Denver, Colorado – December 2, 2014 – There’s a misperception that stone veneer can be difficult to install and while there is a defined process, Denver-based natural stone veneer distributor ProCoat Systems says that understanding the steps can make anyone new to the process, if not proficient, at least understanding of the work that is involved to do the job properly.
Successful natural stone veneer installation in Colorado requires primarily knowing how to prep a surface that will not only allow the stone to adhere properly, but also will be able to withstand harsh Colorado freeze/thaw cycles. The substructure of the surface where the stone will be applied can be wood, OSB panels, cement or even brick, as long as it is stable. If the subsurface is wood or plywood, a moisture barrier, metal lathe and a mortar “scratch coat” needs to be applied.
Affixing the metal lathe is also a key step in the substructure. The lathe should be properly nailed with galvanized nails large enough to keep them from working loose over time. Then comes the mortar scratch coat, called as such because when applied to the lathe, it should be troweled with a notched tile trowel when still wet in order to cut grooves into the surface. This will ensure the manufactured or natural stone veneer will seat better when applied in the next step. The scratch coat must set before applying the stone.
To ensure a long lasting natural stone veneer installation in Colorado, a word of caution. Installing stone that is “dry stacked means there is no concrete between the joints of the stone. This process requires a special thinset mortar placed on the back of the stone to resist moisture seeping behind the stone and freezing. If common thin set is used, there is a chance the freeze/thaw of moisture could pop off the stone. There are many brand choices, but a polymer based thinset mortar will help mitigate this issue.
With the surface prep in place, either natural stone veneer or manufactured stone veneer will attach with ease.
Having the right amount of material is also important to getting a natural looking wall, especially if using random-sized stone veneer. Measuring the square footage of each wall as well as the linear feet of each corner before ordering, taking into consideration a 10% waste factor, will lessen the possibility of over too little or too much remaining material. It’s always a good idea to order enough to have a few leftover pieces that you can store away in case some stone gets damaged in the future.
The installation of the natural stone veneer is the last step in the process, and can be a bit like piecing together a puzzle based on shapes alone. Laying out the stone on the ground or floor in the manner that you want to install them helps considerably to see what pieces fit the space best. However, trimming pieces as needed with a hand grinder will allow them to fit together more tightly. Avoid creating consistent joints, unless the stone is angular and meant to have consistent grout lines. Once the piece is “dry fit” or fit before mortar is applied to the back of it, then apply mortar to the middle of the back area of each stone and wiggle them into their place in the wall.
If the pieces have grout lines, spaces between each piece, then these joints will need to be filled with mortar and troweled smooth. This can be the most daunting task of doing a natural stone veneer wall. What matters most in this process is a good mud sack, very runny mortar and applying consistent pressure to the mortar put into the joints. Of most importance is clean up of the area every day. Mortar that is allowed to set up on the surface of the stone veneer will be much harder to clean off. Avoid smearing excess wet mortar, but instead us a wet bristle brush to clean off excessive mortar. With a little practice started in the least conspicuous area of your project, you will be more fluid in your application when you get to the most conspicuous areas.
For more in-depth installation instructions or questions, contact the ProCoat Systems Denver natural stone veneer experts at 303-322-9009. Their qualified inside sales staff can be helpful in providing guidance on everything from choosing the right stone to offering advice on making it look like it was professionally installed.
About ProCoat Systems
For the last 30 years, ProCoat Systems has been providing natural stone veneer services to Denver residents for clients ranging from large commercial operations to smaller residential construction projects. With strong values in self-improvement, providing reliable assistance and maintaining customer relations, ProCoat systems offers consistent service that is guaranteed to please. For more information, visit http://www.procoatsystems.com.