How to Install Cultured Stone Veneers Inside Your Home

Add Elegance to Your Home Interior

Looking to add the perfect complement to your living room? Or maybe you need the right accent piece to add to your den? If so, Cultured Stone veneers are a great choice! Whether it’s residential or commercial, large-scale, or small, there’s a Cultured Stone veneer that will work for you. Even better – these natural-looking and customized manufactured stone veneers are also a snap to install inside your home.

Materials Needed

Before you begin the interior installation process, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

• Cultured Stone manufactured stone veneers
• Flashing (if finished product will be exposed to water)
• Jointing tool
• Masonry brush
• Water resistant barrier (WRB)
• Grout sealer
• Pointing trowel
• Notched trowel
• Welded wire lath complying with ASTM C933
• Corrosion resistant fasteners (staples, roofing nails, etc.)
• Mortar (scratch coat, setting bed, and pointing)
• Drop clothes and cleanup supplies

Set up your worksite, removing all tripping hazards and setting down your drop cloth to make cleanup easier!

Wall Prep

If your project has metal or wood framing, begin by applying two layers of WRB as independent layers, lapped in “shingle” fashion. Evenly install your flashings across the primary layer. Make sure that your primary WRB meets all building codes and manufacturer requirements, depending on your project.

After installing the primary layer, apply the second “sacrificial” layer of WRB, to allow incidental water to drain down and out. Lap each material 2” horizontally and 6” vertically, fasten with WRB-approved fasteners.

Make sure that any contact with doors or windows are flashed properly. Head flashings and drip screen will help resist water damage.

Lath Application

Depending on whether you use expanded metal, woven wire, welded wire, or alternative lath, it needs to transfer cladding load to your framing. Make sure your fasteners penetrate the framing and are spaced evenly. Typical applications would have fasteners 16” on center, spaced a maximum of 7” vertically.

When placing lath, always end lap joints over framing and fasten them there. Any that does not land on framing will need to be wire laced. For all overlaps, use at least 0.5” horizontally and 1” vertically and at end laps. NEVER end your laps at a corner, as this creates sharp edges and breaks in the barrier.

Once the lath is installed, check for roughness. This will tell you the direction of the cups and determine which direction to apply the mortar. Follow the same path as the cups, using consistent pressure to ensure mortar completely fills the lath. Whether your mortar is pre-blended or created on-site, make sure it meets NCMA standards.

Mortar Application

Once the lath is installed, check for roughness. This will tell you the direction of the cups and determine which direction to apply the mortar. Follow the same path as the cups, using consistent pressure with your trowel to ensure mortar completely fills the lath. Whether your mortar is pre-blended or created on-site, make sure it meets NCMA standards.

Aim for at least a 0.5” to 0.75” layer of mortar, as anything less than 0.5” inches is too thin and runs the risk of cracking. Cover all lath at your target thickness, keeping at eye out for thin spots. You may need to apply a second layer to achieve desired thickness and levelness.

After letting the mortar cure for a few hours, it’s time to texture the surface with a scratch coat. Use your notched trowel in even, horizontal strokes across the mortar. This will allow your Cultured Stone to connect easier to the walls or surfaces. Allow at least 24-48 hours for the mortar to cure completely.

Setting the Stones

Before installing the stones, check the back of each and remove any dust or debris. Then, gently dampen the scratch coat and stone units with clean water. Make sure both look saturated, but not shiny with water.

Apply your setting bed mortar onto a few square feet of the prepared surface with your trowel. Then apply a thin “back butter” of mortar to the entire back of the stone unit. Press the stone into the setting bed mortar on the wall. Leave enough space for joint gaps, and then leave the stone be.

Clean out mortar droppings as you go along and check stone bonding periodically. If a stone needs to be re-mortared, remove all original mortar first before re-applying and re-setting.

Be aware that if you’re setting stones in corner layouts, that flat stones can be nested and alternated to create a uniform look.

Joint Treatment & Wrap-Up

With your stones placed and spaced appropriately, you’re now ready to fill in your joint gaps. Make sure the mortar you use is smooth enough to flow easily through a grout bag. Carefully remove any excess setting board mortar from the joints before filling.

Fill in each joint gap evenly with mortar, being careful not to disturb the stones as you go along. Once filled in, wait until the mortar is thumbprint hard, then you can tool the joints as needed. Depending on your desired look, use either a tooling joint or a wooden stick to shape them.

After the mortar has had time to set, be sure to go over it with a masonry brush to remove any additional debris.

 

From here, it’s just a matter of cleaning up your worksite and letting your new wall set. For more information on installing Cultured Stone veneers in your home, be sure to contact our talented design team!