Category: In the News

Decorative Wall Panel Coverings: Considerations and Design Ideas

There’s nothing like the rich look of real stone tiles. Their natural cleft create  variation and depth that appeal to nearly everyone, as does the fact that no two pieces are ever exactly the same.

When you take natural stone, and cover it in a layer of metallics, pigments, or real leather, you get another layer of depth and beauty altogether. Leather wall tiles and glazed stone tiles have the texture and beauty of real stone, but with a sheen and finish that is unlike anything else you’ll see.

If you’re looking for the most unique and dynamic way to update the walls of your home, consider glazed or leather wall tiles made of natural stone.

Variation and Blending

Tempered Leather and glazed tiles are made of naturally cleft stone that is covered in vibrant pigments,  a vibrant metallic finish or that have been wrapped in a layer of genuine leather. And like any stone or handmade tile, they will have some degree of variation from tile to tile and from lot to lot. This means that the material you receive may vary slightly from samples, unless you request samples of specific lots. It also means that before installing, you will need to blend the tiles from several boxes at a time to avoid colors clumping up on the walls.

It’s that variation in color that helps add depth and richness to the finished installation. So, embrace the blend and ensure an even mixture of color across the walls to get the best results.

Installation and Substrate

While you are putting your leather wall coverings or glazed stone tiles onto existing walls of your home, it’s important to keep in mind that drywall is not a suitable substrate for most tile. Drywall is too fragile and thin to support the weight of the glazed or leather wall tiles.

Therefore, always make sure you use a cement board, or tile right over unpainted brick, cement block, or CMU. For these tiles, it is important to use polymer-modified mortar and grout, and install like any tile.

Tempered stone tiles can be arranged and installed in many different patterns, just like regular tiles, so feel free to mix and match, blend, or configure the tiles in any way that complements their setting. A dry layout is always recommended, like with any tile installation, to allow you to blend colors and see the final pattern results before installing on the wall itself.


The number of ways that you can use tempered glazed or wall tiles in your home is nearly endless. Installed like any tile, they can be used around fireplaces, in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms. If you’re looking for some specific applications, consider installing them:

  • As an accent wall across from your front entryway
  • As wainscoting around the room to chair rail height
  • On a decorative electric fireplace or above a mantle
  • Backing floating shelves in an office space
  • Lining the backs of niches in a living room
  • Creating a backdrop behind furnishings such as a TV, sofa, or conversation area
  • As a backdrop behind a freestanding bathtub in the bathroom

Design Ideas

If you’re looking for more specific design ideas for your leather wall tiles, the ways that you can use them are nearly endless as well. Take a look at these 13 design ideas to help get you started.

1. Bar Backsplash

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings

Enhance your bar area with a backsplash that brings to mind the color of cognac and the rich feel of leather. This corona cigar-colored leather wall tile installed in a herringbone pattern adds a lot of richness and depth to the backsplash, complementing the color of the bar itself, as well as the drinks that you’ll mix there.

2. Inset Wall Panel

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings

Make a statement in your dining room by creating an accent wall that’s inlaid slightly for maximum impact. These leather tiles are installed in a long plank herringbone for slightly less variation. The natural cleft of the stone helps bring out even more of the color variation in the tiles, creating a visually stunning effect.

3. An Accent Wall

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 3j

Get the classic look of a brick wall, but with a more updated and sophisticated look with glazed tiles instead. Installed in a classic running bond pattern, these rich, dark-colored tiles have a sleek and contemporary look that enhances this hotel lobby. Consider using something similar in an entryway or as a backdrop to a cozy conversation area as well.

4. An Industrial Vibe

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 4j

With the industrial tub filler and aluminum-finished freestanding tub, this contemporary bathroom needs a wall finish to match. These gunmetal gray, metallic glazed tiles are the perfect complement, adding a lot of texture and sheen that plays off the concrete floors and picks up the color of the tub, while still managing to catch and hold the eye.

5. Ruby Red

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 5j

Metallic tempered stone tiles come in many shades, but none are quiet as dramatic as this rich ruby red. Used as an accent any in room, these glazed stone tiles are sure to catch and draw the eye. Used here as a frame for the bar, they help to create a focal point in the room, drawing in eyes and patrons. Trending at this seasons Interior design shows, Ruby can be bold or classic depending on the design.

6. Textured Walls

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Most people simply use color when creating an accent wall, but in this living room, with the plate glass window as a strong light source, the texture of the stone can easily be used as an additional design component. The texture and sheen created by the leather wall tiles help to bring subtle contrast and a touchable texture in a way that color alone just couldn’t do.

7. Subtle Surround

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 7j

Fireplace surrounds can be dramatic or subtle depending on the effect you’re trying to create. This quiet surround uses glazed slate tiles with a subtle amount of variation in color and a lot of cleft texture. The end result is a surround that quietly complements the room, without calling a lot of attention to the area. Although Tempered tiles should not be used in direct contact with heat, an electric or low heat emitting fireplace  insert is acceptable as is an installation above a mantle where there is little heat.

8. Bold Pool Blue

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 8j

What better way to accent an indoor swimming pool than with a wall of tempered tiles in a similar, cool-toned colors? This wall of glazed sandstone tiles is installed in a classic herringbone pattern, but the color and placement of anything but ordinary. If you’re looking for a way to create a truly eye-catching accent anywhere, this is the color and tile for you.

9. Subtle Seafoam Slate

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 9j

Many people overlook the dining room when it comes to adding an accent wall of some kind, but this is actually the perfect place to do so. Too much artwork can be distracting from meals, while plain white walls can tend toward boring. This interesting accent walls uses glazed slate tiles in a rich seafoam color. The variation in color, sheen, and texture almost makes the wall feel as though it’s being washed up piece by piece by the ocean.

10. Monochromatic Living Room

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 10j

Using a single color, like white, throughout a room is a great way to create a clean, modern design. But unless you introduce a lot of texture into the space, that monochromatic look can get very plain very quickly.

This living room uses a white, glazed stone wall tile in a classic running bond pattern as an accent. The texture of the tiles helps call to mind classic brick and stone walls, but in a fresh color and luminescent finish that complements the modern vibe of the room.

11. Vertical Accent Wall

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Subway tiles don’t have to be installed in a classic, horizontal running bond pattern. An easy way to add excitement and drama, is a simple change like a vertical installation, shown in this office foyer. The rich color and subtle variation of these glazed stone tiles helps to draw the eye upward, complementing the pattern of the tiles and visually lifting the ceiling of the lobby to new heights.

12. Bed Backdrop

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Whether your bed currently has a headboard or not, using an accent wall just behind it is a great way to create a focal point and bring additional interest to the room. This Blue Opal tile wall adds some dreamy color, pattern, and texture to the space, right where it needs it most. The soft finish of the tiles is the perfect complement to the room’s purpose, creating a softer look than most tile walls.

13. Bathroom Focal Point

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When using a freestanding tub in the bathroom, it’s sometimes helpful to create an accent wall behind it to complete the focal point in the room. This soft, white glazed sandstone tile makes an ideal accent behind the standalone tub, protecting the wall, while adding a hint of color, texture, and depth at the same time.

Elevate the Look of Your Stone

If you love the look and texture of real stone, take a look at tempered stone tiles finished with bold glazes, metallic pigments, and real leather. Versatile, easy to install, and exceptionally durable, these tiles can be used anywhere in or around the office. Use them as an accent, a backdrop, or to create something entirely new to bring the richness of stone into your life.

Glossy subway tile, a calming color palette and geometric surprises throughout bring a touch of the unexpected to this contemporary home

Interested in purchasing Driftwood Hive tiles? Find  a Realstone Distributor near you. You may also order samples of our Barnwood Hive, Etched Cream Hive or Chiseled Cream Hive tiles

This polished industrial home built by Haven Builders and designed by design manager Charissa Surine, is filled with clean lines, a calming color palette and geometric surprises throughout – the hive tile being one of them.  Our goal with the ensuite was to bring the outdoors in and create a bright, airy, and natural feeling space.  Living in Saskatchewan you don’t find too many outdoor showers – this one is the next best thing!

A 9’x3’ skylight replaces the typical drywalled ceiling allowing a massive amount of light to stream into the open, curb-less shower, highlighting the amazing and realistic wood texture of Realstone’s Hive tile in Driftwood.  We knew that a typical 12×24 tile wasn’t going to cut it when trying to create the natural, outdoor feel in this room.  We needed something with texture, depth, and warmth. The Driftwood hive tile achieves all that and more – it’s extraordinarily eye-catching pattern stops viewers in their tracks – the longer they stare the more amazed they are at how realistic the product is.

Installing the hive tile in a shower application definitely had its challenges and required some creative thinking in order to incorporate functional shower elements like niches and benches, and transition to the tub area, but we couldn’t be happier with the finished product.  Paired with the rift cut white oak vanity, natural marble vanity top and brushed brass fixtures the Hive created a stunning ensuite shower suited to this tailored polished industrial home.

Glossy subway tile

Bring an  unexpected touch of glamour to your kitchen with a glossy tiled backsplash in a herringbone pattern, Like Tempered Ore Glazed Tiles

Natural stone geometric fireplace

A geometric pattern and the natural variation of natural stone large format tiles provide the detail necessary to add interest and a focal point to an open floor plan. We suggest Nero Honed tiles in 12″x24″.

/>Breezy stairways with statement lighting

Stairways become sculptural pieces when paired with artwork and statement lighting.

Bedrooms with a calming aura accomplished with the use of simple lines and bold color


Upscale Industrial

11 Stone Veneer Fireplace Design Trends

Natural stone fireplace surrounds remain one of the most popular styles of design for all styles of home. Because stone veneers can come in so many colors, shapes, and styles, it’s possible to find a design that will complement any architecture, interior design, or room of the home.

If you’re looking for ways to include the beauty of stone veneers into your home, consider any of these 12 fireplace designs.

1. Multi-functional Fireplace with Storage


Fireplaces are often the focal point of a room’s design, but that doesn’t mean that the need to the only thing installed on that wall. This fireplace is flanked on either side by storage cabinets, with both the cabinets and the firebox being framed by the same sage green stone veneer. It gives the entire wall a cohesive look, and a lot of function at the same time.

2. Arched Stone Fireplace Frame

Fireboxes with an arch at the top have a slightly more elegant and formal look than rectangular or square boxes. Help emphasize this shape by framing the top of the arch with stone. This stone veneer surround switches the direction of the tiles just above the box to show off the shape better, and bring more attention to the area.

3. Reclaimed Wood with Stone Fireplace

Wood and stone complement one another beautifully in many interior designs. Both are natural materials that often have similar levels of impact on a room’s style. Using reclaimed wood adds an extra element of interest; reclaimed wood has a rustic look and a history all its own that helps add depth to the design. This reclaimed wood mantel contrasts the honed stone, adding visual appeal to the area.

4. Floor-to-High-Ceiling Stone Fireplace

Nothing makes as dramatic a statement as a fireplace surround that extends all the way to ceiling. This is particularly true when the room the fireplace is installed in has a particularly high ceiling. This natural stone surround makes an impressive visual display, moving right up to the sloped ceiling, and drawing the eye upward to emphasize the height and shape of the room.

5. Clean White Stone Fireplace

Clean white is a popular color for interior design styles of all kinds. White is a blank slate; it allows you to include all kinds of other accent colors and hues without clashing. Using only white can also give you a beautiful, monochromatic look for the room as well. This Berkshire Buff fireplace commands the attention of the viewer, extending right to the ceiling, and setting the stage for the rest of the room’s design, including the white furnishings and walls.

6. Entertainment Center Above the Fireplace

The fireplace is already the focal point of the room, so why not take it a step further and mount your TV or entertainment center above it as well? By putting both of the natural focuses of the room in one spot, you prevent people’s attention from being diverted by one or the other, which makes for a more relaxing atmosphere, and a more cohesive design at the same time.

7. Fireplace Banding

Banding helps push your fireplace into the room by both physically and visually. Many people assume that the fireplace needs to be flush with the wall that it’s installed on, but this isn’t always the case or the best use of the space visually. Banding wraps the fireplace on three sides, pushing it out slightly from the wall, and creating a 3D effect that’s very compelling. When using stone veneer to do the banding, you add even more texture and interest to the design at the same time.

8. Modern Multi-Tone Herringbone Stone Fireplace

Many people assume that natural stone and stone veneers are only for rustic or traditional fireplace surrounds, but there are many ways to use stone in modern settings as well. One way is to use the stone in a geometric pattern around the fireplace. In this case, a 2 x 8-inch herringbone in multiple shades of gray makes a beautiful, modern statement that adds contrast to the shape of the fireplace insert without overpowering the room with color.

9. Bathroom Fireplace

Fireplaces aren’t as common in the bathroom as they are in the bedroom, living room, and other areas of the home, but the addition of one can make quite a statement. Situated just opposite a soaking tub, a bathroom fireplace can help create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere that draws people in and makes you feel right at home. This rustic stone fireplace uses banding on the sides to bring it forward slightly, while the warm colors of the stone complement the room’s design, and help to create that spa-like atmosphere that people often crave in the bath.

10. Multi Sided Fireplaces

Multi sided fireplaces are becoming increasingly common in contemporary homes, as well as in homes that have open floor plans. This is because you want the fireplace to be the focal point of the room, but if there are few walls to choose from, you may end up situating the firebox too far from usable areas. By creating a multi-sided design, you get the benefit of the fireplace from multiple angles as well, creating the focal point and function you need. In this case, using a small, chiseled stone veneer to wrap the box, you also add a lot of texture and interest to the space.

11. Outdoor Fireplace

Fireplaces don’t need to be confined to the indoors; they can also make a great gathering place and focal point outside as well. And what better way to complement your outdoor fireplace than with a natural stone veneer surround? Stone is the perfect way to dress up an outdoor fireplace, blending in seamlessly with the rest of your surroundings. This walk-around fireplace design makes the perfect place to host a party at any time of year, and the textured stone picks up the glow of the lights beautifully, complementing the entire area.

Create a Better Fireplace Surround

There are few materials that make a better fireplace surround than natural stone veneers. Stone has a beauty and elegance that can’t be found with any other material, and with so many colors, styles, and shapes to choose from, it’s easy to find a stone that can complement your home, whether your style is traditional or contemporary in design. Get a better fireplace design by using stone veneers, using any of these 12 designs or creating your own, and make a beautiful statement in your home that you can be proud of.

Award Winning Arctic White Jewelry Store by Winter Construction


 Realstone Arctic White Shadowstone

” The Frank Jeweler’s façade and interior show room transformation was one of both technical and aesthetic complexity. The storefront of this world class jewelry store had been languishing in the 1970’s under a typical overlay of composite cement panels concealing dilapidated brick masonry.  After stabilizing the structure we sought out a veneer product that embodied the glitz and glamour of products sold within, but that also fit into the texture and scale of the neighboring downtown architecture.  The pure white color and the quartzite shimmer of the Realstone Arctic White Shadowstone fit the bill perfectly. We love how the project turned out and so did the community, awarding Frank Jewelers ‘Best Storefront’.

                                                                 – ANDREA L. SCHULTZ WINTER, LEED  AP “

 Winter Construction INC. >





Say hello to our new Chiseled Silver Alabaster panels

chiseled silver alabaster landing pages

This beautiful new panel has warm gold and cool silver tones on a background of pale cream. The overall neutral tone and beautiful chiseled texture are easy to fit into any design, while the subtle sparkle adds dimension and glamour.


chiseled silver alabaster landing pages2Chiseled Silver Alabaster is available as panels, corners and natural ends, and pairs well with the Berkshire Buff hearths. The Silver Alabaster color is also available as Shadowstone and Thinstone profiles


Reclaimed Wood Wall Panels: Considerations and Design Ideas for Your Next Project

reclaimed wood panels for walls

Interested in purchasing reclaimed wood wall panels? Download Our Reclaimed Wood Wall Panel Brochure. You may also order samples of our Multi Panel or Dark Panel reclaimed wood products.

Wood wall panels have been gracing the interiors of homes for more than a century. The rich, warm look of wood can instantly transform any space, giving it interest and dimension as well as style.

While wood is a sustainable product, though, many homeowners like the idea of using reclaimed wood, rather than new material as a way to make better, more eco-friendly choices for their homes. For this reason, many companies are now making reclaimed wood products using wood taken from barns, floors, packing and shipping material, and other areas where the character of the wood shows some of its previous use. Wall panels made of reclaimed wood have all the beauty that you’ve come to expect from wood, but with personality and dimension that can only come from a material that’s had a life before. If you’re thinking about using reclaimed wood in your home, make sure you weigh these considerations and design ideas before you get started.


Any time you use reclaimed materials, you need to be prepared for a certain amount of variation in the product. While a new material can be more easily controlled for things like texture, grain, and color, reclaimed materials have a personality and distinct appearance already, before they are remade into the new item.

Therefore, when choosing to use a reclaimed wall panel in your home, you need to consider the fact that there will be more variation in color and texture from what you may be expecting. This is true even if you view samples of the material first. Some pieces of reclaimed wood may also show things like nail holes or cracks from their previous use as well; this is part of what makes the material so attractive, and cannot be considered a flaw. Keep in mind as you plan your project, however, that it may not always look exactly the way you envision from photographs or samples.

Wall Condition

People add wall panels to their interiors for a variety of reasons, one of which is to help hide flaws or imperfections in an existing wall. And while wall panels can help disguise a lot of problems, make sure that your walls are at least structurally sound before attempting to add additional weight to them. In order for the wall panels to attach securely, your walls need to be level, without any bowing or warping of the surface. The condition of the current walls should also be firm, with no signs of wood rot or water damage.

The wall panels themselves should be attached to the studs behind your drywall or plaster, particularly if you are using a panel constructed in one piece. However, some reclaimed wood wall panels can be pieced together of many, smaller pieces that attach directly to the surface of the wall itself, rather than penetrate through to the studs behind. If this is the case, make sure that the wall is clean, dry, and is not currently peeling or flaking, as this can result in the wood not adhering properly.


Once upon a time, wall panels were considered a type of wainscoting – to be used as a chair rail or protection for the wall, and nothing else. Today, wall panels are often used to help add interest and detail to a room, and panels made of reclaimed wood are no different.

It’s possible to create several different looks for your home by using reclaimed wood wall panels in various applications. These may include:

  • Creating an accent wall opposite the main entryway into a room as a way to draw the eye and complete the style of the space
  • Creating a backdrop for furniture such as a couch in the living room or a bed in the place of a headboard
  • Backing for shelves in an office space; floating shelves can be installed in front of the reclaimed wood to create a unique and innovative storage area that also has a lot of personality
  • Used as a typical wainscot, run around the perimeter of the room to protect the walls
  • Lining the back of a mudroom wall where coats and outer things are hung to add warmth to the space
  • Using the panels as a unique backsplash in the kitchen area, in place of tile
  • Creating a fireplace surround, extending the panels to the height of the ceiling for visual interest

Design Ideas

If you need some inspiration in how to use reclaimed wood wall panels in your own home, consider these design ideas. Reclaimed wood can be used to create a variety of rustic modern styles in all areas of your home; these seven designs can help give you an idea of just what may be possible in your home.

1. Accent Bed Board

reclaimed wood accent wall

If your bed doesn’t have a headboard, consider framing out the wall behind it using reclaimed wood. By running the wood to the ceiling, and extending it just past the bed on either side, you can bring focus and added dimension to this area of the room. To set the reclaimed wood apart even more, consider framing out the rest of the walls in a contrasting color or material, so that the wall panel stands out on its own, creating more of an illusion that this is a headboard, and not simply an accent wall.

2. Living Room Backdrop

Living room Reclaimed Wood Dark

Rather than simply hanging some typical framed art behind your sofa, create a different kind of statement by using reclaimed wood wall panels as a backdrop. Accent walls typically get placed where they can be viewed as soon as you enter the space, but that isn’t always the best location for them.

By positioning them behind the furniture in a room, you can create a more interesting backdrop for your furnishings, which in turn sets them off and makes them the focus, rather than the accent.

3. Office Statement Wall

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Boardrooms are well known for having some innovative and provoking wall appearances. When creating an office or boardroom, the idea is to capture the attention of visitors, while at the same time saying something about your particular brand. Reclaimed wood wall panels can make a very bold and interesting statement at once. They’re eco-friendly, made of essentially recycled material, which can suggest your company is forward thinking and aware. Yet at the same time, juxtaposed against plate glass, and extended to the ceiling, the panels also make a powerful statement of depth and gravity that can be beneficial when dealing with clients.

4. Dimension in Small Spaces

Reclaimed Wood Dark Office

Large, open areas aren’t the only places that can benefit from the addition of a wall panel. Small spaces can find them equally effective interior designs as well. In a small room, pattern and texture can make a space actually appear larger than it really is, while having too many disparate items on the walls can make it feel cluttered and smaller.

By using a wall panel behind furnishings in a small space, you add that detail that can open it up visually, creating a more interesting area and a more appealing façade.

5. Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Reclaimed Wood Dark_Lynda copy

If you don’t want to cover an entire wall with reclaimed wood, you can still use it to create a small, focused accent instead. In this case, a headboard was created using a reclaimed wood wall panel. Small enough to just frame out the bed, without taking over the entire wall, the panel helps define the space, and attracts the eye more efficiently than the bed would by itself.

6. Conference Room Statement

Reclaimed Wood Multi Office2

Small conference rooms that don’t have a lot going on, can find a lot of benefits in the addition of a reclaimed wood accent wall. Conference rooms like this one don’t have a lot of furnishings, or a commanding view. So, the room itself ends up looking too plain or utilitarian. Reclaimed wood with its many colors and textures mixed together, adds something to look at for occupants, which in turn boosts the room’s appeal as a whole.

7. Vertical Appeal


Create the illusion of a height in a room by positioning the panels so the planks run vertically, rather than horizontally. The eye automatically follows the direction that lines are moving in, so panels set vertically will pull the eye upward, which in turn emphasizes the height of a space. Used as an accent in a room with other design features, vertical positioning like this helps set the panel apart, giving it more attention.

Add to Your Home or Business

Reclaimed Wood Wall Panels by Realstone Systems are beautiful, decorative, and full of character and personality lacking in other materials. Add them to any room that needs a boost in visual appeal to gain these benefits for yourself.