“Hovering over the sloping corner of a wooded lot, this hill country contemporary house provides privacy from the street below, yet thoughtfully frames views of the surrounding hills,” said Principal James LaRue, AIA, of LaRue Architects in Austin, TX, who designed the residence. “This glass house mixes interior and exterior spaces, while drawing attention to the inviting pool which intimately engages the house.”
To help bring this hill country contemporary home to life, nearly 9,000 square feet of Lueders limestone was employed for a range of applications, including the exterior facade, fireplaces, floorings, window sills and interior wall cladding. “[The stone is] local, beautiful and durable,” said LaRue. “We did not consider other material as this stone was inherent to the design.”
The limestone on the home’s exterior facade is a combination of smooth and rough-cut finishes, which creates a nice contrast. The stone is a thin veneer format. The rough-hewn pieces were installed in a variety of sizes, and the textured finish enhances the overall feel of the design. Additionally, Lueders limestone was used for a staircase leading to the front entrance, a stairway in the rear of the residence, a patio in the back of the home and for the pool surround.
Inside the home, the majority of the flooring consists of 16- x 24-inch tiles from Alkusari Stone’s Texas Lueders collection with a brushed finish. When it came to the bathrooms, a variety of marble was used for the walls and floors. The master bathroom and secondary bathroom both showcase Bianco Carrara marble tiles with a honed finish from Architectural Granite & Marble, Ltd. (AG&M) of Spicewood, TX, while the guest bathroom features Crema Marfil marble tiles with a honed finish, also from AG&M. In the kitchen, quartzite was used for the main island and concrete on the perimeter countertops.
Six men from Shoberg Homes, a custom home building company based in West Lake Hills, TX, installed all of the limestone throughout the home using a custom thin set installation. Matt Shoberg, owner of Shoberg Homes, led the installation, which took five months to complete. He and his team utilized a variety of installation products, including DuPont™ StoneTech® Professional Enhancer Pro™ Sealer, a Troxell stone polishing diamond pad (for bullnose), a Husky Wet Saw, a Rubi Wet Saw and a Hilti Laser.
When completing the installation, LaRue and Shoberg agreed that the main challenge was the fit and finish of certain pieces of stone. “Shoberg Homes, as well as the tile installer, Jose Ramos with Algo Elegante Tile, were determined to lay out each area so that there were few, if any, cuts to be made,” said Shoberg. “There was even a small set of stairs already poured in the foundation that they chiseled a fraction of an inch off of each stair so that the landing would not have any cuts in the tile. The upper cabinet height in the kitchen was raised higher than standard so that the unique Pratt and Larson tiles would not be cut. This amount of detail and thought with regards to the tile installation and layout went into every area of the house.”
LaRue added that “creating a good look at an acceptable cost” was also a challenging factor.
Since the project’s completion, LaRue said the responses have been great. “It has been very well accepted,” he said. “The stonework throughout is one of the main things people comment on.”
“House on the Corner”
Architect: LaRue Architects, Austin, TX
Stone Suppliers: Alkusari Stone, Austin, TX (limestone); Architectural Granite & Marble, Ltd. (AG&M) of Spicewood, TX (marble)
Builder/Stone Installer: Shoberg Homes, West Lake Hills, TX
Stone Installation Products: DuPont™ StoneTech®