Why and Where to use Stone Capping or Stone Pier Caps

Published by Armstone, 17 February, 2021

Stone Capping 

You’ve finished transforming your boring outdoor retaining walls with some stunning stone veneers and stone cladding, but you’ve stood back and looked at your masterpiece and it just doesn’t look complete.

We understand the feeling which is where stone capping comes to your rescue!

What is it?

Basically “stone capping” is where a large flat stone is used to be placed atop a freestanding wall, giving it a complete look.

When installing stone capping, the basic rule of thumb (for consistency purposes) is to use the same stone for the capping as you used for the cladding. And if you really want to give your retaining wall that designer appeal, we suggest choosing capping that is thick in height and one that ideally overhangs on each side of the wall: this gives your wall a majestic appeal.

Depending on personal preference, you can also install stone capping that contrasts the wall cladding. If you prefer this style, we suggest doing your research prior to starting your wall cladding project and picking out the contrasting stone colours and textures before you start installing the wall. 

Below is an example of a contrasting wall capping project. As you can see, the retaining wall has been veneered with loose granite stone cladding that oozes with a rustic and natural texture. In contrast, the wall has been capped with bluestone capping – a stone that is deep blue-grey in colour and has a clean, smooth, and thick texture. This contrasts beautifully with the granite beneath it..

Bluestone Pencil edge capping

Essentially, capping should work like a roof for your wall and, just like a roof protects the house from damage, so too the stone capping protects the stone cladding from being weathered down from environmental factors like rain and heat.

If you have installed a short feature wall that is say approximately 600mm in height, a smooth surfaced capping can be installed to serve as a make-shift outdoor seat or couch: just throw some funky and colourful cushions over the top and voila! Your wall is now also an outdoor seating area. With this scenario you (quite literally) killed two birds with one stone.

If you prefer your capping to overhang over the wall, a 30mm overhang is the benchmark. We also recommend this as it further protects the wall cladding from environmental factors damaging the wall.

So let’s have a look at the four different profile edges that stone capping is available in: 

1. Rock Faced

This type of finish is rustic in nature and is created with a split or chiselled face which creates a rough and natural looking edge that retains its natural aesthetic even if it chips. Usually this type of capping is used on Australian Sandstone.

White Sydney Sandstone Capping

2. Split-Faced Stone

This type of stone capping has a face where the stone has been broken to an approximate size. It looks rustic and natural and gives an edgy feel to the wall.

Split edge sandstone capping

3. Chiselled Edge

This rustic, aged appearance on stone capping is produced by mechanically chipping at the stone’s edge to give it that edgy look. This is an ideal stone capping option for feature walls that blend well with nature. 

Mica Slate Capping

4. Square, Pencil Edge

These types of stone capping finishes have a smooth and clean aesthetic which looks excellent on more modern and contemporary styled feature walls. With smooth edges, these wall capping stones look best installed flush against the wall cladding. This capping has edges that are sawn, with slightly rounded corners to reduce the sharpness. 

Bisque Stacked Stone

5. Bullnose Edge Capping

Lastly the ‘bullnose edge’ (as seen in the image below) has a half circle look and adds another level of elegance to your wall. if you want your capping to overhang the wall, the ‘Bullnose edge’ looks brilliant!

Granite Stone Capping Bullnose web

Pier Caps

While stone capping adds a finishing touch to a feature wall, stone pier caps are slabs of stone that add the finishing touch to brick piers or gate pillars. While their main function is to give support, they also add a regal elegance to your feature wall by completing, protecting and accentuating the pillar or column. 

Sydney Sandstone Pier caps

Pier caps for pillars are available in a variety of sizes and styles including pyramid caps, flat pier caps and even single/double brick pier caps for brick walls (as you can see in the image above).

 Apart from their appealing aesthetics in bringing a sense of brilliance to your gate pillars, letterbox, columns or boundary walls, pier caps (much like stone capping), serve the purpose of protecting the stone pillar/wall from environmental factors such as rain and heat, from damaging the pier itself. To fully maximise their protective purpose, we suggest installing overhanging pier caps.

Bellport Bluestone Pier Caps

Stone Pier caps are available in beautiful bluestone/basalt in dark grey and banded sandstone. We stock Bluestone gate pier caps all at Armstone and would love to help you out with your project! We stock them in many sizes and thicknesses.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us online or at 1300 560 560. Alternatively, visit our showroom in Glebe, Sydney. We would love to help you bring your project to life. 

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