Most people have heard of landscaping but might not be aware that it is made up of two parts which are hardscaping and softscaping. Hardscaping is a prerequisite for a functional and aesthetically appealing outdoor area. Without the hardscape elements, you’ll only end up with a poorly structured foyer and an unbalanced outside living space. Below we will go through some of the most common and best hardscape materials to create a comforting appeal and organization to your home’s landscape.

What are Hardscape Materials?

Hardscape generally refers to the nongrowing or living man-made parts that serve as the foundation of your landscape design. In the context of construction, all fixed parts of your home’s exterior are generally referred to as hardscape. This includes wooden decks, brick walkways, stones, and tiled patios.

The materials you choose for your hardscape must cater to your decor needs and budget. Aesthetic appeal, durability, and cost are some of the main factors that you should consider while choosing your hardscape materials. For a unique design, you’ll have to incorporate several materials into your hardscape.

What Are Examples Of Hardscaping?

  • Built-in Furniture
  • Decks
  • Fences and Freestanding Walls
  • Fire Pits
  • Freestanding structures like gazebos and pergolas
  • Landscape edging
  • Patios
  • Stairs
  • Stones and rocks
  • Walkways and Paths

Types of Hardscape Materials

Each hardscaping material has its pros and cons. Here are the most popular types of hardscape materials for landscaping and to consider for your outdoor design.


If you want your foyer or backyard to have a rustic charm, incorporating brick into your hardscape design may be an excellent idea. It provides an immaculate and classic look to your landscape. They generally come in a multitude of colors and match well with other outdoor materials. The best part is that it is extremely flexible, requires low maintenance, and can be rearranged into new configurations. However, due to the high porosity of brick, it can be less resilient than most hardscaping materials.

brick hardscape


Pavers refer to paving stones made from concrete, brick, or tile. They are available in a broad range of styles and colors. The appearance of concrete pavers particularly can be easily modified as they are made by combining concrete with a coloring agent in a mold.

Unlike concrete slabs, pavers hardly crack and have more flex. Plus, they require zero to low maintenance. Even if your paver gets damaged, you can generally take care of the issue yourself.

Composite Decking

Composite decking used a combination of wood fibers and plastic film, enhanced by various additives. It is hard-wearing, insect-repellent, and resistant to molds and rotting. Due to its high slip resistance and traction, composite decking works best for homes with children. It generally lasts longer and is more durable than natural wood.

composite decking



Bluestone is most commonly used for steps, entryways, and pool decks. It comes in beautiful earth-tone colors that go well with almost all types of landscapes. Due to its rugged texture, bluestone surfaces never get slippery or slick.

There are two types of bluestones, namely Pennsylvania bluestone and Shenandoah bluestone. The former is a sandstone, while the Shenandoah is limestone. Both types are equally durable and tolerant to weather fluctuations.


If you have unique design needs and a limited budget, concrete may be a great option for you. It’s not only highly affordable but is also flexible enough to be molded into a variety of shapes.

Concrete also has excellent durability and is resistant to moisture, pests, and molds. You can use it for pavements, driveways, patios, and claddings. It’s a common element in most outdoor spaces that provides a modern and industrial feel

The only drawback is that concrete rapidly absorbs and retains heat, making the immediate surroundings warmer than usual.

concrete hardscape


Loose Stone

A prettier alternative to mulch, loose stone or decomposed granite adds softness and versatility to your hardscape. It lasts much longer than mulch and provides virtually the same benefits to the plants. When you compact it well, it becomes quite permeable and reduces runoff water. It’s most commonly used for walkways and driveways. It’s a popular choice for those for a cost-effective material with a variety of options of colors and sizes to work with.

Natural Stone 

The use of stones for homes dates from the Stone Age. It has the ability to endure even the toughest of weather conditions and is therefore the most durable hardscaping material. Though the labor costs for its installation can be high, the work is worth paying for as it requires very little maintenance in the future. It’s known as one of the most attractive options for outdoor patios and is commonly placed over a gravel base or sand.

natural stone harscape


Tiles are the go-to choice of designers and homeowners who prefer versatile spaces inside and outside the home. There are many different types of tiles available to choose from such as ceramic, quarry, mosaic, terracotta, and porcelain. Regardless of what type of tiles you use, you won’t have to worry too much about maintenance. However, some tiles can get very slippery when wet, particularly glazed tiles. While generally on the more expensive side, they provide a remarkable design and are manufactured for various climates.

tile hardscape


Wood is the safest and most popular choice of hardscaping materials. It is great for both aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. In fact, wood is more versatile than any other materials used in hardscape. From gazebos to patios to walkways, it can be incorporated into a variety of hardscape designs. The downside, however, is that wood requires more maintenance than any other hardscape material. It is the obvious choice for decks, as it creates a warm and charming that coincides with the other hardscape and outdoor elements.

mulch hardscape


Mulching is a more homespun way to landscape your courtyard. Mulch refers to composted material added to garden beds to suppress weed growth and enhance water retention and plant fertility.

Though mulching is not always ideal for aesthetic purposes, it’s a good option if you’re working with a small budget and a good alternative to rock and stone. You can simply mix fallen leaves, green waste, sawdust, compost, and grass clippings to create a homemade organic mulch.


Choosing from the wide variety and assortment of hardscaping materials will help you create and match your perfect landscape design for your home. If you are interested in incorporating any of these materials or need help designing and reconfiguring your outdoor space, please contact us for assistance. Our team of skilled and experienced landscape and hardscape contractors can help you discover the best materials and features to match your budget and lifestyle.

Contact us today for a free quote and consultation.