Hottest Stone Veneer Basement Remodeling Trends of 2018

Hottest Stone Veneer Basement Remodeling Trends of 2018

Stone Interior Stone Veneer

How many times have you ventured down to your home’s drab cluttered basement and envisioned it as being more than just a catch-all storage or laundry area?  Most homeowners under utilize their basements, and any seasoned realtor will tell you that creating more living space with a basement remodel adds resale value to your home and makes it more attractive to potential buyers.  To assist your efforts,manufactured stone veneer is one of the most popular and cost-effective basement remodeling construction materials available today.  That’s because decorative stone veneer looks great, installs easily and holds up well.  With that in mind, here are some popular basement remodeling trends for 2018 that look even hotter highlighted with stone veneer.


Stone Veneer


“Wow”Your Guests with a Basement Multipurpose Room

We all enjoy having friends and family over for game night, watching a movie or just sharing some good food and laughs.  A basement remodel is a perfect way to create an inviting and spacious multipurpose entertainment area for all ages.  To begin, conceptualize how you want to maximize your new room’s potential.  For example, multipurpose uses may include a:

  • Man cave for the guys to hang out
  • Home theater or television viewing area
  • Game room for pool, darts and cards
  • Music listening room even topped off with a stage
  • Living room for mom to enjoy with her friends
  • Play room for the kids


Stone Veneer


Then start visualizing the room’s layout, color scheme, flooring, ceiling and lighting preferences.  Manufactured stone veneer can be added as an attractive decorative touch that accentuates structures no matter which of the above multipurpose applications you decide to go with.  Homeowners routinely use faux stone as an elegant final touch for multipurpose room features like:

  • Fireplaces
  • Bar fronts or a back wall behind the bar
  • On side walls, dividers or around doorways
  • Framing a wine cellar


Stone Veneer


In the end, renovating your home’s basement into a guest-wowing space will give you more entertaining flexibility and boost resale value when it’s time to sell.

Workout Any time in Your Basement Fitness Area

Many of us like to work out, but gyms can be pricey, packed and involve travel to and from.

Wouldn’t it be great instead to walk downstairs into your very own basement fitness center?  Remodeling part of your basement into a workout area also means not having to wait on fitness machines, watching your favorite television show without all that noise, and that a fridge is always nearby.  If the remodeled area is large enough, you can also add a massage table or sauna for post-workout cool downs.  Decorative stone veneer makes a great addition to any basement fitness room by highlighting its walls, doorways and other areas.  In fact, the faux stone may look so luxurious that you’ll think that you’re working out at an upscale fitness club instead of in your own home!


Stone Veneer


Convert Basement Space into a Cozy Guest Bedroom

Do parents, in-laws or other house guests frequently come to stay and you’re embarrassed to have them sleep on that torture rack doubling as a foldout couch?  Converting part of your wasted basement space into a cozy guest bedroom always works.  And adding another finished bedroom assuredly boosts your home’s market value.  If you’re really feeling ambitious and have it within your budget, add a breakfast nook, kitchenette, extra bathroom or fireplace to make the area feel even more like home.  Along the way, decorative stone veneer will add warmth and elegance to all these bedroom remodeling ideas.

Hot Basement Remodels Look Better with Stone Veneer!


Stone Veneer


There you have it; the hottest basement remodeling ideas of 2018.  All will provide you with more living space while increasing your home’s value.  Manufactured stone veneer has become a very popular addition to any basement renovation project because it’s easy-to-use, looks great, is cost-effective and simple to maintain.  At North Star Stone, we specialize in a wide-variety of decorative stone veneer products.  We’ve had the pleasure of assisting numerous homeowners around the Chicago land area with their basement remodels and the transformative outcomes proudly speak for themselves.  To learn more about hot basement remodeling ideas, or how our manufactured interior and exterior stone veneer products could be used on your next project, visit now.

My DIY Stone Veneer Fireplace Project

My DIY Stone Veneer Fireplace Project

Stone Fireplace Stone Fireplaces Stone Veneer

A wonderful customer took the time to share his experience with DIY stone veneer installation. He took the time to write up his experience of updating his stone fireplace with stone veneer to share with our website visitors and customers and we couldn’t be more impressed with the end results! 

Here is Tim’s story of his DIY stone veneer installation in his Georgia Mountain home and the gorgeous Stone Veneer Fireplace he created!

We have a log cabin in the north Georgia mountains. It originally had a builder-grade wood surround on the fireplace, but what could be better in a log cabin than a stacked stone fireplace?


Stone Fire Places


I’ve done my share of remodeling projects,but I had not done stone masonry work before this. Perhaps like you, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on the subject and decided it was a project I could tackle. My plan was to do a floor-to-ceiling stone veneer to accommodate the existing firebox that is flush with the log wall. My photos don’t show it, but the room’s floor is hardwood except for in front of the fireplace, which is now slate tile in a 6’ x 30’ area. This makes that side of the room feel like a fireplace space, but there is no hearth. This saved me from needing hearth cap stones and simplified the overall stone install project.


My online search for materials brought me to NorthStar Stone.I talked through my project with Alan, hearing about the stone options and how NorthStar makes them to color specifications. Not being in the showroom, I selected my product based on the samples on the website and queued up my order. I felt like the cost of the material was such a good deal that the shipping cost to me in Georgia was worth it. I could tell that Alan was determined that my product met their high-quality standards on color accuracy and he followed up to ensure that shipping went as it should. I will say to buyers who might be hesitant to purchase something like this online, it isn’t an automatic, anonymous process. Being able to speak with a specialist and get hands-on attention for exactly what my project needed made me feel like I was making the right purchase, just as if I had bought it locally.


After a lot of researching, I went with Laticrete’s MVIS Hi-Bond Veneer Mortar for the install mortar and grout between the stones. This ended up being a somewhat difficult product to track down here but may be more readily available in other parts of the country. I will say that it worked great, bonding even the heaviest of the stones very easily. It’s also lighter and doesn’t have the gravel of cheap big box store mortar.


For the mantle, I wanted something that looked like a rustic beam, but I didn’t want a 50 lb. slab, and I also needed more light in the fireplace area. I decided to build a hollow box version out of cedar and included flush-fitting LED lights so that I could get a nice light effect across the stones without having to install lights in the ceiling. Given that the cabin walls are solid log, I ran the power up from the basement via a small groove behind the Durock cement board and included the light switch and an outlet in the beam as well. Once it was mounted on a cleat and had the stone installed around it, the resulting look was the beefy beam I was going for (without the weight of a solid beam or the need to mount lights elsewhere). The lights are spring-load mounted – should I ever need to swap one or get to their wiring, I have multiple access points.

Stone Fireplace

With all of the stone materials in place, Durock on the wall and the mantle installed, I got started on the stone work. I laid out the material on the floor as a guide for install – this worked great for about the first 2/3 of the process. As I got further up I found that I was adjusting positioning on the fly to get the best mix of stone sizes and to account for where they needed to be cut.

Stone Veneer for fireplaces



For cutting,I used a 4.5” diamond blade on my angle grinder. I was actually surprised how easily the stone material cut, and then used the grinder to make the cut edges less perfect for blending with other stone. Given that the install is a “flat fireplace” (i.e. no corners or extended depth), I used uncut stones on both sides and worked to the middle, putting the cut stones in varying middle places so that when you look at the final product from either side you only see factory stone edges. It also worked in my favor that my log walls have a lot of imperfections and variation, so any variation in the edge where the stone meets the logs adds to the rustic look.

Stone Fireplaces



I used a traditional “squeeze” grout bag to put the mortar between the stones. The particular mortar I used being so quick to dry ended up translating to only mixing about a grout bag or two at a time, but once I figured out the right mix for this (i.e. thinker than I expected), it went pretty well.


Stone Veneer Fireplace


Stone Fireplaces

The stone install portion of the effort (including the grouting) was about 20 hours spread out over several days. I would imagine that the pros can do this project a lot faster and if I was to do it again, I could as well. My pacing was based more on tinkering with the mortar mix and resting as I went, so others might have different timeframes. I’m pretty happy with the results and it’s always great to be able to add a new “I built that” to my list of projects. Hopefully my photos and story are useful to you – if you’re a DIYer who’s able to plan, prep for, cut and lay floor tile, you should be able to do this too, with help from Alan and NorthStar Stone.


Tim Brammer

Best Flooring Options for Your Fireplace Hearth

Best Flooring Options for Your Fireplace Hearth

Stone Fireplaces Stone Veneer

Whether you already have a stone fireplace/stone fireplaces in your home or you’re planning to have one installed, you need to consider the flooring for your fireplace hearth. The hearth of the fireplace begins with the floor of the fireplace and extends into the living area in front of the fireplace itself, plus the fireplace surround. The hearth is the area where you would keep your extra wood and kindling, and any other accessories you have to build and maintain your fire.


Fireplace Hearth

What Are the Safety Concerns With a Fireplace Hearth?

Since the fireplace hearth is directly in front of the fireplace and surround, you need to be careful about safety hazards that can happen on or near the hearth area. No matter how safety conscious or careful you are, accidents happen to the best of us. Some of the safety concerns that you should be aware of with your fireplace hearth are:

Sparks and Embers

Sparks and embers from the fire can fly out unexpectedly from a fire. Although it’s more common from fires with wood that is partially wet, these sparks can happen with any fire. It has very little to do with the skill of the person who built the fire, so sparks are almost uncontrollable.

Fireplace Hearth
If these sparks land on carpet or other textiles, however, there is a danger that damage or an unplanned fire can occur. A spark can land on the carpet or textile, smolder, and then build into a dangerous fire hazard.

Tripping and Falling

Some fireplace hearths cause another kind of home safety hazard, and that is the danger of tripping and falling. If you have a hearth that is raised above the natural level of the room’s flooring, the sudden change in elevation can cause visitors in the home to trip or fall, because they are unaware of the step up. Homes with small children face a similar problem, as youngsters tend not to be as aware of uneven flooring as adults.

Why Hearths Make a Home Safer

In most cases, though, the hearth makes the home safer. Hearths provide a natural area around the front of the fireplace and surround that signals to the residents and visitors that the fireplace is there. The hearth truly is the heart of the home, and having a custom stone fireplace and hearth is one of the most satisfying ways to make your home cozy and warm for your family, friends and guests.

What are the Best Flooring Options for a Stone Fireplace Hearth?

There are certain flooring options that help to make a fireplace hearth safe, beautiful and functional. These are all qualities that will work to bring value and style to your home. You obviously want to make your hearth safe, but you also want the hearth area to complement your home’s décor. Of course, the hearth also needs to perform the function that it’s intended for.


Fireplace Hearth


Slate tile is a natural flooring solution that goes with just about any living area flooring. Slate is a natural type of thin rock that lends itself well to home décor. It does not burn or singe easily, and can withstand extreme wear and tear. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Concrete is a fantastic hearth flooring solution for those who are eco-minded. Concrete hearth flooring is safe and protective for any potential sparks coming from the fireplace, as well as offering a decorative flooring option.

Stone Veneer/Manufactured Stone
For the discerning homeowner who wants a natural look, there is perhaps no better choice than manufactured stone or stone veneer for the hearth. Stone Veneer is beautiful, functional, safe and affordable for the fireplace hearth.


Brick can also serve as a fireplace hearth. They also will prevent accidents from happening around the fireplace, but brick may not suit every home décor due to the lack of color options.

Whichever kind of flooring options you choose for your fireplace surround, be sure to consider all the issues mentioned above to ensure a lifetime of satisfaction. Learn more about our stone veneer and take a look at our stone fireplace galleries and see how we use stone veneer to make fireplaces beautiful.

Stone Fireplaces Color Selection Warmer Colors

Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior

Stone Fireplaces Color Selection Warmer Colors

Time to cover that brick fireplace with stone? Or get rid of that tile and wood surround? Maybe you have drywall staring at you for years!  With our stone veneers and expert installation we can completely make any fireplace the focal point of the room. Previous Blog posts describe our work from adding a flat screen TV over a stone fireplace, to adding book cases to a fireplace.

This blog is going to show you some color choices of stone. There is no best color, but there are some rules of thumb. First stay with the natural colors of stone. Don’t get the fancy blues or pink colors or other designer colors that some vendors may offer because they will work with your furniture. We suggest one of two palates of either the warmer earth tone colors or the cooler colors that bring out the grey tones.

Color Intensity is an important factor and so is the light in the room.  I define color intensity  as the amount of stones that have color in relation to the stones that are the natural or buff color. We prefer making the stone fireplace more dramatic and therefore with more color. A ratio of about 70-75% color intensity and the balance being the natural color works very well. A room that is darker with either natural light or artificial light want to reverse the ratio so the room doesn’t get dark.

Picking the “Right Color”.  With good guidance you should be able to pick a color palate that you feel comfortable. A nice blend of colors in the stones allows you to make decorating changes in your room with the fireplace and the stone will not become dated. When we visit with our clients, we bring our I Pad and show the color palates expanded over the fireplace, the near by walls, flooring and furniture.

Below are some a selection of some of the more popular stone colors that we carry. We can easily customize a color just for you and add different colors and add or subtract the color intensity. You just need to to contact  North Star Stone at 847-996-6850 to schedule an appointment.

Main Street

fireplace veneer

Wisconsin Knolls

Lake Shores Trails

fireplace veneer

Razor Back Ridge

Autumn Splendor

The above stones are just a small sample of the colors in the earth tone colors that we manufacture. Select a color scheme that you like and share your vision with us and we will create a stone fireplace of your dreams