Below you will find an installation guide (including basic tools, materials required and substrates) as well as a technical documentation, each containing information describing how our stone and veneer products should be installed for most applications.
Notched Trowel: A Square or U notch trowel should be used as they have large notches to spread more adhesive quickly in wide lines across the wall. For fixing Ochre and Charcoal rock panels, which have rough or irregular backs, a U notch trowel is the ideal tool.
Angle Grinder: An angle grinder may be used for cutting stone to fit around small protrusions in the wall such as pipes, steel-work, power points etc
Level: A good quality level, preferably 1.2m or 4ft long, is a must to ensure levels are correct. The level should be used to set the base line and frequent checks of the stone veneer as it’s been installed to the wall.
Wet or Tile Saw: A quality brick or tile wet saw is necessary because accurate cutting of the panels is essential to achieve tight joints and it helps to save your time. A saw with a tilting blade is optional for angled cuts, such as 45 degrees or to form mitred corners and angled pieces if necessary.
Sponge: A large sponge with high absorbent factor is required to clean off excess tile adhesive as the job progresses.
Suitable Substrates: Because stone veneer is typically heavy, up to 60kgs per m2, then Drywall, Sheet Rock, Gypsum board, Plasterboard are not suitable substrates.
Natural stone tiles are heavy, therefore it is critical that they are adhered to appropriate substrates. The substrate and wall should be structurally sound, secure and capable of supporting the weight of the stone veneer product, which will range from between 3 kgs to 6kgs per sq ft, depending on the product.
Our stone stone products may be applied over properly prepared masonry / cementitious surface such as fibrous cement board, CMU or concrete block, brick, cement, Pre-cast concrete slabs or lathe & scratch coat combination.
Fibrous cement board: The fibrous cement board must be a minimum of 16mm thick to support the weight of these stone veneer products and should be securely fixed to the wall’s framework. We suggest that the board should be glued and screwed to the frame, screwing at 600mm centres using screws that are a minimum of 60mm long and covering the entire frame.
It is also important to provide additional adhesion to secure the fibrous cement sheeting where contact with the cement board is made with the stud work or framing, by using a good quality mastic type adhesive. To ensure safety, strength and permanent fixing, this work should only be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor or builder.
Painted surfaces: Must be sandblasted, or otherwise stripped of paint before installing and if a new wall needs to be built, or layer added to an existing wall, the most suitable product for these purposes is fibrous cement sheeting such as backer board.
Each stone veneer product should be checked and if necessary remove any contamination, dust or dirt, sand, or loose particles prior to installation. When necessary, wash them thoroughly. If the back of the product is dry, dampen it first with a wet sponge, but do not saturate. This prevents the stone from pulling the moisture from the adhesive, allowing it to cure naturally and form a stronger bond.
Natural stone is an excellent choice of building material for any environment or climate, whether it is used for interior or exterior applications, adjacent to or completely submerged in water, dry desert heat or polar cold. However to ensure installation is successful certain products should be used and procedures followed in some of these environments, as noted below:
Understanding natural stone and being informed about your product is essential to achieve a perfect end result. Read some important facts before you install:
BEFORE TILING: Marble & Limestone are natural products, variations in color and veining must be expected. We shall not be liable for any such variations that may occur in materials supplied.
Prior to laying any tiles, the homeowner, builder or tiler must:
1. Inspect the tiles for any defects
2. Check that the tiles delivered to site are the correct quantity, color, shade and size as ordered.
3. Check that the shades are consistent thru the batch delivered.
4. Ensure that there are enough tiles on site for the project. If not order some more from the same batch before work commences.
We strongly recommend that only experienced tilers / stone masons lay natural stone. Inexperience with natural stone can result in damage to the material.
DURING TILING: During tile laying we suggest to:
1. Mix the tiles from several boxes to ensure blending of any inherent shade variation.
2. All natural stone must be laid using specialized stone/marble adhesives. Products not made for natural stone installation will affect the resulting finish. Always clean any adhesive, grout and wax from the surface area of stone.
3. Adhesives/sand or cement with salt content will re-act with some natural stone and should not be used for stone applications.
4. We strongly suggest that your tiler or builder for each specific stone to choose appropriate glue by consulting directly to glue adhesive manufacturer before application.
5. Natural Stone should not be cleaned with acid or acid based industrial cleaners.
6. During the laying process, adhesives and grout must be cleaned off stone immediately and at all times.
AFTER TILING: Natural stone is porous. All stone and porcelain products must be sealed using appropriate sealants. Sealing your stone is a vital part of the installation process. Different natural stones require different sealers. General process of installation can be in two ways:
1. Lay, clean, seal, grout, clean and seal again (We recommend this process for most natural stone)
2. Pre seal, lay, clean, grout, clean and seal again (NOTE: some soft or porous stone may require this process)
It is essential that sealers are applied correctly. Sealers may last around 10-15 years. However, depending on surface usage and traffic, we suggest close inspection of the natural stone to see if re sealing is required every 3-5 years.
Some natural stones require pre-sealing. Please check with us first if your stone requires this.
STONE MAINTENANCE: Proper care and maintenance will ensure your natural stone retains its beautiful appearance. Please read the following important information:
1. CLEANING: Only use a mild cleanser (mild soap is good) as harsh chemical cleansers can eventually breakdown the sealer. Sure Seal (our recommended sealer) makes a product for cleaning natural stone.
2. ACIDS AND NATURAL STONES: Products such as wine, fruit and fruit juice, milk (lactic acid), coffee and teas, household cleaners, dishwasher powder, laundry powders ALL contain either natural acids or harsh chemicals that will eat away at natural stone AND the sealers that are used to protect them. Whenever spills occur – wipe them up. If any product that contains acid or harsh chemicals is left on a sealed natural stone it will eventually eat away at the sealer and affect the stone.
Always use coasters under glasses to prevent unseen spills from remaining on the stone. As long as you follow these simple steps your natural stone will stay looking beautiful for years.
3. PROTECTING FROM HEAT: Never place a hot dish directly from an oven onto the natural stone – always use protective mats or trivets. This also protects the stone from chipping that could occur.
4.STAIN REMOVAL: For stain removal obviously the first step is to identify the stain. Here are some handy do’s and don’ts:
DO Wipe up spill immediately
DO Try to identify what caused the stain
DO Use a mild detergent or soap first to try and remove the stain
DO Call for professional advice if you are not sure what to do
DON’T Use vinegar, lemon juice or other acid based cleaners on natural stone. Be aware of “Natural” and “Organic” products – always read the labels.
DON’T Use cleaners that contain acid. Read product labels carefully of any bathroom or grout cleaners
DON’T Use abrasive cleaners or scourer pads or household grade steel
DON’T Ever mix chemicals together. Some combinations could create a toxic gas.
To install stepping stones, start by planning out your stepping stone walkway layout. Next, temporarily place your stepping stones in place and mark each stone’s outline with spray paint. Remove the stepping stones and excavate the marked area beneath each stepping stone to approximately three to four inches below grade. Next, install a thin layer of gravel sub-base beneath each stepping stone and then apply a thin layer of leveling sand on top of the gravel sub-base. Place the stepping stones on top of the sand layer and level the stepping stone by adding or removing sand as needed.