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Experience with veneer stone?


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By Sarah in Walla Walla, WA on 2/4/2005


Does anyone have any experience - good or bad - with using a veneer stone? I was specifically looking at the Robinson Rock product which uses real stone and just slices off the front so you have a flat back for easier installation and you don't need load bearing walls. Is this something I can teach myself how to install? I have heard both "no way" and "absolutely". Thanks!
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By James in Broadview Heights, OH on 2/4/2005


Have not used it YET, our designer calls it "stucco stone". Basically applied using principles of synthetic stone, but looks much better. We have chosen one from Natural Stone Veneers, a great looking fieldstone. Their website has the specs as well as installation instructions, seems very simple to apply. Since brick veneer is a non-structural component, why not stone?
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By John in Erie, CO on 2/4/2005


I have looked at the Robinson Rock product, and it's the only stone veneer I'd install after seeing the others. My current project doesn't call for stone, but it looks really good. Not sure about DIY installation - I'm sure you can do it, but it might take some time to get the technique down. Finally, Robinson has specially cut corners so you can make it really look like a solid rock in the corner. Take a look at them, it's one of the best implementations of a veneer I've seen.
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By James in Broadview Heights, OH on 2/5/2005


The website is naturalstoneveneers.com. A local distributor in NE Ohio sent me a brochure; pricing seems to be around $8/sq ft with them, and another was at $10/sq ft. I plan on using it along with some selected stucco areas on a 3,500 sq ft French Country 1.5-story, 14/12 and 12/12 roof, angled three-car garage with a two-car separate Carriage House. homesofelegance.com has some great literature/plans/picture books I have purchased if you like that style, but we purchased ours from coolhouseplans.com and are having them modified.
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By Don in Baldwin, MD on 2/5/2005


Sarah,

My neighbor is a retired stone mason who used to also own a stone distributorship. His daughter runs it now. While discussing our new house for later this year, he stated that the natural stone, veneer stone, and manufactured stone all look good, wear good, etc. if properly installed. He said that my wife could install it and that she could start at the top to keep mortar from dropping on the already finished part. We are seriously considering the veneer product, but I doubt my wife will be doing much of the install. The real key for the install is the artistic ability to place the different-sized stones properly. Good luck with your project.


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By Don in Baldwin, MD on 2/5/2005


By the way, our architect calls it "lick and stick".
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By Dennis in AK on 2/7/2005


We installed approximately 200 sq ft of cultured stone on the front of our new house. It was simple, although your arm gets tired spreading the mortar. This is how we did it, roofing felt, metal lath, thin coat of mortar, mortar on the stone, stick and twist. We tried to lay out the stone on a sheet of OSB first for arrangement but it didn't quite work for us, so we just opened three or four boxes and took what looked like it would fit. We did have to trim some to finish up. Mortar the joints after the stone has dried, seal and you're done. By the way, don't start too late in the day, it's hard placing stone with only car headlights to use!

Good luck,

Dennis.


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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 2/8/2005


I laid up approx. 110' sq. feet of it. It really is rather easy.

I laid mine up using an adhesive that mixes right in with the mortar. It's been up for about 5 years and we've never had a problem with it falling off, or coming loose. We did a "dry stack" look, so we didn't have to do any joint mortaring. We also used cement board behind it to adhere it to.

Also, be sure to start with the corner pieces and fill in the field afterwards.

I did see one thing on DIY that would have helped me. They skim coated the surface with mortar. Then they drew horizontal lines about every two feet in that skim coat with a screw driver. This allowed them to better line up their courses. When I do my next project (which will be a fireplace) I believe I will try that.

Trust me. This is an easy DIY project.


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By Ed in Orange Park, FL on 2/11/2005


We looked at veneer and loved the idea. Didn't have much of a reference to know about price but found something we liked at $4.25/sf (material only). I wanted to see how natural stone compared cost-wise before taking the plunge. Found the natural version not much thicker than the veneers we saw. Cost was based on how much you buy (I priced 400 sf). 100 sf fits on a pallet and goes for around 14 to 24 cents a pound at our local landscape supply - I don't know how hard it is to put up. For me, the savings would be not having to pay freight cost on the veneer - I'm going to buy some stone and work with it before deciding.
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