Getting from Point A to Point B is simple enough. And most of the time we don’t think too much about what we’re walking on. If there’s a path or walkway headed in the right direction, then we’re walking on it.
We only really start to notice it when what we’re stepping on begins to wear. Loose, cracked, lifted, slippery, missing, sinking, muddy — all of these terms are things you don’t want to hear about the walkways in and around your commercial property.
When it comes time to replacing or refreshing the pathways on our clients’ commercial properties, it’s common for them to ask us this: What are the best materials for pathways?
Great question. And whether we’re talking about cutting across large parking lot islands or passing through a quiet courtyard, the path you provide your tenants and visitors should never make them think twice. There are tons of options when it comes to hardscaping commercial properties. Here’s a closer look at some of the best pathway materials for high foot traffic areas.
The Best Pathway Materials For High Traffic Areas
The pedestrian thoroughfares on your commercial property take a beating and for good reason, they’re the easiest to access. Which means the hardscaping materials you use for these pathways need to stand up to whatever high heel shoes or steel toe work boots can throw at it — day in and day out, week after week, year after year. Here are three popular types of pathway materials you may want to consider.
Hardscaping With Natural Stone
Natural stone pavers and flagstones give commercial properties the option to have a more natural look without sacrificing durability. Stone pavers are easy to replace and available in precut geometric shapes or in an irregular, more rustic appearance.
Granite. When left unpolished, granite has a safe, slip-resistant finish. And thanks to its natural coloring, granite is stain resistant and doesn’t fade. And I’d be remiss to not mention granite’s biggest claim to fame — it’s virtually indestructible. This natural stone will not deteriorate and handle any type of weather Atlanta can throw at it.
Limestone. Typically found in subtle tones of gray and tan, limestone is a rugged-looking sedimentary rock — one of the hardest — commonly retrieved from places like the ocean floor and caves. It is very porous, giving it the ability to absorb water, which makes them very slip resistant. To extend the life of limestone pavers, sealing and routine maintenance is recommended.
Travertine. Similar to limestone, travertine is a natural rock that does well in absorbing water, offering good traction on walking surfaces. One notable travertine feature is its uncanny ability to stay cool even under the hot, harsh Atlanta sun. It’s lifespan is also worth a mention, because travertine can last for centuries.
Hardscaping With Brick
When we talk about bricks, think pottery. That’s because bricks are typically made from natural clay and cured in a kiln. Bricks resist stains and keep their color much better than concrete.
Hardscaping with bricks can last for generations on your commercial proeprty, but they will chip and crack over time, especially under stress. These chips and cracks aren’t necessarily a bad thing because they give your brick walkways a timeless, charming aesthetic as they age.
Hardscaping With Concrete
There was a time when the simple gray concrete sidewalk ruled the landscape. Today, texture is king. Commercial property managers are still hardscaping with concrete, but using it in different applications. Here are three worth considering:
Concrete as a base material. Using concrete as a base and embedding it with other materials, such as pebbles, sea glass, marbles or gemstones will give your sidewalk a unique look and also increased traction.
Stamped concrete. Once the concrete’s poured and before it sets, it’s “stamped” to take on the appearance — texture and color —of a more expensive stone walkway. Concrete can also come in a wide variety of pre-mixed colors and stains.
Poured concrete. Go seamless and smooth with poured concrete, which can take on any shape and be divided into sections should you choose to do so. Poured concrete also has a low cost per square foot. Cracking followed by repair efforts from extreme changes in the weather are a common drawback.
Let HighGrove Help You Improve Your Property’s Walkability In Stride
Whether you’re interested in a high traffic or low traffic area, a wide variety of materials are available for your Atlanta commercial pathways — this was just the tip of the iceberg. HighGrove Partners can help you consider your priorities, hardscaping preferences, budget and maintenance needs in order to determine the perfect hardscape materials for your property.
Call us at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form for a free consultation.
And be sure to check out our 2015 Commercial Property Trends Report below. “Improve walkability” is just one of eight timely, important trends to help your commercial property become more attractive, more accessible and more sustainable this year and for years to follow.