Like natural stone, manufactured stone veneer (MSV) is made for longevity. It stands up to decades of weathering with little change to color, and it’s able to withstand years of freeze-thaw cycles without cracking, chipping, or fading. MSV is also famously low maintenance, requiring a simple water rinse and a soft bristle brush to remove debris. It should never need to be sealed or painted, and quality manufacturers provide extensive warranty coverage for up to 50 years.
As with any quality product, the long-term success and resilience of the material depends on proper installation. To help installers tackle the ins and outs of proper installation techniques, the team at Westlake Royal Stone Solutions has created a series of 20+ “Technically Speaking” short videos on a variety of topics. The video player on this page contains a playlist of three videos for you to cycle through.
For Starters: What is Manufactured Stone Veneer?
Manufactured stone products are made by pouring lightweight concrete into painted molds and curing. Substantially lighter than natural stone, manufactured stone veneer offers cost and installation advantages, including increased installation speed. Because the material is made from lightweight concrete, there are a few personal and material protections required, which will be covered throughout the series.
Part 1: Wall Types & Project Estimation
Manufactured stone veneer can be installed on wood or metal framed walls, CMU, or poured concrete. The walls must be code-compliant, structurally sound, and ready to receive adhered veneer. In feature sections, we will cover exactly what is required to receive the adhered veneer. Now, let us take a moment to help you calculate the materials needed for your project.
Start by measuring the wall area to be covered. This can be done by multiplying width times height (w x h). Next, remove the area that will be filled with windows and doors again by calculating their areas and then subtracting that from the total area required.
Corners are calculated by linear foot. Measure the height for each corner you intend to cover. In most textures, for each corner of the lineal foot you cover, you will also be covering an area of ¾ sq. ft. of wall area. Multiply your total lineal foot corner requirement by 0.75 and subtract this total from your original wall area requirement.
Some percentage of extra materials should be ordered to account for scrap. The percentage will consider the mason’s skill level and the specific texture and difficulty of the building. Order an additional 5-12 percent to account for waste and provide ample material to choose from.
Part 2: Job Site Set Up
In preparation for installing manufactured stone veneer to your project, start by storing all materials out of the way, yet convenient for wall application, and eliminate any trip hazards. Placement should minimize exposure to weather, dust from vehicle traffic, or damage from other construction activity. Protect any landscaping with a drop cloth.
Set up cutting equipment away from other workers. Utilize dust reduction cutting equipment for a cleaner work site. Wear an N95 dust mask during or around cutting, as well as safety glasses, ear protection, a hard hat, and safety shoes.
In future installments, we’ll discuss all of the details of water management, MSV installation, grouting and joint types, and more.