From the Floor Up

Bookmatched Stone for an Elegant Interior

Posted by Daltile Team on Jul 31, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Exotic granite. See a local dealer for inventory.

Looking for the ultimate in elegance for your stonework? Bookmatching is what you are looking for. It’s taking sublime natural patterns and mirror imaging them for a look that is unique and opulent. Remember art class from your childhood when you folded your paper in half, painted one side then closed the paper on itself? When you opened it up again—like a book—you had a perfect mirror image that became a totally new work of art. Turn the beautiful slab stonework in your project into a work of art with bookmatching.

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Natural quartzite bookmatched slab in Blue Fusion

Where It Comes From

Fabricating bookmatched stone slab takes careful planning. Slices of stone cut out of gargantuan blocks are kept in order then two neighboring slabs are opened up—just like turning pages in a book. The result is mirrored patterns from one slab to the next. The two are placed next to each other in large applications or cut and glued together to form a more uniform and standard-sized slab before hitting the sales floor.

Bookmatched stone comes from quarries all over the world. Veined stone, like marble, is the most popular for bookmatching because of the pronounced patterns created by the veins. Fine grained stone like Tropical Brown granite, is less popular for this process because there are few patterns that stand out on the slab and often you can’t even tell it has been bookmatched.

Why Design with Bookmatched StoneClose up of Blue Fusion bookmatched natural quartzite

Not only is bookmatched stone elegant, it can also be whimsical. Just like finding recognizable shapes in your kindergarten art project, bookmatched slabs reveal interesting patterns. It isn’t unusual to see faces, hearts, diamonds, and silhouettes in the finished product. This element makes a wall application desirable.

Bathroom walls, feature walls, and shower walls are some of the most in-demand applications for bookmatching. They make for a high-end, luxurious design in the bathroom that end up spread across design magazines and favorite stops at home shows.

Bookmatching is also excellent for kitchen islands that act as the visual and design center of the room. They are stunning and commanding as the point from which everything else is developed. Some choose to bookmatch all kitchen and bathroom countertops, but bookmatching is best showcased in large, uninterrupted spaces.

It is also a great pick for high-end commercial applications like the front desk in a hotel lobby or the backdrop behind the front desk. In very large areas, up to four stones can be bookmatched for an expansive design.

What to Consider

Bookmatching stone is a complicated process for fabricators because they have to interrupt their regular processes to ensure polishing is done on the correct side of the slab. Some stones are cut and put together to highlight the best features of the stone. All this means extra time and management at the factory which translates into extra time and cost for buyers. Start planning for bookmatched stone slabs early so you’ll have the budget and schedule secured and there won’t be surprises.


In order to create some of the more intricate designs, there are odds and ends of stone leftover creating more waste. You’ll definitely need more stone than a usual installation to achieve the bookmatch look.

Generally, only the more expensive stone is used for bookmatching because these usually have the heavy veining and exotic characteristics of higher-end stone slab that looks great when bookmatched. So in the end, selecting bookmatched stone is a bigger investment than standard stone slabs. But it does create that spectacular look that you just can’t get otherwise.


Walk through your local slab yard to see bookmatched options today.

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Topics: Trends, Stone, Wall Tile

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