Elevate Your Home with Stone Veneer: 5 Perfect Places for Accent Walls

Pangaea Fieldstone
Pangaea accent wall

Elevate Your Home with Stone Veneer: 5 Perfect Places for Accent Walls

In the world of home construction and DIY, creating an accent wall isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about making a bold statement. These accent walls, also known as feature walls, are where craftsmanship meets character, and they’re more than just a visual interest; they’re a game-changer for your project.

While paint and wallpaper have their place, they can’t match the enduring value and impact of stone veneers and architectural tile. Accent walls not only elevate the aesthetics but also add substantial value to a property, and it’s simple to maintain, ensuring your home interiors remain a source of awe for decades.

Choosing the right spot for an accent wall might seem challenging, but often, the room itself provides strong cues. Here, we delve into five strategic settings perfect for your stone veneer accent wall.

Artepiso Orchid
Artepiso Orchid

1. First Impressions Matter

Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Stone veneer on a wall greets your guests and sets the tone for your entire space. It’s the introduction that demands attention and admiration.

The placement of the Artepiso Orchid wall tiles in the space above acts as a focal point for anyone who may walk through the front door. These playful tiles, like any framed art, are sure to get the conversation started and create a welcoming atmosphere as soon as guests enter the house.

Light and easy to install, Artepiso 3D architectural tile adheres to most surfaces with a simple and inexpensive installation. They can also be painted for an attention grabbing splash of color.

Beon Stone® Carbo Classic
Beon Stone® Carbo Classic
Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian

2. Accentuate the Architecture

Craftsmen know that great rooms deserve great features. Stone veneer can turn ordinary walls into stunning showcases. Fireplaces, floating room dividers, and walls with architectural details become canvases for your creativity.

A masterful example of this approach can be achieved with Be.on Stone® Carbo Classic veneer panels. Rather than installing shelves in the cutout section of the kitchen shown above, a stone matching the style around the adjoining room was applied, with artwork placed over it. From this vantage point, it gives the appearance of a window that offers a peak at the stone wall continuing behind it.

Ready to accentuate your home walls with another quick renovation, then look no further than your dated fireplace. Building materials like thin stone veneer and Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambria, seen above, transform any drab fireplace wall or surround into the family’s room’s best feature. 
See more fireplace inspiration in our blog, 5 Interior Projects To Tackle This Winter with Stone Veneer.

Pangaea® New England Quarry Ledgestone
Artepiso Andes
Artepiso Andes

3. Chase the Light

Sometimes, all you need to find the perfect spot for your accent wall is to follow the light. Let the natural light be your guide, drawing visitors’ eyes to your masterpiece. However, be cautious with walls that get intense backlighting or the window views will overshadow the veneer.

When crafting the room with those captivating waterfront views in mind, practicality was key. The choice of Pangaea® New England Quarry Ledgestone veneer wasn’t just about aesthetics; it was a smart decision. It blends seamlessly with the elegant wood paneling on the ceiling, all while ensuring the natural light from those massive windows takes center stage.

For those of you who like to get creative with lighting, consider adding some excitement with Artepiso 3D architectural tiles, seen here in hexagonal Andes shapes. These tiles boast intricate grooves and peaks, creating a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow. And if you want to kick it up a notch, apply a coat of vibrant, glossy paint to make them shine even brighter.

Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone
Cultured Stone® Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone

4. Read the Room

Look at the room’s layout; it often reveals the ideal accent wall location. Is there a wall where all the furniture converges? Maybe one housing a fireplace or TV? That’s your focal point, and that’s where stone veneer shines.

Take a look at the arrangement of the above living room, featuring Cultured Stone’s® Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone veneer. Would a feature have made better sense anywhere else? Note how the veneer calls out to the stone visible through the window on the home’s exterior.

Winesburg Plank
Dutch Quality Winesburg Plank 4&6 

5. Beside Views

In the bedroom, the most impactful accent wall is typically the one behind the bed. It highlights the bed as the most important feature of the room (which it is), and with the right material choice, can look like an extension of the headboard itself. And when you’re laying in bed, the view of an accent wall straight ahead may not have the calming effect you need.

Take a look at the red and brown hues of the Cultured Stone® Winesburg Weathered Plank 4&6 veneer. This manufactured stone was molded to precisely replicate the grain and character of reclaimed barn wood; its artistry and craftsmanship are molded to replicate the warmth of reclaimed barn wood.

We Make It Easy!

Creating a statement with stone veneer has never been easier. six brands of natural and manufactured stone veneer products available in hundreds of colors, shapes and sizes, Instone is your partner in making your vision a reality. 

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Stone Veneer Fireplace Upgrades

Pangaea Fieldstone
Pangaea Fieldstone

A Step-by-Step Guide to Stone Veneer Fireplace Upgrades

Ready for a decorative fireplace makeover? If that old brick fireplace doesn’t quite match your home’s new vibe, there’s no need to fret. Think of it as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Swapping out the dated look for a stylish stone veneer fireplace is simpler than you might think. And guess what? In most scenarios, you can leave those bricks right where they are.

Sure, red brick fireplaces have that quintessential American charm. But, if yours looks a bit weary after years of cozy fires, it might be time for a change. While some folks opt for a quick brick fireplace makeover with heat-resistant paint, nothing beats the elegance and value boost of a natural stone facade.

Wondering about the how-tos? Whether you’re thinking of adhering stone veneers directly onto the bricks or using nifty tools for an extra-sturdy bond, we’ve got the lowdown. Take a look at your options and tap into Instone’s treasure trove of resources to guide you every step of the way.

Prepping for Interior Stone Veneer

Before you dive into your fireplace transformation, it’s essential to set the stage for a smooth installation. Start by laying a tarp around the fireplace area. This step ensures that any stray mortar or debris doesn’t play havoc with your floors.

Next, give those bricks some TLC. It’s important to remove any dirt, dust, or loose materials that could compromise the adhesion of the stones. A vacuum with a brush attachment should do the trick for most of the cleaning. For stubborn spots, a gentle wipe with a damp sponge will work wonders. And if you come across areas of the brickwork that are crumbling or a bit unstable, consider giving them a light sanding to create an even surface.

Stone veneer prep

Choose Your Backing

Option 1: Metal Lath

Want to ensure that your stone veneer clings on like a champ? Enter the metal lath. This meshy marvel is not only strong but also flexible. Shape it around your fireplace, get it to hug those corners, and even trace out that fancy mantel.

After drilling or nailing the lath into the bricks, you’ll want to apply a scratch coat over its entire area. Fill all of the gaps with mortar, build about ½ inch layer on top of the lath, and comb over it with the trowel’s teeth to create grooves for the stones to grip to. Once the scratch coat dries, you can begin applying mortar to the back of the stones and attach them to the surface.

Option 2: Cement Board

Want a simpler DIY? Then cement board might be your best bet. It offers a clean slate, making your veneer application smooth and easy. After fastening the cement board to your fireplace, you’ll want to spread a scratch coat, groove it nicely, let it dry, and then give it time to dry.

Then you can apply mortar to your stones and install them with ease.

Option 3: Direct Application

Got a fireplace in tip-top condition? Why not skip the lath or cement board and go direct? Apply the veneer straight onto the brick, but make sure those bricks are ready for the spotlight — means no crumbling faces, loose bricks, unstable cracks, or other substances on the fireplace that could weaken the bonding.

 A tiny caveat: if your bricks have a paint job, it’s best to opt for either Option 1 or 2.

Get Your Materials Ready

Stone Veneer or Stone Veneer Panels?

Dutch Quality Industrial Grey Plank
Dutch Quality Industrial Grey Plank
Quail Grey Dutch Quality Veneer
Quail Grey Dutch Quality Veneer
Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone Fireplace in Living Room
Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledge

Veneer Panels

In a bit of a hurry? Interloc natural stone veneer panels or Cultured Stone Pro-Fit faux stone panels might be your speed. These mechanically fastened panels simplify installation and reduce installation time.

Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea Grigio Ledgestone
Pangaea Grigio Ledgestone
Pangaea® Fieldstone Westcoast
Pangaea Fieldstone Westcoast

Stone Veneer

If you choose traditional stone veneer take the time to do a little prep. Before you begin, make sure your stones are clean and lay them out in your desired pattern.

Be sure that you have all the necessary materials at hand. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installing your chosen type of stone veneer. In most cases, you’ll need your trusty trowel, type S Mortar, and a masonry saw before getting started.

For more detailed instructions, check out these comprehensive guides for Cultured Stone and Pangaea.

If you’re seeking inspiration for your fireplace makeover, take a look at these inspiration pages.

And if the DIY route isn’t your cup of tea, you can find a certified installer near you by searching our database.

Let Instone Make it Easy

Navigating the world of stone veneer fireplaces can be overwhelming, but don’t sweat it! Instone’s network of suppliers is ready to guide you. They’ll help you pinpoint the perfect method and materials tailor-made for your project. Ready to rock that decorative fireplace transformation? Contact Instone today for a dealer in your area.

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Natural Stone vs. Concrete Pavers: The Ultimate Patio Material Showdown

Aura Patio design
Aura Patio design

Natural Stone vs. Concrete Pavers: The Ultimate Patio Material Showdown

So you’re weighing the pros and cons of natural stone vs. concrete pavers for your patio. As you move ahead with your research, allow us to share a few data points for consideration.

  • The Parthenon was built in 447 with marble.
  • Stonehenge was built around 2,500 BC with bluestone and sarsen (a sandstone).
  • The Sphinx was built around 2,500 BC of limestone.
natural stone examples
The Parthenon; Stonehenge; The Sphinx

These breathtaking structures, still standing strong after thousands of years, were all made of natural stone – some of the same varieties of stone we use for patios, pool decks, and walkways. Look at pictures of these wonders. The stone radiates atmosphere, history, and mystery. Can a concrete stamp do the same?

“When you have natural stone, you have a story behind it,” Instone Territory Sales Manager for New England Jake Alicandro said in a recent episode of InBuilding Design.

“You have a stone that’s coming from the earth, that’s been here thousands of years, vs. a paver that’s manufactured, that’s only a few months old or so.”

Don’t Oversimplify Patio Paver Cost

Too often, the choice of natural or artificial hardscaping comes down to cost  and the notion that concrete products will save you money. Sometimes that’s not even true. There are manufactured pavers that cost more than natural products, so buyers should compare the specific products they’re considering. 

Overall, the gap between the initial costs of concrete pavers and natural stone pavers like those produced by Aura Natural Landscapes have been narrowing. But when comparing prices, it’s important to factor in the costs of upkeep and the expected life of the product. The greater durability of natural stone can save money in the long run on repairs, maintenance, and the need to replace materials vs. concrete pavers, which are prone to suffer chipping, cracks and deterioration. 

And then there are the intangibles. Getting beyond the initial material purchase, here are a few reasons why purchasing natural stone products is money better spent.

Natural Stone Pavers Retain Their Natural Beauty

aura oxford buff sandstone patio
Aura Oxford Buff Sandstone

Mother Nature is a talented designer. Natural stone is full of the speckles, swirls, tints and other details that give each piece its own unique character. There’s a reason why many manufactured stone varieties are created to look as much like natural stone as possible.

“The great part of natural stone is the creativity you see within it,” Alicandro said. “You have stones that have a lot of movement in them, and there are stones that are very uniform and linear. The possibilities are endless when it comes to natural stone.”

You can amplify those qualities by laying out your stones in irregular patterns. Irregular pavers are pieces of stone that are not uniform in shape and size, like squares or rectangles, but can be arranged together to create attractive mosaics that call other patterns in nature to mind. Aura Natural Landscapes irregular pavers come in consistent cuts designed to fit together like a puzzle, making them 10 times faster to install than other irregular flagging products.

Aura irregular pattern patio
Aura Silver Ridge Irregular Pattern

Eliminate the Vulnerability of Concrete Pavers

Manufactured pavers have come a long way, but even the best of them can’t match the shelf life of natural stone. They are far stronger structurally.

According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), an independent organization that develops standards for construction materials, typical granites can withstand 16,000-25,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure; sandstones upwards of 15,000 PSI; and limestones in the range of 8,000 PSI. The regular concrete used for projects like patios and sidewalks support in the neighborhood of 2,500 PSI.

Even if your stones or concrete won’t be used for a project that will bear the brunt of heavy weights on a regular basis, the elements will deal plenty of abuse over time. The harsh freeze-thaw cycles of the Northeast and the extreme heat waves of the South expand and contract your material, causing a gradual degradation. Concrete pavers are more vulnerable to these swings. .

The fresh appearance of concrete pavers also won’t hold up like a high-quality natural stone. Concrete paver colors are made with pigments and dyes that eventually fade from exposure to sun and the elements, while standard white concrete tends to stain. Take a look at the sidewalks and curbs around your town – are they pretty to look at? And while trends in paver colors and patterns come and go, a classic natural stone never goes out of style.

Aura commercial paver project
Aura Italian Bluestone Sandstone

 The Eco-Friendly Choice

The concrete manufacturing process is energy intensive and can rely on chemicals, rocks, cement, and other ingredients being shipped from far and wide. The Natural Stone Institute notes, “From an overall sustainability perspective, natural stone has a lower environmental footprint than precast concrete. This is due to the minimal resources used to quarry, fabricate, finish, and transport natural stone. … Every step in the precast concrete manufacturing process requires the use of a lot of energy, which contributes to their total global warming potential.”

No environmental harm comes from the disposal of stone. In fact, the waste materials from quarrying and preparing natural stone flagging can be recycled for a range of uses, including gravel, artificial reefs, the foundations of construction sites, the bedding beneath patios, and even as ingredients of concrete.

For these reasons, using natural stone can help a project earn points to attain a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

See the patio where Aura sandy point pavers replaced concrete pavers
Aura Sandy Point

Go Natural

To learn more about the possibilities for a property you own or are working on with natural stone products, visit our Aura Natural Landscapes page . There you can browse its online catalog of granites, sandstones, marbles and other natural stone varieties in a range of colors and patterns, all competitively priced. You can also count on Aura’s design services team to collaborate with your architects, consultants, and other professionals through each project phase.

Contact Instone today to get the conversation started!

3 Superior Building Materials for Luxury Home Construction and Renovations

Pangaea Fieldstone House
Pangaea Fieldstone House

3 Superior Building Materials for Luxury Home Construction and Renovations

High Quality Stonework Transforms Homes

From cellar to ceiling, from front yard to fence line, nothing can transform a home quite like high-quality stone work. Natural stone products have the power to set the atmosphere of a room, boost curb appeal, and make a property feel like a personal vacation getaway. 

When it comes to high-end residential building projects, choosing the right products can make all the difference. Luxury building products possess distinct characteristics that set them apart from standard materials. The allure of exquisite craftsmanship, superior quality, innovative features, customization options, and the ability to fulfill client expectations drives builders to seek out these materials.

Aura Silver Ridge granite patio
Aura Silver Ridge Granite

Instone carries a trifecta of natural stone brands that experts consider as best-in-class for veneer, hardscaping, and fireplaces: Pangaea Natural Stone, Aura Natural Landscapes, and Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys. Used in combination, the trio works together seamlessly to make residential building projects and luxury home renovations beautiful on the inside and out.

By using luxury building products in their projects, builders can create remarkable structures that exemplify sophistication, durability, and unparalleled beauty.

Using low-quality materials can have the opposite effect. In an episode of our InBuilding Design series covering the differences between natural and manufactured stone products, Instone President Kevin Grotke observed that lesser-quality artificial stones look “obvious” and can cheapen the look of a home.

“Sometimes we’ll call it ‘Chiclets’ when you see an entire stone painted red, and then brown, and then orange – it just looks fake,” Grotke said. “I think the unfortunate thing is, a lot of people don’t know what they’re putting on their home, and it’s permanent.”

Chiclets’ example

Ultimately, the highest-quality materials elevate the overall construction experience and deliver exceptional results that leave a lasting impression on both builders and their clients. Their innovative design, factory preparation, and packaging also allow builders and contractors to complete jobs faster, saving homeowners money in the process.

Below we explore why Pangaea, Aura, and Isokern are an ideal triple play for custom home construction and renovations. 

More Than A Pretty Face

Pangaea Natural Stone Veneer

Pangaea Natural Stone veneer stands apart from its peers on the strength of its quality and innovative features. 

  • Stones are available in seven unique patterns and styles, each with multiple color options, providing plenty of possibilities to suit any living space. 
  • Pangaea’s pallet layers come pre-arranged in an optimal blend of stone colors and sizes so they’re ready for immediate installation. Each pallet of Pangaea stones comes pre-cut, tooled, trimmed, and fitted, simplifying the installation process and ensuring greater quality control. 
  • Additionally, each stone is pre-scored with grooves to ensure secure, long-term adhesion to any surface. 
Pangaea designed living room
Pangaea Fieldstone Westcoast

Handpicked Stone & Personal Attention

Aura Natural Landscapes

Unmatched quality, consistent availability, and superior stone fabrication services, that’s Aura Natural Landscapes. Customers and masonry professionals alike consider Aura a premier partner from sourcing to completion.

Aura’s extensive network offers access to the top stone products from quarries around the globe, whether for patios, steps, poolside pavers, pebble edging, walkways, or other hardscaping improvements. 

  • Aura offers a deep catalog of granites, sandstones, marbles, and other natural stone varieties in colors ranging from classic speckled grays to ruddy earth tones, all competitively priced.
  •  A project’s design professionals can also count on Aura’s design services team to help unlock their creative ability by collaborating closely with architects, consultants, and others through each project phase.
Aura misty blue granite patio
Aura Misty Blue Marble Blue Mist Granite

Superior Warmth & Selection

Isokern Fireplaces

Isokern manufactures high-end modular fireplaces made from pumice (volcanic rock), the most energy-efficient material on earth.

  • The Icelandic pumice used in Isokern components has remarkable refractive properties that distribute heat back into a room. This sets it apart from site-built concrete, metal, and masonry fireplaces. 
  • Modular Isokern fireplaces are not only quick to install, often taking less than a day, but are also more cost-effective compared to traditional masonry fireplaces. 
  • Isokern includes options for wood-burning and gas, vented and vent-free fireplaces. This makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Isokern offers a complete line of fireplaces and complementary products, including firebrick, fireplace stone, flues, and Isoset mortar.
Isokern Magnum series
Isokern Magnum Series

The Allure of Luxury Building Products

Luxury building products hold a distinct appeal in the construction trades. Builders who are dedicated to creating exceptional and high-end structures understand the importance of selecting materials that will help them exude that quality. Here are some of the top attributes Instone’s masonry and installation partners say they look for in their products. 

Exquisite Craftsmanship: Builders seek out materials that display exceptional attention to detail and meticulous artistry. Whether ornate moldings, intricate metalwork, or finely crafted custom cabinetry, these elements showcase the dedication and expertise of skilled artisans. 

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Superior Quality and Durability: Builders prioritize materials that are designed to stand the test of time, ensuring that structures maintain their appearance for years to come. From top-of-the-line veneer for a façade to flagging that can endure harsh freeze-thaw cycles, natural stone products offer unparalleled strength and resilience. 

Eco-Friendliness: Homebuyers and developers are factoring sustainability into purchasing decisions with more prominence than ever. Builders are responding by expanding their use of environmentally friendly materials and seeking out manufacturers that go the extra mile to reduce their carbon footprints.

Pangaea is recognized internationally as a trailblazer for the steps taken to make its operations and products more sustainable. Among them are its recycling of waste materials and water, renewable energy use, and specially designed packing crates to thwart the spread of invasive pests. 

Isokern uses all natural pumice the natural insulator and reclaims the pumice out of vast lava fields. In addition all of the products are recyclable, exceed EPA standards and help reduce greenhouse particles.

Unique and Customizable Options: Builders are drawn to luxury building products that allow for personalization, ensuring that the finished structure stands out as a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. From custom-designed tiles or irregular flagging, the ability to tailor these products to the project’s specific requirements allows builders to create a truly exceptional and personalized space for their clients.

Prestige and Client Expectations: Luxury materials evoke a sense of prestige and exclusivity, reflecting the status and lifestyle that clients desire. These products help builders fulfill their clients’ aspirations and create an atmosphere of opulence and refinement. 

Explore Our Luxury Look Book Here

Elevate Your Work

Pangaea Natural Stone, Aura Natural Landscapes, and Isokern Fireplaces and Chimneys present a winning combination for upscale home projects.  

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Creating a Decorative Fireplace With Stone Veneer This Holiday Season

Creating a Decorative Fireplace With Stone Veneer This Holiday Season

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‘Tis the season when your home becomes the focal point for holiday gatherings. There isn’t a better centerpiece than your fireplace for making memories with family and friends. But is your fireplace looking a little drab? Give it a makeover with stone veneers.

The look of a natural stacked-stone fireplace adds charm to any space, and it’s easy to do. Thin stone veneers can be adhered around an existing fireplace made of brick or tile. The industry term is a “fireplace surround,” because that’s exactly what it does to give your fireplace a new look.

 

Installing a Thin Stone Veneer Fireplace Surround

Like the name sounds, a fireplace surround includes all the elements surrounding the firebox itself, which includes the area inserted into the wall where the fire lit. Thin stone veneers can be installed around the firebox and up to the mantel area or all the way up the ceiling to give the look of a natural stone chimney.

Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone

Thin stone veneers are natural or manufactured stones usually about 1-2” thick that can be attached over an existing brick fireplace. Because thin veneers are lighter in weight, they are faster and easier to install than building a new stone fireplace, saving you time and labor costs. Not to mention not having to take on a messy demo project in your home before the holidays. Not only will you achieve the look of a full stone fireplace, you’ll have the same durability and low-maintenance care.

If you’re handy around the house, you could DIY your fireplace surround. Puzzle lovers will enjoy the process of putting the pieces together in place. If you’re unsure of your DIY skills or you’re in a time crunch to get it done before a holiday party, it will be easier and faster to contract a professional mason or contractor.

Stone Veneers for Your Fireplace Surround Makeover

Dress Up Your Stone Fireplace for the Holidays

Once you have your new stone veneer fireplace done, you’ll want to dress it up with some holiday cheer.

Cultured Stone® Chardonnay Dressed Fieldstone

Start With Greenery

A big staple for your fireplace decorating is the lush greenery. Place garland across the mantel and perhaps drape down the sides of the firebox area (be sure to keep all décor from getting too close to the fire and heat.). Within the garland, the possibilities are endless to nestle fairy lights, figurines, ornaments, fruit such as cranberries, flowers such as poinsettias, pinecones and more. Perhaps, hide an Elf or two. 

Pangaea® New England Quarry Ledgestone

Color Coordinate

Pick a color theme and coordinate your holiday décor. It could be traditional Christmas colors of red and green, more frosted wintery shades of blue, white and silver or even something offbeat such as pink. If you put up a Christmas tree, you can match your fireplace décor with your tree décor by using bauble, ornament, ribbons and candles in matching colors.

Interloc New England

Match Your Décor Style

Is your style ultra modern, vintage/retro or farmhouse? Make your holiday décor match your design style in your home, or give it a style all its own. Modern style may use sleek ornaments, metallics and high-contrasting colors, while farmhouse leans to soft neutrals or all-white with black trim. Mid-century modern has become very popular, with more of this type of décor hitting the market in playful colors of pink, teal and orange.

Once the stone veneer is set and garland is hung, all of us at Instone wish you a joyful season by the fire with loved ones. 

Ready to dress up your fireplace with stone veneer? Make your wish list and contact us for samples of Pangaea, Cultured Stone and Dutch Quality stone veneers. 

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