Difference Between Patio Stones and Stepping Stones – All You Need to Know

Difference Between Patio Stones and Stepping Stones – All You Need to Know

Mar 28, 2023

 Last Sunday morning me and Andy Smith I, an avid garden designer by profession, took seats on the patio and enjoyed the morning coffee together. 

Since I too have an interest in gardens, we had a discussion about whether patio stones and stepping stones are the same things. I had a set of few questions which are listed below:

What are stepping stones?

Stepping stones are paths made of stones installed with a distance comfortable to take a step. It could be not more than one and a half feet long from center to center.

How has the concept evolved?

The term stepping stones originated from rocks or stone blocks placed in a flowing natural stream or river to cross it by just a careful walk. It is to save our feet from being wet in water. It is like a single bridge or causeway to cross a natural watercourse like a water feature in a landscape. 

Later on, the same concept got ground in the garden design when people either refuse to walk on damp grass to save their feet or save grass from being hurt by human feet.

Advantages of Stepping Stones


Indeed, stepping stones have a great utility that it saves a significant amount of fertile land from being covered under a cover of straight path paving. It is the prime reason that the shape of the stepping stone preferred round one to save maximum space ruined under the unnecessary paving.

On the other hand, it also saves precious materials like natural stones that have been used in the stepping stones path construction. Thus, it becomes a cost-effective material.


Andy said, “We designers are creative. We take advantage of each situation and material. Therefore, many designers have shown their creativity in stepping stone path design by giving it curves and other cool designs.”

Design Options:

Andy was true because we also were thinking of two design options from our stepping stone paths: single-step design, multiple steps design.

Andy has drawn both in different areas. His arguments behind it were the frequency of traffic and the possibilities of a guest walking along with the host. 

He selected multiple paths to reach a destination like a backyard home door to the garden patio and from the patio to the main entrance of the garden.

The single human walking paths of stepping stones were scattered across the different areas of the landscape either to take a walk to enjoy the beauty of the plantation or for maintenance purposes.

Stepping Stones in Xeriscape

In some areas, we have designed Xeriscape with river stones like beach pebbles and pea gravels. In xeriscape, we allocate rectangular stepping stones made of sandstone with similar hues to the gravels, pebbles, and boulders.

Stepping Stones in Dense Grass

In the areas of dense grass, we have selected the round stepping stones from World of Stones USA (WOSU). Bluestone, sandstone, travertine stone, and limestone varieties were our preferences of material categories.

Easy to Install:

The installation process for natural stepping stones is quite easy and you can do it yourself. It doesn’t demand the precise leveling that we used to during patio or driveway installation.


Natural stones come with naturally coarse surfaces when you simply cut them and leave them as such. Moreover, honed, sand-blasting, flamed, and similar non-glossy finishes make the natural stone surface non-slippery.

Weather & Waterproof:

In outdoor areas, such surface friction helps us to walk safely during wet conditions. Moreover, natural stones are almost waterproof and water-resistant material. It is the very reason natural rocks used to cross natural streams or rivers right from the beginning of human civilization and lasts for centuries.

Types of Natural Stones Used as Stepping Stones

There is no hard-and-fast rule to select the stone type for your stepping stone path. You can use leftover pieces of your natural stone pavers as stepping stones. 

In most cases, stone pavers of outdoor applications, including sandstone, limestone, granite, non-glossy marbles, travertine, slate stone, bluestone, and locally available flagstone are ideal choices to lay as stepping stones.

World of Stones USA offers ready-to-use or customized kits of natural stone pavers for stepping stone installation. Those are available mostly in irregularly shaped sandstone varieties. 

Of course, you can order for a square, rectangular, or even oval-shaped stepping stone of your choice of color, style, and texture.

What are patio stones?

Natural stone patio pavers are paving material to lay an outdoor patio. In comparison to stepping stones, patio stones are for a confined area and it is your backyard patio or garden patio. Whereas, stepping stones are for a path and for the undefined, linear, or curved areas.

We have learned a lot about stone patio pavers before so, I avoid repetition here. Instead, give you patio stones and stepping stones comparison or patio stones vs. stepping stones.

A patio is a place where we do multiple types of activities including social meetings, parties, celebrations, and leisure or recreation. Therefore, patio stones are of high strength. Laid precisely to create a level or slope.

Attractions of Natural Stone Patio Stones

There are a variety of patio designs and shapes or sizes of patio pavers available in the market. At World of Stones USA, you can get highly durable, beautiful, and high-quality natural stone patio pavers.

Stone patio pavers are completely environment-friendly and low in maintenance. It is easy to construct a stone patio that lasts for decades with the same or increasing glamor, thanks to the time-worn properties of natural stones.

Types of Natural Stones in Patio Pavers

Patio stones are chiefly made of sandstone, limestone, travertine, slate, and granite stone types. Natural stone patio pavers are also having slip-free surfaces, weatherproof, waterproof, and cost-efficient paving solutions.

Where Should We Go for Stepping Stones & Patio Stones with Natural Stones?

We asked Andy, “What is the best place to get good natural stone products in the USA?”

According to Andy, WOSU is the best destination to obtain high-quality natural stone products for various purposes and applications. You can get it in standard dimensions or go to custom shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.

Colors, styles, and texture variations at WOSU are infinitive to say at once. You can get everything with the best bargaining and market competitive rates and best services as well.

You can also enjoy the benefits of seasonal offers like spring sales, fall sales, and winter sales with considerable discounts and many free shipping options based on your location and the volume of your order.



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