Putting in Stone Siding and Veneer

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It’s easy on the wallet, the time, and the back, and it looks just like a genuine thing. Stone veneer panels composed of sturdy, lightweight polyurethane are ideal for many construction and remodeling tasks, both indoors and out. In addition, setting up the system requires neither specialized knowledge nor expensive equipment. You can do it yourself with a measuring tape, a level, and standard woodworking instruments like saws and drills. Let me explain.

Resources and Equipment

o Siding panels with a stone veneer

PL® Polyurethane Premium is approved as a construction adhesive.

o The screws required for your installation, as detailed below.

o Panel-appropriate caulk or filler

screwdriver (recommended: cordless driver-drill)

Cut wood panels with a jigsaw, bandsaw, etc.

Great Stuff(TM) Gaps & Cracks filler and disposable gloves for adhesive-only installation over concrete; hammer drill and masonry bit for concrete with anchors.

Instructions

Make sure the stone veneer panels will cover the entire height of the wall and not leave a thin gap. Take the case of a wall that requires four sets of paneling plus one inch. Plan on trimming an inch or two off the bottom of the bottom row of panels because it is difficult to cut and install a strip that narrows. Then the top row will be considerably more spacious and manageable.

The wall should be swept or vacuumed to remove dust and debris. You should sweep concrete floors with a stiff broom or brush and a lot of force.

Take a level and snap it on the wall above the first set of panels. If the meetings will be scribed into the floor, start your measurement at the ground level. Measure from the highest point of the floor instead of the lowest if the trim will cover the space at the bottom.

Fourth, arrange some panels along the wall on the floor to determine where to begin. Alternatively, you can do the layout on paper by measuring the wall’s width and a single panel’s width. Avoiding cutting extremely tiny panels at the wall’s ends is your objective. Remember that you won’t be aligning the vertical seams of the boards, as the rows will be staggered.

Fifth, set up the bottom row’s initial panel (for help with this, see “Installing Each Stone Veneer Panel” below). Depending on your preference, you can begin with the final discussion or the meeting immediately to its left. The last portion of this article, “Scribing Stone Veneer PanelsInstalling Each Stone Veneer Panel,” discusses the scribing process necessary when installing an end panel to the neighboring wall surface.

Each stone veneer panel is typically installed using a combination of adhesive and screws. An alternative method involving only glue could be used if the panels are installed on concrete.

The use of glue and screws (on any surface)

Select Phillips-head flat-head screws for your project’s application:

o Each panel will require four screws.

o When working on the outside, use corrosion-resistant screws.

Use screws long enough to go between 3/4 inch and 1 inch into the wood stud when installing into studs. Don’t risk damaging pipes or wiring by using screws that are too lengthy.

Tapcon® concrete screws with 1 inch to 1 3/4 inches should be used for installation over concrete.

Second, test the panel’s fit by placing it in place dry. A hole should be drilled in advance in each corner for the Tapcon screw if you install it on concrete. The hole size should be as specified by the manufacturer.

Third, apply construction glue to the panel’s reverse side using a zigzag motion.

Fourth, use glue on any seam where a new panel will meet an old one. Apply it so that it seeps out the back instead of the front.

Fifth, slide the panel into position so it seems flush with the surrounding summits. Tap the board with your hand or fist to ensure tight seams.

Countersink the screw heads slightly before driving them into the panel near each corner.

Only Adhesive (as a substitute for concrete)

The first step is to study the Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks filler’s can’s directions. Great Stuff is quite sticky, so use disposable gloves.

Make sure the panel fits by giving it a dry run in place.

Construction adhesive should be used along the panel’s borders if it will be flush with other boards that have already been installed. Apply it so that it seeps out the back instead of the front.

4. Apply Great Stuff in a zigzag pattern around the back of the panel. Don’t get too close to the edge; use a light hand. As the foam cures, it grows in size.

5. Put the wall panel up on the wall right away. Move it around to distribute the foam and press it hard on the boards next to it to ensure a snug fit.

For the next five minutes, firmly press the panel against the wall while the foam is still wet. Be sure it is securely fastened before moving on to the next meeting.

Preparing Stone Panels for Veneering

To make a panel of faux stone veneer fits flush against a level wall or floor, you need just saw it in half horizontally. However, if the wall or floor is not perfectly square, you will need to scribe the edge of the panel to ensure a tight, gap-free fit.

How to scribe on a wall is described in detail below. The same method can be used to scribe into a floor or ceiling.

1. Adjust the compass spread so that:

Spread the compass just wide enough to cover the most significant gap between the wall and the solid part of the panel — say, 1/2 inch — if you’re placing the first panel in a row and the board is already cut to the proper rough length.

Cutting the panel an inch or two longer than necessary is the first step in installing the final meeting in a row. Keep it in place so it is flush with the wall and slightly overlaps the panel that comes after it. Then, unfold the compass until the overlap (not including the tabs’ interlocking lengths) is the same.

Carefully put the panel against the wall at eye level. A line can be drawn on the panel by sliding the compass so the pencil rests against the board and the point rests against the wall.

Third, make sure to cut exactly on the line. See how it fits, and if there are any high points, file them down with a coarse file.

Jon McLean, a New Hampshire resident and lifetime renovator, woodworker, furniture maker, and Mac fan, pays for his expensive pastimes by writing and publishing how-to guides for the benefit of others. When he comes across something he likes, like stone veneer panels, he writes about it.

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