Stone slabs make the most impact when installed on vertical wall applications. The natural veining and color in the stone are more prominent and impressive when seen on a vertical surface. It is customary to purchase a slab of granite or marble from a slab yard that displays the stone upright, where the colors and patterns are easily seen, and then have it installed on horizontal surface such as a countertop. The travesty in this scenario is that the countertop inevitably gets covered up by mail, decorative items, or miscellaneous stuff where the stone is never seen in the way that is was selected from day one. To proudly display stone where it truly shines, install it on a vertical surface such as a shower surround, fireplace surround, kitchen backsplash, or wainscot in a bathroom.
Stone Shower Surrounds
A solid granite or marble shower surround is the ideal application to display the natural beauty of stone while reducing the time to clean and maintain the shower. Each slab of stone is unique and has individual characteristics such as veining patterns, color variations, and movement types. Within the same bundle of granite, the veining movement will vary from one slab to the next in a natural progression as it is found in the earth. For this very reason, solid stone can be considered art when featured on a wall.
Stone Fireplace Surrounds
Solid stone slab fireplace surrounds are an excellent place to display the beauty of natural stone. Traditional and modern fireplaces are typically placed to be a focal point and prominent feature in a room, therefore, the stone’s color and movement is clearly visible. Depending on the design of the fireplace surround, it is an opportunity to display the stone where it can be truly admired. Surrounds range from classic styles that closely wrap around the fireplace under the mantel to full-height wall features that reach from floor to ceiling. The large selection of granite and marble makes it easy to find the perfect color and pattern for any fireplace surround style.
Stone Kitchen Backsplash
No better way to display the beauty of the kitchen countertop than to extend it up the backsplash to the cabinets and vent hood. This application accentuates the natural characteristics of the stone because it allows the movement and colors to be seen from a different angle – on a vertical surface. One example is that iridescent chips in granite reflect the light differently vertically and can draw attention to the little “gems” of the stone that might have been overlooked on the countertop. Color movement and veining can also be pre-planned and prominently displayed to show-off certain parts of the slab that are more interesting than others.
Stone Bathroom Wainscoting
Marble and granite slabs make great wainscoting in the bathroom. This application is a more luxurious look when compared to tile and reduces the number of grout joints. A bathroom wainscot is typically 36″ – 48″ high and trimmed with either a stone or wood profiled chair rail. Slabs can be installed in large solid slabs (approximately 6′ long) or cut into smaller sections in order to create a certain style or look. The most common tile sizes are 12″, 18″, and 24″ squares, so installing unique sized pieces such as 24″ wide by 48″ high installed vertically can display the natural movement in the stone while achieving a European styled bathroom with the larger more prestigious sized tiles.