Selecting a stone hearth – real stone or faux stone?

We always understood we’d possess a stone hearth within the addition. A hot fire isn’t just great for the soul however it will a good job treating the goose bumps during individuals lengthy Minnesota winters.

When we initially created the thought of the brand new family area the idea of exactly what sort of hearth we’d have was still being percolating. A number of individuals questions were rapidly taken proper care of but others, particularly concerning the stone, went right lower towards the wire.

Passing On The Gas

The hearth within the old family area was the wood-burning variety and that i always thought I’d never do anything whatsoever different. The smells, the cracking and hissing all put into the ambiance. Hauling the wood and lighting the fireplace satisfied my primitive male hunter-gatherer instincts. Maintaining your fire lit and also getting to have a tendency to it had been another story however.

A couple of years back we "fixed" our basement hearth (which we not used at all since it was always to cold and drafty) by using a gas hearth insert. The system came including a thermostat and handheld remote control. This is when I grew to become a convert. My lazy-man instincts required over and reveled in the truth that I possibly could simply press a control button and "voila!" — instant fire as well as heat.

To ensure that was the simple decision — the brand new hearth could be gas. It had been made simpler by the presence of newer gas hearth mixers showcase a significantly bigger and realistic flame, as well as better heating efficiency than older models and traditional masonry fireplaces.

Looking At Faux Stone

Another primary design question beyond which specific logo and type of hearth to select was what sort of stone for the surround. Our thought was that it might be a faux stone and that is ultimately what our contract specified. Nevertheless the type, brand or colour of manufactured stone we would have liked was still being to become determined.

If you are unfamiliar with it, faux stone is something that appears like stone but it is produced from concrete which has been put into molds produced from real stone. The faux stone is colored to resemble the various stone that exist in nature.

There’s a number of manufactured stone makers but I have always had a propensity toward the Owens Corning brand known as Cultured Stone. You’ll hear the word "cultured stone" used for almost any kind of manufactured stone but it is name really is associated with Owens Corning.

There actually are variations within the appearance one of the various brands of manufactured stone. For me, some simply do it much better than others. Some faux stone looks better from the distance, for instance, along the side of a building but does not endure close scrutiny (meaning it appears as though fake stone).

Once we got toward the tail finish in our remodeling project we arrived at the purpose whenever we had to find the specific kind of stone we would have liked. After a little bit of research we chosen a faux ledgestone from Owens Corning.

But that is until I’d second ideas.

Real Stone Wins Out

The lazy man within me could endure an imitation fire however i was battling with the idea of fake stone. Actually, manufactured stone is extremely prevalent nowadays and lots of it appears great.

stone fireplace installationFirst Day – Prepped With Mortar Basecoat

But to become truthful, I have always loved natural items like wood and stone in the home. The hearth would be a focus within the new family area and that i just could not reconcile the truth that I’d be looking at fake stone for the following many years.

After pleading my situation with my partner we switched gears and made the decision to set up real stone. I’d already run the figures even though it might be a little more costly, it had not been that rather more than we’d have compensated for that faux stone. This generated a big change to the reworking contract however it was one I had been glad to sign.

stone veneer fireplaceSelecting Stone Veneer Pieces

The stone we chose would be a form of limestone, quarried not very a long way away in Wisconsin. The stone seemed to be a skinny veneer product, sliced from bigger bits of rock into thinner facings and corner pieces. Using stone veneer does not require special footings and structural needs just like a "real" full-block stone hearth would.

The interesting part about selecting real stone is you can try to dial inside a particular color however, you basically get what nature provides you with. We purchased a 70/30 mixture of gemstones that varied from very neutral to some medium color intensity. We wound up getting to purchase another box from the more colorful gemstones since the original allotment did not have sufficient color.

stone fireplaceThe Stone Adopts Place

Installing of the stone was among the last major bits of the remodel but thankfully it happened prior to the carpet was laid. The stone masons were good however the process still designed a mess in the household room. Despite the fact that all of the stone cutting ended outdoors there is still an excellent layer of dust on everything in the region such as the kitchen countertops once the job ended.

A Couple of Recommendations

Within the finish i was very pleased with the outcomes. The stone looked great and even though we compensated a little more than we’d have with faux stone, it is a choice we are glad we made.

This is among individuals purely emotional decisions which come along inside a remodel. Faux stone might have most likely looked all right (despite the fact that I still know I’d have the ability to differentiate) with no you might have cared otherwise. But there are specific things in each and every remodel which go beyond reason or practical judgment. My spouse certainly wanted granite countertops I truly wanted a genuine stone hearth.

If you are considering installing a stone hearth or possibly re-facing a current hearth with stone or faux stone, listed here are a couple of tips.

stone fireplaceBrushing The Mortar Joints

When selecting the stone, whether or not it’s real or manufactured, take a look at types of actual fireplaces. Don’t depend simply on pictures or even the small sample boards you should check out at home centers or masonry showrooms. I had been amazed at the main difference between your colors of faux stone within the brochures and just how it really looked in tangible existence.

The right place to see fireplaces with stone surrounds are in companies that sell gas fireplaces and hearth items like Fireside Hearth & Home. A great masonry business will often possess some hearth vignettes setup so that you can observe how various stone will appear. The neighborhood company we bought the stone from were built with a showroom with large 4-feet square display boards additionally with a fireplaces.

Be cautious with colors too. There are several intriguing and varied colors that are offered, specifically in faux stone. However you will want to make sure that a specific color will work lengthy term with your decor as well as your tastes. I discovered that a few of the manufactured stone colors also bordered around the impractical. I am no geologist but there are several colors that simply don’t look natural in my experience.

Setting up a stone hearth with thin veneer or manufactured stone could be a do-it-yourself project. But after watching the masons install our stone, I am glad I’d them get it done. The greatest challenge which i saw was creating a well-balanced and pleasing stone pattern. Their experience enabled them to find the right shape and size of stone so when they did not have the perfect piece, they cut the stone to really make it blend in to the pattern.

stone fireplaceReady For Any Fire

It is a job I may want to consider trying at some point, however i did not wish to accomplish it around the hearth that everybody sees because they walk in the home. I’ll save that project for the basement hearth.

Next Within This Series . . . It’s Finished

Our remodel is finally finished and because the before-and-after pictures show, the area will be a lot diverse from it was once. Observe how it appears partly 16.


Choose the Right Stone // K2 Stone