Think back to the days when houses were first built and you’re likely to conjure up images of rustic stone or log walls that looked as if they’d last forever. They usually did and it’s that durability that long made stone and log walls so popular. However, for some, a stone walls are simply about aesthetic appeal that I totally understand.

A variety of stone can be used in an assortment of applications on walls around your home, from backsplashes to shower walls. And thanks to technology, you can even install a stone veneer wall on top of your existing drywall without adding weight that could damage your home’s structure.

Let’s start with kitchen backsplashes, where stone is amongst the hottest trends. Not only used to protect your walls from splashes and spills, backsplashes can be a major focal point in a kitchen. As such, marble, travertine and slate are the most popular backsplash options today. However, as mentioned, stone veneer can also be used. It’s essential that stone tile backsplashes are properly sealed to avoid staining and must be cleaned using a mild detergent to prevent corrosion of that sealant. Likewise, stone veneer should be sealed, but keep in mind that the extreme texture on this surface may make it difficult to keep clean in a well used kitchen.

In the bathroom, stone showers were once a luxury that’s now a hot commodity due to the affordability of stone tiles. In many cases the same stone tiles used in flooring can be used in showers, provided the right sealant is used to provide a water barrier. Keep in mind, however, that since only mild detergents should be used to clean such surfaces, you’ll need to keep your shower very clean. You don’t want a layer of soap scum to form that will then be very difficult to get rid of. I recommend using a squeegee to wipe down the stone tiles after each use, as well as a thorough weekly cleaning.

And if you’re looking to do a focal wall, stone veneer is really the best option. Lightweight and easy to install, it also comes with an affordable price tag so that you can maximize the impact without impacting your budget too much. Keep in mind, however, that stone veneer has a rough texture and a variety of ledges that may be difficult to keep clean. Regular dusting is a necessity, and some vacuuming wouldn’t hurt either.

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