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Kerbstone Vs Curbstone, Similarities, And Differences

Kerbstone Vs Curbstone, Similarities, And Differences

When two words are nearly identical, it can be difficult to know when to use one and when to use the other. This is the case with kerbstone and curbstone, which are both nouns with practically the same meaning.

The stone edging of a sidewalk in North America is known as a curb. However, outside of North America, sidewalks were referred to as pavements. The acronym kerb was coined to describe the elevated side of a concrete path-like 'curb.' Therefore, these words are considered synonyms.

Numerous words in English are spelled slightly differently but mean the same thing. We'll look at the similarities and differences between the terms kerbstone and curbstone, as well as how to use them correctly.

kerbstone in the dictionary

What Is A Kerbstone?

Kerbstones are a type of street divider. A kerb is a vertical or sloping member installed along the edge of a pavement or shoulder to provide strength and protection to the pavement's edge.

A kerbstone was initially originated from guard stones. They were usually built with protruding metal, concrete, or stone as an architectural element found at the intersection or foot of the road and sidewalks. It is a constructed and solid material that fixes end to end with other solids and creates a kerb.

We still use some of these types of materials today, especially as traffic bollards, even though it was designed for horse-drawn carriages. It is, however, mostly used to protect an object such as houses, buildings, or a gate side.

Pavements and greenery areas are now marked by kerbstones so that drivers are aware when they approach them. A paving stone forms part of a kerb that provides a clear view of the carriageway. Especially when defining roads, streets, or parking lots. Kerbstones aid in preventing any spread from the carriageway, helping the driver follow the line of the sidewalk.

Aside from roads, kerbstones have demonstrated their ability to create lawn boundaries in houses, parks, edges along pavements, squares, and car parks. Furthermore, it is highly resistant to all types of weather, mechanical loads, and road cleaning chemicals.

Kerbstones have been shown to help make a road twice as wide compared to a road without them. Apart from that, it organizes the streetscape and provides directions to people driving or walking.

This type of material will help to maintain the structural integrity of roads. A Kerbstone in Saudi Arabia, for example, employs a similar technique to expand and guide the road. This material, on the other hand, is well-known for separating vehicles from pedestrians.

What Is A Curbstone?

Curbstones are an essential part of urban design. They provide both durable and attractive results in landscaping and construction projects. As a supporting element, this is placed along roadsides. It's a very useful stone for draining accumulated rain, melted snow, or water transformed from ice along the roadside.

We can use curbstones for many purposes like delineating the pavement's edge, alerting drivers not to park on sidewalks and lawns, or establish a clear separation from the roadside. This separation will help to support the pavement aesthetic and edge structurally. In addition, curbstones also direct the water when it rains or when melted from the snow into the storm drains.

Because they are built around any road or park station, they can also be used as a drainage channel. This is to keep the pavement's structure solid by drawing the lot's edges as if they were walls. This prevents the pavement and road from expanding or being damaged.

curbstones piled up in stacks

The asphalt pavement is incapable of keeping the roadside clean and undamaged on its own. The edges of the asphalt break down first when the pavement begins to deform because they are the weakest point of any roadside. As a result, the asphalt pavement will begin to expand and collapse when many vehicles pass over it.

This is a very common cause of road deterioration, which is why curbstones were installed. They are designed to help the pavement last longer while also providing a 'finished' look to the road, making it appear more organized and clean.

Since curbstones also work as a drainage system, most of the structures of sidewalks are being constructed around them to make the concrete well-defined. However, the asphalt has built-in patterns that will automatically determine the flow and directions of sidewalks and gutters to ensure the drainage system catches another exit point when finished.

There are curbstone machines used to create curbstone blocks in a variety of colors and patterns. Curbstone blocks separate the road from the pavement by defining the pavement's boundaries on the streets. This type of machine is frequently used in landscape architecture construction.

In general, curbstones are meant to inform pedestrians to spot or slow down when they prepare to cross roadways. For example, the safety of people is often compromised for those who are more likely to walk by a red light instead of waiting with others at the edge of the curbstone.

Similarities Between Kerbstone And Curbstone

There's not much difference between these two terms since they refer to the same edge of the sidewalk. However, the curb in North America is designed to control or limit the road. Still, in British English, the pronunciation is different, and the spelling changes from 'curb' to 'kerb.'

Here are some examples of the usage of the words.

  • I almost didn't see the curb when passing by the sidewalk.
  • When riding your bike, keep away from the kerb at the end of the road.

Differences Between Kerbstone And Curbstone

In America, the term 'kerb' does not exist. Because outside of North America, the correct definition of sidewalks is pavement or asphalt. Therefore the correct spelling in those countries is kerbstone instead of curbstone.

However, they are both pronounced almost the same. Therefore, there's not much variation when saying curbstone or kerbstone. This is known to be a homonym, which shares nearly the same pronunciation regardless of how they are spelled.

Features of Curbstone

The following are the primary characteristics of curbstones, which can be manufactured in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and designs:

  • It has a high resistance to cracks.
  • The surface quality is excellent.
  • After production, it is simple to install.

Usage Areas of Kerbstone

  • The gutter is the most important component in the installation of a drainage system.
  •  Appropriate for the road structure.
  • As a boundary element for determining the vehicles' boundaries.
  • As a visual finisher for the entire road construction.

Types of kerbstones

Low or Mountable Kerbs

Its primary function is to keep traffic within its lane. Because the height of this type of kerb is low, it is easier for the driver to enter the shoulder area.

Low-Speed Barrier or Urban Parking Kerb

It prevents slow-moving or parked vehicles from encroaching on the footpath. Severe emergency vehicles, on the other hand, can climb and park on a footpath.

High-Speed Barrier Kerbs

It is typically used in high-traffic areas such as bridges or mountain roads. These kerbs range in height from 230 to 450 mm or more.

Submerged Kerbs

In rural roads, submerged kerbs are installed between the pavement edge and the shoulders. It is available as standing bricks or concrete blocks.

pedestrian gutter next to grass

Types of curbstones

Curbs are classified according to their shape, material, height, and whether or not they are combined with a gutter. The majority of the curb is built separately from the pavement. The gutter is formed at the intersection of the roadway and the curb.

The combined curb and gutter (also known as "curb and channel") is made of a single piece of concrete curb and gutter. The term "integral curb" refers to curbing built as an integral part of the concrete pavement.


Although there are many similarities between these two terms, we can find a wide range of different types and ways in which they are used depending on the language.

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