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A 'monumental' walkway

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I thought I'd share this find from yesterday. This 70 year old marble walkway will be here long after I'm gone. What a thing of beauty. What a thing of pride it must have been for the craftsmen who created it.

Are those marble tiles? If so, how thick? And what kind of drainage system is beneath them to prevent them from popping loose from freeze/thaw cycles?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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They are individual pieces, about 7/8" thick. You can see the profile in the picture below. I don't know if you would call something that thick a tile.

They are set in grout. I'm guessing the grout was placed on concrete, but I didn't do any digging to find out. I don't know what provision was made for drainage either. Other than a few hairline cracks near the building, the whole run is perfectly level, with joints so tight you can't get a piece of paper between them. I'll bet downspouts discharging near the building contributed to the cracks.

The marble actually continued into the house and was used for the foyer floor.

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It's just a hunch, but I'm thinking that the masons who built the walkway weren't the same ones who built the fireplace:

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