Installation & Cleaning and Maintenance

#TileTuesday: Natural Stone for Your Fireplace feat. Gabriella Gomes

#TileTuesday: Natural Stone for Your Fireplace feat. Gabriella Gomes

This week’s #TileTuesday features a very special guest, Gabriella Gomes from GG Tile Design. Gomes joins us to discuss her captivating designs for two fireplaces using Island Stone natural stone products, and we also cover:

  • The winner of our #TileTuesday contest
  • Natural stone for fireplace applications
  • Maintenance and cleaning natural stone

Congratulations to our #TileTuesday contest winner, Ceramic Matrix! Our #TileTuesday contest showcased some of the best applications of Island Stone tile, both in quality of design and installation. Ceramic Matrix’s entry featured a mesmerizing reflexology path using several Island Stone pebble products. This showstopper was a collaboration between Ceramic Matrix, PLA Design Studio and Lesly Maxwell, so it was only fitting that they were all awarded an Island Stone gift package. Congratulations winners!

Island Stone #TileTuesday Contest Winner

It was our pleasure to welcome Gabriella Gomes, founder of GG Tile Design, for our first Instagram live interview. Gabriella is an interior designer with a specialty in tile design. GG Tile Design is located in San Diego, where she collaborates with clients to oversee the design process from start to finish.

Read on for more details* on how Gabriella approached designing two fireplaces with Island Stone tile:

Island Stone GG Tile Design

When you’re designing a fireplace, what are you looking for in terms of materials?

“The first thing we do when we are specifying material for a fireplace is look at the surroundings of where it's located in the home. Right now, especially in remodels and new construction, everyone wants that open concept. So making sure that the material is both substantial where it has texture or dimension, but also keeping it neutral and incorporating earthier tones. 

Because people are doing this indoor-outdoor living; everything is so open. Fireplaces don’t need to take away from the architecture, furniture, or colors of a space. Our goal is to incorporate fireplaces with a timeless design so that clients are ripping it out years down the line.”

Island Stone Fireplaces by GG Tile Design

What led you to select Island Stone for this concept? What about our product appeals to you and your customers?

“To begin with, you guys have amazing products. We knew that we wanted a tile with some texture and Island Stone’s neutral, earthy natural stone colors made it easy to choose from. We didn’t want the fireplace in the master bedroom to be too loud, so we kept the V Tile outside but mirrored a softer, but similar, texture on the inside.

It’s nice that you guys carry really dimensional patterns and items that give a more natural feeling.”

To check out Gabriella and her work, follow her on Instagram at @ggtileanddesign. Contact her team at

Looking to recreate Gabriella’s fantastic work? Be sure your tile installer follows these steps:

  1. Only use Island Stone tile and stone products on the fireplace wall or hearth, not in the firebox. Only fire brick should be used in the firebox and chimney.
  2. Prepare your substrate accordingly - no cracks or holes. Acceptable substrates include cement boards, primed drywall, and with some extra work, an existing brick or brick veneer.
  3. Reference the Tile Council of North America Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation for the proper standards for indoor and outdoor fireplaces
  4. Seal your natural stone installation with a quality sealer
  5. Use pH neutral tile and stone cleaner for regular maintenance and an alkaline based cleaner and scrub brush for heavy buildup or deposits. Never use acidic cleaners, bleach, or ammonia. 

Tune in every #TileTuesday with David Fatula on Island Stone’s IGTV at 10:30 am PST. Follow us @island_stone. And remember, keep your grout lines straight and your thin set dry!

*answers have been modified for length and clarity