Natural stone dealers know their product well. They know how to care for it, install it, and how to choose the best fit for any application. And many natural stone dealers also share a lot of that knowledge with others through their website, news feed, or blog. Following some of these feeds can let you in on industry secrets and information that can be helpful when choosing, installing, or caring for stone.
These 11 stone dealer blogs in the US will help you get the information and knowledge you need to make the best decisions possible about the natural stone you deal with each day.
1. Trinity Surfaces
Get ideas for patterns, tile layouts, and stone colors and ideas at the blog put out by Trinity Surfaces. This highly visible blog has a lot of inspiration and ideas for all surfaces in and around the home, including floors, showers, walkways, and fireplace surrounds – anywhere you may want to install natural stone.
2. Stone Source
The information on Stone Source will help you with anything you may need to know about tile and stone. From installing to grouting, choosing your material to caring for it, the information and ideas on the Stone Source site are highly informative. You’ll find articles on stone use and ideas, as well as technical information that can help make the installation and use of the material you choose even easier, demystifying even some of the more complex areas of the product.
3. Carolina Tile & Stone
Carolina Tile & Stone uses their blog not only to share industry news and information, but also to showcase the different and unique ways that stone can be used. With a lot of pictures and other visual aids, this blog can help people get an idea for what’s possible with artistic tile and stone, including mosaics and special patterns that may be hard to visualize.
4. Champion Brick
Get ideas, information, and inspiration for your yard or patio at Champion Brick’s blog. They offer a wide range of information on not only the materials, but also how to make the most of the area once it’s complete. From plants to pergolas, they have a lot of information to share on the many ways you can make your landscaping or hardscaping great.
5. Florida Design Works
The blog at Florida Design Works has a lot of inspiration and ideas for homeowners looking to remodel or renovate their homes. Examples include in depth looks at various materials, like slate or marble, as well as a look at industry trends and how they may affect you and your home. You’ll also find ideas on how to use different finishes, like highly texturized materials, to complete a certain look or style within a room.
6. Long Pond Hearth & Home
Learn to enjoy your home a little more with the news feed at Long Pond Hearth & Home. They offer information on the recreational side of things, such as spas, grills, fireplaces, and stoves. You’ll find tips and tricks for enhancing these areas, as well as information on materials and ideas you can use to get inspiration for your own project.
7. Maze Lumber
Updated once or twice a month, the blog at Maze Lumber is designed to help homeowners learn about all areas of the home, and how to better utilize the space. With helpful articles and tips on things like decking and windows, as well as stone and other materials, you’ll get a lot of very useful information on this site.
8. ProCoat Systems
ProCoat Systems offers a lot of information on stone veneer, patio pavers, and other types of natural stone on their blog. They’ll show you various applications for their products, as well as different ways you can use them, such as patterns or surface use, that can give you a good idea of how the material will look and function for you once it’s installed. They offer a balanced look at both interior and exterior applications, so there’s something for everyone to take an interest in.
9. TLC Supply
Specializing in hardscape and masonry material, TLC Supply has a frequently updated blog that features a wide range of information on their products. This includes patio pavers, dry fit stone for stacking, and a variety of other natural stone materials that are suitable in and around the yard for landscaping purposes. You’ll also find very helpful posts that include tips on how to make the most of your patio or installation, which can be invaluable to both people looking to install and those who already have the materials in place.
10. United Tile
The blog at United Tile has a lot of great inspiration and ideas, with an in depth look at different materials, such as large format panels, that can help you see them in a different light. Products and materials look very different installed than they do on a showroom wall, and United Tile really brings a spotlight to how these materials may function in your home, making them much more user friendly than some dealers.
11. Wausau Supply
The news feed on Wausau Supply’s site will keep you up to date not only natural stone and different applications, but also on other innovative products and materials for all areas of the home. Many people who choose to use stone are also remodeling or renovating other areas as well, which makes this news feed a truly beneficial resource. You’ll find ideas for materials you can combine with stone over the interior and exterior of the home, as well as reviews and information on new products as they are introduced.
Get to Know Your Dealers
Dealers put out this information so you can make better, more informed decisions about the materials you use. Take the time to check out these blogs for inspiration, ideas, and knowledge that can help you get the most out of your next home
There are times during the creation of your interior design or exterior façade when you need to make a powerful statement in order to bring the style of the space into focus. While subtle colors and designs work well for the majority of spaces, occasionally throwing in a sharp contrast in color or texture can really make the rest of the space pop.
Dark stone veneer, such as Realstone Systems new Carbon Ledgestone line, can help you make that statement.
Contemporary homes often use a lot of very clean lines and light colors to complete their design. And while those lines and angles are what make the contemporary architecture so striking, without a contrasting feature, they can sometimes appear too stark, or even industrial, in appearance.
Adding an accent wall of dark stone veneer with a cleft, textured surface finish can change that. The contrasting color and texture of the stone will not only become a focal point for the design, it will also put the other lighter and sharper materials into better focus. This, in turn, makes the design more interesting and brings greater depth to the style.
All white kitchens are all the rage, but many of them can go too far, becoming cold and sterile in appearance, rather than simply sleek and contemporary as intended. To combat this problem, using a contrasting color like a dark stone veneer on one wall can add just the right amount of attention and complexity to the design.
While the rest of the kitchen is kept very light, the dark stone backsplash helps add gravity and makes the space seem more livable and approachable. While you wouldn’t want to spill something in an overly sterile-looking kitchen, the dark stone draws you in, making you feel more at home and relaxed in the space. Keeping the stone and dark color in one area preserves the rest of the intended design, allowing the rest of the space to remain very light, airy, and open – all things that most people are thinking of when they start out to create a white kitchen in the first place.
Gravity in Design
You don’t have to use dark stone veneer as a contrasting color to the rest of the design in order to create an effective statement. Sometimes, using a dark stone in an otherwise already classic or somber design can add gravity and significance to the space.
The fireplace is always the focus and grounding point of any room. For most spaces, it makes the most sense to let the fireplace design also dictate the style of the surrounding room. In this case, using a deep wood mantel paired with a very geometric and sleek stone veneer surround creates a handsome transitional look for the room. Together, the dark wood and stone add a traditional look to the space, while the shape and style of the stone itself has a more modern vibe. This allows the fireplace to dictate a slightly more fluid sense of style to the rest of the room, allowing you to blend traditional and modern furnishings easily within one space, creating your own, personal look.
Incorporate Dark Stone into Your Home Design
Whether you’re looking for a way to add interest to your exterior or you want to bring focus to your interior design, dark stone veneer can be a beautiful way to achieve your goals. Natural stone has a beauty and elegance unmatched by anything else, while the unusual dark tones will help add complexity and interest to any area you install them in. Complete your home design with dark stone veneer to create a unique and lasting sense of style.
Large or small, a fireplace is the focus of any room it’s installed in. In some instances, this is an opportunity to create a fireplace surround that is eye catching and that can dominate the room. In other instances, however, what would actually work best is to create a design that is beautiful, interesting, and more subtle in the way it complements the space.
Grey stone makes a beautiful and dynamic surround for any fireplace. Grey is a neutral that pairs well with many interior designs and colors, but at the same time, it’s more interesting and has more depth than beige, taupe, or other classic neutrals. If you’re still unsure of how a grey fireplace could work in your home, be sure to check out these 9 grey stone fireplace design ideas.
1. Dual Compartment Design
-Charcoal Shadowstone Panels
Oftentimes, the firebox itself is a very small area in the surround. This fireplace design utilizes some of the extra space as a storage area for wood. Above the compartments, the grey, cleft-face stone makes a nice complement to the wood, while being understated enough not to dominate the room. Extending to the ceiling, the stone also creates an accent wall that further draws the eye to this area.
2. Wood Accents
-Mountain Rust Ledestone Panels
One of the best things about natural stone is the many tones and hues that it can contain. This grey stone also has a rich, warm, terracotta colored accent color that helps warm up the surround. The wood mantel and the wood accent strip around the firebox play on this accent within the stone, pulling it out and putting additional visual emphasis on it. The result is a gray fireplace surround that is also warm and welcoming.
3. Dark, Rich Design
-Carbon Honed Panels
When many people think of the color grey, they may be thinking of a pale color that won’t bring much to the room as a whole. This deep, charcoal-colored stone challenges that line of thinking in a powerful way. The surround on this fireplace extends the entire wall to create an accent within the room. The dark color means that the texture of the stone gets to take center stage, while the black firebox blends right in and creates a cohesive design.
4. Geometric Appearance
-Carbon Honed Panels
Natural stone fireplace surrounds frequently have a cleft face finish, but they don’t need to in order to be effective in design or beautiful. This deep grey stone surround has clean edges and a honed face to each piece of stone. The design comes from the way that some stones are elevated above others. This helps to bring dimension to the design, along with shadow that creates a geometric impression to the wall.
5. Warm Grey Column
-Carbon Honed Panels
One of the reasons that grey is such a popular color for interior design with those that want a versatile neutral, is the fact that it can have undertones that are warm or cool. This grey fireplace surround has a warm undertone to it, which means that it can work well in a room with lots of natural wood, as well as other warm color schemes. Grey itself is usually considered a cool color, which means that this room gets a subtle contrast to elevate its style, as well.
6. Marbled Effect
-Nero Honed Panels
Grey stone doesn’t have to be one solid color, nor does it need to contain other hues, as well. Sometimes a marble effect using shades of black, white, and grey within one stone can give you a lot of dimension, life, and interest at the same time.
To keep the stone from overwhelming this surround, the pieces are honed, or given a flat, matte finish with a square edge. This allows the color to take center stage, becoming the focal point not only of the fireplace surround, but also the room.
7. Gray Stone Fireplace with Stripes
-Carbon Honed Panels
When you want a little more dimension to your surround, but you don’t want to add a lot of patterns or decorative elements, a contrasting stripe of color can be just what you need. This outdoor fireplace uses a light-colored accent to stripe the dark grey field. The color also matches the hearth and the bottom of the firebox insert to create a unified look.
8. Bump Out Design
Fireplace surrounds don’t have to be flat, nor do they need to exist on one wall only. This surround covers not only the area around the firebox extending to the ceiling, but also the bump out beside it. The effect is more dynamic and interesting than if the bump out had been left alone to be painted. This also has the added benefit of making the room look larger along that wall.
9. Herringbone Design
-Venato Portugal Tiles
Natural stone’s diversity allows it to not only create plain, subtle, and rustic designs, but also dynamic contemporary styles as well. This fireplace utilizes a three dimensional design of stones laid in a herringbone pattern. The stones themselves are varying depths, which helps to create this unique look. The different shades also help to create the pattern and lend interest to the design.
Revamp Your Fireplace
The fireplace is the heart of the home. Make yours shine by cladding it with natural stone. Use any of these design ideas above as a starting point for creating the perfect fireplace and focal point for your home.
I chose Realstone because it was important to me to use, well, real stone! I wanted an organic feel to the room: wood, stone, linen; so I wanted to stay away from the pressed concrete type materials. Also, the color and texture of the White Birch Honed panels supported the streamlined “Nordic” look I was going for.
Sort of a moot point in the end, but another big thing for me was how Realstone did their corners. I saw the interlocking “fingers” as a huge benefit over other materials to achieve the natural look I was going for. But ultimately we went with a “framed” look with the walnut side panels so we didn’t need to wrap the corners after all.
– Pat Walsh, homeowner