Leftover stone pieces allow you to add luxury details for a fraction of the price
When a design project using natural stone is complete, there are often leftover stones, or remnants, for many reasons. A client may have decided to change the design, the architect or interior designer may not have needed as much as initially thought, or they needed extra material to cut into specific sizes to accommodate the project.
In other cases, natural stone might be affected in transport, scratched from a saw, or damaged from being outside. Rather than allow the pieces to go to waste, stone yards or fabricators, the craftspeople who turn a rough slab into a finished product, keep them. Natural stone remnants provide an opportunity to feature a luxurious home detail that goes beyond countertops.
Here are seven ways to creatively use natural stone remnants in different rooms in your home and for a fraction of the original price.
1. Add Natural Stone Window Sills
You may not always update your window sills when you replace your windows, but this is a prime area to include any excess natural stone from a larger project. Since window sills are long and narrow, it’s possible to find excess natural stone from a countertop or slab to accommodate this often-overlooked area.
2. Make Natural Stone Home Accessories
You can still make use of smaller leftover stone pieces. Ask the fabricator to make a round design that you can use as a coaster, trivet, cheese board, or bookends. Depending on the size and how many pieces are available, you can create a whole collection of home accessories.
If you want to get the most out of your granite countertop costs and find yourself with a remnant piece not big enough to be used for another project, you can repurpose it into a serving tray by attaching wood handles.
Even if you decide not to keep them, these items can make wonderful housewarming gifts for others and allow you to use every last piece of your natural stone remnants.
3. Create Natural Stone Artwork
It’s not unusual to use natural stone as a backsplash, but since there is so much variety among stones in terms of colors, textures, veining, styles, and finishes, it can also be fun to use any gorgeous remnants as different kinds of wall art too.
Think beyond paint or wallpaper and consider how you can incorporate stone into a larger wall design or on its own as an architectural detail. Speaking with a local stone fabricator can help you get ideas to bring your vision to life.
4. Build Natural Stone Shelves
Need a home for your keys, cell phone, sunglasses, or other small items that seem always to get misplaced as soon as you walk in the door? A small natural stone shelf placed strategically next to your door might be the perfect solution.
Another important storage spot often not considered is inside a closet space or laundry room. Adding shelves in these areas is not only practical, but brings a touch of luxury and interest to otherwise plain or practical spaces in a home.
5. Take a Natural Stone Seat in the Shower
Most people think of a bathtub as more relaxing than a shower. However, add a small seat or bench, and not only will your shower look luxurious, but this feature can make your daily shower feel more opulent.
Depending on how you designed your shower, another often-overlooked spot to reuse leftover stone is the shower curb—that space between the bathroom floor and inside the shower. Like a windowsill, it’s a linear space where you can use natural stone remnants from a larger project like a kitchen countertop or bathroom feature wall.
6. Create a Mosaic Floor With Natural Stone Remnants
If there isn’t enough leftover stone to complete a large space of flooring, consider using what is available for a small mosaic pattern at the base of a front or back door. The natural stone floor will make it easier to clean any dirt trailing in, while making for a nice focal point as people enter your home.
7. Take Leftover Stone Outdoors
Most of these ideas involve reusing leftover stone indoors, but many types of natural stone remnants can be applied outdoors. Scraps of natural stone or even leftover bricks can be used as part of the landscape, within a garden, as a bench, to surround an outdoor fire pit, and so many other ways.
Add some curb appeal by taking extra pieces of natural stone and making them into a path or walkway. You can also use bricks as edging for a garden or sidewalk. Some have even used natural stone remnants and old bricks as a form of weed management.
Why You Should Reuse Leftover Stone
At the end of a remodeling project, many homeowners choose to keep extra pieces on hand in case something gets damaged. Over time, they may forget they have leftover stone materials stored in the basement or garage, and they’re left to collect dust. Keeping a few extra pieces of material is smart, but keeping large slabs of beautiful stone that you can use for other projects is a shame.
If you don’t have extra natural stone lying around, go to a local stone yard or stone shops and ask if they have available scraps you can buy or take off their hands. Contractors have to pay to dispose of materials they either demolish or are left from a project, whether it is natural stone, bricks, wood, or other building materials. These materials often find their way to a stone yard that doesn’t have enough room to store them for long. Those stone yards will often sell pieces for a nominal fee.
Keep in mind that natural stone remnants will likely need to be finished before you can use them, and the cost will depend on the type of stone as well as the size. A fabricator or professional with the right tools can help cut, polish and detail the stone and even install it if you don’t have the tools or skills to do it yourself.