beach pebbles to give a striking contrast.

Idea #4. Playing with Texture

Garden Path Crushed Stone

To expand on Idea #3, try creating landings out of bluestone or granite pattern and alternate with crushed stone. These varying layers of texture and rectangular forms will create visual appeal.

Idea #5. Staggered Lines

Garden Path Staggered Garden Path Staggered

Instead of laying stone in a straight line, mix it up by staggering 12″ x 36″ stone planks. The alternating stones draws the eye from side to side and creates an elongated appearance.

Idea #6. Geometric Intrigue

Garden Path Brick

Garden Path Brick

There are many versatile ways to lay brick and one option for your garden path is to make basket weave squares. Brick is timeless and it’ll add charm to your garden.

Another option is to surround a 12″ x 12″ bluestone square to create colorful garden steppers.

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Let us know which garden path design was your favorite in the comments below!

You can find all these materials at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

Before you go, be sure to check out last year’s Earth Day post on Permeable Pavers.

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Gatorback Mortar Board

How’d you like to save more time and money on your next masonry or hardscape project with one simple product? If your answer is “yes”  then keep reading to find out how a Gatorback® Mortar Board or Mortar Pan can do just that. You’re probably thinking “How can a mortar board save me time and money?” Well, you’ll be surprised…

gatorbacklogo gatorbackmortar

 

Gatorback® mortar boards aren’t just your typical run of the mill mortar boards. They are specially designed and engineered to be lightweight, durable, and to keep mortar workable and consistent – which can decrease mortar re-tempering time and waste.

Still not convinced? Let’s explore 4 features and benefits Gatorback® mortar boards and mortar pans have to offer!

 

Gatorback Mortar Boards & Pans Key Features:

#1. CONCAVE, WATER-RESISTANT WORKING SURFACE

Gatorback Mortar Board and Mortar PanDesign: Gatorback’s center is recessed 0.5″ from all sides to create a pan effect that keeps retempering water and mortar in the board.

Benefit: Unlike wooden mortar boards, Gatorback will not absorb water from the mortar, which will increase the board life of mortar by as much as 20 minutes! The good news is you won’t waste your time on re-tempering. This ensures that only good, workable mortar is used for higher job site production and consistent mortar properties. Excessive re-tempering of mortar will alter the integrity of mortar, especially colored mortar.

#2. Portable & Light

Gatorback Mortar Board handleDesign: Gatorback mortar board’s are just about 5 lbs each and have a handle (patent pending) that is designed to allow you or your crew members to easily and safely carry multiple boards with one hand, at one time.

Benefit: Job sites are easier to set up and clean up. And the ergonomically design of the handle puts less strain and stress on your back!

#3. Durable & Impact Resistant Material

Design: Gatorback mortar boards are made of a special lightweight, impact resistant material.

GatorbackMortarPanBenefit: It can withstand abuse from trowels, shovels and hammers in both warm and freezing temperatures. Other mortar boards may crack, especially in temperatures 25 degree (or less)

 

#4. REINFORCED RIBBING

gatorback mortar panDesign: Paten pending rib structure on back of board.

Benefit: Gatorback mortar board can hold as much as 150 pounds of material without flexing more than 1.5 inches and not lose its original shape.

 

 

Gatorback® mortar boards are a great investment that will save you time and money! Visit gatorback.net to learn more about their products and read customer testimonials. You can purchase Gatorback mortar boards and pans along with other professional grade tools at TLC Supply in Quincy, MA.

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

 

 

Efflorescence Causes, Removal, and Prevention

What is efflorescence?

EfflorescenceBrickEfflorescence is a crystalline deposit of salts (carbonates, sulfates, chlorides) that may appear as a chalky or white haze on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete.

The efflorescence  you are observing in your pavers is Calcium Carbonate, a by-product resulting from an interaction between the cement used to manufacture the paving stone and the natural environment, which includes the ground, the weather, and the atmosphere. In clay brick, the main component that can cause efflorescence is usually Sodium Chloride.

Efflorescence may appear soon after the pavers are installed or it could appear months after depending on several factors such as the climate, humidity, and the ingredients in the materials being used (such as cement, lime, pigments, and aggregate). When the stone is wet, you may notice that the efflorescence has disappeared but this is only due to water turning the efflorescence salts temporarily transparent rather than actually removing them. Once the surface dries, the efflorescence salts will re-appear.

EfflorenecePaversThere is no need to worry because your pavers and brick are not defective. Efflorescence is naturally occurring in cement based products and it will correct itself with time and exposure to the elements.

Why does efflorescence occur?

Concrete products contain cement which produces lime or water soluble calcium oxide. Since pavers have millions of microscopic capillaries, when moisture enters these capillaries it reacts with the calcium oxide and then calcium hydroxide is formed. This rises to the surface and reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and forms a white haze of calcium carbonate. When the moisture on the surface of the paver evaporates it leaves behind the white haze of efflorescence. Still curious about its formation? For a very in depth explanation of efflorescence please click here.

efflorescencediagram
Efflorescence Diagram

How do you eliminate efflorescence?

As mentioned above, efflorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon and it will correct itself with time and exposure to the natural elements.Since many factors are involved in the formation of efflorescence it is hard to determine when it will stop occurring. But if you would like to alleviate the problem quicker there are detergents available that can help clean and remove efflorescence. Another option to prevent efflorescence is to seal the pavers with a breathable sealant once the efflorescence is cleaned off.

EfflorescenceFreePavers
Enjoy your beautiful pavers efflorescence free!

TLC Supply carries several professional grade detergents and breathable siloxane/silane sealers that can help alleviate the effects of efflorescence. We also carry a wide selection of premium pavers from Techo Bloc, GenestBelgard and Cambridge Pavers. Please visit our website to see even more hardscape and masonry products ranging from bluestone,granite,brick,natural stone,block,sand,cement, and much more!

Before you go check this out! You may even like our posts  on How to Build a Paver Patio

The experts at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Leave your questions or comments below. 

 “Best Price, Best Advice” -TLC Supply,Inc.

Bricks (Types, Styles, Colors, and Textures)

A Quick Overview of Brick Styles, Colors, and Textures!

With so many manufactures and innovative computer technology, consumers now have an even greater selection of classic brick styles, colors, and textures. Brick can deliver classic beauty, strength, and durability to any home or building.

We will give you a very brief overview of some popular brick manufacturing processes, finishes, and colors!

Manufacturing Process:

Clay Brick can be molded in several ways but we are just going to touch upon some common processes.

1. Water struck brick is a type of mold that is popular in New England. During the brick making process, soft clay in pressed into a mold and water is used as the release medium to keep the clay from sticking to the mold. Water struck brick produces a smooth, hard, sand free texture.

2. Sand molded brick is similar to the water struck process but instead of water sand is used in the lining to keep the clay from sticking to the mold. The result is a smooth sandy texture.

Handmade Brick
Redland Brick Cushwa Handmade

3. Hand molded brick just as the name implies is clay that is individually molded by hand. Unique features rise out of hand molded brick such as folds and crevices which give it distinguished classic appearance.

4. Extruded brick or machine molded is a more modern method of producing brick. Through this process you can achieve a wire cut, rolled edged, glazed, or smooth finished brick. Extruded brick can be more regular in size compared to hand molded brick. Through this process low moisture clay is extruded under pressure through a die to produce a distinctive brick shape.

Types of Finishes:

1. Wire cut brick or matt refers to bricks that are sliced by the wire. The wire pulls the edge of the brick, stressing the clay and creating small cracks in the surface of the stretched material. When fired in a kiln, the stretch marks on the surface of the baked brick separate into rough cracks and crevasses. This feature is what gives the bricks the visual appeal that many builders and homeowners seek in a finished appearance.

2. Antique bricks are machine molded brick with a handmade appearance. Antique bricks are wonderful for achieving that reclaimed look due to production methods to give them that, aged, tumbled and worn appearance.

3. Glazed brick has a glaze applied to it prior to firing and results in hardened surface with textures that vary from glass-smooth, speckled, and rough.

Brick Vertical Score
Endicott Vertical Score

4. Vertical Score brick have a face surface with vertical cuts to give it a very distinct texture and look.

Brick Colors:

Clay Brick can come in an array  of colors such as white, tan, rose, pink, red, orange, gray, cream, burgundy, buff, brown, and black!

Full Range is the term referred to brick that display a full range of color rather than being one color as a whole. For example, you may have a cube of brick with varying tones of red and black.

Brick Flashing
Redland Brick KF Pavers with Flashing

Sometimes you may even see brick with various dark spots on the face or surrounding the edge. This is referred to as “flashing”. Iron spots found on brick refer to little black dots speckled on the surface.

In addition to the various brick colors you can even choose to change the color of the mortar joint. Changing the mortar color can alter the appearance of your bricks so it is important to plan your brick and mortar colors together. Mortar color can bring about a light warmer feel or even a dramatic contrasting effect.

Brick Mortar Color

TLC Supply, Inc. has all the materials you need to get your project done! We carry a wide selection of premium modular, paver, and thin brick from brands such as Rocky Ridge, Harmar, Cushwa, Pine Hall, McAvoy, KF, Endicott, and Stiles & Hart.  We have hundreds of brick sample boards displaying the many different brick colors, textures, and molds.

So whether you are looking to build something new or add to an existing brick surface you are sure to find something to meet your needs! In addition we provide custom fabrication if you wish to have your brick engraved.

If you liked this page be sure to share it with all your friends! And for even more inspiring brick walkways and patios as well as backyard DIY projects and outdoor entertaining ideas follow us on Pinterest!

WAIT! Check this out! You may even be interested in our post How to Build a Brick Walkway & Patio. 

The helpful staff at TLC Supply are happy to answer any of your project questions, just give us a shout! Send us an email to info@tlcsupply.com or leave your comments below.