How to Install Cultured Stone
Cultured stone is one of the most versatile products that you can use in home projects because it is affordable, light weight, looks great and feels and looks just like cut stone found in nature. It can be used both indoors and out for outdoor siding, fireplaces and even flooring. Installing cultured stone is an easy process that requires little preparation. Likewise, the finished surface needs little maintenance
Measure, Buy and Prep
Begin by measuring the space you will be working with. This will allow you to purchase the correct amount of mortar and other materials that you will need to insure a slick finish. You will want to make sure that you first lay a galvanized, metal lath over the surface on which you will be working before selecting the cultured stone that you will use. This will allow the mortar and the faux stone to set nicely when you are ready to make the final touches.
Choose the Stone Size
Because cultured stone is manufactured, there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Depending on your project, choose the size that will present the appearance you are going for before preparing the mortar for solidification. Unless you are looking for a more symmetrical look, you don’t need to have a set pattern in mind. Allow for natural progression and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Mortar and Stack
If you have placed your metal lath and it is secure, you are now ready to apply the mortar. Use a garden trough to scoop the mortar onto the surface and apply liberally. Once you have filled any open areas in the surface that you are working with, it is time to apply the cultured stone, either one by one in larger pieces, randomly at your discretion.
It is best to work from the corners inward to insure a tight seal. Also, work from the top to the bottom so that you will not have to worry about any moist mortar dripping onto your newly created surface. If the pieces don’t seem to fit, you may need to use a tool to break them up or cut them into smaller pieces so that they will fit with the mortar more naturally. This is only necessary if you are seeking the more tailored look associated with indoor flooring. Outdoor projects tend to be more rugged in nature.
Some projects may require the use of a traditional grout material common in laying floor tile. While it is not critical, grout will often give indoor spaces a nicer finish while protecting the product from water seepage.