Thin Veneer Installation Guidelines:
Begin by figuring the square footage of the area you plan to cover with stone. If your project includes corner stones, deduct 1 square foot for each linear foot of corners that you will utilize. Natural stone veneer is packaged assuming a ½ mortar joint. If your joint will vary from this number you must adjust your quantities accordingly.
Tips & Tools:
Keep you and your natural stone clean during the installation process. Be sure to keep your hands clean throughout the process. It is important to not allow mortar to dry on face of stone. Remove it prior to hardening. Wet mortar on stone will leave a filmy residue that dulls the appearance of your thin veneer. To prevent mud or other substances from blemishing the appearance of your natural stone, place straw or protective material on the ground where rain or water can cause mud to splash on your natural stone. Do not use acid to clean excess mortar from stone. Discoloration may occur if acid is used. All natural stone should be applied to local building codes. Water infiltration can result in damage caused from incorrect installation. Stone should be installed at least 3 inches above grade level to prevent water from continually saturating behind the back of the stone and causing structural damage.
Brick Hammer, Brick Trowel, Notched Trowel, Flat Trowel, Joint Tool, Grout Bag, Masonry Brush, Safety Glasses & Dust Mask, Masonry Sand & Cement, Thin Veneer Stone
Be sure to inspect new concrete to insure there are no release agents on the surface. If release agents are identified etch the surface of the concrete with muriatic acid. Rinse thoroughly and score with your wire brush. Painted surfaces must be sandblasted or stripped of paint. If it is difficult to remove paint you may securely attach metal lath on the surface with concrete nails. In accordance with local building codes install metal lath using galvanized nails or screws 6 inches on center vertically and 16 inches on center horizontally penetrating studs a minimum of 1 inch. Stop the metal lath 1 inch from finished edge. Be sure to wrap all corners overlapping metal lath at least 4 inches.
Mixing Mortar & Applying Stone
Mortar with Bonding Agent:
Option A – 3 parts Type S Masonry Cement to 7 parts Masonry Sand with Bonding Agent
Option B – 3 parts Portland cement to 2 parts Latex Thin set Mortar & 7 parts Masonry Sand & Water
Mortar without bonding Agent:
Option A – 3 parts Type S Masonry Cement with5-7 parts Masonry Sand & Water
Option B – 2 parts Portland cement with 1 part lime & 5-7 parts Masonry Sand & Water
Before applying the stone, it is a good idea to lay the stone flat to determine the sizing, and colors of each individual piece, how they will be laid out for your project and if any trimming is necessary.
If cutting the stone is necessary, a Skill saw with either a dry or wet cut diamond or masonry blade will work. You may also want to use a masonry hammer to break the stone, giving it a more natural appearance.
A nipper can be used to trim small amounts off the stone. Be certain that the surface of the stone is free of dust, dirt, and any loose particles. If necessary wash the stone completely & allow to dry. Use a masonry brush to dampen back of stone but do not saturate it. This prevents the stone from pulling moisture away from mortar allowing it to dry naturally and with a stronger bond.
To lay the stone use a masonry trowel to butter (with ½ – 1 inch layer of mortar) the back of the stone, this will create suction when putting the stone in place which will hold until the mortar hardens. Lay the stone against the wall, pressing and rotating slightly, forcing some of the mortar to squeeze out freely.
When laying stone, attempt to keep joints a consistent height and width. Normally vertical and horizontal joints should be staggered to avoid long unbroken vertical lines. LCRS recommends installing all corner pieces first, alternating short & long lengths as they are stacked.
Stone does not need to be angled because of the way it is applied to the substrate.
Grout – 1 part Type S Masonry Cement to 2 parts sand. Use a grout bag or trowel to fill all joints. Fill joints of the stone with about a ½ layer of mortar, depending on desired effect. As grout stiffens, tool to desired depth. Brush joints with whisk broom to smooth out & clean away any loose mortar. Grout is ready for finishing when it crumbles like sand. If grout smears or falls in large chunks it is too wet for brushing or striking. Use soft cloth to brush dust off stone.
Sealing You Stone
If using a sealer follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying the product. Please note sealing the stone will alter the appearance.