Category: In the News

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

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

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

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.

3 Things to Consider Before Starting Your DIY Stone Veneer Kitchen Backsplash Project

Kitchen backsplashes are one of the easiest installations to DIY. They rarely exceed 30 square feet in size, don’t need vapor barriers, and can handle nearly any type of material.

Natural stone veneer is a great material for this area. Lightweight, easy to install, and without the maintenance associated with other types of stone, even the most novice installer can tackle this project.

In many ways, stone veneer installs like tile or loose natural stone. In other ways, it’s easier, with a panelized system dry stack system, no grout is required and the installation goes up very fast. To make sure your backsplash installation goes perfectly, make sure you consider these three things first.

The Substrate

In most cases, your current backsplash area is likely made of drywall. While this is a suitable material for paint and some kinds of tile, it isn’t appropriate for the installation of stone veneer.

Stone veneer can be installed over an existing brick wall or cement block. If your existing wall is drywall, you will want to replace it with cement backerboard using these steps:

First, cut the old drywall out of the backsplash area using a sharp utility knife. Because it likely extends beneath your cabinets, cut along the edges of your cabinets and remove. Score and snap the cement backerboard to fit and screw it directly to the studs of your backsplash. There is no need to tape or skim coat the backerboard before you install your veneer.

Measure and Dry Fit

Most people assume that taking the time to measure for the project is enough but for smaller areas like the backsplash, a dry fit is the best way to ensure a smooth installation.

A dry fit is a layout of tiles or panels in an area of identical shape and size to the area you are installing on. This ensures that you can make any necessary cuts and work around your outlets ahead of time. It can also ensure you are able to work out any potential issues before you have mortar drying on the wall.

To create a dry fit, measure your backsplash and mark off an identical area on the ground nearby. Use painter’s tape and mark the location of each outlet and switch as well. Now fit the stone veneer into the area marked, making your cuts as necessary for a perfect fit.

Aside from a proper fit, the dry layout allows you to ensure an ideal blend of colors. Since natural stone can have a lot of variation in color and veining, selecting the pieces you like best to be placed in the most visible areas is a very good idea. This will create a more pleasing appearance and ensure an even distribution of color.

Taking the extra time to dry lay your installation will be well worth the time for a project you will love for years to come.

Install from the Middle, Up, and Out

When it’s time to find the perfect spot to begin tiling, don’t assume that the best space is on one end. Because your walls may be of differing lengths and you may have focal points, moldings, appliances, and windows to contend with, it’s always best to measure the length of each wall and find its center. Mark the center line vertically. Install your first tile at the bottom of the backsplash, with this mark dividing it top to bottom.

Now, move outward from this point from side to side and up the wall. You’ll get a perfectly balanced installation each time, which is particularly important if you are installing with a pattern.

Create the Perfect Backsplash

Stone veneer backsplashes enhance any kitchen you install them in. Installation is easy, as long as you take the time to consider your substrate, dry-lay your installation, and install using best practices.

Create a quality backsplash with Realstone Systems stone veneer and enjoy the results for years to come.

6 Ways to Create an Accent Wall with Vertical Stone Veneer

When most people picture natural stone applications, they tend to envision one of a few different designs. They may picture rugged fieldstone, polished marble squares, or a more contemporary cladding made of long strips of horizontal stones.

There are other ways you can create unique and stunning applications using natural stone, one surprisingly simple way is to instal stone veneer vertically. Installing the stone vertically automatically draws the eye upward, following the lines of the stone. This can create very dramatic and unique designs, setting your accent area apart from the rest. Check out these 6 designs to see what may be possible with vertical stone veneer in your home.

1. Waterfall Fireplace

Lit from above, this dark stone application almost appears to be flowing down the wall around the firebox. This creates a very dramatic contrast to the actual use of the fireplace and pulls the eye upward to the soffit above.

Together, the dark stone, fireplace, and lights ensure that this area is the focal point of the room and gets the instant attention of anyone that enters the area.

2. Towering Column

If you don’t have room for a large fireplace wall, or you’re installing a floating fireplace, extending the stone cladding upward gives you just as big of a visual impact as a full wall without the space issues.

In this case, honed planks of natural stone veneer create a smooth surface for the fireplace column, pulling the eye up and visually extending the height of the room. This makes the fireplace not only the central attraction to the area, but also sets the stage for the rest of the room’s interior design.

3. Mixed Material Wall

Sometimes the best designs are the ones that combine different materials and styles in one area. The combination of tiles set in opposite directions helps to create visual contrast that heightens the drama of the wall, and therefore the style of the room.

In this case, matt honed vertical stone veneer is installed above and below a horizontal stripe in a shiny glass tile. The contrast of directions, textures and shapes is extremely compelling and creates a dramatic accent wall.

4. Textures and Shade

There are many things that make this fireplace design compelling and unique. The offset firebox has a contemporary vibe, as does the solid white color of the stone veneer.

At odds with that is the texture and placement of the stone. The vertical application of the tiles along with the texture and light gives the entire area a sculptural look that adds a lot of dimension to the surround. Contrast between color, style, or texture is one way to create a very dramatic interior design. With the fireplace being the focal point of any room, this design makes for a stunning environment.

5. Contemporary Accent

Natural stone is usually associated with a cleft face or natural look but there are many more options available. This limestone application uses panels with stone pieces in  different thicknesses and textures with a highly refined and modern esthetic. The addition of direct overhead lighting creates a wonderful play of light and shadow bringing out additional depth and accentuating the textures of the stone. Added interest comes from the vertical installation which creates a retro-modern vibe for this office space.

Very contemporary designs like this keep the room from appearing flat or sterile, and add an artistic vibe to the space.

6. Exterior Accent

Vertical stone applications aren’t just reserved for the indoors, you can also use them to create stunning landscape designs. In this case, the vertical blue stone application contrasts in direction and texture with the horizontal wall cap, creating interest and texture that draws the eye and invites the viewer in closer.

Create Your Own Unique Accent

Natural stone veneer can be used in a variety of ways to give you the exact look you need for your space. Create new heights in your design by installing your stone vertically, rather than in a more traditional application. By doing so, you may unlock the space’s potential to really shine.

5 Gorgeous Stone Wall Staircases

If your home has more than one story, then a staircase is an integral part of the design. Unfortunately for many homes, however, this area is often overlooked as part of the interior design. Staircases have a great advantage over other walls, extending the height of the floors they connect, which makes them the ideal place to create a show stopping display.

Natural stone veneer is a fantastic way to highlight this area and create an accent wall that is sure to attract everyone’s attention. Check out these 5 stone wall staircases to see what may be possible in your home.

1. Stone Wall Column

In open concept homes where the stairs are out in the middle of the room, rather than tucked away, it can be difficult to know how to accent the area. This home not only brings attention to the stairwell, but also complements the rest of the interior design by creating a column running up through the stairs clad in natural stone.

This column extends the full height of the staircase, so it can be viewed from any floor in the home. That means it’s enhancing the décor throughout the entire space, giving you more than a simple stair accent.

2. Dominating Design

This contemporary home needs something textural and dominating in order to complete the design and keep it from looking too sterile. A large stone wall behind the open staircase is the perfect answer.

The textured stone has a warm undertone to it that perfectly picks up the color of the stairs. This, in turn, helps create a cohesive design, even while the texture and the contemporary staircase and railing contrast each other.

3. Floating Stairs

This home features a very narrow staircase that extends up the far wall, rather than being hidden away from view. Because the stairs themselves are on display, it means that the wall behind it needs to step up and become eye-catching.

Natural stone veneer in a cleft face finish, makes the perfect backdrop to the contemporary stairs, which appear to float in front of it, moving up and over furnishings below. This makes the stairs visually interesting and integral to the design of the room, not just the function of the space.

4. Subtle Accent

Natural stone veneer makes a beautiful backdrop, even for staircases in more traditional homes. In this case, the stairs are partially open, before turning and moving to the next level. The stone is light enough to blend in, but still provides lots of texture and interest for this staircase.

This stone accent wall helps provide just the right amount of color, as well, with gray undertones that complement the blue of the pillar just in front. Together, the two areas help keep the rest of the design from becoming too bland.

5. Lit Stone Staircase

Stone staircases make a beautiful impression in commercial settings, as well. In this case, the oversized wall dominates the area, softening the industrial appearance of the stairs.

To further enhance the design, the stone is lit with long, contemporary-style lights. The lights help play up the shadows on the stone, emphasizing its texture, color, and depth and further capturing the attention of anyone who uses the stairs.

Create a Statement with a Stone Wall Staircase

Natural stone veneer makes a beautiful statement anywhere it’s installed, including on staircase walls. While many designs may overlook this area, installing an accent here can help elevate the design of the entire home or building. If your staircase needs something extra to bring it to life, consider using natural stone veneer to create the style of your dreams.

Build Your Dream Bathroom with Stone Veneer

Your bathroom is your sanctuary. It’s the first place you go to get ready for your day, and the last place you visit as you unwind for the night. So, it makes sense that you’ll want your surroundings in the bathroom to reflect the environment you need to relax.

To that end, many people like to include little touches that help them relax and revive in that area. This may include soaking tubs, fireplaces, vessel sinks, and lots of natural stone. Stone has a unique beauty because no two pieces are ever exactly the same. This helps imbue a tranquility and sense of well-being in the space, the same kind of sense you have when you spend time in nature.

There are many kinds of natural stone, and many ways to use them in the bathroom. Stone veneer can really help elevate the level of style and interest you need for the space. These five baths make great use of natural stone veneer to help create the perfect space and atmosphere.

1. Zen Tub Atmosphere

A soaking tub is a fantastic addition to any bathroom, allowing you to relax and let your cares drift away. Just the sight of a deep tub is often enough to give a bathroom a sense of relaxation and calm. This bathroom design takes that atmosphere a step further by adding an accent wall of natural stone veneer behind the tub.

The stone helps to complete the Zen look of this area of the room, so you can relax and imagine yourself in another place at the end of the day.

2. White Textured Accent Wall

White on white bathroom designs are extremely popular in all styles of homes. White is endlessly versatile and easily pairs with any accent color. However, too much flat white in one space can make the bathroom appear sterile or unlivable. This bathroom solves that problem with an accent wall of white textured stone veneer.

The light color of the veneer keeps the wall coordinated with the rest of the room, but the delicate texture of the stone adds a depth and warmth that it might otherwise lack.

3. Bathroom Fireplace

Want the ultimate way to relax and unwind in your bathroom? Consider installing a fireplace opposite your jetted tub. This bathroom is created with just that idea in mind, the ability to achieve maximum stress relief and enjoyment.

The fireplace surround is made of natural stone veneer, it’s simple style giving it a traditional appearance and helping to add visual warmth and interest to the bathroom. The texture and color of the stone visually warm up the space even when the fireplace itself isn’t in use.

4. Industrial-Look Bathroom Stone Veneer

Natural stone veneer comes in a range of different styles, textures, and appearances. While a heavily cleft and textured stone might work well in a traditional or Zen style bath, sometimes a different texture is necessary to capture the perfect look in other bathrooms.

This silver stone is the perfect backdrop to this open, airy, industrial bathroom design. The color, texture, and pattern of the stone effortlessly matches the room’s other features, while adding the beauty and elegance that only natural stone can achieve.

5. Contemporary Design

Stone veneer can also be installed in patterns that add interest to a room, while still keeping with its overall style. This contemporary bathroom uses a white stone veneer with the clean, light look of the room. The stone is installed in a herringbone pattern,, which helps add a little more interest and playful design to the room. The pattern also contrasts the shape of the tub in front of it – a very effective method of highlighting the area.

Create Your Dream Bathroom

Whether your bathroom is traditional or contemporary in design, complete its look with stone veneer. Natural stone veneer can be found in so many different textures, colors, and shapes that you’ll have no problem finding one for your perfect design. Achieve that sense of relaxation and revitalization in your bathroom by including stone veneer in the design.

Creating a Beautiful Fireplace with Ledgestone Stacked Veneer

Having a fireplace in the home means having a built-in focus for the room. The eye naturally gravitates to the fireplace, which makes it the ideal place to create an accent for your interior design.

There are many ways you can create a statement using your fireplace surround and natural stone makes the ideal material. Ledgestone, a honed and cleft-faced stone made of granite, limestone, sandstone, or travertine, can add character and interest to the area, as well as dimension and color.

Ledgestone Panels

Ledgestone gives your fireplace the appearance of a “dry fit” or “dry stack” installation. This means that the pieces of stone are installed tightly fitted together, without grout or another material separating them. This is part of what gives Ledgestone its character and its beauty.

To make the installation easier, ledgestone is available in panels, with the individual stone pieces adhered together into a 1 square foot section. This makes the installation simple and much faster than other stone installations.

Edging

Like all natural stone, Ledgestone can be left with the edges exposed. Simply addding mineral oil to the cut sections brings out the rich color of the stone and pairs it better with the face of the stone. This enables you to install a fireplace surround that extends the length of an entire wall, or to simply frame out the area directly around the firebox.

For fireplaces that are set off the wall slightly, Ledgestone also has corner pieces available that can turn the corner with ease, giving a more three-dimensional look to the installation. This is ideal for column fireplaces, fireplaces that divide two rooms, or surrounds that simply need a heftier appearance.

Style

Like all natural stone, Ledgestone can be used to create a wide range of styles, from traditional to contemporary. Whether you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace or you are installing a new gas fireplace, you can complement not only the style of fireplace, but also the décor in the rest of your home.

Ledgestone can be installed floor to ceiling to create a focal point that dominates the décor of the room for a traditional appearance.

You can also install the material on just a portion of the wall, either vertically or horizontally, to create a more contemporary façade for your surround. By varying how the material is applied to the surround, as well as the color of the stone you choose, it’s possible to create a variety of different looks.

Because natural stone has such a heavy and architectural appearance to it, you can use it to create passageways, columns, walls, cubbies, and a variety of other looks for your home. Doing so can allow you to expand from a simple fireplace into a complete showpiece within your home. Use the material to enlarge and expand the area of focus until it’s no longer a flat section of wall, but an architectural element that can help you set the tone for the rest of the room’s interior design.

Color

Ledgestone is available in a huge array of beautiful shades that can complement a variety of homes. Because they are natural stone, the pieces that make up each panel may vary in color, texture and veining from piece to piece. This is part of what gives stone its unique beauty.

When choosing a Ledgestone for your fireplace, find one that complements some of the accent colors already in the room. Or, for a more dramatic statement, choose a Ledgestone that contrasts the rest of the room’s décor to make the fireplace pop.

Create the Perfect Ledgestone Fireplace

Ledgestone fireplaces are beautiful additions to any home. Whether you want a traditional look or something more contemporary, the natural beauty of stone can help you achieve your goals. With easy installation and several colors to choose from, Ledgestone makes it simple to create the fireplace of your dreams. Create the perfect accent piece for any room of your home with the addition of a Ledgestone fireplace to capture this beauty and dimension for yourself.

Top 11 Stone Dealer Blogs in the US

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

Using Dark Stone Veneer to Decorate Your 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.

Exterior Accent

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.

Color Contrast

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.