How To Choose The Right Natural Stone For Your Needs

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How To Choose The Right Natural Stone For Your Needs

Posted by in Countertop,Granite Tile & Slabs,Marble Tile & Slabs,Natural Stone,Slab,Tile,Tile Flooring,Travertine Tile & Slabs | October 18, 2014

Few materials offer the longevity of natural stone. From the Coliseum and Parthenon to the Taj Mahal, ancient buildings made from stone, though weathered, are still standing. And while stone requires maintenance to sustain its natural beauty, its content is unmatched by any other product.

From a tumbled, rustic look to a sleek, modern design, natural stone can match any décor. It also can match any personal cleaning style. Some stones require a dry environment and regular maintenance. Some may be fine in a moist environment. Other stones require very little in the way of maintenance. It is very important to think about where in the home (or commercial area) this stone will be, how much traffic it will see and how much maintenance you are willing to invest. Here, we offer a simple guide to break down some basic rules for using natural stone in your home.


Granite Countertop Alaska SeriesGranite is an igneous rock ranging in color from near white through the spectrum to black. It consists primarily of quartz, mica and feldspar, which adds to the amazing death of color and sparkle. It is the hardest architectural stone and is difficult to scratch and stain, making it perfect for countertops, pastry surfaces, fireplace surrounds and high-traffic areas in the home. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners, instead using gentle cleaners according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Marble Coutertops Calcutta GoldMarble is a metamorphic rock composed of calcite and dolomite. Marble is softer than granite and comes in a wide spectrum of colors with veining running through the slab. Even though it is softer than granite it is still ideal for use throughout your home. Marble is ideal for pastry surfaces in the kitchen, backsplashes, floors and tabletops. Wiping marble with a damp cloth will keep it clean and cleaning up spills quickly will minimize any “beauty marks” caused by usage.


Travertine Tile Torreon Vein CutTravertine is a type of crystalline limestone with a unique layered structure containing pores and cavities. Depending upon the finished product, those pores may be filled or left unfilled. Travertine comes in a spectrum of warm, neutral earth tones making it a popular stone for interior flooring, but it can also be used for countertops and in bathrooms.



Limestone Tile Athens Grey Honed 4x8-HerringboneLimestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcite and dolomite (which often comes from the shells of marine animals). Limestone is also softer than granite but has a more uniform appearance with less veining and comes in polished and tumbled varieties. Limestone is suitable for interior and exterior applications including flooring, wall, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, pool tiling and in bathrooms.


Slate Tiles - Wilfire Ungauged from Arizona TileSlate is metamorphic rock derived from shale. Slate is composed of mica, chlorite  and quartz, and is available in cleft-finished tiles. The spectrum of slate is typically darker, rich colors, but it can range from grays, blacks, greens, blues and purples. Because of it strong nature, it is often used in exterior use on patios and as cladding, but it also is perfect for indoor flooring including mudrooms, kitchens and other living areas.



Onyx Coutertops Carmel OnyxOnyx is a semi precious, sedimentary, layered stone that is translucent. Contrary to the popular description of onyx being black, this stone is more often found in white and pale pastel colors. Due to its translucent nature, onyx can be backlit to create a dramatic effect. This makes it perfect for bar countertops, vanities, and bathtub surrounds.


Soapstone CountertopsSoapstone gets its name because it has a “soapy” feel due to its talc-rich properties. It is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity and is being used for kitchen countertops and farmhouse sinks, but it is also ideal for use around hearths and fireplaces. It is heat resistant and easy to maintain. It is recommended to use a stone enhancer and sealer on soapstone.

Choosing the right natural stone for your home is not as tricky as it seems. While some natural stones work better in different environments, often it can come down to color and look.

You may be thinking “green” or environmentally-friendly as you select products. If you love the look of natural stone but would prefer something more sustainable, consider quartz, which can be made from recyclable material, but has the look of stone.

Virtual Kitchen Design Tool

Virtual Kitchen Design Tool

Want to see how your space will look like before you start your next remodeling project? The Arizona Tile website features the Just Imagine™ Visualizer Tool where you can upload a photo of your own space to try out different tile designs, countertops, backsplashes and surfaces before you commit. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Granite, Travertine, Slate, Marble… The Beauty And Depth Of Natural Stones

Posted by in Backsplash,Countertop,Granite Tile & Slabs,Marble Tile & Slabs,Natural Stone,Slab,Tile,Tile & Slab Remodeling,Tile Flooring,Travertine Tile & Slabs | August 16, 2014
Natural Stone Slabs

Featured Image: Natural Stone Slabs

If you want to add a unique look to your home – something that no one else has – then look no further than natural stone for your floors, countertops, backsplashes and walls. How can that be, you say?

Because natural stone is created and quarried from the earth, no two pieces are alike. So even if you and your neighbor get the same type of travertine or granite from the exact same Arizona Tile location (wink) you both will get two different slabs that are not identical and thus will have two different looks in your home.

Why Purchase More Tile Than My Estimated Square Ft?

Because of this unique quality of natural stones like marble, travertine, granite, onyx and slate, buying more tiles than you need ensures that you match up the color of the tiles as much as possible. Darker or lighter sections of the area that you are tiling might not look appealing to the eye.

This is also the reason why, when you are shopping for granite slabs for a countertop, you need to look for a piece that is larger than you need or perhaps why you need to find two similar slabs with similar veining.

Many slabs are book-matched, meaning slab one and two are cut and polished to create a mirror image of each other. Large sections of veining can change the overall color of the stone, which is something to consider if you are going for cream and the veining is making the slab or tile look more peach than cream.

Slab Defects or Natural Beauty?

Vieux Monde French Limestone Flooring

Vieux Monde French Limestone Flooring

Veins, pits and fissures are a natural part of the stone and can sometimes make the slab more valuable.

While these characteristics need special care to maintain the stone, they should not be thought of as defects unless the stone has visible cracks from mishandling – another reason to purchase more than you need.

Go ahead and think of stone in unusual ways. Create walls, dividers or countertops that are backlit to create a beautiful glow.



Because stone is quarried all over the world, the minerals in those geographic areas create interesting colors and patterns that cannot be created anywhere else.

Each stone is more beautiful than the next. So choose natural stone to create a unique look in your home that no one else can possibly have. Before you get started, try out our Just Imagine™ Visualizer Tool and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Unique Outside Fireplaces

Posted by in Exterior Tile & Slab Projects,Fireplace,Natural Stone,Porcelain Tiles,Quartz Slabs | August 2, 2014
Natutral Stone Outdoor Fireplace

Featured Image:  Natural Stone Outdoor Fireplace from Better Homes & Gardens

Do Pinterest and HGTV have you dreaming about an outdoor fireplace? A beautiful area in your yard to sit back and enjoy the seasons, entertain friends and maybe even cook some pizza not only adds a useful area to your outdoor space but also adds in resale value of your home. So it is not only an investment in your property, it is an investment in your family life.

It isn’t as hard as it looks to build an outdoor fireplace. If you are a do-it-yourselfer with some tiling experience, you can get kits from the simple to complex – so be sure to get one that fits your expertise as well as your budget. The interior frame is built for you. Once you assemble the frame, all you have to do is apply the tile of your choice to finish the fireplace and make the perfect statement piece for your yard.

Choosing the right tile is pretty simple. You just need to look for a heat-resistant tile that can withstand the temperatures that a fireplace will produce. Your best bet is using Natural Stone because it comes from the Earth and often is a product of intense pressure and heat. Visit Arizona Tile’s Natural Stone Gallery.

Golden Gate Quartzite is a metamorphic stone that evolved from Sandstone. Because of this unique quality, it lacks the iron content that you see in other natural stone, which so often rusts when exposed to moisture. It can also handle the freeze-thaw settings, which is why this product is ideal for outdoor fireplaces, pools and patios, but also steam showers and bathroom use.

Travertine is beautiful and looks very rustic when cut into our 3-D Mesh Stack. The uneven layout adds a dynamic texture that is perfect for an outdoor fireplace. The pattern will look like you spent hours upon hours alternating the precisely cut stone. Instead, we did all the work and you simply apply it as you would any tile that has a mesh sheet backing.

If you want to avoid natural stone for ecological reasons, porcelain is an excellent option. The Dome Series is a color-body porcelain product that is made to look like it has the veining of a natural stone but consists of 40% recycled content.

If you need more inspiration, please head on over to our Hot Fireplaces board on Pinterest and while you are there follow us for more tile-y inspiration!

Warm Up Your Interior with Natural Stone

Posted by in Bathroom Tile Projects,Kitchen Tile & Slab Projects,Mosaics,Natural Stone,Travertine Tile & Slabs | January 11, 2014
Manhattan Marble Natural Stone Tiles

Featured Image: Manhattan Natural Stone Marble Tiles

Spring is right around the corner for those of us living in the south, but this cold snap around the country has left many of us staying indoors. If all of this time spent inside has you rethinking décor, you may want to learn a bit about color before you start redecorating. According to an article by the Pantone Color Think Tank, different colors can make us feel different emotions. Colors can be calming or provoking but did you know that the color of a room can also make you feel hot or cold?

“An executive for a paint company received complaints from workers in a blue office that the office was too cold. When the offices were painted a warm peach, the sweaters came off even though the temperature had not changed.”

Choosing tile in the right color is just as important as choosing the color for your walls, especially since depending upon the space, you may see more of the floor color than the color of the wall.

Natural stone is a great way to bring in earth tones that will warm up your space. To choose a stone that is warm in tone, look for stone tile that has shades of red, orange or yellow in it.

Take this bathroom for an example. The walls and floor are covered in our Torreon Stone Travertine. The pink/brown tones are warm, yet completely neutral so you can add pops of any color you like.

Next, take a look at this wall featuring our Scabos split stack. This stone is multi-colored, featuring warm tones that are perfect for a wall or fireplace surround or even a kitchen backsplash. 

Finally, our Manhattan Marble Natural Stone Tile adds a clean, neutral foundation that coordinates nicely with any other colors or materials you choose.

These are just a few examples of natural stone tiles that will add warmth and texture to your home. Ask one of our staff for more examples when you stop into one of our local Arizona Tile Showrooms.

Pin your finished projects to Pinterest and put “@ArizonaTile – Tile Install” in the comment section so we can enjoy your creative handiwork too!

Arizona Tile Showroom Showcase: Livermore, California

Posted by in Glass Tiles,Granite Tile & Slabs,Livermore Natural Stone Slab Warehouse,Livermore Tile Showroom,Porcelain Tiles,Travertine Tile & Slabs | September 14, 2013
Livermore, CA Slab Warehouse

Featured image above: Livermore Slab & Tile Warehouse

Here at Arizona Tile we couldn’t be more excited about our latest showroom and slab warehouse in Livermore. Our Showroom Manager, Helida McLain, joins us today to share a bit of that excitement as well as the designs that are trending and how her staff makes their customers happy.

Tell us a little bit about your Arizona Tile branch and what sets you apart from other tile stores in your area.

Arizona Tile Showroom in Livermore

Arizona Tile in Livermore

We are extremely happy to be able to provide our customers with a brand new tile showroom and slab warehouse in Livermore. We are proud to be the first of our 25 showroom locations to showcase our material in a more modern setting. Not only do we serve all of the bay area but we are also close enough for our Central Valley customers and beyond. Our new location conveniently combines both our tile showroom and slab warehouse in one 42,000 sf facility to give our customers the best experience possible – a one-stop-shop!

We have a large selection of porcelain tile, natural stone, and glass mosaics as well as a vast selection of natural stone and quartz slab countertops for all of your remodeling and new construction needs. The showroom does a great job of clearly displaying all of our materials as well as creatively presenting design ideas throughout our floors, walls and display areas. We have design consultants on staff to help answer questions customers may have or to help them achieve the look they are dreaming of.

What type of product trends have you noticed lately within your area?

Arizona Tile Livermore Showroom

Arizona Tile Livermore Showroom

The latest trend seems to be rectangular tiles – from 4×16 subway tiles to 12×24 tiles and everything in between. Cooler color schemes such as grays and whites have been catching on as well. And low maintenance porcelain tiles are becoming more and more popular among our customers these days.

What kind of special orders does your store see? More slab or tile? What kind – porcelain, marble, granite, limestone?

We strive to please our customers in every way possible and providing options for custom/special orders is a great way of doing this. We offer a variety of custom color options in our glass blend program as well as our medallion program. Both of these seem to be big hits when wanting to truly create a unique, one-of-a-kind look.

Has anyone in your store received an excellent customer service recommendation from any customers? We would like to feature them on our blog.

We have, and we are very honored to receive comments and praise from our homeowners and designers/contractors.

“I send all my clients to Arizona Tile… The tile showroom has more examples of installation than most. The “indoor” slab warehouse is chock full of stone slabs from all over the world. Simply breathtaking. Prices are fair/comparable. Staff is very attentive, very knowledgeable and very courteous. They truly take care of every person who walks through the door. An absolute pleasure with which to do business.” – LP DESIGNS.

Next time you’re in Livermore, California – be sure to stop in at Arizona Tile and let our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff help you design and find the tile style which fits your lifestyle, and your budget.

Showroom Showcase: Murrieta, California

Posted by in Glass Tiles,Porcelain Tiles,Tile,Travertine Tile & Slabs | March 8, 2013
Arizona Tile Warehouse Murrieta, California

Christina Wilkins, our Assistant Showroom Manager in Murrieta, California shared how the designs are trending in their area and how the staff at Arizona Tile Murrieta meets customers’ expectations every time.

Tell us a little bit about your Arizona Tile branch and what sets you apart from other tile stores in your area.   

Arizona Tile Warehouse Murrieta, CaliforniaThe Arizona Tile in Murrieta is one of the few all-inclusive tile stores.  Not only is the showroom the most impressive display of tile designs and merchandise, the staff is the most knowledgeable and helpful personnel around.  The current products cater to clients looking for high-end materials as well as customers interested in simply removing an existing product to replace with an inexpensive material.  Our staff will not only listen to what the customer is trying to achieve, but will offer suggestions and put together products to help the customer visualize the concept.  Now, with the help of the “Just Imagine” program we can further help the customer visualize the idea.

Inside the Slab Warehouse at Arizona Tile, Murrieta, California

Inside the Slab Warehouse at Arizona Tile, Murrieta, California

What type of product trends have you noticed lately within your area?

The Temecula / Murrieta market has been largely a Tuscan / Mediterranean style area. However, we are seeing an increase in more streamlined looks, such as Modern or Contemporary designs.  Granite kitchens are still desirable; however there has been a move from granite backsplashes to backsplashes with a design out of tumbled stone or glass. The wood-looking tiles are extremely popular due to their realistic glazes and because they have the low maintenance of a porcelain tile.  The Murrieta region is known for its hard water and calcium build up, which occurs inside and outside of the home.  Our realistic stone-looking porcelain have been a phenomenal option for customers looking for the natural stone look who like as little maintenance as possible.  Also, our increase in Travertine products at the porcelain prices has opened the door for customers who have not encountered stone in their homes.

Murrieta Tile Showroom Hours and DirectionsWhat kind of special orders does your store see? 

The Murrieta store has helped to design special orders for custom fireplaces carved out of stone.  We have a multitude of customers interested in viewing our slab yard.  However, a majority of our customers are inspired and awed by our showroom.  We see a large part of our sales in porcelain tiles, followed by granite slabs and travertine tiles.

Has anyone in your store received an excellent customer service recommendation from any customers? 

We’ve received many compliments on the excellent service of the Murrieta staff.  Most recently our showroom consultant, Heather Brown received a glowing email from a customer originally working out of one of our other locations:

“8.04.12: When we went to Anaheim, they didn’t have any White Springs that we liked, so they referred us to Murrieta. Murrieta is a fabulous facility. Terrific slab and tile showrooms with a very helpful staff. At Murrieta, we met Heather Brown and Eric Cantu. Heather was very helpful showing us their granite slabs. They, too, had both Lava and White Springs. Again, we didn’t like the White Springs, but really liked the Lava. Eric pulled four slabs for us to look at and we put two of them on a 7-day hold. Heather helped us find a couple of backsplash tile configurations and some floor tiles choices that we really liked. And, she sent us home with lots of samples. That was a very good day for us.”

In June, we also received a letter from the Wilensky’s at Oceana Rentals praising our Assistant Showroom Manager, Christina Wilkins.

 “…not only was she very knowledgeable, Christina also spent quality time with us helping with the design, stone choice and different colors. Could not have done this without her support.”

We are very proud of our team at Arizona Tile Murrieta, and we hope to help many, many more customers make their projects a success!

Showroom Showcase: Salt Lake City, Utah

Posted by in Backsplash,Ceramic Tiles,Countertop,Fireplace,Glass Tiles,Kitchen Tile & Slab Projects,Marble Tile & Slabs,Mosaics,Natural Stone,Pool & Patio Tiling,Salt Lake City Arizona Tile,Tile,Tile & Slab Remodeling,Travertine Tile & Slabs | February 1, 2013
Palm Desert Showroom

Arizona Tile in Salt Lake CityPaige Banik, Showroom Manager at the Arizona Tile in Salt Lake City shared her insights on why the SLC Arizona Tile showroom and warehouse outshine the competition. She also gave an example (with before and after photos) of the excellent service that the Salt Lake City team provides to their customers.

Tell us a little bit about your Arizona Tile branch and what sets you apart from other tile stores in your area.   

We keep a large stock of tile right here in Utah, so our customers do not have to wait to begin their tile project.   On the occasion when we need to have a product shipped from one of our other locations, it arrives in five days or less!  That is far faster than other tile stores in town.

What type of product trends have you noticed lately within your area?

Trends in Utah are moving in a more contemporary direction.   Our customers love our offering of gray tiles and our affordable glass tiles. Of course our Misingi, and Over series, both wood-looking tile, are popular with everyone! 

For countertops we are seeing a lot of excitement about slabs like our River White granite which gives the look of white marble with the durability of granite!

Arizona Tile Salt Lake City HoursWhat kind of special orders does your store see? 

We have helped create one-of-a-kind beautiful custom homes with special order stones.  But most often we create Custom Glass Mosaic Blends that customers design using the Custom Blend tool available on our website.  Jasba is another popular custom surface that is available through special order from our warehouse. Stop in to see what makes Jasba such a popular item! In addition to Jasba, we have many special order products that aren’t viewable on our website but that you can see when visiting our showroom.

Has anyone in your store received an excellent customer service recommendation from any customers? 

Joan one of our Showroom CSR’s is constantly receiving high praise from the customers she works with.  One customer said she would give Joan an A+!   Joan truly gives 110% to each project.

Aimee, a friendly customer, gave us a glowing review on Yelp:

“Hands down, this is the most professional and helpful service at a tile and stone distributor in SLC.  They have smiles in their voices and on their faces, and they always speak in a professional way and that impresses me.”

 Do you have customer success pictures of before and after we can share? 

Before: Knotty Alder kitchen

Before: Knotty Alder kitchen

Absolutely! One customer was looking for a more formal look then the knotty alder kitchen she had currently.  The homeowner came in at the end of 2010 and we had just received our first batch of White Springs granite.  I worked with her as we selected the slabs. 

After: White Springs Granite Countertops and Crema Marfil Backsplash

After: White Springs Granite Countertops and Crema Marfil Backsplash

Then we helped her pick a backsplash that complemented the granite counters.  None of the Travertines were white enough next to the White Springs, and although she had her heart set on tumbled travertine, I showed her some Crema Marfil and she fell in love with it!  We laid out some samples and together came up with the Rhomboid and Milan mix.  

Each day for a few weeks I would get calls from the homeowner asking what she should do by the window, or over the cook-top, etc.  It was so fun to get these pictures from her and see how amazing her kitchen renovation turned out!

Showroom Showcase: Albuquerque, NM

Posted by in Albuquerque Arizona Tile,Backsplash,Bathroom Tile Projects,Ceramic Tiles,Countertop,Fireplace,Glass Tiles,Granite Tile & Slabs,Interior Tile & Slab Projects,Marble Tile & Slabs,Mosaics,Pool & Patio Tiling,Porcelain Tiles,Quartz Slabs,Recycled Material,Travertine Tile & Slabs | December 6, 2012
Arizona Tile Albuquerque Showroom
Arizona Tile Albuquerque Showroom

Arizona Tile Showroom in Albuquerque, NM

We recently interviewed Joseph Suazo, Showroom Manager at the Arizona Tile location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tell us a little bit about your Arizona Tile branch and what sets you apart from other tile stores in your area.   

Over the years, Arizona Tile’s Albuquerque location has built a reputation of excellent customer service, as well as having some of the most talented Showroom Consultants offering creative design ideas, which ensure our customers’ projects become the beautiful space they envision.

Inside the Albuquerque Tile Slab Warehouse

Inside the Albuquerque Tile Slab Warehouse

What type of product trends have you noticed lately within your area?

Trends in New Mexico still seem to favor more “Rustic” designs, offered in tile series such as these:

and “Old World – Tuscan” styles like:

Arizona Tile Albuquerque Hours

But we are seeing more and more customers wanting a very contemporary look, choosing products such as:

What kind of special orders does your store see?  More slab or tile?  What kind – porcelain, marble, granite, limestone?  

Arizona Tile’s Albuquerque Store processes a lot of Custom Glass Blend orders, as well as Special Order Material. Our customers create their own mosaic tile designs using the Custom Blend Tool online. The online tool makes it easy to put together a mosaic pattern using specific finishes and colors to meet their needs. But if they need some guidance, our design staff is happy to help them choose the most aesthetically pleasing mosaic tile combinations for their project.

Has anyone in your store received an excellent customer service recommendation from any customers? 

Lyssa D., one of our customers who recently visited our showroom wrote this fun and flattering review of our Arizona Tile location on Yelp:

“I was in Arizona Tile last week, looking at granite.  They have a great selection of slabs, as well as lots of interesting tiles.  And, as a bonus, you get to wear a hard hat when you’re in their warehouse.  I’m not yet sure about the pricing, hence the 4 stars, but the showroom was awesome.  Great for ideas and wild flights of imagination.”

Thanks, Lyssa! We’re so pleased you enjoyed our showroom and we hope we gave you many design ideas for your projects!

Special Order Trends from Phoenix

Posted by in Custom Fabricators,Exterior Stone Projects,Exterior Tile & Slab Projects,Fireplace,Interior Tile & Slab Projects,Pool & Patio Tiling,Slab | November 14, 2012
Cherub Fireplace carved from Crema Viejo B Travertine

Roland Arnold, a Sales Representative in the Phoenix market for Arizona Tile is well-known in the industry and respected throughout the Phoenix Valley. Roland works with designers to fabricate residential and commercial spaces that delight customers.

Roland was pleased to share with us the designs that are trending right now in his area of the country. “Tuscan is OUT,” says Roland, “In really high end, there’s a definite trend toward an ‘Antiqued’ look… think more like French Norman, textured stone floors, etc. On the other end of the spectrum, people seem to be going with a more streamlined look, leaning toward minimalism.”

Special Orders

Many customers count on our ability to special order unique and unusual surfaces for their designs. Roland has seen the following trends in recent special orders which resonate with the Antiqued look he referred to earlier.

  • Antiqued Giallo Paillanti French Pattern floor
  • A hand inlaid mosaic of a European Street Scene
  • Brushed finish Beaumaniere slabs
  • Special order Autumn Leaves Blend of Scabos Travertine, 5cm block slabs for stair treads, Bushhammered Rebecca Cream 18×36 for wall caps and pool decking

Cherub Fireplace carved from Crema Viejo B Travertine

Roland recently helped source surfaces for a unique fireplace. “The last, really big, special project was a hand carved cherub fireplace for a music room, the cherubs are draped in “fabric” and were an exact copy of the homeowner’s favorite garden sculpture, the heads had to be slightly turned downward, and eyes closed in remembrance of the homeowner’s daughter. This just won (in part) an ASID Design Award for the designer.”

Frame carved from Crema Viejo B Travertine

Another special order also made from Crema Viejo B Travertine became a unique carved frame for our client’s artwork.

Roland recently created the amazing design that will become the bottom of a swimming pool. The inspiration for the overall idea was the Neptune pool at the Hearst Castle.

Bottom of a Custom Swimming Pool made with Marble and Natural Stone

The photo was taken at the factory where this was built/waterjet cut. It will be cut into pieces, shipped and reassembled onsite. In order to have stones such as these in a pool, specifically marble, the water has to be specially formulated. This pool is not cleaned with chlorine or salt, but by using an electric charge to ionize the water.

We hope that Roland’s recent projects will inspire you to use natural stone surfaces. By thinking outside the box, you can create amazing pieces that are only limited by your imagination. To learn more about our custom orders and our talented design teams, contact the Arizona Tile location nearest you.

Natural Stone for Outdoor Fireplaces

Posted by in Exterior Stone Projects,Exterior Tile & Slab Projects,Fireplace,Listelles & Medallions,Natural Stone,Slab,Tile,Travertine Tile & Slabs | July 17, 2012
Medallion: Sopris Waterjet, Emperador Dark Polished Marble, Rojo Alicante Polished Marble, Mexican Noce Travertine. Background: Ankara Tumbled Travertine 6”x6. Border: Mexican Noce Tumbled Travertine 1”x1”. Hearth slab: Colonial Cream Granite.

Are you thinking of creating a space outdoors for entertaining? Enhance your patio for summer evenings with the ambiance of an outdoor fireplace. An outdoor fireplace creates a natural gathering spot for small groups or creates a cozy setting for two. Natural stone is the perfect material for building outdoor fireplaces. The physical beauty of stone harmonizes with outdoor settings to bring out the best in the stone and the scenery. And of course, natural stone is made in nature by nature. It was designed to withstand the out-of-doors!

Wondering what materials to choose for an outdoor fireplace?

Medallion: Sopris Waterjet, Emperador Dark Polished Marble, Rojo Alicante Polished Marble, Troy Travertine. Background: Turco Travertine 6”x6. Border: Mexican Noce Tumbled Travertine 1”x1”. Hearth slab: Colonial Cream Granite. Photo courtesy of Linda Hauser of California Designs for Living.

The interior structure of an outdoor fireplace will be made from fireproof concrete. The natural stone will be the facing or cladding that will adhere to the concrete, creating that gorgeous outside appearance. An outdoor fireplace has two surfaces – the horizontal surface and the vertical surface. The horizontal and vertical surfaces may be covered using the same natural stone for a uniform look or contrasting stone for more variety. When choosing your fireplace facing, consider the stone used in planned or existing retaining walls, outdoor columns and patio floors to create a contiguous effect that is aesthetically pleasing.

When considering materials for fireplace stone facing, remember that the fireplace and chimney must meet state and local fire codes, so only certain products can be used. We recommend the following materials when designing and building an outdoor fireplace.

Horizontal  Surfaces:

Natural stone slabs like granite, travertine, limestone and slate / quartzite can be cut to exact dimensions for a perfect fit for a custom fireplace. These materials are resistant to heat – ideal for an outdoor fireplace hearth. Their durability stands up to most temperatures and weather conditions through the baking heat of summer to cold winter nights.

Tumbled stone, including travertine, and marble are excellent choices to create stunning beauty in a backyard landscape while withstanding the outdoor elements. If you are considering slate, call us for recommendations on the ideal slate for outdoor projects. Some types of slate can be used in freeze/thaw conditions, but not all are designed for outdoor use. We’re happy to discuss with  you the best slate for your project.

Vertical Surfaces:

Outdoor Fireplace in Café Forest Marble

Granite, travertine, limestone, and marble can also be used for vertical facing on an outdoor fireplace. But if you want to make the fireplace the focal point of the patio, don’t miss the opportunity to design a custom vertical facing using 3-D split or slate stack tiles, tumbled stone mosaics or stone moldings. Used alone or combined to make a stunning design, you are nearly guaranteed to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor fireplace that is a work of art.

When choosing colors, gather your inspiration from the colors that nature provides in the surrounding outdoor landscape. Natural stone harmoniously accents the greens, browns, rusts and reds found in backyards everywhere.  With a well-designed outdoor fireplace as the focus of your patio, you’ll find that you may spend more time outdoors than in. Make your favorite room your outdoor patio with a stunning natural stone fireplace!

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