Natural Stone Kitchen Hoods – Step by Step

Stone kitchen hoods offer the perfect design focal point. Afterall, the kitchen is historically the central gathering place in the home. It’s where families come together to share meals, conversation, and entertainment. What makes the kitchen such a great place to design within? Simply put, it is a challenge to cohesively intertwine the many components that make up this space.

Let’s consider the integration between the various trades and technologies. For example, there are the mechanical and electrical aspects to consider. After all, the form of your natural stone hood must blend holistically with the function it is required to facilitate. When completed properly, this stone “sculpture” is a visual and functional symphony for all to enjoy.

A natural stone range hood will help create a perfectly blended room and reinforce a punctuated focal point within the space.
Let’s get down to a few details. A typical opening question from a potential client might be: “how much is the stone hood in your catalog?” This is certainly a valid question. However, it is very much like asking a builder how much would a custom home cost. In order to avoid a frustrated customer, the home builder might follow up with questions such as:

  • Where would you like to build?
  • What size home do you desire?
  • What style of home are you looking for?


We also require more information to properly budget your natural stone hood. Here are four questions that you should initially expect:

  • What size range (cook top) are you working with?
  • What is your ceiling height?
  • What stone are you interested in using?
  • Have you preliminarily selected a design you prefer?


These answers will help us to determine the overall design and sizing of the hood and in turn project a reasonable budget number. Of course, there are a great number of details that would also need to be understood to bring this element of your project together. Using the house analogy, this will help us decide if you’re looking for a cottage or a mansion and which will fit on your lot!

Selecting your Design

Many customers seem to feel that design options are limited. My response to this comment is to look at our fireplace designs. Remember that your stone hood will be cut from a block of natural stone. Any of our fireplace designs can be transformed into a kitchen hood application!

Within the design of your range hood, it must be understood that there are 3 main elements to the product:

The Corbel
Corbels are decorative stone brackets that hang beneath the shelf adjacent to the range. These may be intricately carved or simply designed to add fullness to the unit. The corbel element may “hang” from the shelf, or it may be incorporated with a plinth that carries the design down to the counter top. Corbels and plinths are a great idea when you’re trying to encapsulate a mosaic backsplash on the wall behind the cook top.

The Shelf
The shelf portion of the range hood is the stone that wraps the mechanical unit that evacuates fumes from the cook top. The shelf may be designed as straight, arched (radial, eyebrow, or gothic), thick or thin with a variety of projections and details. The limitations to the shelf is the space allowed between the cabinets.

The Stack
This is the material that runs from above the shelf to the ceiling and typically conceals the ventilation systems plumbing. Stack designs vary from straight, tapered, concave or convex and may include decorative niches and crown moldings that transition the stone to the ceiling.
It is important to note that each of these elements are independent from the others and are not necessary for your application. Many hood designs will include corbels and a shelf, while the stack is plastered. Or you may elect to have a shelf without corbels and a stack. A reclaimed wood shelf with a stone stack is yet another option.

Understanding the Technical Basics

As mentioned earlier, each element of your hood is completely independent from the other components. The biggest concern clients have is the sheer weight of the stone in a working space. The correct installation method of a stone hood is tying the unit to the wall in which it rests. With a combination of proper substrate blocking and installation methods, your stone range hood will be secure forever.

As you work through the process of selecting and designing a stone range hood, you can be assured that we have the experience and expertise to assist with both the design and technical knowledge to create a focal masterpiece in your kitchen. And as always, we challenge you to dare to be different. Let us help you make a unique masterpiece for your kitchen!

Our sister company, Materials Marketing has ten showrooms around the USA. Visit with the design professionals there.

How to Build a Stone Wall

How to Build a Stone Wall, Part One

A freestanding mortared fieldstone wall blends strength with the natural look of a dry stack



Stone walls are a handsome way to define and improve your property. Building them is backbreaking work, but if done correctly, the wall will last a lifetime, if not a lot longer.  I like to set stones in mortar because you can’t beat a mortared wall for strength, which is important if a wall serves as seating or holds back earth. To preserve a dry-laid look, I set the stones in a mortar that’s pigmented a dark gray and then rake the joints clean. Freestanding mortared walls, like the fieldstone one I’m building here, need a stable, frost-proof footing to prevent shifting, and that requires a lot of digging in cold climates. Ask a stone yard to help determine how much material you’ll need, and have it delivered as close to the site as possible. Once built, you’ll have a rock-solid wall without all the heavy mortar lines.

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Step 1: Prepare The Footing

Dig a trench that’s below the frost line and 2 feet wider than the wall. Line it with landscape fabric overlapped 12 inches at the seams, add a 6-inch layer of ¾-inch stone, and tamp it with a plate compactor. Add and tamp more layers until the footing is about 8 inches below grade. About a foot beyond each end of a straight wall section, drive two stakes, separated by a distance equal to the width of the wall.

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Step 2: Lay The Base Course

Connect the stakes with a mason’s line set just above grade. Place the first stone at a corner with its face grazing the line. Position the next stone against the first, face to the line, and so on until the first course is laid. Repeat on the opposite side. Fill between the two rows with smaller stones, set flush with the tops of the face stones. Top this course with a bed of mortar.

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Step 3: Build Up The Wall

Reposition the line higher up the stakes and start the second course from a corner. Dry-fit each stone first to see that the vertical joints are staggered and the outside faces just touch the line. Remove the stone, spread a trowelful of mortar on the wall, and tamp the stone into it with a mallet. The face stones’ visible edges should rest only on stone, not mortar, so scrape away any mortar that squeezes out.

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This is a fairly dense post so we have elected to present it in two parts. Thanks again to This Old House and stay tuned for Part Two.

In order for a homeowner or designer to select architectural limestone elements for their design plans, they may commonly have a hand drawing of their idea or a page from a magazine on hand. Stone elements are often a big part of the overall design. Stone detailing is commonly found throughout the home in places such as fireplace surrounds, kitchen hoods, columns and staircases. In a successful design, specific stones must be selected according to its appropriate use in the location of the home. Design limitations of the material itself must also be considered. This is why customizing architectural limestone elements in an architectural plan is necessary.


A majority of stone fireplaces are custom-made due to the fact that the dimensions of the selected area are often different with each project. If a specific style such as Regency or Art Deco  is requested, specific stone elements are necessary to define the style according to its time period. Increasingly popular are clean and bright stones such as White and Cream. Limestone fireplace elements showing less joints as well as larger one-piece mantels, moldings and jambs are currently a trend.

Selecting the appropriate finish is important for the architectural limestone element according to its specific design style. For example, if one were choosing limestone elements to complement a Tudor-style design, specific stones would be chosen to remind the homeowner of the English countryside. An appropriate stone choice for this design would be Pewter with a textured finish. Its weathered appearance works well for an aged look.

Each designer has a vision of their chosen project and choosing architectural limestone elements should be a part of that. Through this process of customization, a designer may effectively achieve their design vision. Having a working knowledge of the stones and their design limitations is a good start in selecting the perfect architectural limestone elements for your design. Our sister company, Materials Marketing has ten showrooms  in the United States.  They will be happy to help you with Texas limestone from the A.J. Brauer quarry. As always, thanks very much for reading.