Sandstone indoor stairs and hearth

150 150 Thuja Wood Art - Reclaimed Cedar Furniture Wood Art Vancouver Victoria Gulf Islands British Columbia

I have had the opportunity to do some showcase indoor stonework over the last year.  The first part is a sandstone staircase dropping three steps into a sunken living area.  The second part is a matching sandstone hearth for the fireplace in the living area near the stairs.  The stairs are built over infloor hydronic heating tubes which will keep the rock nice and warm during the cold weather.  I used local sandstone, some from the property and the rest from a quarry nearby.  The joints are tight, and the rock is mortared in place, then finished with grout between the stones.  I also added many colourful and special small stones throughout the stonework to give some colour and character. The stonework was then sealed with a high quality sealer, which will allow the stone to feel its original texture, and not have a glossy coating over it, but be easier to clean and maintain.  The stairs are over 7′ across, which isn’t necessary for walking over the whole space, so I made the last couple of feet on one end stay the height of the top step and drop directly down to the lower floor level, leaving a space to sit or put a potted plant.  The second part of the project was the stone hearth for the wood stove.  I made the hearth the same height as the top step so they would visually match, and also so that it would bring the wood stove up in height, so that one wouldn’t need to bend over so much to use it.  I used the same method of mortaring the rock, but leaving room for the finish grout.  The small wall behind the hearth is a cob wall featuring some detailed sculpture that will nicely frame the woodstove.  The flooring in the house has been finished using cork flooring in the upper area above the stairs, and earthen clay floor in the sunken living room, giving the stone a sense of being naturally settled into the floor.  Fun projects that show what a little time and effort can bring…


Colin Hamilton

All stories by: Colin Hamilton
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