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Do-It-Yourself Stone Work

How To Install Thin Stone Veneer

Tools and Materials:

Hammer, Brick Trowel, Scraper, Stiff Brush, Flat Trowel, Joint Tool, Grout Bag, Masonry Brush, Sand & Cement, Selected Stone.

How to Install:

Natural Thin Stone Veneer may be applied over any masonry surface, concrete block, brick, cement, etc. Painted surfaces must be sandblasted, or otherwise stripped of paint. If it is difficult to remove paint or if surface is of frame construction, nail metal lath to wall securely, 6" on center. (For exterior, vapor barrier first, then metal lath.) Apply scratch coat (2 parts washed sand to 1 part Portland cement) to lath. Make certain lath is covered completely with a thin coat (1/2" - 3/4" thick). Use a metal scraper or small scrap of lath to lightly rake horizontal grooves in the scratch coat. Allow scratch coat to set up or cure. This is now a masonry surface to which the Thin Veneer may be applied using the following steps:

  1. Mix rich mortar (2 parts washed sand to 1 part Portland cement) to a creamy consistency similar to whipped potatoes. Mix a minimum of 5 minutes.
  2. Determine if stones will be laid out on ground to the desired fit prior to installation, or if trimming is required to complete finished application.
  3. Make certain surface is free of dirt, sand, or loose particles. When necessary, wash stone completely. If surface is dry, dampen first with a masonry brush but do not saturate. This prevents the wall from pulling the moisture from the mortar, allowing it to set up both naturally and with a better, stronger bond. For cleaner installation, begin applying stone at the top of the wall and work toward the bottom.
  4. Trowel rich mortar onto wall approximately 1/2" thick.
  5. Take clean stone and slightly dampen back side. This frees any dust and again prevents moisture loss from mortar.
  6. Apply thin coat of rich mortar onto back side of stone. This fills in pits and rises in the stone and creates a stronger bond with the wall.
  7. Press stone into mortar, rotating slightly, forcing some of the mortar to squeeze out freely. Any mortar forced out beyond the finished joint or on the stone surface itself must be removed with trowel, joint tool, or brush before the mortar is allowed to set up. Narrow joints will provide a nice appearance.
  8. Use a grout bag to fill all joints (or use trowels). As the mortar stiffens, tool to the desired depth and be sure to brush off all excess. Be sure not to allow any mortar to harden on the face of any stone. This will aid in the cleanup process.

How to Clean:

Excess dirt and film may be removed using clean water and a stiff brush, it is important not to allow mortar to dry on face of stone. Remove it prior to it hardening.

How to Seal:

Stone may be sealed with a good quality penetrating sealer only after thoroughly curing which usually takes 4 weeks on inside work. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the application of sealer. Sealed stone may be easier to clean than unsealed stone and certain sealers also repel stains. However, sealers must be periodically reapplied, especially on exterior applications, and could alter the natural coloring of the stone. During your Thin Veneer installation, if you have any problems or questions, ask your dealer or call us directly. We will always do our best to help you in any way we can. Thank you for making the "Natural" choice for your Thin Veneer.