How to Install Concrete Stone Facing

Regarding the look of stone veneer, many ways exist to accomplish the task. Natural stone offers elegance and value that lasts for generations.

Concrete Stone Facing

A builder with a good rock supply, tight joints, and hidden mortar is the secret to his success facing block walls. His finished walls show little visible mortar, and the mortar there looks natural. Keep reading the article below to learn more about Concrete Stone Facing.

Unlike faux stone, which is usually made of concrete or polyurethane, real stone veneer is actually manufactured from natural stones. As a result, it has the character of actual stone and can be grouted just like natural stone. It can also be installed in a variety of ways that can enhance the aesthetic of your home or commercial building project.

During the manufacturing process, the stone facing is mixed with pigments and modifying admixtures to create the desired texture. Typically, sand is used as the fine filler and crushed stone or lightweight aggregate are used as the coarse filler. Adding these materials to the concrete creates the characteristic rock face. To create a more mottled appearance, dry pigment powders can be sprinkled and smudged into the mold before pouring. This allows the color to be absorbed into the concrete while leaving a rough surface on the finished product.

A textured stone veneer is typically more rustic in appearance. This type of stone is often seen in projects that require a more traditional or classic aesthetic. It can be used on exterior walls to craft a rustic or weathered look or inside the home to establish a wall as a focal point.

For a more modern or contemporary look, the stone can be tinted with a masonry stain. These stains are absorbed into the top one-sixteenth inch of the concrete and can be found in a variety of earth tone hues. Staining is a simple and inexpensive way to revitalize existing concrete stone that has faded from weathering or to add color to new installations.

Another technique for coloring your concrete stone is a color wash. Using iron oxide pigments in a water slurry, this method of coloring the stone allows the color to be absorbed into all the nooks and crannies of the rock face. This can be done after the concrete stone has been demolded but before it cures. It should be brushed into the surface, especially into all the joints and crevices of the concrete. A masonry sealer can then be applied to protect the finish.


The color of your concrete stone veneer will affect the overall look of your finished project. Choose a color that matches the stones you are using or offers a contrast. Darker colors tend to hide dirt and grime better than lighter shades. A colored wash is a simple technique that can be used to refresh the appearance of your thin stone veneer. It is a mixture of iron oxide pigment and water applied to the stone before it sets. This allows the colorant to be absorbed into all of the nooks and crannies of the stone.

Manufactured stone is a slurry of Portland cement, aggregates, and iron oxides baked in textured molds to look like real stone. It is a cost-conscious alternative to natural stone and comes in a wide variety of textures and color options.

Unlike manufactured stone, which is tinted with chemicals and colors to mimic the color of real stone, Natural Facing is real stone that has been cut into thin slices for easy installation. It is the original green building material and is a great choice for sustainable projects. Real stone is also able to withstand harsh environmental conditions, rain, snow, and wide temperature ranges without fading.

There are two overarching styles of Natural Facing: drystack and mortar joint. Drystack is an organic, textural look that installs with a “dry-stack” application and is ideal for modern-style exteriors. Mortar joint, on the other hand, offers a clean and contemporary linear style that is perfect for more traditional home exteriors.

When choosing a mortar joint, consider the sizing of your thin stone veneer units as well as the overall size of your project. It is important to ensure the joints are not too large or too small, as this can draw the eye and create an unfinished appearance. It is also a good idea to stagger the joints vertically and horizontally to prevent long, unbroken lines that can pull the eye from other parts of the wall or structure.

For the ultimate in durability, choose mortar that is compatible with your chosen stone. Some concrete manufacturers offer a mix that is designed to work with their products and provide the best results.


Concrete is a porous material that naturally absorbs moisture. When rainwater, sprinkler water or melting snow seeps behind stone veneer and into the wall structure of a house, it can lead to structural damage such as wood rot, delamination of sheathing, mold growth, etc. It’s important for construction professionals to design and build a system that can control moisture behind stone veneer and provide a path for drainage to prevent these problems.

The natural appearance of concrete stone makes it a popular choice for building accent walls, retaining walls and garden borders. These walls are designed to hold soil and plants for erosion control and support landscape features such as trellises and patios. To add more color to these walls, a masonry stain can be applied. These stains are absorbed into the top one-sixteenth inch of the surface and come in a variety of earth tone hues. These stains can be used to restore existing concrete stone that is faded from weathering or to add color to a new installation.

Manufactured stone is a slurry of Portland cement, aggregates and iron oxides baked in textured molds to look like real stone. This product is more affordable than real stone and offers the same strength and durability. When properly installed, textured stone wall facing can add dimension and character to a home.

While it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the natural appearance of concrete stone, simulated rock has its own charm for use in homes. These products are typically adhered to a concrete substrate using polymer-modified thinset. This type of mortar is more forgiving than conventional masonry mortars and is easier to work with. However, the mortar is still not waterproof and needs to have a path for drainage.

The best way to prevent moisture issues with manufactured stone is to install a vapor barrier and provide proper drainage of the substrate and sheathing. This can be achieved by creating weep tunnels through the stone wall and directing them to drain above grade. This will ensure that water can escape and not soak into the sheathing and structure of a home.


Stone veneer is a natural, durable and beautiful way to add character to your home. It offers the durability of natural stone, without the cost and weight of quarried stone. Stone veneer can be installed on existing walls, foundation facades, columns and other outdoor features to revive a landscape design. It can also be used to craft an accent wall in a living room, kitchen or family area to establish a focal point and add texture.

Whether you choose natural or manufactured stone veneer, it is important to prepare the surface before beginning installation. The substrate (concrete, poured-in-place walls, concrete block or wood) must be free of cracks and moisture to ensure proper bonding. Always make sure that your contractor is using a high-quality waterproof adhesive to protect the substrate from water penetration.

When installing, begin in the bottom corners of the wall and work your way up. Make sure to stagger panels from row to row for a more natural look. It is helpful to do a dry run to determine how the stones will fit together and to establish a basic layout. This can save you time and money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary trimming later on.

Next, back butter the stone veneer by applying a small amount of mortar to the back of each piece. This step is often overlooked by installers, but it is important for a strong bond between the stone and the base, which could be concrete, drywall or even wood paneling.

Use a masonry trowel to apply the mortar to the base of the wall, ensuring that it is spread evenly across the entire surface. After spreading the mortar, wait a few minutes to allow it to set up. Once the mortar is set, scratch away any excess with a pointing trowel. Be careful not to remove too much, as this may smear the mortar and compromise its integral structure.

Next, install the stones, starting in the bottom corners of the wall and working your way up. Be sure to turn any trimmed pieces slightly in or out, depending on your desired look. Press the stones firmly into the mortar and twist them slightly to help move out any air bubbles and seal in any binding moisture.

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