One of the most beautiful improvements you can make to your home is the addition of a natural stone veneer feature. Inside or out, stone feature walls, a mantel piece, hearth or front door surrounds, and other applications create stunning architectural focal points that also add value to your home’s resale price. Here are 5 of the most popular natural stone profiles and some ideas about how and where to use them:
o Ledge Stone
This profile consists of rectangular shaped stone veneers of the same size, stacked to create a natural looking feature with prominent horizontal definition (hence the ledge). It’s an essentially rustic effect, but one that also works well with contemporary interior design. Use it sparingly, as a fireplace surround, for example, or built into an exterior outdoor entertaining centre.
o Stacked Stone
Stacked stone refers to any number of natural stone looks created by dry-stacking stones (or mimicking the look of that masonry technique), but it most often consists of smaller rectangular-shaped tightly stacked stones. The stones are composed into a pattern that incorporates irregular cuts and diverse colours for texture. Conversely, very similar stones can be arranged for a more monochromatic look. Different materials can be used to create a stacked stone feature wall in a living or family room, or as exterior cladding for a mid-century modern style home. This treatment is suitable for multiple architectural styles, from contemporary to traditional. It matches well with wooden elements and is best used on smaller surface areas, as the small profile can look very busy on large walls.
o Field Stone
Field stone is the distinctive natural stone treatment that many people think of when considering natural stone aesthetics for the home. It consists of irregularly shaped granite, sandstone, slate or limestone stones (that look like they could have been collected from a farmer’s field), fitted together to create a wall or border. You’ll see this profile used effectively on the exterior of cottage or country style homes. It also looks great around patios as an edging, or for an outdoor fireplace. Inside use it on a family room fireplace surround. Field stone is generally left untreated and unsealed to make the most of its roundly textured and warm profile.
Ashlar refers to cut stone that has been dressed to create a very distinctive linear dynamic. It is best represented in North America by the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright and other mid century modern masters. Derived from textured natural materials such as limestone, the ashlar profile has a more refined appearance due to the masonry skills required to stack it and its minimal joinery. Cut on the top and bottom, it is manipulated to create uniform or random patterns, depending on the effect desired. Ashlar cut natural stone is striking when juxtaposed with wood on the exterior of a contemporary home, especially around entryways.
o Squares & Recs
Just as it sounds, this profile consists of square and rectangular cuts of stone fitted to create a textured pattern. It can be used in greater square footages than some other popular natural stone veneer profiles and so is often used to completely clad the exterior of a Cape Cod Traditional or Craftsman style home. It can look busy if other elements compete with the masonry pattern so fittings such as window frames, doorways and rooflines should be carefully considered if this treatment is to be used. Inside it could be used to create an atmospheric spa bathroom or foyer feature wall.