Exterior Stone Veneer Installation

Exterior Stone Cladding How To


Believe it or not, this castle façade by Carved Stone Creations actually started off as a metal stud building warehouse! This just goes to show you how versatile natural stone veneer can be for commercial buildings and homes. Natural stone veneer creates the illusion of a true stone block exterior, while saving material and weight, and allowing for standard wall construction behind it.

This article will show you, step by step, how the expert artisans at Carved Stone Creations install natural stone veneer.


Exterior Stone Cladding How To


In this example, we have installed natural stone veneer in our metal stud building warehouse. First, the steel outer walls are covered in a water proofing 15-pound felt paper. Then, cement board is attached to the metal as a substrate between the building and the granite veneer.




Thinset, an adhesive mortar, is applied to the back of the tile, as well as to the cement board.




Each tile is set with a rubber mallet to ensure proper adhesion.




Once applied, the upper joint is filled. This prevents moisture from working back behind the veneer, and provides back-up protection, in the unlikely event that the soft-joints fail.




After the base cladding and waterline trim ledge have been applied, quoins are applied to the corners, followed by the natural stone veneer. Shims are used as needed to level the veneer.



Window surrounds and the entry archway come in multiple parts and are carefully applied to the building. In this case, we have opted to pre-assemble the main portion of the archway to ensure that all parts have been lined up properly.





Here’s the finished building exterior — a beautiful example of the transformative power of natural stone veneer! It’s hard to believe that this started as a metal stud building!

Large Format Stone Veneer Installation

For larger natural stone veneer tile, special consideration must be given to the additional size and weight of the tile.  Let’s take a closer look at how the experts at Carved Stone Creations carry out this process.

On the back of our warehouse we have installed 4? square granite veneer.




To allow for proper drainage and thermal expansion of the natural stone veneer, the experts at Carved Stone Creations apply Thinset only to the center of the tile.  Construction adhesive is applied sparingly in the corners. If any moisture becomes trapped behind the natural stone veneer, this process will ensure that water can safely drain behind the tile.

This also gives the soft joint room to expand and contract, and prevents a tile from popping off of the wall in the unlikely event that heat causes the Thinset to expand. Such protective measures illustrate the importance of having skilled artisans install your natural stone veneer.




Likewise, Thinset is applied in a two-foot diameter circle on the wall where it is to be placed.




The natural stone veneer is then carefully tapped into place with a special rubber mallet to ensure proper adhesion.

Incorporating a Drainage Plane

Another method of preventing drainage involves the addition of drainage plane sheeting before the application of the cement board to the substrate.  This is especially important on wood walls.




Experience and expertise make a difference! The contractors who installed faux stone veneer on the outside of this home failed to apply a proper drainage plane before installing the faux stone veneer, and the results are predictably disastrous!  Using shortcuts instead of skills, they installed the faux stone veneer with only a layer of house wrap between the faux stone veneer and the plywood walls.  As a result, water was trapped behind the faux stone veneer and the plywood suffered significant damage from rotting.




Carved Stone Creations to the rescue! To prevent this expensive mistake from recurring, our skilled artisans apply a layer of rain screen drainage plane sheeting (the yellow material pictured) between the cement board and the plywood walls.  The rain screen creates separation between the panel and the wall and allows for proper drainage.

Natural stone veneer can be made in nearly any desired size, thickness or surface finish.  You can view additional examples of our natural stone veneer installations in our Carved Stone Creations Gallery.

Please Note:  This article is only a general overview of the installation process and is written for informational purposes only.  Proper adhesion methods vary, based upon the material, weight per tile, building substrate, and state and local building codes. All cladding should be installed by licensed professional builders or masonry installers. Consult with architects and construction engineers to ensure that the installation methods will meet code and safely support the weight of the natural stone veneer.

Looking for skilled masonry experts to install natural stone veneer on your home or business? Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

Carved Stone Creations is located in Kaukauna, WI — a reasonable drive away from many Midwest metro areas, including Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Davenport, Des Moines, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Columbus, and surrounding areas.  Visit our showroom to see firsthand what we can design for you.  Our convenient central location ensures that we can bring all of the tools and heavy equipment needed to tackle any installation job.

At Carved Stone Creations, we understand the effect that harsh Midwestern winters can have on exterior stonework, so we design and install all architectural stonework, including fountains, statues and exterior natural stone veneer, with those factors in mind.  We take pride in ensuring that the stonework we install for you can stand the tests of time and weather!

Do you live outside of the Midwest?  We can install in your area, too.  Carved Stone Creations has successfully carried out fine stonework from New York, to Florida, to California!