Stone Veneer Installation
Stone Veneer can be used the same way
thin laminate type products are used. It will bend to a minimum radius
depending on the stone color or type before cracking. With the assist of
heat smaller radii can be achieved. Testing should always be done prior
to any natural stone veneer installation. It can be arched or bent
inward or outward to meet a given look or architecture. Fiberglass
strand are used in the makeup of Stone Veneer which gives it strength
Installation can be easily done using many of the basic tools used in
most tile work.
Prior to application it is best to clean,
brush, and degrease any surface of dust or oils. Depending on the adhesive
used, it may be necessary to prep the back of the Stone Veneer by sanding or
scuffing the back to expose the fiberglass. Some adhesives may require the
use of solvents or recommended primer by the adhesive manufacturer.
Layout & Patterns
Time spent preparing the work area will
pay off in a job well done. Preparation of the area to be covered and the
layout of the veneer sheets is the same as for natural stones or tiles. A
preliminary dry fit of veneers allows for arrangements and orientation of
individual sheets, patterns, textures, and colors before final placement. It
is recommended that each sheet be dry fit exactly where it will be placed on
all surfaces. Numbering the sheets to track relocation before cutting and
trimming will save you time.
Tiling, Grouting & Joining
Veneer can be also be used to create a
tiled effect by leaving a grout joint between cut pieces. Sheets may also be
butt joined for a minimal seam look. Due to the thin nature of the sheets a
narrower grout joint will produce better results.
Test show the use of water based epoxy grouts work well to fill between the
cut veneers. These epoxy grouts are also available in several colors to
match the desired décor. On final clean up with a sponge, the epoxy
will also seal and fill the Veneer surface. If desired a deeper grout joint
can be achieved by removing material just under the grout joint area.
Stone Veneer can be sealed with the
same sealers used for slate, stone tiles, and wood. There are many
sealers on the market with various recommended applications. Please test
any sealer for the desired luster and penetration required prior to
Veneer can be cut with tin snips, a
metal shear, wet saw, or table saw with carbide blade. Cutting curves is
best done using long nosed tin snips.
Safety & Precautions
Precautions must be taken when working
with Veneer due to the fiberglass composition of the backing materials.
ALWAYS use the proper type gloves, goggles, and dust mask when cutting. When
using a saw ALWAYS be sure to take proper precautions to cover skin, eyes
and lungs from fiberglass dust. When cutting, properly filter equipment
exhausts when cutting with saws, grinders, or sanders.
AVOID BREATHING SILICA DUST. This product when cut, drilled, or abraded
produces dust containing Free Silica which may cause cancer or delayed lung
injury (Silicosis) if inhaled. Work outdoors, in a well ventilated area, or
use mechanical ventilation.
Know your adhesives; by understanding the
specifics of any adhesives, much time and cost can be saved. All adhesives
should be tested prior to any installation including consideration of
moisture and temperature in the planned environment. If the application is
outdoors, consideration to thermal expansion should be taken into account.
Since the sheets is only a veneer it must expand and contract the same as
the substrate or delamination may occur. Where adhesive primers are
recommended the bond should be test by the installer before final
- Premixed grout and tile adhesive
- Acrylic copolymer based tile adhesive
- Polyurethane wood glues and PU construction grade adhesives
- Wood, parquet, and outdoor carpet adhesives
- Thick latex or acrylic latex type tile adhesive (use only where air
drying can take place)
- Silicone (with primer only)
- Construction grade multi-purpose adhesive, Liquid Nails type.
- Polyester based gap filler putty (Bondo type products)
The back of veneers may require a filler type adhesive for some
applications. The polyurethane wood glues work quite well for most
applications to board materials by foaming slightly to fill gaps. These
materials are not recommended for high moisture or wet application. For wet
environments epoxies would be the best candidate. Contact adhesives are not
recommended due to the uneven backing or Veneers.
A hand roller is recommended to
remove air between sheet and substrate. To properly roll out trapped air
start in the middle of a sheet while firmly rolling out towards the
edge. Do not press too hard while rolling as this may cause too much
adhesive to push out. Proper back-filling and good rolling techniques
will result in a solid hard surface. Do not use non-catalyzing (water
vapor type) cure adhesives where the substrate is a moisture barrier.
Non-catalyzing adhesive will not cure properly if applied between
Types of Installation