Slate, sand­stone ve­neer sheets amaze

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

NAT­U­RAL stone build­ing ma­te­ri­als have al­ways been a pop­u­lar choice. They en­hance the beauty of any space, and cre­ate a feel­ing of lux­ury that we ex­pe­ri­ence through touch as well as vis­ually. Any bath­room with stone floors, coun­ters or shower walls of­fers an ir­re­sistible air of spa-like in­dul­gence. While mar­ble and gran­ite have been com­mon choices, I’ve no­ticed that slate and sand­stone are up-and-com­ing favourites for bath­room floors and show­ers.

In its most prac­ti­cal state, the bath­room is a “cold” room with hard sur­faces and lit­tle colour. The nat­u­ral vari­a­tions in pat­terns and colours present in dec­o­ra­tive stone of­fer im­me­di­ate warmth and splen­dour. It is prac­ti­cal in wet spa­ces, and the slightly ir­reg­u­lar sur­face of stones such as slate makes them re­sis­tant to slip­page.

I have re­cently dis­cov­ered stone ve­neers through a com­pany called Sur­face In­no­va­tion. Real slate and sand­stone are now avail­able in light­weight, flex­i­ble ve­neer sheets. This opens up ex­cit­ing ap­pli­ca­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties. As well as the more cus­tom­ary flat-sur­face ap­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing floors, walls, cab­i­netry and coun­ters, stone ve­neers can be wrapped around col­umns, fur­ni­ture and light­ing pro­duc­ing im­pres­sive re­sults. If you are ren­o­vat­ing, you will not have to move elec­tri­cal switches or ad­just for the nor­mal thick­ness or con­sid­er­able weight of a stone slab. These flex­i­ble ve­neers can be cut to size on site.

The stone ve­neer, backed with a stan­dard fi­bre­glass re­in­forced polyester ma­te­rial is ap­prox­i­mately 2 mm thick, and can be cut with tin snips. It’s laid on any pre­pared sur­face — ply­wood, ce­ment, dry­wall, even ce­ramic tiles with a com­pat­i­ble ad­he­sive.

The Euro­pean de­signed bath­room shown here has been clad with Sand­stone Ve­neer. The move­ment of the rich caramel veins high­lighted by a scal­loped top edge shows off the mod­ern de­sign of this strik­ing, sen­su­ous set­ting.

To demon­strate the flex­i­bil­ity and unique char­ac­ter of stone ve­neers, SlateFlex was in­tro­duced into the de­sign of a stun­ning kitchen counter, cus­tom-built by Chervin Kitchen and Bath www.chervin.ca. Gloss black gran­ite meets thick butcher block for the coun­ter­top, the curved front is SlateFlex Green Na­ture and the stain­less steel kick plate has small spot lights set in.

There are al­ways vari­a­tions in shad­ing and pat­tern in nat­u­ral stone. The stone ve­neers come un­fin­ished so that you can choose to en­hance the colours with stone en­hancer prod­ucts sold at your build­ing store, or leave the stone in its nat­u­ral state. Stone is por­ous and can be sealed to avoid con­tam­i­nants from seep­ing into the sur­face. Visit www.sur­facein­no­va­tion.ca to see more imag­i­na­tive ap­pli­ca­tions, and then dream up your own de­sign.

Stone ve­neer is a great so­lu­tion for the fire­place chal­lenge sent in by a reader in the fol­low­ing let­ter. Dear Deb­bie; We have a large stucco stone fire­place we would like to update. The sur­face is ir­reg­u­lar as the stones are raised. How can we give the fire­place a new look? Love your weekly col­umns. Barb Dear Barb; Stone ve­neer would make a stun­ning fire­place sur­round. How­ever, you will have to smooth out the un­even sur­face. Chiselling away at the raised stones and fill­ing in the in­den­ta­tions with plas­ter is a messy, time-con­sum­ing job. In­stead, why not build a new ply­wood sur­round to fit over the stucco. You now have a flat sur­face on which to ap­ply paint, tiles, or a slate or sand­stone ve­neer.

Above: Flex­i­ble slate ve­neer wraps around the front of a stun­ning cus­tom kitchen is­land. Be­low: The floor, walls and shower in this grand bath­room are clad in real

stone ve­neer, a fab­u­lous new prod­uct from Sur­face In­no­va­tion.

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