Exterior Stone Veneer Q&A With A Valued Customer

Exterior Stone Veneer Q&A With A Valued Customer

Stone Exterior Siding Stone Exteriors Stone Veneer

We had the wonderful opportunity to ask some questions about an exterior stone veneer installation we recently completed in Gurnee, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Read on to see what was involved in this homeowner’s decision making process about choosing and installing stone veneer on his home’s exterior and find out how his home has gained value within the neighborhood. 


Question No.1:

What was your thought process about changing the look of your home’s exterior?

After living here for the pasted 23 years Donna and I thought through the process of possibly moving to another home with a more modern exterior look. After much debate we decided to stay here and give our home a much needed face lift. We love our 1/2 lot, the cul-de-sac location, our proximity to the toll road and all off the local services.

When we built our home it was the typical tract style approach where you picked from a number of models and had one build. As a result most of the homes in the area ended up looking pretty much the same. This new face lift has definitely set us apart from the other homes in the area.


Question No. 2:

Why did you select using stone veneer versus say a different color siding, stucco or maybe brick?

We wanted a more modern look. When we drove through the newer neighborhoods with the up scale homes we could see the use of stone building materials rather than the typical aluminum siding and brick facades. As you know we aren’t finished yet. We plan to have you wrap the remaining lower portions of our home and we plan to change the remainder of our siding to the new wood styled cedar shakes. Once completed, we hope to have a much more craftsman styled exterior look.

The stone has given our home a custom look. It certainly set us apart for all the other homes on our street, all of which used the more traditional aluminum siding and brick facades.


Question No. 3:

Why did you select North Star Stone to supply and install stone for your project?

After extensive research, we discovered that your quality of materials and expertise in this field were second to none and once again you’ve confirmed all the great reviews I’ve read.


Question No. 4:

Please share any comments about the installation process and the final outcome.

As you know I’ve owned my own industrial contracting business for the pasted 30 years and I tend to watch the quality of the installers very closely as I do my own people.

Your installers were very professional, very courteous and most of all they were extremely clean. Even though they worked very late in the day and they still had to drive a great distance all the way back to the shop, they didn’t seem at all to be in any hurry to run off!!!  I’ve experienced this with other installers and I know that feeling when someone just wants to finish the installation and leave as quickly as possible.

I might also add that they’re to a very large degree “artist”! This is a very specialized type of installation. This isn’t like stacking bricks with the same mortar line, etc. This requires much more of artistic approach and your guys do it as though they’ve been doing it for years!!!!


Question No. 5: Would you recommend North Star Stone to others considering an exterior facelift?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

If anyone is looking to break away for the typical cookie cutter look this is the way to do it! If you love your home, your location, not to mention the hassle of moving and you really don’t want anything more than a fresh exterior look “THEN WHY MOVE”!

We are the talk of the neighborhood! I still can’t believe I’m driving up to the same house and I can’t wait to finish the process!


More Than Masonry – The Beauty and Versatility of Pre-Fabricated Fireplaces

More Than Masonry – The Beauty and Versatility of Pre-Fabricated Fireplaces

Home Improvements Stone Fireplace Stone Veneer

Fireplaces aren’t just for homes with brick and mortar chimneys and hearths anymore. In fact, homes that do not even have chimneys can enjoy the beauty and comfort of a fireplace. With skilled assistance the options for installing and owning the fireplace of one’s dreams is easier then one might think. To learn more about the versatility of today’s wide array of fireplace options and accessories, we took a moment to speak with Neal Kaplan of Fireplace Plus. Founded on the idea that the public deserved higher-quality fireplace options, Neal and his family have owned and operated Fireplace Plus in suburban Vernon Hills, Illinois for 25 years, with another location in Downtown Chicago. Here at North Star Stone we have had the pleasure of being able to collaborate with Neal, who has helped us beautifully bring to fruition some of our customized stone veneer fireplace projects. Neal graciously took a moment out of his busy day to share with us his knowledge and experience in the sophisticated and highly creative world of fireplaces.

For decades, Neal and his team have been providing the Chicagoland area with the extremely safe, high quality pre-fabricated wood burning, direct vent and vent free fireplaces. One of the amazing benefits of pre-fabricated fireplaces is that not only do they install quickly but they allow homeowners to have the look and feel of a beautiful fireplace without the expense of having to construct a brick and masonry chimney to support the smoke and other exhaust that comes with a fire. What is even more amazing about these pre-fabricated fireplaces are the great options available:

Wood burning. Heating power and sophistication are considerations when selecting the right wood-burning fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces allow users to take advantage of a renewable resource while also enjoying the pleasant aroma of burning wood. Design options exist to fit every taste. Fireplace Plus specializes in products by IHP/Superior. Nothing goes together better than the warmth of a roaring wood fire and the luxury of a dignified stone fireplace.

Pre-fabricated firebox

Pre-fabricated firebox

Direct Vent

A direct vent fireplace is a fully enclosed chamber that draws combustion from outside air. Natural gas or propane is used to keep the fire burning. Beautifully complimented by a stone fireplace, there are many styles and sizes of direct vent fireplaces available; classic or modern, the choices are endless. When it comes to trusted brands, Neal at Fireplace Plus prefers Napoleon. For those considering the direct vent route, recent government safety mandates have made it a requirement that all fully enclosed, direct vent fireplaces have a safety screen in place.

Pre fabricated stone fireplace

This is direct vent and has gas and logs.

Vent Free

Vent free fireplaces, like their direct vent cousins, also use natural gas or propane. However, they do not require a chimney or vent, which makes them quite unique. Generally compact, a vent free fireplace can go almost anywhere in your home. Styles and sizes are also plentiful. If shopping at Fireplace Plus you can find vent free fireplaces from Lennox Hearth, Napoleon and Empire.

stone veneer fireplace wood

Non masonry firebox that burns wood

Custom Doors

The fun doesn’t end once the fireplace has been selected. Next comes finding the perfect doors to compliment your new fireplace. Fireplace plus specializes in doors and offers an extensive variety from custom and semi-custom to premium. When it comes time to selecting the right door, Fireplace Plus will come out to your home and measure your space at your convenience.

Other Options

Once your perfect fireplace has been installed, don’t forget to beautify your fireplace even further by adding stone veneer. Not only does stone veneer act, feel and look like real stone – it is highly customizable. Pick from a palette of colors and stone styles to add elegance, sophistication and charm to your home’s fireplace. When considering stone veneer, remember that North Star Stone and their highly experienced staff are happy to assist you with your stone selection and installation needs.

There is nothing more natural than gathering around the warmth and light of a beautiful fire. So why shouldn’t every home have that special space to call their own? If you are considering adding a fireplace to your home, why not call Fireplace Plus? To learn more, visit their web site at: firesidecollection.com. And don’t forget to visit North Star Stone when it comes time to complete that look of distinction and refinement that comes with a custom stone fireplace.

Should I Seal My Stone Veneer?

Should I Seal My Stone Veneer?

Stone Exterior Siding Stone Exteriors Stone Fireplaces Stone Veneer

You have recently decided to improve the appearance of your home by adding stone veneer. You have decided after some research that you would like to seal and possibly enhance your new manufactured stone but you’re not sure where to begin. Fortunately, North Star Stone is here to help. Continue reading to learn a bit more about stone sealers and enhancers.


What is a stone sealant?

Sealant is a product that is typically brushed over stone in order to provide a protective layer against things such as salt, weather, moisture, stains and potential color deterioration. There are several brands on the market that can be purchased at retail stores like Home Depot and Lowes as well as on the web. It is recommended that you avoid products with acid and use a silane or siloxane-based sealant that is penetrating yet provides breathability. Eagle Natural Seal or The Armor SX5000 WB are two brands available at Home Depot. At Lowes you can find Eco Advance Concrete/Masonry Siloxane Waterproofer.


What is a sealer + enhancer?

Like the name implies, a sealer + enhancer does the job of sealing as well as enhancing the stone, which essentially means it works to bring out the natural character of the stone and to essentially make it more vibrant. It is important to make sure when selecting a sealer + enhancer that it is safe to use on manufactured or man made stone such as stone veneer. Just like with sealer, it is always a good idea to do a spot check in an inconspicuous place to see how your stone reacts with the product. 511 Seal & Enhance by Miracle Sealants is safe to use on manufactured stone and can be found at Home Depot.


Why should I use this product?

The general rule where sealing stone veneer is concerned is, if the stone darkens when a drop of water hits it then it can also be stained by other materials in the environment like oil, dirt or plant residue. Furthermore, the up side to sealing your stone is that it makes stone veneer even more easier to clean and will provide protection against the environment and color fading. Additionally, depending on the weather conditions and climate where you live, in order to protect your stone’s appearance and longevity, the relatively short time it will take you to seal your stone is well worth it. As a result, applying a sealant to your stone is most likely a good idea. Many stone veneer manufacturers will often say their stone does not require sealing, which essentially leaves the choice with you. Most sealers can be applied to stone on the interior and exterior of your home, so keep that in mind for any stonework beautifying the inside of your home as well.


Things to Know about sealers


  • Certain sealers may make your stone appear wet, slightly darker and or vibrant.
  • Always test a small portion of your stone with the sealer or sealer + enhancer product first in an inconspicuous place before applying it all over. This will help you know how your stone will respond to the product.
  • The more porous the stone the more coats required. Read instructions carefully.
  • Check with your stone veneer supplier to make sure the product you purchase is safe to use on your stone.
  • Sealing or enhancing your stone is something you will need to repeat periodically. Check your product information for details.
  • Make sure you are applying your product under the right weather conditions, as it may not perform correctly.



If you aren’t at the sealing and enhancing stage of your stone projects yet but are still considering stone as a way to update, accentuate and add character to your home – why not contact North Star Stone? Our experts are here to help. You too can see why homeowners in Chicagoland suburbs like Libertyville, Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect have chosen North Star Stone as their source for expert stone veneer fireplace and exterior stone siding selection and installation. For more information please call 847.996.6850 or email info@northstarstone.biz.


How To Easily Clean Stone Veneer

How To Easily Clean Stone Veneer

Home Improvements Stone Exterior Siding Stone Exteriors Stone Fireplace Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior Stone Veneer

Like many homeowners, you have made the decision to beautify your home with stone veneer. Maybe your have decided to add stone to the exterior of your home to various accent points or perhaps to highlight some of your home’s unique features. Or maybe your stone veneer is in your backyard where you chose to use it to help create a tranquil sanctuary. Here your stone can be seen on retaining walls, railings, or an outdoor fireplace. Then again, your stone might be inside your home where it is adding beauty and value to your kitchen, bathroom, or wine cellar. Either way, inside or outside, a time will come when you are going to need to wash your stone veneer. Despite the elegant complexity of how your stone appears, we are happy to tell you that cleaning your stone is far from complex and is actually quite easy. Keep reading to learn more.


What you will need:

Mild dishwashing detergent: It is very important to never use harsh cleaning materials or products that contain acid, ammonia, bleach or the like. Products containing these ingredients are way too harsh and can damage your stonework. Lastly, concrete cleaner is not recommended for stone veneer. An important note on cleaning products containing acid: cleaning products containing acid should always be avoided as they can easily strip the color from your stone and make it look dull.

Sponge or cloth: Use what works best for you. Remember to use soft products as not to scratch your stone.

Bucket: Fill your bucket up with water and use it to mix your cleaning solution and help rinse your sponge or cloth. Make sure to use clean water when rinsing

Backyard hose: Fortunately, to keep your exterior stone veneer clean, you do not need to rely on a heavy-duty pressure washer; for your stone veneer a simple garden hose is all that is needed.

Soft bristled brush: Never use a scrub brush with metal bristles as this kind of brush can easily scratch and damage your beautiful stone. A soft-bristled, nylon brush will do the trick. Remember to never apply hard pressure when using a brush for cleaning.

Ladder or step stool: For those hard to reach places

Rubber gloves: Optional

What to do:

Read these instructions thoroughly before you wash your stone veneer.

Fill a bucket with clean water.

Add some mild dishwashing detergent to create a gentle cleansing solution.

Use a clean cloth or sponge containing the solution to thoroughly wipe down your stone. Use a brush to gently remove any dirt or mud. Keep in mind this mild solution will not remove stains like tar or oil that may have gotten on your stone during be other home improvement projects.

Rinse your stone with the hose.  If indoors, use a clean cloth or sponge to remove any of the cleaning solution.

Let dry.

Important – A note on how to clean newly installed stone: If your stone is newly installed and wet mortar or grout has gotten onto the face of the stone, let it dry to a point where you can easily scrape it off with a masonry brush. If you try to wipe off wet mortar or grout it will smear and will be extremely hard to remove completely. Do not use water. On the flip side, if you wait too long, you will not be able to remove the grout or mortar, so make sure to remove it the same day as the installation of the stone veneer.

How often do I need to clean my stone? As often as you feel cleaning is needed.

Clearly the ease of cleaning stone veneer is just another reason why this highly versatile and customizable product is such an excellent option for improving the home. If you would like to move forward with your stone projects then give North Star Stone a call and see why Chicagoland has chosen us for their stone veneer needs. For more information contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new interior or exterior stone.

Watch the North Star Stone blog next week we will discuss sealers and enhancers.

A DIY Stone Veneer Installation- Step By Step

A DIY Stone Veneer Installation- Step By Step

Stone Fireplace Stone Interior

For those unfamiliar with stone veneer and seeing it for the first time, it would probably seem inconceivable that a novice do-it-yourselfer would be able to install such a stunning and elegant home update on his or her own with very little help. One such accomplished do-it-yourselfer, a client of ours named Grant, did just that. An emergency room doctor by day, Grant decided he was going to update his old fireplace with versatile and highly customizable stone veneer. Continue reading to discover why and how with a little time, patience and energy Grant was able to rejuvenate his family room and implement his vision of a beautiful focal point that will be in keeping with this tranquil lakefront property.

Below is a picture of Grant’s original fireplace and his starting point. Grant’s former fireplace is an inviting canvas for the stone that awaits.
















In this next image, you can see where grant has taken off and removed the original marblesque veneer that surrounds his original fireplace and covers the hearth. With some assistance, he frames the fireplace using 2” x 4” pieces of wood. Grant also decides to create a pocket for the fireplace mantel. This will insure a secure fit.















After the frame is in place, it is time to place a material called Durock (see below) where the stone veneer will be placed. Durock is a cement board that will speed up the installation process as it negates the use of mesh, which is commonly used to get materials, like stone, to adhere. Also note that Grant made sure to install a plate in order to create a platform from which to hang his television from as well as a place to feed his television cables through. When asked how he learned to carry out this project, Grant explained that he turned to YouTube for videos on how to install stone veneer.

















Before continuing, Grant makes the smart decision of protecting his floors with tarp, which is also where he will lay out his stone. This will help give him an idea of placement prior to installation.
















Halfway done. Grant has placed his hearthstones, which he was able to size properly by using a cutout. Grant selected ledge stone that was then custom colored by selecting between two samples in North Star Stone’s showroom. It is looking amazing! Ledge stone is one of North Star Stone’s most textured stones, which is evident by how natural it looks. You can see how the stone surrounds the bottom half of the mantel. This process will be completed on the top of the mantel as well.















Quite the sight to behold, Grant’s stone veneer fireplace looks beautiful. All that is needed now is to hang the television. The stone is installed perfectly and reaches to the ceiling to create a place where one’s eyes will naturally gravitate.
















Four days later and Grant, a truly creative do-it-yourselfer, has completed a magnificent stone fireplace he can be proud of. Lovely!
















If you would like to undertake your own stone masterpiece, we can help. Our experts are here to help provide you with the stone you need as well as the techniques to help create your own beautiful focal point. For more information contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate.

5 Ways to Beautify Your Kitchen With Stone

5 Ways to Beautify Your Kitchen With Stone

Houzz- NSS Stone Colors Stone Interior Stone Veneer

Have you just finished creating your dream kitchen but feel like it is missing that little something extra? Or, are you happy with your kitchen but feel like it could be better? Then you may want to consider adding stone veneer. Versatile, strong, beautiful and highly customizable, stone may be just what you need to turn your kitchen from that place where you keep your food and eat the odd meal to a warm and inviting room that your family will want to congregate in as the heart of your home.


stone-veneer-accent-wallStone Accent Wall

Add depth and variety to your kitchen by turning a plain wall into a stone accent wall. Select colors to coordinate with your kitchen or do something a little bolder. Choose more symmetrical stones to offset gleaming stainless steel appliances like a stacked stone or maintain the earthy continuity of hardwood flooring with organic cobblestone.  Either way, we think you are going to love the new look.


Give Your Island a Facelift

Turn a boring or plain kitchen island into something special by adding a stone veneer face to one or more sides. Select the perfect colors from the endless shades available. Why not consider updating the island top as well? Granite and marble still add a touch or refinement but you will never go wrong with classic butcher-block.


A Stone Veneer Backsplash? Why Certainly!

Tired of looking at that old tile backsplash? Then consider swapping it out with stone veneer. Stone is quickly becoming one of the first choices when updating kitchens.  Thin and lightweight, stone veneer is much easier to install and friendlier to the pocket book then original stone. Stone looks beautiful with any special hardware, faucet or sink materials. For an elegant look consider a brushed nickel faucet out in front of a narrow profile stone veneer – in your personalized color selection of course.

RELATED:5 Things You Can Do With Stone To Turn Your Backyard Into a Sanctuary

stone-veneer-kitchen-chicago1Beautify Your Breakfast Bar

Completely transform your breakfast bar into something beautiful by adding a customized stone veneer face. Compliment your kitchen by selecting coordinating colors or select colors that pull in from a shared space with your breakfast bar, like the living or dining rooms. Compliment the stone facade of your breakfast bar with a granite top for a rich look. We think you are going to love your new and improved breakfast bar so much that you’ll find yourself eating more than your morning meal here!


Highlight Cabinetry By Adding Stone Accents

Have you ever wanted to add a rustic or country feel to your kitchen but were not exactly sure how? Then why not consider stone veneer? Hand pick your own style and color to bring out your kitchen’s potential as an inviting space that is a little closer to nature. Add stone around your cabinets and places that will accent the beauty of the wood or other special cabinetry you may have selected. For example, stone veneer nestled among glass-faced cabinets is not only beautiful but also adds openness to the space that can’t be denied.


Things To Keep In Mind

  • Stone pairs beautifully with marble or granite counters
  • When it comes to looking good with flooring materials, stone looks amazing with stone tile, wood, bamboo and all other flooring materials.
  • Because stone veneer is so customizable you can create the perfect color palette for other features in your kitchen like cabinets and flooring.


If you are ready to consider stone as an option to enhance and improve your kitchen then please call or email the experts at North Star Stone and learn why homeowners in Chicagoland suburbs like Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Barrington and Mount Prospect are turning to North Star Stone when it comes time to beautify those special indoor and outdoor spaces with stone.  To learn more, please contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new stone.

5 Things You Can Do With Stone To Turn Your Backyard Into a Sanctuary

5 Things You Can Do With Stone To Turn Your Backyard Into a Sanctuary

Stone Exteriors Stone Veneer

With temperatures in the Chicagoland area already getting into the 80’s, like most people, you are probably eager to spend more time outside soaking up the rays and getting your daily dose of vitamin D. The only problem is, that after years of harsh Midwestern winters your backyard is looking a little rough around the edges (and maybe even the hedges!). But don’t be dismayed because there is hope! Many homeowners have discovered that stone as well as stone veneer is a great way to revitalize this space while transforming it into a natural and relaxing sanctuary. Continue reading to gain some helpful ideas on how you too can turn your backyard into that perfect outdoor living space.

Stone Patio

If that old wooden deck is getting up there in years and looks like it has seen better days, why not replace it with a new stone patio? Unlike wood, stone requires less maintenance to keep itself looking great. Strong and dependable, your new stone will also handle the snow, rain and sun much better than your old wooden deck. The variety, sizes and shapes of stone also offer numerous ways in which you can design your patio space. Make it as little or as big as you want. Better still, because of its enduring qualities and timeless beauty, your stone patio will be looking fabulous for years to come!


If you are tired of having to constantly weed your yard then laying gravel might be just the thing. Simple and fairly quick to install, gravel can go virtually anywhere in a backyard. Swap out the old wood chip mulch in your flowerbeds with gravel and add some decorative grasses or planters containing your favorite flowers. You can also use gravel to create a walking path or two on your property. Another plus of gravel is that it is hardy and will withstand pet urine unlike grass, which can die with regular exposure to Fido’s bathroom breaks.

Add an Outdoor Fireplace

There may not be a better way to make outdoor living more inviting and enjoyable then by installing a fireplace in your backyard. Who doesn’t like the idea of cozying up to an outdoor hearth with friends on a cool summer night? Your fireplace can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Many homeowners go one step further and enhance their outdoor fireplaces by adding simple-to-install stone veneer. Because of the varieties of stone veneer available, it is really hard to go wrong. Your only problem might be selecting which stone you like the best among the many gorgeous varieties available.

Update or Add Stone to Fences, Walls, and Railings

One of the more simple projects to consider might just be updating or adding some stone veneer to any cement fences or walls you may have in your backyard. Turn a plain cement fence or wall into one with beautifully cut decorative stone. If you do not have any walls in your yard, consider adding a wall or two with a lovely distinctive stone veneer. Go a step further by complimenting your newly updated stone walls by adding coordinating or matching stone veneer to railings. Doing this will revamp and revitalize ordinary railings by giving them a natural yet stately presentation.

Create a Pond

Water has many wonderful qualities. Listening to the gentle ripple of water as it flows over stones is a wonderful way to relax and unwind. The simple act of peering into a pool of water can help ease the stress of a taxing day. So why not install a small pond in your backyard and have the therapeutic benefits of water available anytime you wish? By using stone you can really personalize the size, shape and appearance of your pond. One word of advice is to add a pump or other device so that water can flow constantly as you do not want mosquitos getting the wrong idea and using your watery haven as a breeding ground.

As you can see, stone and stone veneer are extremely versatile materials that can really do wonderful things for the appearance of your yard and the surrounding exterior elements of your home. If you think you might like to add stone veneer to beautify your backyard please visit North Star Stone. You, too, can learn why homeowners in Chicagoland suburbs like Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Barrington and Mount Prospect are so happy with their new stone products. Also, please visit our Exterior Stone FAQ page or contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new exterior stone.


RELATED: 3 Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project

3 Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project

3 Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project

Stone Exteriors Stone Veneer

With the internet and numerous DIY television shows telling us that do-it-yourself projects are not only simple but take practically no time to complete, it is hard not to jump on the bandwagon and find ourselves willing and eager to undertake many home improvement projects ourselves. Remodeling a bathroom, finishing a basement or breaking down a wall to create an open floor plan all seem so easy and straightforward when the guy on television does it, right? Well, before you take a sledgehammer to that decrepit bathroom floor you detest or hop in your car and head down to your local home improvement store, you may want to consider a few of the following…


Can you afford it?

Being able to afford your particular project is probably one of the biggest things to consider. After all, you need money to be able to buy the equipment and supplies to complete this endeavor. You may want to ask yourself, is this a project you can save up for, like swapping out unattractive light fixtures? Or will you need access to funds right away to address something that requires immediate attention like replacing rotting drywall? What you might think a project will cost could be a far cry from what you end up paying. Remember, not only will you need the materials to transform your particular space but you may also need to rent or buy the tools in which to carry out your project, both expenses can add up quickly.


Have you done your research?

Research will vary for every project and skill level, but you will want to make sure that you feel confident in being able to carry out your project from start to finish. Things you may want to investigate are:

  • Have you consulted with experts or talked to friends who have done a project like what you are planning?
  • Have you set up a contingency plan if something derails your project like an illness or running out of money to pay for it?
  • Do you know where to get your equipment and supplies?
  • Do you now where to access these materials if your main source runs out?


Set realistic expectations

Don’t expect that you are going to be able to do what the guys on television have done on your first try. We’re not saying you won’t be able to complete a beautiful project — but the folks on those shows are on them because they are very good at what they do and have created a reputation. Also, make sure to keep in mind that what appears to take a day on your favorite HGTV show could take you a week, two weeks or even a month to finish. If undertaking a project in a bathroom or kitchen be sure you have a backup plan for food storage and water usage. Many projects in these rooms require you to turn off electricity, water and remove appliances. For example, if you only have one bathroom and that is the room you are gutting for a new and improved bathing spa complete with beautiful stone accents, make sure you have somewhere to go when you need to go.


Next week we will continue with this topic when we discuss: 3 More Things to Consider Before Undertaking a DIY Project. If you are from the Chicagoland area and one of your DIY projects consists of adding stone to your home, call or visit the experts at North Star Stone at 847-996-6850. With years of experience stone is their passion. If you still have questions please visit our Exterior Stone FAQ page or contact us at info@northstarstone.biz

5 Reasons You Should Consider Updating Your Fireplace with Stone Veneer

5 Reasons You Should Consider Updating Your Fireplace with Stone Veneer


Sitting around the cozy warmth of a crackling fire has been something that human beings have done for hundreds of thousands of years. All those years ago man used fire to provide light and heat, keep predators at bay and to cook food. Some research may even suggest that without fire, human beings would not have evolved into what they are today.

Still, for many of us, being near the warmth of a stone fireplace feels familiar and inviting; this may be why so many people have opted to have a fireplace in their home. Additionally, because of the timelessness of a fireplace, many homeowners are choosing to give their older hearths a face-lift by renovating this important space. If you are on the fence about whether or not to update your current fireplace here are 5 helpful attributes to consider.


It cannot be denied that there is something beautiful and tranquil about a fireplace, especially today with so many styles and sizes to select from when considering updating your current fireplace. Stone veneer fireplaces today range in appearance and texture from the classic elegance of a cobblestone design to the more contemporary and ornate cut stone arrangement. In short, there is a design for every taste and every home.


Better still, there is a stone veneer fireplace for almost every budget. Today many fireplace owners are choosing to go with stone veneer when remodeling their fireplace. With stone veneer you get the quality and appearance of stone but with much less expense. Moreover, a stone veneer fireplace can be installed more quickly than building a new fireplace.  Depending on the size of your project you can be sitting in front of your beautiful new fireplace within two days.

A Preferred Amenity

According to the National Association of Home Builders, groups they surveyed ranked a fireplace among one of the top three home amenities that people look for when purchasing a new home. This could also mean that it might be easier for you to sell your home if you have a fireplace. If you are thinking about possibly selling your home at some point in the future now might be a good time to update your current fireplace with more modern and organic looking stone.

Improving an Additional Heat and Light Source

How many times has the power gone out during frigid weather and you found yourself longing for the warmth of the fireplace you stopped using for some long forgotten reason? When used properly, a fireplace can not only provide warmth but also light until the power comes back on. You may even find yourself not missing the power so much after some time in front of a cozy fire. With this in mind, now might be a great time to get that fireplace back into working order and its former glory with some beautiful stone updating.

Transform Your Home

Do you love the natural light and decor of your living room but feel like it needs just a little something extra to make it perfect? Do you spend a lot of time in your home office and wish it didn’t feel so much like an office? Then updating your fireplace may be just the thing. You can dramatically change the tone and appearance of any room simply by updating the fireplace.  You may even find yourself spending less money with fireplace options now on the market. Many homeowners are choosing to go with manufactured stone and or a custom colored fireplace veneer when designing or updating their fireplace because of the cost savings as well as the near limitless choices available.

If updating your fireplace sounds like the right option for your home remember there are many directions you can go in nowadays. Why not consider the beauty and cost savings of a stone veneer fireplace? For more information about adding stone to your fireplace, visit our stone fireplace FAQ page or contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new stone fireplace.

Using Cement Board and Stone Veneer Together

Using Cement Board and Stone Veneer Together

Stone Exteriors Stone Veneer

Cement Board + Stone Veneer = Great Combination

Time to select new siding for your existing home or new construction? Architects are frequently specifying the use of fiber cement board because it offers a balance of good looks, durability, maintenance and affordability. Combining the cement board with a complimenting stone veneer creates a finished look, increased home value and added curb appeal.

View Our Stone Veneer Colors & Styles

Cement board is an excellent choice for siding since it is primarily made from Portland cement and offers the strength and performance of masonry including the benefits of minimal upkeep, fire protection and termite proof. A vendor such has James Hardie or Certainteed offer many styles and colors of siding to showcase your home. Other suppliers of cement board can be found at the big box stores such as Home Depot or Lowes.

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Stone veneer can really add highlights to your home and create visual interest when you are adding a product like Hardie Board Cement Board. It is important to find the right mixes of stone veneer and the exterior siding.  Think of stone as the accent to highlight the home. Look for focal points on your home like a front entryway, columns, chimneys, knee walls and peaks to add stone.  Since manufactured stone veneer is lightweight and thin, the product can be easily installed with your siding installation.

An additional benefit in using man made stone veneer other than it’s cost is the ability to fine tune the color of the stone to coordinate with your siding color. North Star Stone, Inc. in Libertyville, IL custom manufactures every order of stone to work perfectly with your exterior stone project.

The following pictures use cement board and our Cobble Stack stone in the color of Barrington Hills. The color of the stone is deep with rich intensity using the colors of charcoal, varying tones of brown and some cream color.  To learn more about exterior stone veneer click here or call us at 847-996-6850.