What is the difference between coping stones and capping stones? Coping is the series of stones running along the top of a freestanding wall, whereas a capping stone is a single stone placed on pillars and gate posts, where it will often be shaped as a finial to make an architectural statement.
In both cases, the primary purpose is to prevent rain from entering the wall, where it can erode mortar and if it freezes, cause cracking, but they also serve a decorative purpose.
For this reason, coping stones and capping stones are always selected for their high frost resistance and aesthetic appearance.
They also have drips, or drip lines, cut into the underside of the stone to encourage rainwater to drip from the edge of the stone rather than seep into the mortar or stone of the wall. These can be cut on site or pre-sawn at the quarry on request and, in the right setting and in the hands of a craftsman stone mason, will reflect the full beauty of natural stone.
Coping stones from Goldholme are flat slabs of limestone or sandstone, cream or light brown in colour and 40 mm thick. They are supplied in random lengths and in 400 mm, 500 mm and 600 mm widths, and are usually ordered in running lengths.
If the coping stones are for a curved wall, they can be cut to fit from a template supplied by the customer or supplied oversize and trimmed to shape with a disc grinder after mortar bedding on site.
When laying coping and capping stones on walls and pillars, it is important that the mortar used is weaker than the stone, as this will allow the stone to expand or contract with variations of humidity and temperature caused by changes of weather.
Learn more interesting facts on our Lime Mortar blog post, including its impacts on stone laying.