How to Install Stone Veneer
Adding stone veneer to your home's interior walls can greatly increase your home's value and can give you a great deal of pleasure at the same time.Fortunately modern stone veneer is relatively easy not only to install, but to work with. Cutting can be accomplished with almost any saw that is equipped with a simple masonry blade.The final appearance of the stone veneer wall will depend on the color and the pattern of the stone. Many people prefer to lay out the stone ahead of time so they can adjust the pattern before committing the first stone to mortar. While this is probably a good idea, it is not absolutely necessary if you are willing to "go with the flow" and accept whatever pattern emerges naturally.Keep the stones spaced tightly to reduce grout lines and improve the appearance of your final product.
Stretch roofing felt over the wall board and tack up tightly using a staple hammer. Use sufficient staples that the felt does not sag.
Attach wire mesh over the felt. Attach mesh with a hammer and roofing nails. Mesh does not have to be absolutely flush with the wall in all places, but should not sag more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch anywhere.
Mix the mortar as per the manufacturer's instructions. The mortar should be the consistency of mashed potatoes. Using the trowel, force mortar into the wire mesh. Apply a coat of mortar approximately 1/2 inch thick. Just before it hardens scratch 1/8- to 1/4-inch deep lines in the surface. These scratch marks will help the stone to adhere more firmly to this scratch coat.
Butter the back of a piece of stone veneer with approximately 1/2 inch of mortar. Starting at the bottom of the wall press the stone veneer firmly onto the wall, wiggling it slightly until you feel it attach firmly. Use the putty knife to clean excess mortar that is forced out around the edges of the stone. Continue along the bottom of the wall until you reach the next corner. If necessary use the saw with a masonry blade or a hammer and chisel to make the final piece of veneer fit the wall. Continue adding rows of veneer bricks one row at a time, cutting small stones to fill in gaps whenever necessary. Try to keep grout lines a consistent width.Use the putty knife to keep the grout lines clean.
Prepare the grout following the manufacturer's instructions. Iron oxide or other coloring can be added to make the grout blend in more naturally with the stone. Use a grout bag to fill in the grout lines. Just before the grout hardens use the putty knife to smooth the grout.Allow the wall to cure for at least 24 hours.
Brush the wall with a stiff non-metallic brush. Seal the wall with masonry wall sealer if desired.
Things You Will Need
- Mortar mix
- Roofing felt
- Wire mesh
- Saw with masonry blade
- Staple hammer
- Roofing nails
- Grout bag
- Putty knife
- Mixing bucket
- When cutting stones, try not to cut a lot of perfectly straight lines. Occasionally use a hammer and chisel to sculpt edges so they do not appear to have been cut with a blade.
- Wear eye protection, especially when cutting a chiseling stone.
- Wear protective gloves.