This post will explain how to install do-it-yourself stone facing, which is a popular alternative to real brick and stone, which requires brick ledges. In earlier manufacturing days, artificial stone literally did look artificial and was quite unattractive. But the new generation of faux artificial stone is nearly impossible to distinguish from real stone. It’s made up of conventional cement with lightweight pumice-like filters that are easy to cut.
So let’s get to installing a stone face on the exterior of your house.
First you need the right tools.
- Measuring tape
- Cold chisel
- Utility Knife
- Tin snips
Prepare the surface
Next is to make sure the masonry exterior is weather proofed, which means you need to apply two layers of Grade D weather resistant building paper or equivalent over rigid sheathing. For exterior application, put a moisture vapor barrier. Create a metal lath barrier after the vapor barrier, then apply a layer of mortar to create a scratch coat. Keep in mind that before the scratch coat dries, scrape horizontal lines into it, so that it’s easier to apply the stone facing.
Installing the stone facing
Before you begin placing the stones on the wall, create a layout on the floor. This way you’ll know which piece goes where. Spending a little extra time to configure their placement will save you the headache of excessive trimming later. Using a trowel or hammer and chisel, make all necessary trims. Once you have a good layout, wash the stones until they are free from dirt, sand and other loose particles, wait for them to dry out and then start back buttering the stone panels with mortar, making sure that the mortar isn’t to thin or thick. Start installing the stones, beginning from the bottom corners and continue till the entire wall is finished.
The final touches
Once all the stones have been placed, fill the joints using a grout bag with mortar and pack the joints with mortar. After that, clean any excess dirt with plain water and a whiskbroom. Remove all stray mortar from the surface within 30 minutes, since it will be impossible to remove after 24 hours. Finally, depending on whether you apply it inside the house or outside the house, apply a sealer. Sealed stone will be easier to clean and maintain, and some sealers will even repel stains.
Now that you are aware of the steps involved in installing stone facing, you should make sure to take all the safety precautions. If you are not sure what stone type is best for your home, browse through our list of amazing looking Quality Stone facing.