What You Need to Know About Stacked Stone
A strong trend in home design is adding texture to vertical surfaces, and a beautiful way to do that is by using stacked stone. The three-dimensional veneer is made of cut pieces of natural stone that are attached to a backing and installed like you would tile. The material uses no grout; in fact, the dry stacked look is part of its appeal.
“Stone use goes through trends, from the size of grout joints to colors,” says Bryce Harding, national sales manager for Delta Stone Products in Heber City, Utah. “Today the look is a ‘ledge-y’ material. It used to be rough and rugged with lots of alternative textures, and now people are also choosing stacked stone with a smooth, contemporary finish and cut sharp edges.”
Where to Use It
Appropriate for all design styles, stacked stone can be used indoors and out. In an interior, it’s the perfect material for an indoor feature wall, such as around a fireplace, in a bathroom or in a foyer, or as a backsplash in a kitchen.
Stacked stone can also be used to highlight the exterior of a home or building, such as around a front door, chimney or on columns. It’s often paired with siding and applied on the bottom half of the front exterior surface. And it can be used in landscape applications.
“It’s seamless and looks like a solid wall,” says Scott Lardner, president of Rocky Mountain Stone in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “The veneer is adhered directly to a substrate. If it’s thin, it will work on any application interior or exterior.”
Choosing the Stone
“Natural stone should be chosen well in advance because it’s easy to alter things like stucco color, wood color and paint color,” says Harding. “Select your stone first, and build your palette and design around it.”
Stacked stone comes in a natural or polished finish, depending on the type of material you choose. If you want a polished look, harder materials, such as quartzite or granite, should be used. Softer stones are good for applications where a natural finish is preferred.
The price of this project can vary; the more you alter stone from its natural state, the more it will cost.
“Keep that in mind when you build your budget,” says Harding. “The more you can keep it the way it looks out of quarry, the less money it will be. And the more it needs to be handled and cut and finished, the more time and money will be spent.”
“From a labor standpoint, it’s more intensive,” adds Lardner. “It’s definitely best used as a feature.”
Caring for Your Stacked Stone
Once installed, stacked stone is easy to care for because it is used on vertical surfaces, says Jacqueline Tabbah, vice president of International Stoneworks in Houston, Texas.
“Nobody eats on it or walks on it,” she says. “It gets a lot less wear and tear.”
Tabbah recommends regular dusting: “The ledges that jut out can hold the same dust as an average windowsill, and a handheld vacuum or a duster that traps the dust instead of spreading it around would be best.”
Certain areas might requiring using a neutral stone cleaner with a pH of seven or eight.
“Just spray and wipe down,” says Tabbah. “You don’t need to do it every week; just as needed, especially if the stacked stone is around the fireplace or in a kitchen.”
Tabbah also recommends sealing stacked stone that is installed around a fireplace, or in a kitchen or bathroom.
“You don’t want black soot or grease to get embedded in the porous texture,” she says. “Seal it with a penetrating impregnated sealer once a year. It doesn’t change the appearance of the stone at all. It goes into the pores of stone to repel oil and dirt, and help you clean the stone easier.”
Wherever it’s applied, stacked stone will add warmth and beauty to your space. The look is a perfect mix of rustic and modern style, turning a wall into a natural work of art you’ll love for years to come.