Tuesday, February 27, 2007

NE Thin Veneer Stacked Ledgestone: Step by Step

We have finished our testing and designed our production for a new thin veneer product.

Because we are “your source for New England Fieldstone”, the product is a NE Stacked Ledgestone. The stone is thin enough to be held in place by a bonding agent.

This means no footings are required.

NE Stacked Ledgestone is visually appealing because of its lineal cut and the wide range of colors. A thin veneer that is easy to install and perfect for the do-it-yourself weekend warrior.

Here is a step by step re-facing of a brick fireplace with NE Stacked Ledgestone, which was completed over the last weekend by a homeowner and two of his friends. They have some stone experience, but after reading this blog and viewing these pictures you too will be up for the task.

Let’s begin.

The first step is to make sure that the area is clean and free of any loose cement or other debris. In this case we will be cementing directly over the existing bricks. Because the stone is less than 16 pounds per square foot, no footing is required. You can see from this first picture that the thin set is applied to the face of the bricks with a notched trowel, and then the stone is adhered to the thin set. Make sure that the pieces are dry fitted before applying the thin set. Make sure the stone can be adhered to the thin set within 10 minutes. If not the thin set will become hard and unworkable.

The next step is to start from the corners and work your way inside. In this picture you can see that the corners were created with a weaved pattern and with cut corners that give the stone the appearance of depth. The top pieces on the right side create the weaved pattern and the top piece on the left is the cut corner. Your decision for corners can be any combination that you find appealing. If you choose to have a mason help you with this project he/she will be able to assist you with the decision. If not feel free to stop by our showroom, visit our online design center, or talk to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives about what to do for your corners.

As the stone makes its way to the top of the fireplace you will notice that a few pieces of larger mosaic cut pieces have been worked into the pattern. These are accent pieces, which many people find aesthetically pleasing as they draw your attention from the otherwise busy pattern of the Ledgestone. This is not required. It is simply a matter of taste.

At this point the veneer has come across the top of the firebox opening. In this job a thin piece of limestone was installed to create the look of a stone lintel. A lintel is used with building veneer to provide the veneer a shelf to rest on. An alternative is to create an arch, which is a self-supporting curved system where each successive stone rests on the one below it. The Romans were experts in arch construction, but that is a topic for another day.

Remember that the thin veneer does not require a lintel as the pieces are held in place with the thin set. This piece of limestone is used only for its looks.

Now that the face of the fireplace is completed the installation of the hearth can begin. There are many stone options for the hearth. In this fireplace the homeowner chose bluestone pieces to make up the hearth. These are fitted in place and then cemented to the existing bricks. A joint of 3/8” is left between each piece. This allows for cement to be applied between the pieces to provide a strong bond and to prevent debris from dropping into the space between the stones.

Once the hearth pieces are installed the fireplace is complete. All our homeowner needs now is some subtle lighting, soft music, a nice glass of Beaujolais and another log for the fire.

Not bad for a weekend of work.

If you like the look of this fireplace, but are not up to the task of constructing it yourself, check out our Buyer’s Guide to assist you in finding a qualified installer in your area. Give it a try you’ll be glad you did.

Our Design Center has these pictures and many more that will help you create your natural stone haven.


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