Installing stone in your house or outside of your home can be a great way to decorate your space both inside and out. But natural stone can be very expensive to ship and install, preventing many of us from having this beautiful look in our homes. By using faux stone or cultured stone in your interior design, you can still have the look of stone, without the costs. Use this guide to installing cultured stone and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your stone design.
Preparing the space to accept the stone is required before you begin. A scratch coat is required to accept stone to most surfaces. This is a simple layer of mortar that is roughed up to allow the stone and mortar to stick to the surface. Wire or fiberglass lathe needs to be attached to the space. Nail the lathe directly to any studs behind the wall. Nail it about every four inches along the studs to ensure it never comes off the wall of your kitchen or den design.
Next, mix some mortar to the consistency of pancake batter. This part is messy and tricky, but can be done. Use a trowel to spread the mortar onto the lathe so that the lathe is covered with about a ½ inch of mortar. Allow it to harden enough so that you can drag a sharp stick thought the mortar and leave a permanent scratch. Do this in one direction until the entire surface is scratched.
Once the scratch coat has hardened overnight, you can then cut and layout the cultured stone in front of the area you plan on installing. Stack the stone on the ground, just like it will set onto the wall. Cut pieces of stone with a wet tile saw as needed. Stack one row at a time in front of the space. Once you get a few rows done, you can then attach them one row at a time to the wall in your kitchen or bedroom design.
Back buttering and Installation
Each separate piece of cultured stone needs to be back buttered before it is applied to the wall. A large glob of mortar smeared onto the back of the stone is all it takes to get it to stick. Starting with the bottom row, back butter and stack the pieces of the cultured stone into place according to the layout you created on the floor. Stack one row on the wall, and then create another row on the ground. Ensure that no joints line up with the other rows and your stone is going to look real. Once complete, allow the stone to dry for a few hours, then using a stiff bristled brush, and wipe away any excess mortar from your stone kitchen, bedroom or bathroom design. Clean with a damp sponge and allow to dry overnight.
Source by Emily Chadwick
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