More and more people are planning their stone fireplaces with manufactured stone surrounds because of the benefits that natural looking manufactured stone can provide. Manufactured stone veneer that surrounds a fireplace is lightweight making it easy to work with, easy to install and cost effective. Manufactured fireplace stone also known as stone veneer is high quality. The cost of cultured stone is roughly half the price of natural stone. The natural stone look of the cultured stone brings a unique and expensive look to fireplaces without the weight or cost of natural stone.
What Colors and Textures Do Manufactured Stones Come In?
There are many textures of manufactured stone that look the same as real aged tumbled stone, ledge stone, field stone and split faced rock to name a few. The colors of manufactured stone are endless and mixed into the manufactured stone by using iron oxide pigments when the stone is cast. You can actually order the color of your stone to match your style and decorating ideas.
How Much Does Manufactured Stone Weigh?
The texture, size and shape of the manufactured stones look the same as natural stone. The weight of the cultured stone is approximately one quarter the weight of traditional natural stone. Manufactured stone is made from a recipe of ingredients including Portland cement, crushed aggregates or pumice and mineral iron oxide pigments for color. This recipe is poured into molds that are the random shape and size of natural looking stone. Most manufactured stone veneer is between 1 – 3 inches thick depending on the texture of the stone. Hearthstones are usually around 20 inches long with the trim measuring 6 – 8 inches, but the size depends on the manufacturer and can be cut to fit.
How Do I Estimate Material For a Fireplace Stone Surround?
Multiply the height by the width of each area to be covered. Subtract the area of any uncovered portions like the fireplace opening. Measure the outside corners in linear feet (one linear foot of corner covers ¾ sq ft). Have extra manufactured stone on hand for options when cutting stone and for trimming.
It’s always good to check with your local building inspector to see that that proper building permits and requirements are met. Non compliance to building codes will invalidate your homeowners insurance should anything go wrong in the future. Better to build safe by the rules. Check with your local building official whether you’ll need weather resistant barrier that is code approved and check on the requirements of code approved self furring metal lathe or woven wire mesh with fasteners.
What Type of Mortar Joints Can I use on a Fireplace?
Manufactured stone fireplace surrounds have a wide variety of mortar joints. Manufactured stone veneer joints are made of type N mortar which consists of Portland cement and sand. Type N mortar joint styles include tight fitting, standard ½ inch mortar, wide mortar, over grouted mortar or mortar that is blended with texture tools for unique looking joints. Plan which type of mortar joint will compliment your surround and compliment the design you have picked out.
What are some of the Tools needed to apply Stone Veneer?
You may already have many of the tools around the house that you need for this project, but it’s good to be prepared.
Whisk broom – to clean your work
Wheel Borrow – to mix the mortar
Mixing hoe or mortar mixer
Hock – looks like a plate
Carborundum black or diamond blade – for cutting stone
Masonry saw or circular saw or Table saw
Small hand grinder
Wide mouth nippers
Hatchet or brick hammer – to correct your trim
2 strap dust mask
Grout bag – like a pastry bag for joints
Metal joint tool or wooden stick – for packing and finishing the mortar joints, like a sculpting tool
Cultured Stone Videos
Concrete Stone Veneer – Watch as they make stone veneers that look like sandstone
Install Video – step by step fireplace surround installation video
Rock Installation – Watch as they apply stone to a fireplace.
How to Install Manufactured Stone – How to Apply Stone to a Fireplace or Log Home
There are a variety of YouTube videos online that can help give you ideas on how to design and install a fireplace using manufactured stone.