Year: 2018

Cozy And Stylish Cottage and Herringbone Trends

Charcoal Shadowstone Panel

I have used Shadowstone on several of my interior design projects. I love Shadowstone for its variations in form and the abundance of shadows it gets from the light cast by the fireplace flames. It has rustic charm while its linear lines blend well with the modern chic country look for this ski cottage.

  – Michelle Sachs,  Designer, Urbandale Construction

 Portugal Venato

Portugal Toro
Tempered Snow Drift
Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 13j Tempered Ore

White Birch PlanksWhite Birch Planks

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

-Leather Tempered Tiles

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

-Tempered Corona Tiles

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

-Tempered Pyrite Tiles

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

-Tempered Gunmetal Tiles

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

-Tempered Ruby Tiles

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

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 6j

-Tempered Toro Leather Tiles

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

-Tempered Fog Tiles

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

-Tempered Marine Tiles

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

-Tempered Seafoam Tiles

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

-Tempered Stardust Tiles

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

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 11j

-Tempered Fog Tiles

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

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 12j

-Tempered Blue Opal Tiles

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

Tempered Collection Wall Panel Coverings 13j

-Tempered Snow Drift Tiles

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

-Carbon Honed Panels

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


-New York Blue Panels

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 Surround

-Greystone Gold Estate Stone Panels

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 Mantel with Stone Fireplace

-Carbon Honed Panels

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

-Berkshire Buff Estate Stone Panels

Nothing makes as dramatic a statement as a fireplace surround that extends all the way to the 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

-White Birch Honed Panels

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

-Silver Alabaster Honed Panels

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

-Carbon Honed Panels

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

-Venato Portugal Tiles

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

-Sierra Shadowstone Panels

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

-Chiseled Silver Alabaster Panels

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

-Mountain Rust Panels

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.