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How to Create the Stacked Stone Fireplace Look on a Budget

Stacked stone fireplaces are undeniably gorgeous and can turn what would otherwise be a plain, boring space into an incredibly warm, inviting one. By using stone veneer panels, you can achieve the look without spending a fortune, allowing you to transform a dated fireplace into something amazing.
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Brick fireplace "before" transformation

Stacked stone fireplaces are undeniably gorgeous but the natural stone, and the labor to install it, can be expensive. Luckily, there's a way to have the beauty of natural stone without breaking the bank, allowing you to transform a dated fireplace like the one below into something really beautiful.

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What's the secret? Faux stone veneer that has the look of hand-laid dry-stacked natural stone but the simplicity of a panel system. Just like true natural stone, stone veneer is molded with variations in shape, size, and texture, making it virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. And stone veneer is not only less expensive than true natural stone, but the ease and cost of installation is also a significant cost savings. The best part is that there are almost endless options when creating a stacked stone fireplace using stone veneer, allowing you to personalize your fireplace to your specific taste.

 

The biggest decision you'll make in designing your dream fireplace is to choose your stone veneer from the dozens of size and color options. Create a classic, timeless feel by choosing ledgestone in shades of brown and gray.

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Or create a more contemporary feel with thin, angular stones in more vivid tones.

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After choosing your favorite stone veneer, you often have the option of panels where the stones are stacked tightly together for a dry-stacked look or ones where the stones are spaced farther apart with mortar in between.

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The top half is shown with stone and mortar while the bottom half is dry-stacked stone.

Another option for personalizing your fireplace is to incorporate a keystone or other unique stone trim into the design. The options are endless, ranging from trim in a unique contrasting material to a simple stone arch.

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Hearth stones are another way to add your own personal touch. You can choose to add hearth stones in true natural stone such as slate, in a stone veneer of a contrasting color to your fireplace stone or in a color that coordinates and blends with the stacked stone of your fireplace.

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An example of hearth stones.

You can also choose something more unique such as this hearth created with stones that are broken up and then installed with mortar in between.

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Mortared hearthstone pieces.

And the options don't end there! You can choose to incorporate a stone or wood mantel, take your stacked stone all the way up to the ceiling or end it at the mantel, or even play around with the design of the firebox itself.

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Here is an example of a herringbone firebox design.

The end result will be a fireplace that's warm, welcoming and uniquely yours for a fraction of the price of natural stone, giving you more money to spend on the most fun part of a new fireplace -- creating a show-stopping mantel display!

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About the Author

Kris Jarrett

Kris has lived in more than 20 homes in eight different states -- and that more than anything has made her appreciate the importance of creating welcoming, stylish spaces that really feel like home. She shares some of the decorating expertise she picked up along the way on her blog, Driven by Decor, where she also features DIY projects that are affordable, stylish, and timeless.

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