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Earthstone Products’ Affordable Recycled-Granite Pavers

A three-year-old North Carolina company, Earthstone Products, has introduced a great-looking, relatively inexpensive recycled-granite paver. Used both indoors and outdoors, the pavers are manufactured from waste slabs of granite.

According to John Tesh, the sales and marketing director at Earthstone, 25% of a slab of granite is typically thrown away. “We came up with a patented process that turns that waste into pavers and interior flooring.” Tesh told me. “For lack of a better description, it’s a 50-ton granite ‘cookie cutter,'” he said. After stamping the pavers in the desired shape, they are tumbled to smooth the edges and provide a an “old world” look. Smaller pieces are turned into backsplash tiles, fireplace surrounds, and other products. The leftover chips are ground into aggregate.

100% of the material the company collects is turned into product and kept out of landfills. Recently, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources certified the company as a “granite recycling center.”

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The product ships from Greensboro, North Carolina, where it is produced. The company can ship it anywhere, but has about 20 distributors who stock the product, mostly in North Carolina and Virginia. (Shipping a heavy product, such as granite, a long way usually doesn’t make sense.) Earthstone is gradually expanding its presence, and the pavers are now being specified for schools, hospitals, state projects, and a wide range of residential projects.

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The idea for Earthstone Products, according to Tesh, came from a granite fabricator who was concerned about the amount of waste being generated. Earthstone currently collects discards from 18 local fabricators for processing. The varying sources of material result in random color patterns, though some color matching can be achieved. Different shapes are also available, including interlocking 14-inch-long pavers stamped in the shape of North Carolina (see photo).

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In addition to mortared applications (most common), the pavers can be used in pervious (porous) applications, as long as a proper engineered base is provided–as is required with any such system (typically involving deep, crushed-stone base that provides a reservoir). In that case, the spacing between the stones would be greater and filled with a coarse crushed-granite sand or gravel.

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EarthStone pavers are  remarkably inexpensive, with a suggested retail price of $6 per square-foot, says Tesh–about the same as high-end concrete pavers.

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While one can sing the praises of Earthstone for the recycled content, the beauty of the pavers (and interior flooring) speaks for itself. Though I haven’t seen an installation, the photos look great. I’m guessing that variable thickness of pavers have to be compensated for by installers, as is the case with cobblestone pavers.

Interested in your thoughts. Cool product?

For more information:

Earthstone Products
Greensboro, North Carolina

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By Alex Wilson, Building

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