Piedra cantera

Piedra cantera

with optional cow. This is the cut stone that is commonly used in Nic. blocks are about 5 x 15 x 24 inches. This wall is defintely overkill for any use-value, but some people seem to like the stuff. Often it is just used for the below grade portion of a wall or building because it is more water resistant than brick.

Structurally it scares me, but I recently talked to someone building a house south of Managua who told me his contractor drills holes in it to insert rebar. Seems like a good idea for tall applications, but I´ve haven´t happened to see that done around here. Usually it´s just put up between the usual concrete and iron structural members.

I just did a patio floor with it. Its cheaper than concrete and stronger than brick, and not bad looking.

Note: sloppy mortar work is a northern tradition. If you want it done pretty, you have to specify in advance and supervise the work carefully.

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Piedra cantera

columns, the decorative outside made of piedra cantera, the inside metal or rebar.... do they sell that in nica?

piedra cantera

A structural column clad with piedra cantera cut to form a round covering, or something like that? in nica?

The amount of work

involved in drilling holes for rebar is just too much.

they do not adhere to concrete very well either, so the mortar in between is always iffy. Laid flat you get really good but expensive thick walls.

you answered the other question i had...

i wondered how well that piedra cantera would work laid flat. and bc it is not that expensive for piedra cantera itself... why would the walls be expensive?

Piedra Canteara can be 18 cords or more

each. so it is expensive. About cladding columns, it is done all the time. It is easier to build a Piedra Cantera form then pour the inside with reinforced concrete. used all the time in Gate Entrances and some heavy/Tall walls.

round column?

made out of piedra cantera?

piedra cantera

thanks... i like that stone and have seen piedra cantera in what i believe is called outside ballisters for a railing. i really like the stone.


This quarried stone should never be used for any load bearing walls as it has very low tensile strength.

I know some have used it because it does handle moisture better than the rubbish concrete blocks that are commonly available. Most important reason why it is used though because it is cheap. Important that first 2 or 3 concrete blocks be of the finest quality you can find-after that your rebar and concrete can carry you the rest of the way even with the worst blocks available.

Great for flooring and security walls though.

I,m planning on 100 more piedras

For a garden walkway, some provisional stairs, and a planter. Nothing structural, I´´m afraid of them in an earthquake zone and I also don´t like that they sit on the side that is only 5´inches wide. Great for planters, but not for anything tall on my projects.

¨Pata de Perro¨

Haven't seen any decorative columns

they are always made with standard rebar/concrete pilares. You would have to get creative to give the columns a decorative look.

Creativity does exist! A local restaurant, Tipiscayan, has their bar made out of piedra that has been sealed with varnish or transparent sealer. worth the price of a beer just to look at the bar.

Since posting this picture I have had a parking spot made out of piedra. It has a reinforced concrete curb around it and they mortared between the stones. Like most projects, it is on a base of compacted selecto (fill dirt and rock). So far it has held up to this year's rains perfectly.

I also have piedra steps to the house and a piedra floor for the outside laundry. These were both done dry (without cement) to allow for future expansion of the house.

Be advised there are different grades of piedra, more or less based on the mine. Diriamba has the better stuff, and the mine on the road to Boaco has the cheaper stuff. I used the cheaper stuff on a patio floor because the imperfections (in this case chunks of black rock) were prettier. they have held up well. I doubt that any of them have the strength of standard 3-2-1 concrete. Or anywhere near it.

Also talked to another foreigner who was having a house built near Diriamba. The constractor was drilling holes in the stone to thread in rebar. The homeowner was happy with this setup. I'd have to see how much iron is going in and how close together.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point...is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog" --Edward Hoagland

What Pricing

were you seeing on your stones? I'd like to use them too, definitely a "Nicaraguan look"

I watched two guys quarry a couple of stones out of a tidal flat in Pochomil and then haul the stones off the beach in a wooden cart pulled by a small horse. This after Shelley and I watched a couple of fishermen sell their catch off their boats.

There are still a lot of simple pleasures left in Nicaragua.

25 cords

in small quantities in Esteli. If you are nearer to a quarry the price should go down considerably.

The last ones I bought had evidence of being cut by a circular saw. Even so, they are more attractive than concrete for walks, driveways, etc.

As far as environmental tradeoffs, everything has shipping costs and manufacturing costs in terms of fossil fuels (and firewood in the case of bricks). But piedra isn't refined or fired in a kiln so it must be the greener option.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point...is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog" --Edward Hoagland

Be very careful when using the for walks or driveways

They tend to grow a moss like coating and become very slippery during the rainy season. Especially one as we are experiencing this year.

I have also seen concrete

I have also seen concrete grow the same slippery stuff. A lot depends on how flat it is, how much sun it gets, etc.

So far

I've had no problem, but I know what you are talking about because a brick walkway I built to use up leftover materials is unsafe at any speed. Not only does it grow algae or whatever, but it is a magnet for clay particles that wash over it. In the dry season I plan to cover it with cement to give it a rougher surface. Eventually the piedra parking spot will be a garage and not get rained on.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point...is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog" --Edward Hoagland

piedra cantera

thanks for the very thoughtful response.

it is years before i build, but i do love that stone....

maybe on my next trip down, i can go by those 2 quarries.... thanks again

I asked a local builder about the story of the size.

Of a modern sized Piedra Cantera.

He said it is the same size as 3 concrete blocks including the mortar on the both sides of the middle block - 15cm x 40 x 60.

Why not 2 or 4 block size?

One good man can lay the PC's on his own, two would be inefficient as he can lift more and 4 would be too heavy! was the reply.

Anyone with any variations of this story?