Stone Grates – Pros and Cons

Stone tree grates play important protection and decorative roles in both private and public landscapes. They protect trees at the base by shielding the soil from compaction because loose soil enables roots to spread more freely.  Stone grates have also become more popular in urban landscapes because of their unique looks.  This natural material presents a viable alternative to metal in landscaping projects.  What are the pros and cons of stone grates?

Pros

Aesthetic Appeal

As a natural material, stone blends into the landscape. While the eye will notice the color and patterns of the grate, it does not single it out as peculiar.  Reinforced stone grates come in more colors and patterns than the usual grey color of the stone. There are also black, brown, beige, and white colored grates. Read more about reinforced stone grates and their benefits.

The variety of patterns is wider than the traditional spoke-wheel patterns. Instead, you have patterns imitating fireworks, geometrical shapes, and other natural forms. Some designs are made with specific applications. For example, large tree designs come with expandable tree wells that can be removed as the tree trunk gets wider.

Stone does not fade even under long rough weather exposure, making them ideal for humid and hot tropical climates. Jonite grates add a premium look to both private and public developments because of their polished looks.  They can boost the aesthetic value of private space and make public spaces more appealing.

Safe For Pedestrians

Stone grates are non-slip textured, which prevents slipping on the grate if you accidentally step on it. Stone is usually rough in its natural form. Even with sculpting and shaping, it retains this non-slip quality.

Stone grates also comply with guidelines for making landscapes friendlier for people with disabilities. Jonite grates, for example, are designed with a profile that lays flat and even with the sidewalk surface. The grate does not prevent an obstacle for people on wheelchairs.  Jonite has a special ADA compliant design with narrow slits to avoid the entry of a crutch.

The flat profile also prevents tripping by able-bodied pedestrians.  These safety-oriented designs are very important for public spaces.  They prevent accident-related litigations and the penalties that come with being liable for negligence.

Environmentally Friendly

Stone is a relatively abundant material in its various forms.  It can be extracted without undue negative effects on the environment. Although it is a finite resource,  it is not in danger of exhaustion in the near future.

Refining the quarried stones does not involve the use of harsh chemicals. It does not dump toxic waste into the environment.  The debris remains of the polishing process are returned to the quarries to restore the quarries. It is possible to rehabilitate exhausted quarries and make them into parks or forests.

Stone grates have a very low carbon footprint. The extraction process is very simple, in some cases, using only chisels and hammers.  There is little energy used in the refining process because only sculpting saws are used. Stone has zero carbon emissions.  It makes stone grates the best environmentally friendly material for tree grates.

Affordable Material

Because of its abundance, stone is also affordable.  The production cost is also low, which allows the stone grate supplier to pass on lower prices to the buyer. Reinforced stone is even cheaper than premium natural stone.   It makes stone grates suitable for large public landscaping works.

Durable  

Stone is one of the most durable products in the world.  It does not rust or corrode from prolonged weather exposure. You can install stone grates and pretty much forget about them because they are very low maintenance.

Jonite grates are reinforced and are less susceptible to cracking because they have higher weight loads and resistance.

Theft Resistant

Theft of stone grates in public places for recycling purposes is a challenge in many areas. Stone has no resale value, unlike metal.  It can be used even in remote parks that have no oversight. It makes stone grates ideal for rehabilitated parks and other spaces where this problem has occurred.

Cons

Cracking and Scratching

Natural stone slabs sometimes develop hairline cracks because of contractions and expansions. Stone is also prone to scratches and marks. But reinforced  Jonite stone grates are made with more resistance to weather expansions and contractions, which reduces cracking. Varnishing stone grates also makes them resistant to scratching.

Porosity

Natural stone has slight porosity, meaning it lets in moisture through pores on the surface. It makes the stone weaker and susceptible to cracking. Reinforced stone grates are also sealed with a protector to cover these pores. It reduces porosity and makes stone grates less susceptible to hairline cracks.

Stone grates are unique and aesthetically appealing. They are also affordable and suitable for both private and public developments. Reinforced stone grates address the weaknesses of natural stone.  Jonite stone grates are a viable alternative to traditional steel tree grates.  They can play a very important role in protecting both trees and pedestrians.