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All Veneer Stone IS NOT Created Equal
The following table points out some very important and extremely significant differences among several stone manufacturers in the marketplace. Knowledge of the differences will lead to a better understanding of the long-term effects of these differences.
Most manufactured stone looks good. Getting a truly “natural look” can be a challenge, and some stone fall short in that area. Many times, even though the stone looks good in a display, the installed look may not please the eye of the beholder. A poor installation can make any product look bad. Be sure to look at the workmanship of the installer you are considering. If you are the talented homeowner, and are installing the stone yourself, be attentive to detail and follow the recommended installation procedures. You can do a professional quality job if you don’t rush it.
There is some considerable difference in the weight of manufactured stones. Some companies will try to have their products be the “lightest” when compared to the product of their competitors. Often this is done at the expense of other important considerations, such as strength, moisture resistance and density. As long as the stone may be installed using traditional methods for man-made stone, a little extra weight in the product does not present problems. In fact, it usually indicates that the manufacturer has more design considerations that promote durability and longevity built into his product.
The test criteria are established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) as they apply to manufactured stone products. The ASTM has been held to be the recognized standard for uniformity and reliability in testing methods of our type of product.
Appleridge Stone may be installed to most interior and exterior wall surfaces. Preparation of the surface varies for different building materials. In general, stone may be applied directly to unpainted and unsealed masonry surfaces. Metal lath must first be applied to painted or sealed masonry or to wood, drywall, and other building material surfaces.
Written instructions for installation are available from your Appleridge dealer or distributor. There is also a helpful “job planner” available which will aid in calculating the material needs and costs for your project.
While Appleridge Stone is a great product for the do-it-yourselfer, we recognize that not everyone will choose to install the stone themselves. Most of our dealers and distributors will be able to recommend qualified contractors to provide installation services.
2) METAL LATH
Metal lath is diamond type 27″ wide and 96″ long. Install the lath sheet horizontally across the wall. The wire diamonds in the lath form pockets and these pockets must be turned up to catch and hold your mortar. To check this, run your hand down the lath from top to bottom. It will feel smooth going down and very rough going up. Nail the lath to the plywood, drywall, etc., bending lath around corners. Use 1 3/4″ galvanized roofing nails, making sure they go into the studs at least 1 inch. Studs are placed 16″ apart in most construction. On a nailable surface use a 6″ nailing pattern. On drywall or foamboard type surface, nail securely on studs every 4 inches. It is important that the lath be kept flat against the wall. No sags or bulges. Trim away excess lath. If applying lath to masonry, use 1/2″ masonry nails in a 6″ pattern. Galvanized wire lath is preferred for exterior applications.
3) MIX CEMENT AND APPLY (SCRATCH COAT)
Use only if nailing is not possible between studs.
Mix one bag of Type “S” mortar with 3 bags (50# each) of clean masonry sand. Add water and blend to a creamy, paste-like mixture (should be mixed to consistency of peanut butter). Spread a thin layer of this mixture to cover the lath in the center area between studs. Allow to dry and this will provide a rigid backing for your stone and assure firm bonding of the stone pieces.
For small areas use a ratio of 3 parts mortar & 4 parts sand.
4) APPLY APPLERIDGE STONE
If an outside corner is involved on your job, the corner should be installed first. After installing the corner pieces, work away from the corner using regular stones, mixing large ones with smaller ones for the most pleasing effect. With most stone patterns – start at TOP and work down (this helps to keep mortar from dripping on stones). But with Ledgestone – start at bottom and work up.
Mix cement exactly as in step 3. Take a stone and apply the cement over its back about 1/2″ thick, letting the mortar “cone up” in the center. Place the stone against the wall and wiggle it from side to side. This will set the stone. If the mix is the right consistency, the stone will stay in place. Adjust the mix if necessary. Install the other stones – keeping a 3/4″ space (joint) between them. If needed cut or trim the stones using a trowel, nippers, or a 4″ diamond blade.
5) MIX THE GROUT AND FILL JOINTS
After stone pieces are set in place, apply grout to joints. Use the same mix of mortar and sand for the grout. If color is desired, follow instructions on color box. Fill your grout bag with about a quart of the mix. Twist the bag to force the grout out of the hole in the end. The hole should be about 1/2″ in diameter. Apply firm even pressure to allow the mix to enter the joints in a nice smooth bead. Move the bag continuously along the joint areas keeping the mix off the face of the stones as much as possible.
If dripping occurs: (a) on small areas – let mortar dry completely, knock mortar off, brush with a stiff nylon brush, (do NOT use a steel brush); or (b) on larger areas – try Sure Klean® 600 Detergent New Masonry Cleaner by Prosoco (available at Appleridge). Never use acid for cleaning.
6) FINISH/STRIKE THE JOINTS
As grout begins to firm, use a flat wooden stick rounded at one end to strike or level the grout joints. Be sure to fill all holes, gaps or openings, and run the stick around the edge of each stone to seal the mortar to the stones. Sweep all joints and stones with a brush to eliminate loose particles.
Sealing can be accomplished using a good grade of masonry sealer. We recommend Sure Klean® Weather Seal Siloxane PD by Prosoco (available at Appleridge). Give the wall time to dry, then follow manufacturers instructions.