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Full-Depth Stone Veneer Installation: A Complete Guide

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Ensure project success by familiarizing yourself with full-depth veneer products and their installation procedure using this guide! We’ll use Echelon Masonry’s Artisan Stone Veneer® line for our examples and calculations. Reach out to your local technical sales representative to discuss installation tips and techniques specific to your project. For information on thin veneer installation check out this guide.

CALCULATING STONE VENEER QUANTITIES

Stone veneer is usually sold by the square foot including joints. To estimate the quantity of material needed for your project you simply take the total area to be cladded minus any openings (windows, doors, fireplace etc.). It is recommended to add 3% for simple waste and 5% – 7% for areas where more cuts will be required.

ENSURING LABOR QUALITY AND FOLLOWING SAFETY REQUIREMENTS WHEN INSTALLING STONE VENEERS

Installing stone veneer requires the use of adequate tools and materials, proper labor standards, and special care for details. Following the appropriate procedures in every step of this installation guide and taking enough time to complete in detail each one of them will help maintain the quality standards this product complies with and make it last for many years. Contact local authorities in your area and check on up-to-date local building codes and NCMA standards for a proper installation. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions for every item before starting your application. Provide a mock-up for evaluation of product and application workmanship, by using a 48” by 48” panel of units of the color to be used in the project (to illustrate stone masonry units, coursing, anchorage, mortar joints and color, pattern of finished wall and control joints).

HOW TO SHIP AND DELIVER STONE VENEER

The following items should be considered to properly ship, store and handle the product before installation:

TYPES OF STONE VENEER AND INSTALLATION PATTERNS

Full depth Artisan Stone Veneer® is a modular masonry veneer with a wide variety of stone sizes, which allows customizing the appearance of each installation. All stones are approximately 3 ½” in depth and mortar joints vary from 3/8” to 1/2”. There exist four (4) different products offered by Oldcastle Architectural that can be classified as full depth Artisan Stone Veneers: Waterford Stone™ Dufferin® Stone Lamina® Stone Cinco® Brick

Waterford Stone

This product is sold in 3 different sizes: small, medium and large stones. Product heights of 4” and 7” palletize product (small and medium) has seven and eight different lengths, respectively, while the 11 ½” product (large) has six varied lengths.

All stones are approximately 3 5/8” deep and are installed with a ½” mortar joint. The following images show the layouts for small-medium (4 and 7”) and Large (11 ½”) Waterford Stones, after stone clamping (stones put together). Packaging in the corresponding pallets is made as per these layouts:

When ordering and installing Waterford Stone, you may work on your wall coverage by blending large and small-medium stones, as per the desired percentage of large stones. For example, to achieve a 25% large stone pattern (1 out of 4 stones is a large stone), you will need one large stone pallet (11 ½”) and three small-medium stone pallets (4” and 7”).

Dufferin® Stone

This product is sold in 3 different sizes: small, medium and large stones. Product heights of 90 and 140 mm (small and medium) and 240 mm (large) are each available in five different lengths in 50 mm increments.

All stones are approximately 90 mm in depth and are installed with a 10mm joint. The following images show the board layouts for small-medium (90 and 140mm) and Large (240mm) Dufferin Stones as they are produced (before packaging in pallets):

When ordering and installing Dufferin Stone, you may work on your wall coverage by blending large and small-medium stones, as per the desired percentage of large stones. For example, to achieve a 25% large stone pattern (1 out of 4 stones is a large stone), you will need one large stone pallet (240mm) and three small-medium stone pallets (90 and 140mm).

Lamina® Stone This product is 4” high with separately palletized false joint (multi-cobble) and solid units of varying lengths. All stones are approximately 3 5/8” in depth:

The 3/8” mortar joint used for this stone should be raked to the depth of the false joints. There is no need to fill the false joints with mortar. Approximately 30% of each false joint stretcher pallet will consist of false joint return corner units. The following images show the layouts for false joint units (multi-cobble) and solid units, after clamping (stones put together). Packaging in the corresponding pallets is made as per these layouts:

When ordering and installing Lamina Stone, you may work on your wall coverage by blending false joint and solid units, as per the desired percentage of solid stones, as follows:

Cinco® Brick

This product is 90mm (approximately 3 1/2”) deep with one single height of 3 5/8” of varying lengths:

All stones are installed with a 3/8” mortar joint. Packaging in the corresponding pallets is made as per the following layout:

HOW TO INSTALL STONE VENEER

Installation on a Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) backing

A full-depth masonry veneer requires a footing or a ledge for installation. A 1” to 1½” airspace is recommended between the insulation layer and the stone. The wall is built with 8”x8”x16” CMU blocks, using 3/8” mortar joint, reinforcement rods and a horizontal joint reinforcement with eye & pintle wall masonry anchors (embedded in the mortar).

As with different brick sizes, the depth of the exterior trim and footing or ledge will need to allow adequate depth for the stone plus air space (typically 4½” to 5”). Consult your local building code for specific requirements on footing/ledge and air space.

Materials and tools required

HOW TO PREPARE TO LAY STONE VENEER

Flashing

Flashing should:

Install through-wall flashing over exterior windows, relieving angles, doors, tops of walls, at the inside base of cavity walls, and under sills. Extend ends of sill flashing beyond jamb line and turn up into wall to create an end dam to divert moisture toward the wall face. Extend flashing over veneer, turn up minimum 8” and bed into mortar joint of masonry.

WRB (Weather resistive barrier)

The WRB should be installed starting at the bottom of the wall, overlapping the flashing and working upward. The WRB should overlap horizontally 2” to 4” and vertically a minimum of 6” in shingle fashion. Inside and outside corners must be overlapped a minimum of 16”. It is very important to wrap all corners with WRB layer and to overlap this on the flashing previously installed, as shown in Figure 1.

Exterior continuous insulation foam layer

The installation with an exterior continuous insulation has been conceived in order to meet and even exceed new energy code requirements. It involves installing a rigid foam sheathing or layer, in order to reduce heat loss, allow for continuous and uniform insulation and thus improve energy efficiency in the system. Insulation layer is installed over the WRB and is attached to the wall by masonry anchors and joint reinforcement.

Stone cuts

Make all unit cuts, including those for bonding, holes, boxes, etc., with motor driven masonry saws, using either in abrasive or diamond blade. The edge of a masonry trowel can be used to rough up cut edges which will restore a natural look to the stone. Cut neatly for best appearance.

STONE VENEER INSTALLATION PROCEDURE

Applying first course

Start installing full depth stone veneer on the horizontal surface of the foundation wall, which serves as a footing or ledge for supporting the wall (Figure 2). For installing the first course of veneers, apply mortar on the flashing previously installed in this area, then install stones in such a way that a 1” to 1½” airspace is left between the Insulation layer and the back of the veneer. Use the level and the string line to make straight, level courses, unless otherwise indicated.

For the first and all subsequent courses:

Install weep vents in veneer masonry at maximum 24 inches (610 mm) on center horizontally above through-wall flashing, above shelf angles, lintels, bottom of walls, and elsewhere as indicated.

Placing, Bonding and Anchoring

Masonry must be applied in full bed of mortar with full head joints, properly jointed with other work. Buttering corners of joints, deep or excessive furrowing of mortar joints is not permitted.

Installing subsequent courses

Assemble adjustable anchors to the horizontal joint reinforcement (embedded in the CMU wall). NOTE: All subsequent images show installation steps using Waterford Stone™, but procedure is equivalent for Dufferin®, Lamina® and Cinco® Stones as well.

Continue installation working your way from the bottom horizontally up the wall. Prevent grout, mortar, and soil from staining face of masonry; if dripping occurs, remove grout and mortar from these surfaces immediately. See Figure 3.

You will also need to:

Installing stone veneer on a metal stud wall framing

Wall frames should use 1½” x 3½” metal studs, spaced no more than 24” CC and covered by a ½” or 5/8” thick sheathing. As with different brick sizes, the depth of the exterior trim and footing or ledge will need to allow adequate depth for the stone plus air space (typically 4½” to 5”). Consult your local building code for specific requirements on footing/ledge and air space. Materials, tools, preparation and installation procedures for installation on a wall framing are equivalent for those used in an installation on a Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) backing. There exist some minor differences:

INSPECTION OF STONE VENEER

The facing shall be free from chips, cracks, crazes or any other imperfection that would detract from the overall appearance of the finished wall when viewed from a distance of 15’ at right angles to the wall with normal lighting.

HOW TO CLEAN STONE VENEER

The following considerations should be followed for proper cleaning:

PROPER MAINTENANCE OF STONE VENEER

Full depth Artisan Stone Veneer, when properly installed and cleaned, needs virtually no maintenance other than routine cleaning with standard commercial grade cleaning agents. Graffiti, paint or dye stains may need special cleaning methods and products. Contact manufacturer for specific cleaning recommendations.

INSTALLATION RECOMMENDATIONS

PROTECTIONS

Remove temporary coverings and protection of adjacent work areas. Repair or replace damaged installed products. Protect installed products until completion of project. Protect concrete stone from contact with mortar, soil, and other materials capable of staining or discoloring the product.

LIMITATIONS OF STONE VENEER

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