Hardscape Materials: How to Choose the Right Ones for Your Commercial Landscape

When one thinks about a beautiful commercial landscape, the first thing that comes to mind is probably plant life. But how about the winding path? Hardscape materials are a core component to any intentionally designed outdoor environment. The good thing is that there are many fantastic options nowadays, with different pros and cons to consider. Keep reading to explore with us how to choose the right hardscape materials for your commercial landscape! 

Concrete for Commercial Landscaping

We know this might not seem like the most glamorous or desirable choice up front, but concrete has its role. First of all, it’s possibly the least pricey of the bunch. Second, it’s durable. When it comes to high-traffic areas that will be utilized by many visitors, the economical, practical option often proves smart.

But concrete can also be a good design choice for your commercial landscape. Unlike some other hardscape materials, it can be customized, in a way. Play around with stains and pigments to craft a unique look signature to your property. 

Permeable Pavers

For those who live in wet, tropical-type climates, permeable pavers might be the reigning (or raining 😉 ) champ! Because they are more porous, they allow water to flow through them to the ground below. This is a huge benefit for your commercial landscape, as pooling or standing water can be dangerous in several ways. 

Pro Tip: When using any type of paver or brick, you can also prevent water gathering by leaving small spaces between each individual block. Just be sure the way you set them up won’t create a tripping hazard. 

Pavers and Bricks for Hardscape Landscaping

Of course, there is also the option of using the good old-fashioned non-permeable pavers and bricks for your commercial landscape. These two choices don’t necessarily provide any especially unique attributes. But they’re a classic for a reason. 

If you want to design a space that feels inviting, is safe to traverse, and easy to maintain, pavers and bricks won’t let you down. 

Natural Stone

When “natural stone” is mentioned, it most often refers to limestone, sandstone, granite, basalt, and flagstone. In crafting your commercial landscape, these are the beautiful yet fickle choices. Well, at least in some cases. Limestone is prone to breakage, while sandstone can suffer erosion over long periods of time. Flagstone, too, can be somewhat delicate. 

The big thing to understand about using natural stone is twofold. First, because these materials are more delicate, this part of your commercial landscape might demand extra maintenance. Second, if you do need to replace a part of your hardscape, finding matches will be almost impossible. They are “natural” stones after all, with organically made patterns and veining. You’ll probably end up with a portion of your hardscape that doesn’t align perfectly with the rest. 

If you think the gorgeous look of natural stone is worth the time and money of maintenance and renovation, more power to you! We agree that nothing is quite so visually lovely. But beware the challenges that come with this selection. 

Rocks and Gravel

This option depends a lot on the types of design features you’re incorporating. But rocks and gravel can create interesting, well-draining hardscape designs. This is one of the best ways to bring plant life and hardscape together in your commercial landscape!  

Consider a raised island of specimen plantings with rocks and gravel strewn below. The bed will look more designed, but it will also prove a healthy environment for the plants.  

Good options in this category include pea gravel, crushed granite gravel, river rock, brick chips, marble chips, and more. 


All in all, choosing the right hardscape materials for your commercial landscape can be a fun process that helps you to refine your goals for the environment. 

To explore the many ways we have implemented hardscape for our clients here at Jerry Pate Design, visit our Projects page. 

Steve Dana
Steve Dana
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