How to Install Cultured Stone on an Outside Wall

Stone is a commonly used material for cladding walls, both interior and exterior, and has proven effective for just about every condition.

Stone Setting

Cultured stone can add a natural look to just about any wall.Cultured stone can add a natural look to just about any wall.
The application of natural stone can be difficult and costly, as natural shapes of stone are unpredictable. Cultured stone is designed for generally simple application, typically at a lower cost than natural stone. The addition of cultured stone to an outside wall can add an aesthetic that rivals that of natural stone. Installing cultured stone is a generally straightforward task that can be completed by just about anyone with basic construction knowledge and equipment.

Fasten the galvanized metal lath by driving the 1-inch nails and washers into the wall at about 16-inches on-center, using the framing hammer. Trim the lath to fit using the metal cutting sheers, as necessary.

Prepare the mortar mix as directed on the mortar packaging, in the wheel barrow using the shovel.

Evenly apply a layer of mortar to the lath, using the concrete float trowel. This layer of mortar is called the "scratch coat" and should be about 1/8-inch thick--just thicker than the metal lath. Allow the mortar scratch coat to fully cure as directed on mortar packaging before moving on.

Apply about a 1-inch thick layer of mortar to the back of a cultured stone, using the brick trowel.

Press the stone to the bottom edge of the wall hard enough so the gap between the stone and the wall is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 on other stones, working your way outward from the first stone at the bottom edge of the wall to the top.

Allow the mortar to fully cure as directed on the mortar packaging before moving on.

Grout (optional)

Prepare the grout mix as directed on the grout packaging, in the wheel barrow, using the shovel.

Fill the grout bag about 3/4 full with grout, and twist the top opening shut.

Evenly apply the grout to the joints between stones; enough grout should be applied so that the grout protrudes out beyond the edges of the stones about 1/4-inch. Allow the grout to partially cure before moving on.

Brush the excess grout between the stones, using the masonry wire brush; the grout should now be just inside the edge of the stones. Brush over all joints with the 6-inch masonry brush to remove any loose grout material.

Wipe any concrete from the stones, using the large sponge soaked with clean water; rinse as necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Galvanized metal lath
  • 1-Inch galvanized nails and washers
  • Framing hammer
  • Metal cutting shears
  • Mortar mix
  • Wheel barrow
  • Shovel (round or square tip)
  • Concrete float trowel
  • Brick trowel
  • Cultured stone
  • Grout mix (optional)
  • Grout bag (optional)
  • Wire masonry brush (optional)
  • Large sponge (optional)

About the Author

J. Cavan Barry is an architecture student with over a decade of experience in the general construction field, and four years in architecture. Barry also has nearly a decade of automotive repair experience and is an avid auto enthusiast. After finding an interest in creative writing, he began writing a novel and recently finished the first draft.