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Before and After Aztec XL Stone Veneer Fireplace

When we first released our Aztec color several years ago we knew it was a going to be a great product for interior applications. Aztec is really a brightened up version of our tried and true Ochre color, with light earth tones of brown, grey and off white, with undertones ranging from blush to orange. Aztec, because of its high mica content, also splits with a lot of facets, giving this color, along with its close cousins Pearl and Sierra, an understated glitter effect that isn’t overwhelming but definitely adds to the appeal of the product. Interior projects,where lighter colors help set the tone of a space and good lighting really brings to life wall coverings, is the perfect playground for this color.

Before photo of an old brick fireplace set to be redone with Norstone Aztec XL Stone Veneer

Our project profile this week is a customer we worked with directly a couple years ago that had an old brick fireplace that was in need of a new look. One of the cool parts about this old installation was the unique way the original installers created “vents” out of cut pieces of brick for the “heatilator” system, which draws cold air from the room in and pumps it back out several degrees warmer. Needless to say the ventilation system itself was scrapped in lieu of a new insert that is more energy efficient without the need for a ventilation system. Overall, this fireplace had good bones, just needed a face lift!

Old brick fireplace receiving a masonry skim coat to prep it for installation of Norstone Aztec XL Stone Veneer

The homeowner really liked our natural stone veneer panel system because it could be installed over the existing brick substrate with minimal prep work, our finger-joint corner units offered up a good solution to turn the outside corners and cover the small return back to the wall on each side of the fireplace, and because our system is DIY friendly, allowing him to do the work and save the money a tile installer would charge. The photo here shows the fireplace as a masonry skim coat is being applied to the existing bricks to fill in any gaps and provide a smooth, level and plumb substrate to start from.

Norstone Aztec XL Fireplace Remodel Project

The finished product here is a night and day difference from the starting point. The light and bright color of the Aztec works nicely with the wall color and hardwood flooring to liven up the space as compared to the drab red tones of the brick. An updated lighting fixture that is nice and shiny not only helps drag the room out of the 90s, but also provides some great focused light on the stone. While difficult to pick up on in a photo, that light along with the subtle sparkle / glitter effect the Aztec creates really creates a focal point for the room.

The working components of the fireplace received a major overhaul as well, including a new insert and a nice set of new gas logs that do a much better job of drawing attention to the flame itself, whereas the old insert was more focused on the functionality of heating the room than style or design. Luckily, with advances in fireplace and fireplace insert technology, now we can have fireplaces that are ultra efficient, and look great too.

Norstone Aztec XL Stone Veneer Fireplace Remodel Project with new granite hearth stone

One last thing to point out is the new hearth stone. Previously just bricks, the hearth is now really set off with a piece of black granite that contrasts well with the color the stone and ties in nicely with the insert as well as other element of the décor. Granite or other types of natural stone like flag stone, field stone, marble,and travertine, whether sourced in smaller tiles and set to form the hearth, or cut as one piece from larger slabs, are all excellent ideas for hearth selections. And since the size needed is generally pretty small, checking with your local slab yard is always worth doing to see what they have in their off cut stack where really good deals on beautiful materials can be found.

Thanks for taking a look at this before and after fireplace project with us – we hope you agree that the stone veneer really turned this space from quite ordinary to extraordinary. If you have a space that you’re thinking about using stone veneer to enhance, contact one of our knowledgeable staff today to learn more, order samples, and get started designing your own extraordinary space.

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Norstone's New Dimensions in Natural Stone blog aims to discuss design themes, sources of inspiration, and how the world around us influences our creative interpretation and buying preferences.

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