Category: In the News

Unforgettable kitchens

Like the perfect spice in a simple dish
Realstone panels and tiles can take your kitchen from just good to unforgettable.



Stacked Stone Kitchen Backsplash 6

Stacked Stone Kitchen Backsplash 3

How to pair natural stone with 2019 colors of the year

White and Pale tones create the perfect neutral backdrop and allow for the bright Living Coral to really pop.


Paired with black and dark grey toned natural stone, Metropolitan pairs beautifully with some of the most interesting stone panels and tiles we have to offer.


Cream and warm-toned stone pairs well with the earthy warmth of Cavern Clay. Try it as a contrasting color or tone-on-tone.



Custom products can make your dream home a reality

For a recent project, one of our customers fell in love with our Pewter Honed Shadowstone Panels but really liked the larger pieces included in the Accentstone pattern. Our products team was able to work with the client to make their dream a reality.  This incredible lakefront home in West Bloomfield,  Michigan is exactly as the homeowner envisioned, and clad in a one of a kind stone panel.


Original Product: Pewter Honed Shadowstone

Custom Products: Pewter Honed Accentstone panels and sills


7 Amazing Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Inspire Your Next Project

If you like to entertain, having an outdoor kitchen can really enhance your parties. With an outdoor kitchen, you and your guests have everything you need right at your patio, deck, lanai, or pool. There’s no need to keep going into and out of the house, your drinks, food, grill, and other items are all right where you are.

Outdoor kitchens come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations. Most will, at a minimum, contain a grill or cooktop and some form of refrigeration. Beyond that, you can customize your outdoor kitchen to include seating, smokers, pizza ovens, wine coolers, and more.

These seven beautiful outdoor kitchen ideas will give you a glimpse of what may be possible to create in your own home. Take a look and get inspired to create the perfect outdoor kitchen of your own.

1. Central Patio Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas 1

-Hive Barnwood Tiles

The location of your outdoor kitchen should be one of your first decisions. This central patio kitchen is accessible on all sides and includes seating for guests. The island itself features a barn wood tile in a hexagon pattern that sets it apart from the surrounding landscaping, so it becomes a focal point, as well as a central gathering place.

2. Kitchen with Lounge Area

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas 2

-Sierra Shadowstone Panels

Because outdoor kitchens are central to entertaining outside, it makes sense that you may want to include a seating area, as well. This kitchen features a long bar and countertop with seating, as well as a separate seating area surrounding a fire pit, so guests can eat at the kitchen or move away slightly for conversation. Both areas feature the same stone veneer for a cohesive look.

3. An Updated Grilling StationOutdoor Kitchen Ideas 3

-Terracotta Shadowstone Panels

Outdoor kitchens don’t need to be large, elaborate affairs. This simple kitchen is an upgraded grill with refrigeration, storage, and counter space built in. Located right next to the door, it makes outdoor cooking easy in the warmer months. Clad in natural stone, it has a permanent and classic appearance that makes it a focal point in the landscaping.

4. Complementary Appearance

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas 4

-Terracotta Ledgestone Panels

While most outdoor kitchens are added after the rest of the house and landscaping has been completed, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t complement the rest of the area. Located against the red brick of the home, this outdoor kitchen features a rich terracotta stone veneer that complements the rustic landscaping and the color of the brick for one, unified appearance.

5. Sink and ShadeOutdoor Kitchen Ideas 5

-Terracotta Ledgestone Panels

When designing your outdoor kitchen, think about what it is you want to accomplish there. This kitchen features a sink beside the grill for fast cleanup. It also has a shaded seating area, so guests can enjoy the kitchen even if the weather heats up.

6. Keeping It Light

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas 6

-Arctic White Thin Panels

If you entertain after sunset, then be sure to pay close attention to the color of your outdoor kitchen, as well. This grill is outfitted in a thin-strip veneer in Arctic White, which makes the most of any ambient light in the evenings. Your guests won’t have any trouble finding the bar or the grill even on the dimmest of evenings.

7. Framing the Area

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas 7

-Antique Wood Driftwood Panels

If you plan on entertaining outdoors year round, consider giving your outdoor kitchen an enclosure. This space includes a roof to keep out the elements, and the same antique driftwood panels are used both as an accent behind the grill and on the exterior façade. This helps frame the area and makes it one dedicated and separate space from the rest of the patio.

Create the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen Space

Outdoor kitchens enhance your landscaping and your lifestyle. Pay attention to the location and how you plan to use the kitchen to get the best results. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you plan to include, so start designing your perfect outdoor kitchen space today.

Wood Projects

Love the wood look? Realstone has a fantastic selection of wood and wood looking products. From real reclaimed boat wood to resin based barnwood and driftwood looking  hexagon tiles and panels, we have many options to work with. Here are some of the projects our incredibly creative customers have created.

Reclaimed Wood Dark and Multi Panels




Installing Your Own Reclaimed Wood Wall Panels

Wood wall panels bring a richness and warmth to any room. Reclaimed wood panels bring character and history to the room, as well.

If you’re looking for a way to add some interest and life to a room of your home, installing reclaimed wood wall panels is a fantastic idea. Best of all, the panels are easy to DIY, which means that you can transform your home in a matter of hours.

Measure and Prepare

Reclaimed wood wall panels are perfect for installing on any interior wall of your home. Make sure that you have enough material to cover each wall by taking measurements before you begin.

Measure both the height and the width of each wall you intend to install on. Take the measurements in inches, multiply them together, and divide by 144 to get the total number of square feet per wall. Round up and add an additional 10% to each wall for cuts or mistakes.

Prior to installation it is very important to acclimate your wood for a few days before installing. Wood is a porous substance that can react to temperature and the moisture in the air, swelling or shrinking accordingly.

A few days before you install, take the wood into the room where it will be put up. Unbox and unwrap it and allow it to adjust to the temperature and moisture of the room. This will prevent excessive swelling or shrinking after it has been installed.

Prepare your walls to receive the panels by painting them black or another dark color. This will ensure that the color showing through the knot holes blends in with the rest of the installation.

Layout and Fit

Make Sure to carefully examine the pieces prior to installation for the prefered blend of colors as reclaimed wood can have a lot of variation.Your wall panels are designed to interlock with one another for seamless installation. Begin by cutting a panel in half so you now have two pieces with a straight edge for an outside edge. Begin laying out the panels. Cut out any areas necessary to allow for outlets.

The back of each panel is covered in mesh. Cut away this mesh behind each knot hole, so it won’t show through after installation.

Install the Panels

Cover the backs of the panels with a bead of silicone adhesive. Make sure each piece of wood has adhesive on the back. Press the panel firmly against the wall. Install from the bottom up occasionally checking to make sure the panels are level. Make sure to choose the best construction level for your particular project.

After each panel has been pressed into place on the wall and you are sure of its placement, nail the panel securely into place. A nail gun can assist with this task, but you may also use a hammer if necessary.


After you cut a panel in half, both parts can be utilized, simply rotate the piece and use it to begin the next course on the wall. This saves waste and time as you only need to make one cut, rather than two.

Consider the color of your décor as you choose which color of reclaimed wood you want. Lighter wood has warmer tones that may work better with brighter décor, while dark wood has a richer look.

Install Your Own Wood Panels

Installing your own reclaimed wood panels yourself is easy. Within hours, you can transform the walls of any room of your home, making an accent and statement anywhere you choose. Follow these steps for perfect results every time and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Check out the video on YouTube to watch the process of installing reclaimed wood wall panels step by step.

How DIY Market Helps with Industry Labor Shortages

Like all industries, the home improvement sector sometimes experiences labor shortages. Labor shortages in this sector trickle down to affect sales in the tile and stone industry. With a lack of labor comes extended wait times for installation, which means delayed or terminated sales.

While the market should eventually rebound, this doesn’t mean that dealers can afford to wait. Instead, consider marketing your tile and stone veneer products directly to customers for DIY installation.

While some materials may require in-depth knowledge and a variety of special tools for installation, stone veneer often does not. Many types of stone veneer are easy to install, don’t require a lot of special sealers or treatments, and some do not even need grout.

All of these attributes make the material easier to install for the DIY homeowner. The key to success for a dealer is to make sure that customers consider these products as DIY.

DIY Kits

Some of the hesitation that DIY homeowners may have concerning an installation may stem from lack of knowledge surrounding tools and setting materials. Putting together DIY kits designed to have everything the homeowner may need can be a great way to assist as well as bring in incremental sales.

Setting materials, correctly-sized trowels, buckets and cutting tools can be packaged together with the intent of making the installation easier for homeowners. Kits can be modified or created with specific types of stone or tile in mind. For example, if a tile requires grout, the correct grout, along with a sponge and float, can be added to the kit. Or, if a light colored stone is being used, white setting material can be substituted for gray.

DIY stone veneer kits can take a lot of the hesitation and guesswork out of the process. This, in turn, makes customers feel more confident and encourages them to buy.

Easy to Access Information

An alternative to a DIY kit would be a simple pamphlet or PDF with DIY information. Having this information readily available on your website or in your showroom near the stone veneer can help let customers know that DIY installation is a possibility.

The pamphlet should include substrate information, setting information, and a list of tools and necessary materials. If you sell these items, include the cost and where to find them. This not only creates upselling opportunities, it also helps customers feel more confident in their purchase.

Many homeowners want to take on projects quickly. They have guests coming or have suddenly found the time and motivation to complete something they’ve wanted for years. Being advised that it may take weeks to months to have their new project installed could derail things entirely.

Offering DIY information that is easily displayed near the stone veneer means that they may not need to wait after all. This can make the difference between a quick sale, and one that may not happen at all.

DIY Workshops

If you have an installer on staff, consider offering DIY workshops for homeowners. Quick evening workshops that let a homeowner see how easy the material is to work with can also encourage DIY installation and more sales.

Workshops can take the form of a demonstration or of hands on application. You can also tailor them to your most popular stone veneer types. Offering workshops is also a great way to get people in your doors, and you can offer DIY packages for sale at the same time.

Invest in the DIY Market

The DIY market is growing. As information becomes easier to access, more homeowners are taking the plunge and taking on their own projects. This is especially true in the face of labor shortages.

Invest in the DIY market in your area by catering to their needs. You’ll find that doing so may increase sales while you wait for labor to rebound.

3 DIY Stone Veneer Projects You Don’t Need a Contractor For

When it comes to beautifying your home, sometimes the DIY route is the most satisfying. While large, structural changes to your house do require a contractor, surface materials, such as stone veneer, often do not.

Many types of stone veneer are simple to install. They don’t require special knowledge or skills, just some elbow grease and tools. Stone veneer can be installed in many areas. These three DIY projects will let you dress up your décor with beautiful natural stone. And without the need of a contractor, you’ll not only make your home more beautiful, you’ll save money at the same time.

Fireplace Surround

-Greystone Gold Estate Stone Panels

Even if your existing fireplace is brick, you can install stone veneer right on top for a fresh new look.

Stone veneer fireplaces instantly transform the look of the entire room. Because the fireplace is a natural focal point, it already draws the eye. Adding stone veneer adds texture, color, and interest.

Consider using a stone veneer with a lot of color to give you a built in palette for the rest of the room. Or, use a honed stone veneer to create a more contemporary look. Either way, you’ll find that this stone veneer project can be completed within a weekend, making it a fast and effective room transformation.

Accent Wall

-White Birch Honed Thin Panels

If you have a room in your home that doesn’t feel finished, consider adding a DIY stone wall. Accent walls are one of the most effective ways to elevate a room’s appearance. They draw the eye and create a backdrop for other décor.

Using natural stone in place of a solid color for your accent wall takes things a step further. Stone has depth, dimension, and texture that paint lacks. And even solid colored stone will have shadow and subtle variation that will add interest.

Accent walls can be installed anywhere in your home. Just make sure the wall is fitted with backerboard rather than drywall before you begin your installation. Then, choose the stone veneer that will best match your interior design. Within hours, you can give any room of your home a fresh new look.

Kitchen Backsplash

-White Birch Honed Panels

The kitchen backsplash is the most decorative element in the room. In addition to it’s design element, it is also in place to make the cleaning of food stains and splatter on the wall easier and more efficient. And since the backsplash is rarely more than 30 square feet in size, it’s also the perfect DIY project for any homeowner.

Backsplashes can be covered in one material over their entirety or clad with a mixture of materials and styles. You may choose to have a focal area behind the cooktop or sink, this area can be framed and highlighted with a different pattern, color, or stone. The area along the countertops can be clad in a range of stone veneers.

To make the installation easier, consider finding a stone that can easily fill the typical 18-inches of space without multiple cuts. For example, using stone that measures 3-inches in height means that you can fit 6 courses without a lot of cutting. Or, consider using a thinner mosaic for a more varied look that will also fill the space well.

Create Your Dream Home

You don’t need a contractor to install stone veneer in most areas of your home. Make sure you use a modified polymer setting material, and that the wall is either brick, cement block, or cement backerboard before you begin. Otherwise, your stone veneer installation should proceed without an issue.

Clad the walls of your home in beautiful stone veneer to get the beauty and interest that only real stone can bring.