Do it Yourself Guide on How To Install and Mortar Stone Veneer to a Wall 


Stone veneer can be applied to ANY STRUCTURALLY SOUND SURFACE. No foundation or structural changes are necessary, as stone veneer becomes an integral part of the surface to which it is attached, and is not considered a structural member.

In most cases, installation over an existing sound concrete, stone, concrete block, brick or stucco surface does not require additional surface preparation. It can be applied directly over that surface using mortar, or a mixture of mortar and thin set. Personally, I like the addition of the thinset as it aids in the initial adhesion on vertical surfaces. A premix mortar may be used, but they may require the addition of cement as some contain too much sand. We like to add some thinset to our mix, but this is a matter of choice.

NOTE: Grade "D" waterproof paper should be used over an exterior wood surface before installing lath per code.

Surface Preparation:
Cover entire surface with 3.4 expanded metal lath, overlapping the joints using 1-1/2"- 2" nails. Over an existing wood surface, nails should be six inches (6") apart in every direction, with extra attention to being sure that nailing is through all existing studs . Overlap all joints and at all corners, and never leave a lath seam at a corner. Overlap at least 6" on vertical seams, and 2" on horizontal seams. Use tin snips to cut lath. BE SURE TO KEEP THE LATH TIGHT.

Scratch Coat:
A sand and cement mortar mix will then be applied over the metal lath, as thin as possible, but making sure that the lath is completely covered and that the SURFACE IS LEVEL. Scratch up the plastered surface while it is still wet using a leaf rake, hand rake, or mason's scratcher, so the surface is not slick or smooth. Most codes require the coat to dry 48 hours before applying the stone.

Trim to Fit:
Most stone veneer, including that made with our instructions , is easily shaped or cut as desired. This will enable you to "fit" stones easily into place to insure a natural looking wall with tight mortar joints. Cutting or shaping can be done by using a circular saw with a masonry blade, a wet saw, a hatchet, maul and chisel, or wide mouth nippers, (horse hoof nippers).

Apply Mortar to Stone:
Butter the Stone. Using a trowel, apply approximately 1/2" to 3/4" of mortar to the back of each stone piece, covering the entire back. Butter one piece at a time, just prior to applying the stone piece.

Applying Stone to Wall:
Starting at the top of the wall, push the stone firmly into place on the wall and "wiggle" the stone slightly to set the bond . YOU SHOULD PUSH FIRMLY ENOUGH SO THAT THE MORTAR IS SQUEEZED OUT AROUND THE EDGES OF THE STONE. If sliding or slipping occurs, the mortar may be too thin, or you may be using too little, or too much mortar. You'll get the "feel" of it quickly. We have found that adding some thinset to the mix will help make it more "sticky". You start at the top so any blobs and drippings of mortar do not fall on existing installed stone work.

Approximately 1/2 hour to 1 hour later, when the mortar is no longer wet, push the mortar deeper into the joints, and at the same time, rake out any excess mortar using a rounded stick or the handle of a wire brush. If it is found at this state, that by raking out the joints the mortar smears over the face of the stone, wait an additional half hour or so until the mortar has set up further. After the above procedure has been completed, wire brush any excess mortar from the face of the veneer, and clean up joints at the same time with the wire brush and a whisk broom.

If you plan to grout around the stone, use a grout bag. Fill the bag HALF FULL. Roll the bag tightly (forcing your knuckles into the side of the bag), then squeeze the bag with your other hand, forcing the mortar out of the bag and deeply into the joints. (IF ONLY WATER COMES OUT OF THE NOZZLE, ADD MORE LIME OR MORE CEMENT). The hole in the bag should be approximately 5/8" wide.

NOTE: If grouting is to be delayed to another day, make sure that ALL JOINTS are left clean of excess mortar, and that the surface of the stone is free from any splashed mortar. Always remove any excess mortar with a stiff wire brush on the same day the stone is installed.

1 part cement
2-1/2 parts fine (plaster) sand
Or use a premix mortar which is available at all building supply stores.

Olde World Castle Stone

Olde Appalachian Fieldstone

Olde Appalachian Fieldstone

Olde Drystack - Ledgestone

Stone Made and Installed by a New Do-It-Yourselfer

T he mold masters for this Olde World manufactured stone were taken from real Fieldstone and other styles of natural stone, so that you can use them in your project with no negative impact on the environment. And since manufactured stone veneer is not considered a structural building member, there is normally no need for expensive concrete footings, no special structural approvals and permits, no expensive stone mason to cut the stone, and no shipping and delivery costs. Manufactured stone veneer is basically in the same category as home "siding". And with manufactured stone, you get all of the benefits of real stone, like high "R" insulating value, fire resistance , sound suppression, and increased home value... and MORE... at a fraction of the cost of real quarried stone!

Should you need...  molds or moulds, colorant, concrete sealer, stains, or other concrete, cement, or plaster supplies for your handyman or home improvement project, please visit our catalogue website at or our shopping cart website at  to get ideas.  If you are interested in starting a concrete stone and veneer, or concrete and cement paver, brick or tile business, visit our Olde World Stone & Tile Business Opportunity website at for full details, instructions and various stone making and other concrete product making packages.  We also offer D-I-Y Packages in our catalogue and on our shopping cart websites.