Below is a brief overview on how to install thin stone veneer, as recommended by the Building Stone Institute.

Mortar Type

Type N or S mortar is used for installing Natural Thin Stone Veneer, depending upon the type of stone being installed. Check with producer for a recommendation.

Bonding Admixtures

The use of a bonding admixture with the mortar may be recommended to add bonding strength (check with your stone dealer for recommendation). Please refer to the selected bonding agent instructions for suggested mixture quantities. Extra care should be taken when using bonding agents, since dropping can be difficult to remove once they cure. The use of an epoxy, thin set and/or construction adhesives should only be used in interior applications. Admixtures are necessary for all soffit or overhead conditions.

Setting Natural Thin Stone Veneer

Now that the metal lath and the scratch coat have been applied, installation of the natural thin stone can proceed.

  • If corner pieces are required for the application, it will be best to start with the corners first. This will provide a better guide for your pattern to continue around the corner.
  • Most corner pieces will have a long end and a short end. These pieces should alternate in opposite directions, as they are stacked, one upon the other.
  • The back of each stone should be covered 100% with a thickness of at least 1/2” of mortar. A bit more mortar can be added towards the center of the back of each stone.
  • The stone should be pressed firmly against the scratch coat wall to ensure a sound bond.
  • Extra mortar will ooze out around the edges as each stone is set in place. This extra mortar will fill in around the stone creating your grout joints.
  • If you choose not to use this method to fill the joints, then the joints can be filled with grout using a grout bag and/or a tuck pointing tool.
  • Make sure to create control and movement joints in the veneer in the same places that they exist in the structure. These control and movement joints serve to allow for the movement of the structure as it settles and moves from environmental changes. Consult a local contractor, your builder or structural engineering professional to determine the need for these special joints.