Follow our guild on fireplace stone installation

We share our installation tips on how to stone a fireplace.
Faux stone Installation is a very simple process requiring minimal amount of instruments and as one starts it, the pace itself sets in. It is not necessary that only a formally trained individual can carry out this task. Whether one wishes to have a faux stone wall or a Cast Stone Fireplace, the installation work can be taken up without any worry as one needs to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Similarly Interior or Exterior Stone Veneer Installation is an easy and less time consuming procedure by undertaking which a person can fulfill his home improvement desires.
Our supplier Stone Selex Inc. carries a broad range of stone veneer products made with lightweight aggregates, portland cement and coloured pigments. The stones are casted in molds taken from nature’s most select natural stones. Stone Selex products can be applied to any structurally sound surface and do not require any foundation or footings.
Stone Selex products are very easy to install, “do it yourself” type. This short guide provides a quick overview of the installation process and can be used to aid in the installation of both interior and exterior stone veneer projects – the techniques and materials used are the same for both.

Installation guidelines
Preparing the Surface

Before installing any Stone products to a wall makes sure the surface is clean and free of any paint, dust or debris. Dirt and dust on the wall could lessen the bond between the stone and the masonry surface.
Installation on wood, plywood, paneling, wallboard
The surface must be prepared before the mortar can be applied. It is important to note that installation of stones on an outdoor wood surface requires the installation of a moisture barrier. Apply a felt paper to the entire surface of the project (to prevent any water damage to the wooden surface) use a hand stapler to firmly secure it to the wood surface. After the felt paper is attached to the wood you can continue with the installation as described below.
Expand metal lath onto the surface and use galvanized nails or staples every 4-6” to attach the lath to the surface. Keep in mind that it is difficult to attach stone to loose metal lath, so keep it tight across the surface and as flat as possible. After the metal lath is attached securely apply a thin layer of type S mortar (about ¼” scratch coat) to the lath. Wait till the scratch coat is completely dry before attaching the stones.
Installation on brick, concrete, or any other masonry substrate.
Stones can be attached directly to these surfaces without any preparations using type “S” mortar. It is very important to have the surface dust, dirt and paint free as described in the “Preparing the Surface” section.

Desired Pattern
Before attaching the stone to the surface it is helpful to lay out the stones on the floor and plan out a natural looking pattern. Lay out roughly 10-20 square feet on the floor and organize the stones until the desired pattern is achieved. The ideal balance is a realistic mixture of colour, size and shape. It is helpful to use stones from different boxes to create balanced pattern.
Applying the Mortar and Installing the Stone
Type “S” mortar is the recommended adhesive for all Stone Selex products and can be used with Portland cement for added strength if desired. Mix mortar with just the right amount of water until the mixture has a workable moist consistency (the mixture should have a viscosity that roughly resembles pudding). Using a masonry trowel apply a generous amount of the mixture to the stone only (about ½” in thickness). Do not apply the mixture to the wall surface. Attach the stone to the wall with a gentle wiggling motion and hold in place for few seconds. Once the stone and mortar come in contact with the wall do not jerk/tug or attempt to remove and reattach the stone. This can lessen the bond between the stone and the wall which could cause the stone to detach itself from the wall.

Corner Stones
These stones should be attached first. Start from the top and work downwards alternating short side and long side when stacking the stones. By starting at the top you avoid dripping mortar on the stone areas below. Leave about 2”- 3” of space from ground level. Remember to use a level to keep the edges of the stones straight.
Sizing and Shaping the Stone
Some pieces may need to be cut or trimmed to fit installations or to maintain uniform joints. The most precise cuts are obtained by using a circular saw or grinder with a diamond blade. Always remember to wear all proper safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves and dust mask ect.) when trimming and cutting with power tools. (Wide-mouth nippers can also be used for trimming stone, but do not offer the same clean cut as a diamond blade circular saw or grinder.) In order for the stones to look realistic it is important to keep all the horizontal edges straight. A few crooked stones could ruin the entire pattern on the wall surface so remember to use a level and to step back a few feet once in a while to inspect the overall appearance of the pattern. Keep in mind that there is on average about of 5%-10% waste on projects due to cutting and trimming.

After the stone has set you can choose to grout the joints with mortar using a mortar bag. After about 30-60 minutes or until the mortar becomes brittle all mortar smears should be removed with a stiff brush or whiskbroom. If using the traditional recessed grout line technique then use a stick or pointing tool to get rid of the excess grout in between the stones. Do not use a brush to clean smears on wet grout, as it will stain the stone permanently. DO NOT USE WATER TO CLEAN FRESHLY GROUTED WALL!! Grouting is an optional process because some Stone Selex products look better without grout; it really just depends on ones personal taste, style and the desired overall visual impact of the stone.
Stone Selex products also contain added polymers and a latex type product which is added in the manufacturing process. This gives the stone water-repellent properties from the inside out and insures a longer lifespan of all Stone Selex products.

Fireplace stone installation
Here are some tips for working with your stone fireplace:
1. Start by preparing your work area. A prepared area will make your job go smoother and it will ensure that your job has no errors.
2. Mix your mortar until it’s the perfect consistency – not too dry and not too wet. Pay attention because the key to a great install is the mortar
3. Lay the stones out on the floor like a jig saw puzzle then pick which stones you want to put where.
4. Put the stones up with a nice variety to get a natural feel and a look that is just like true rock.
5. You will need to determine how much stone you will need. Measure your surface area to determine the square footage. Don’t skimp. You’ll regret it. Instead order a little extra to give you the flexibility you need.
6. Most stone distributors like have an excellent in stock selection of the more standard stones like the river rock but if you are going for something a little more exotic like castle stone you should anticipate extra delivery time and you should also order a little extra to make sure you don’t run short and then run into trouble matching up.
7. Besides your manufactured stones you will need a moisture resistant barrier and you will need a metal lath for the mortar to adhere to.
8. You’ll need a few special tools to get the job done. A Mason trowel, Finishing trowel, ½” tuck pointer, grout bag, and a circular saw.
9. You will need to take off any existing trim that’s around the stone fireplace and the weatherproof barrier needs to be put up to keep the moisture away from the mortar. Use a stapler or hammer and nails to fasten.
10. You will want to make sure the nails are into the studs by at least 1 inch. Tape the edge and cover the fireplace opening with plastic to protect it while you work.
Working with your stone fireplace doesn’t have to be that difficult as long as you take some time to plan before jumping into your project and these 10 tips on how to stone a fireplace will definitely keep you on the right track.

We offer our services to builders architecs designers and homeowners throughout Ontario, from Ottawa and Cornwall, to Sarnia and Windsor (Tecumesh, LaSalle, Lakeshore), to Thunder Bay. We offer standard delivery to all Ontario cities including St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, Milton, Mississauga, Port Credit, Georgetown, Brampton, Bramalea, Etobicoke, Toronto, Willowdale, North York, Scarborough, Woodbridge, Maple, King City, Concord, Richmond Hill, Markham, Unionville, Stratford, Oshawa, Whitby, Clarington, Acton, Erin, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Brantford, Brant, Brockville, Woodstock, Barrie, Carp, Innisfil, Midland including Tay and Penetanguishene, Orillia, Ramara, Leamington including Kingsville, Sudbury, Chatham, Kent, London, Kingston, South Frontenac, Peterborough including Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, Belleville, Cornwall, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Kawartha Lake, Muskoka, Norfolk, Timmins, Owen Sound, and many more.

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