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Though you’ve surely seen one, few people know what a porphyry driveway is when they hear the phrase. The wide variety of colors, shapes and styles available make it a popular material and a porphyry driveway is also slip and weather resistant. This versatility makes porphyry a popular material for many outdoor surfaces other than driveways, too. In fact, it is probably most frequently used for pathways and patios. A porphyry driveway accesses all the benefits of the material to create a safe, sturdy, long lasting and highly attractive driving surface.

Unlike many paving materials, porphyry has been used since ancient times by several different cultures. The ancient Egyptians prized it, as did the ancient Romans and King Louis XIV of France. The name itself comes for the Greek word for “purple”, homage to one of the most popular colors this material contains.

One of the main draws to porphyry driveways is the beautiful colors available with this material. Bold grays, earthy browns, rusty reds and even lustrous purples are all naturally present in this rock. Formed with the help of hot magma from volcanoes and made up of small crystals binding larger crystals together, it’s no wonder the final product is pleasing to the eye.

For use in driveways, patios, walkways and more, there are several shapes of porphyry commonly used. Flagging is perhaps the most recognizable, with each piece of porphyry adding to a bounding, circular pattern. This style is particularly popular when aesthetics are influential. Porphyry cubes are another alternative, installed the same way as flagging but creating a grid pattern.

The benefits of porphyry as a paving material are many. Snow, ice and wind won’t affect the material and neither does spring thaw. When wet, porphyry driveways remain slip resistant. Walking, biking and driving on porphyry driveways is easy and smooth. Because it is a unique material, porphyry can cost $15 or more per square foot.

A porphyry driveway is both long lasting and beautiful and the material itself both versatile and durable. These driveways also add significantly to the curb appeal of your home, making it worth the cost when you decide to sell.

When planning your porphyry driveway, you’ll be able to choose the style of the stones, as well as the colors. In fact, many homeowners choose multiple colors, creating a unique, intriguing porphyry driveway.

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