Stone and Trowel

Natural stone design inspiration and technical information for architectural and landscape professionals.

Steven Schrenk

Coming to the stone industry via studies in art and design at SCAD where I first fell in love with this material, I approach stone design with an artistic eye developed from years working in museums and galleries curating and installing exhibitions. I carve sculptures in marble and granite which continues to deepen my connection with natural stone. Cutting and fabricating slabs and blocks, working with architects and designers and managing complex installations are an extension of my hands-on skills in the industry and the studio. I enjoy expressing the beauty, and telling the story, of natural stone to convey its timeless message, ranging from the quarry to your finished design and everywhere in between.

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Recent Posts

Make History in Your Backyard With Natural Stone

Posted by Steven Schrenk
Pulled from the Earth, natural stone is the embodiment of strength and durability and has been used over the ages to build some of the most iconic American landmarks which have endured the test of time (think: the National Cathedral, Empire State Building and the Biltmore Estate just to name a

Topics: History and Heritage, American natural stone, Hardscape

Historic Connecticut Home Renovation Blends Old and New with Granite

Posted by Steven Schrenk

From the moment she saw the historic Greek Revival home, built in the mid-1800s and set on an acre of property in charming Westport, Connecticut, actress, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger Eva Amurri could see the potential. “We loved it from the second we saw it,” explained the mom of two

Topics: Historic restoration, Outdoor spaces, Patios, granite steps

Build a Backyard Granite Fire Pit in a Weekend

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Not only does a fire pit add to the beauty of an outdoor living space, creating a cozy nook for gatherings or quiet contemplation, but it’s a feature that lets you enjoy relaxing in the great outdoors beyond the summer season.

Topics: Granite, fire pit, DIY Fire Pit

Taking the Mystery Out of Natural Stone Hardscapes and Masonry

Posted by Steven Schrenk

While events across the country are put on hold right now to practice social distancing, Polycor rolled out new virtual training and expertise for contractors interested in incorporating the timeless beauty of natural stone into their hardscapes and masonry projects.  

Topics: masonry, Hardscape, Hardscape How To

Transform a Door Into an Entrance: How to Install Granite Entry Steps

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Whether you’re considering replacing existing steps or are designing new construction, adding natural stone steps to a home’s exterior brings beauty and long lasting elegance to any entryway project.

Topics: granite steps, Hardscape How To

Classic Indiana Limestone Gets A Modern Thin Veneer Cut

Posted by Steven Schrenk

If you’ve mastered the patio project, it’s time to add thin veneer installation to your skill set. This quick to apply material is an easy upgrade to outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and building exteriors. Learn the quick and easy process to install Indiana limestone veneer and not only will your

Topics: Indiana Limestone, Hardscape How To, Thin Veneer

How to Choose (and Install) Pavers and Slabs That Work From Sub-zero Winters to Sizzling Summers

Posted by Steven Schrenk

One of the challenges of hardscape design is choosing materials that not only look good but are going to stand up to weather extremes, like Chicago summers and Massachusetts winters (or vice versa).

We spoke with two contractors in those two very different parts of the country who both have to

Topics: Granite, Indiana Limestone, pavers

How To Install A Granite Post For a Mailbox or Lighting

Posted by Steven Schrenk

If your next project includes installing granite posts for lighting or a mailbox, you’ve picked a quick project that will add instant curb appeal.

Topics: mailbox posts, Woodbury Gray, Hardscape How To, Hardscape Tools of the Trade

Indiana Limestone vs Concrete Smackdown (the winner might surprise you)

Posted by Steven Schrenk

In the battle between whether to choose concrete or Indiana Limestone for a hardscape project, the winner just might surprise you (we’re looking at you, limestone).

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Topics: steps, Indiana Limestone, pavers, natural stone vs concrete

Tackle a Front Entrance With a Garden Wall in Just 7 Steps

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Nothing dresses up a front entryway like a pretty garden wall and choosing Indiana limestone, part of Polycor’s hardscape lineup, for the project makes it a snap to get done in just one day.

Topics: Hardscape, Hardscape How To, Hardscape Tools of the Trade, Garden wall

Set the stage with stone.

Foundational ideas for
hardscape design.

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