Norstone Industry Series - Tumbled Stone
In today’s design world there are practically no limits to what can be used as a decorative surface material. Metal, glass, wood, and stone are just a few primary categories of materials, each with a multitude of different finishes that they can be prepared in. For today’s topic, let’s concentrate on stone and more specifically tumbled stone. Tumbled stone’s popularity comes from the fact that it helps create the weathered old world look that adds an air of classiness and establishment to any project, and lends itself towards a variety of residential and commercial applications including kitchens, bathrooms, offices, retail and hospitality projects.
Tumbled stone products start life as large stones that have been quarried, rough cut, and shipped to fabricators who cut down those large blocks of stone into smaller slabs, pavers, or tiles. The stone is then placed into large drums along with grit, crushed stones, water, and other abrasives and spun according to the fabricator’s “recipe” for what look they are hoping to achieve. Everything inside the drum will rub and wear against the stone until the fabricator gets the desired tumbled effect or finish they want. Post tumbling, much can be done to diversify this design style. Larger stones can be cut into smooth rounded milky tiles or smaller stones like gemstones and river rocks can be placed onto backers and paired with other materials such as glass for a more colorful finish.
The old-world charm of tumbled stone offers the opportunity to create a professional look with a very unique style for interior and exterior projects. These classic tile or rounded stone accent surfaces offer meticulous artistry and design applications limited only by your imagination. The myriad of color choices, the patterns, and the materials can be combined to build a true work of art that will accent any space whether traditional or modern. For the team here at Norstone, the tumbled look is something we appreciate very much. Being in direct contrast to the sharp, geometric lines of our Rock Panels and Basalt Tiles, it expands our horizons on different ways stone can be finished and how different finishes can be paired to achieve a seamless look, such as the photo you see here where our Ivory Rock Panel is paired with a tumbled travertine to border a pizza oven.
As with any trend, the tumbled stone look is bound to ebb and flow from the fancy of designers and trend setters in the natural stone industry. Fabricators and manufacturers will continue to push forward with new twists on the tumbled look and more efficient ways to process. Designers will then find unique ways to use it to create environments pleasing to their clients. So next time a classic old world design project happens across your desk, think about finding a spot to use tumbled stone, from the floors to the walls and everything in between!