(guest post by Matt Lee, image courtesy Realstonesystems.com)
Stone veneer panels—along with stone accent walls, for that matter—have become incredibly popular in recent years. It’s not hard to see why, either. Their naturalistic style mixed with their relatively easy installation, combined with a price that is fairly inexpensive, has led to a resurgence in popularity.
More and more people are gravitating towards aesthetics that are naturalistic and earthy. Fewer people are gravitating towards aesthetics that are overly clinical or “modern”.
Whether you like it or not, the “natural world” is in style right now. And with that, comes a variety of common mistakes that are made when people are applying or installing stone veneer panels.
- Misaligned Corners
For most people, this is a given, but you need to make sure that the corner pieces are cut at a forty-five-degree angle, or else they won’t be able to properly line up, or they’ll just look very ugly.
The best way to do this is to use a miter-saw to cut those corner pieces at an exact 45-degree angle. If you keep this measurement exact, and consistent with the other corner pieces, then the end result will be elegant and beautiful.
- Veneer Panels Slipping Off After Installation
Sometimes, you’ll have installed a set of stone veneer panels, and they look absolutely amazing, and then when you move on to the next section, they slip off. Then, you have to attach it again, and that takes a while.
Instead of dealing with this problem over and over again, you should use a high-bond mortar made specifically for stone veneers. Mortar formulated for exterior stone veneers is available as well. This ensures the panels won’t slip off, and that the process is significantly quicker.
- Improper Installation around Windows and Doors
If the stone isn’t installed in the proper manner around windows and doors, this can easily lead to problems with moisture and water buildup.
To remedy this particular problem, place a drip cap at the head of every single window and door that is going to be affected by the stone veneer panels that you are installing.
- Gaps Between the Panels
This one is more common with stacked stone veneer panels and other exterior stone veneer panels. If they haven’t been installed properly, then you can easily see these little gaps in between the panels. These gaps look ugly, and no one wants them.
The reason for this particular error is usually because you are using panels with slightly uneven edges, which makes it much more difficult for them to align together in a cohesive manner. Another reason why this may be the case is that you might be installing these panels on an uneven surface.
You can fix the problem of uneven edges by taking the time to shop very carefully, or, if you’ve already purchased them, returning the panels. As for the second problem, you need to make sure your wall is flat and even, and that the wall is constructed to support the heavy stone material.
- Not Purchasing Enough Materials
This seems like an obvious one, but there are a lot of people who forget to buy the necessary amount of materials for their stone veneer project. Whether it’s the panels, or the mortar, or even just not having the right tools to actually do the installation, this really isn’t something that you can skimp on.
Make sure to prepare by purchasing the materials you need, and take the time to make sure that everything is done in the proper manner.