How To Install Stone Veneer Siding

The following is our collection of basic installation tips, tricks, advice and instructions to help you with your manufactured stone project. If there are other installation tips and advice you’d like to see us put online in the future, please contact us to let us know!

Basic Helpful Tips

* Apply your corners first, alternating the long and short returns.
* Be sure to keep the work level as you go. Snap a chalk line every 4 to 6 inches, and use a level to check stones as you apply them.
* Use a trowel edge, nippers or other sharp, blunt tool to trim stones. For straight cuts, use a diamond or carbide saw blade.
* Conceal trimmed edges with grouting, or hide them by turning the cut side upward above eye level or downward below eye level.
* Avoid long sections of straight, unbroken grout lines in standard grout installations. Be sure to use a consistent joint width. A half-inch thickness or less is standard.
* When installing in a dry, hot climate or onto extremely dry surfaces, be sure to wet the stone and the wall first so they do not absorb moisture from the mortar. You can spray or otherwise apply water onto the back of the stone or dip it into water. Spray or brush water onto the wall as well. Allow both to dry a few minutes to remove excess water.
* If any mortar accidentally falls on the face of a stone during installation, do not wipe it off. It will smear and discolor the stone. Instead, let it set 30 to 45 minutes, then brush it away with a dry whiskbroom.
* Avoid water runoff onto your installation. Divert water away with flashing, cant strips and/or gutters.
* Do not install below water level, and do not expose stone to chemicals that will stain it.
* Do not use wire brushes or acid on the stone surface.
* Do not use wet brushes or sponges to wipe mortar grouts. They will cause the mortar to smear and stain.
* Local building codes vary. Be sure to check the requirements in your area.
* Lay out the stone near your work area. As you install, choose stones that vary in color, shape and size.
* Apply a half-inch layer of mortar to the entire back of the stone.
* Press the stone into place with a gentle back-and-forth motion until the mortar squeezes out around the edges.

Standard Grout Installation Tips:

* Apply all stones to the wall, then use a grout bag or “The Rockit ” to fill in the joints with mortar.
* Mortar joints take 30 to 60 minutes to firm up. When they do, use a striking tool to scrape or rake out the excess mortar at a consistent depth while smearing it along the joint seams for a good seal.
* Smooth the joints and clear loose mortar with a whiskbroom. Loose mortar will clean away easily if it has set for a few hours, but not if it has set up overnight.

Drystack Installation Tips:

* Drystack stone may need to be moistened before installation, as described in the Basic Installation Hints above.
* Lay out the stone near your work area. As you install, choose stones that vary in color, shape and size.
* Apply stone from the bottom up.
* Use a grout bag to apply a thin bead of mortar to the edges of all adjacent stones before setting a new stone.
* Apply a generous amount of mortar around the full back edge of the stone, leaving the back center clear.
* Press the stone into place until you feel the suction pull created by the mortar vacuum on the back of the stone.
* Remove any excess mortar around the edges and pack it into gaps along the stone’s edges.
* Once you finish applying all stones, touch up the grouting as necessary to hide cuts or fill voids.