All Hardscape Blog Posts

An image of a globe showing North America

What is the difference between Buy America and Buy American?

Most of our customers are in the United States. Although Canada and the US are closely linked by trade agreements, not all products flow freely. Legislation in the US or Canada can place purchase requirements on certain sectors or classes of trade. In our business, we often serve municipal, state,

A close-up photograph of the hands and microphones of two podcasters sitting across from each other

Reliance Recommends – Content We’re Keeping our Eye (or Ear) On

To offer real value, every business needs to know what matters most to its clients. At Reliance Foundry, this is slightly complicated since we work with many different client groups. We serve construction workers, engineers, landscape architects, architects, urban planners, and facilities managers. To continue to innovate for our customers,

Two strips of tactile paving at the bottom of a two- directional ramp warn of changes in both directions.

Tenji Blocks

You’ve probably seen tenji blocks appearing with new road work in your neighborhood. They’re becoming as common a part of the hardscape as curb cuts or street signs. These new elements of the sidewalk are textured strips on the sidewalk—sometimes covered in raised dots, and sometimes striped with long, wide

Water on stone sidewalk reflects a purple building rimmed in yellow light

Trench Drain Systems

Trench drains are small channels that move standing water from surfaces. Outside, trench drain systems often manage stormwater runoff. Small drains are also used to capture splashes and drips around pools and water features. Trench is often installed when standing water becomes an issue due to landscape, hardscape, land use,

Trees are planted in a strip of permeable cobblestone along a walk/bike lane

11 Benefits of Street Trees in Urban Spaces

Urban planners are often passionate advocates for street trees. Though cities have strapped budgets, an urban forest offers an excellent return on investment. Yes, trees drop leaves and fruit, produce pollen, and have roots that can become invasive or heave sidewalks. Yet trees make such a big difference to quality

A red-brown trench grate is installed in a municipal sidewalk

How to Buy Indoor or Outdoor Channel Drain

“Trench drain” refers to any narrow, long carved channel used to move water. The trough may be formed out of concrete by hand, be made out of concrete using a pre-formed mold, or be made of another material like plastic, PVC, or metal. Trench drains often have a grating on

Water soaks into a decorative cast iron grate red and brown with developing patina

A Guide to Trench Grates Material

Drainage is a ubiquitous part of construction. It’s so common that it often goes unnoticed unless something goes wrong and water backs up around it. Water management is important to all types of building and landscaping from culverts near fields to the slopes of city streets. Trench drains are found

A woman stands under an umbrella near the port of Vancouver watching cruise ships come in

Sustainable Water Management and the Cities of the Future

Our head office is in the Pacific Northwest: 60 inches of rain falls every year outside our office windows. Perhaps it’s our wet umbrellas and muddy shoes that have us considering water management in the future growth of cities. Or maybe it’s hearing odd news stories from our neighbor city,

A city view of New York on the Manhattan side approach to the Brooklyn Bridge

Urban Design and the Outdoor Bench

The atmosphere of a location is built by a thousand small details. Some of it comes down to geography: the quality of light, plants in the ecosystem, and movement of air imprint even in the heart of a city. A city’s personality is also made of the materials and design

Cast iron plates decorate a brick wall in a black and white sketch of a living room

Unique Cast Iron Decor (using Industrial Items)

Most of our tree and trench grates are bought by municipalities or facilities managers, but we also fulfill smaller orders for homeowners and contractors. The majority of these are cast iron trench drains used in residential driveways. There, they are functional and decorative, and fulfill the same purpose they do