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Installing Stone Veneer Panels and Siding
It looks like real stone but saves money, time and labor. Stone veneer panels made of strong, lightweight polyurethane is the right material for lots of projects inside and outside your home or business. And you don’t need special skills or tools to do the installation yourself. If you have a measuring tape, a level, and basic woodworking tools like saws and drills, you can do it. Here’s how.
Materials and Tools
o Stone veneer siding panels
o Construction adhesive (PL® Polyurethane Premium recommended)
o Screws appropriate for your installation, as described in the instructions below
o Filler or caulk to match the panels
o Screwdriver (cordless driver-drill recommended)
o Wood-cutting saw for cutting panels (jigsaw, bandsaw, etc.)
o For installation over concrete: Either a hammer drill and masonry bit; or, for adhesive-only installation, Great Stuff(TM) Gaps & Cracks filler and disposable gloves
1. Make sure the stone veneer panels will fill the height of the wall without leaving a narrow strip uncovered. For example, say your wall needs four rows of panels plus just one inch. Because it’s hard to cut and install a strip that narrow, you should plan to cut an inch or two off the bottom of the bottom row of panels. Then the top row will be that much wider and easier to work with.
2. Sweep or vacuum the wall to remove dust and loose dirt. For concrete, use a stiff broom or brush and sweep firmly.
3. Snap a level line on the wall at the top of the first row of panels. If the panels will be scribed to the floor, measure up from the lowest point of the floor. If any gap at the bottom will be hidden by trim, measure up from the highest point of the floor.
4. Decide where the first panel should start by laying out some panels on the floor along the wall. Or, measure the width of the wall and the width of a single panel, and do the layout on paper. Your goal is to avoid cutting very narrow panels at each end of the wall. Keep in mind that you will be staggering the rows of panels so their vertical seams do not line up.
5. Install the first panel of the bottom row (scroll down to read section entitled “Installing Each Stone Veneer Panel”). You can work from the left or right, and you can start with the very end panel or the one next to it. When you do install an end panel, you may need to scribe it to the adjacent wall surface (read last section of this article, “Scribing Stone Veneer PanelsInstalling Each Stone Veneer Panel
Usually you use both adhesive and screws to install each stone veneer panel. If you are installing the panels on concrete, you may instead follow a different method using adhesive only.
Adhesive and Screws (any surface)
1. Choose flat-head Phillips screws appropriate for your installation:
o You need four screws per panel.
o For exterior installations, be sure to use exterior screws that won’t rust.
o For installation into wood studs, use screws long enough to penetrate between 3/4 inch and 1 inch into the stud. Do not use longer screws; you could hit wires or pipes!
o For installation over concrete, use Tapcon® concrete screws long enough to penetrate between 1 inch and 1 3/4 inch into the concrete.
2. Dry-fit the panel in place and make sure it fits. If you are installing on concrete, pre-drill a hole near each corner for the Tapcon screw. Follow the manufacturer’s specification for the hole size.
3. Apply construction adhesive in a zigzag pattern to the back of the panel.
4. Apply adhesive to any edge that fits against an existing panel. Apply it so it will squeeze out toward the back rather than the front.
5. Slip the panel into place, interlocking the seams with adjacent panels. Use your hand or fist to tap the panel so the seams are very tight.
6. Drive a screw into the panel near each corner, slightly countersinking the screw head.
Adhesive Only (alternative method for concrete)
1. Read the instructions on the can of Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks filler. Wear disposable gloves; Great Stuff is extremely sticky.
2. Dry fit the panel in place and make sure it fits.
3. If this panel fits against already-installed panels, apply construction adhesive to those edges on the installed panels. Apply it so it will squeeze out toward the back rather than the front.
4. Carefully apply a zigzag snake of Great Stuff to the back of the panel. Stay several inches away from the edges, and don’t apply too much. The foam expands as it cures.
5. Immediately slip the panel into place on the wall. Wiggle it slightly to spread the foam, and press it firmly against adjacent panels so the seams are tight.
6. Hold the panel firmly against the wall for a few minutes until the foam sets. Make sure it’s firmly attached before installing the next panel.
Scribing Stone Veneer Panels
When you fit a faux stone veneer panel against a perfectly plumb adjacent wall or a perfectly level floor, all you need to do is cut the panel straight across. But if the wall or floor is irregular or out of square, you need to scribe the edge of the panel so it fits precisely without any unsightly gaps.
These steps explain scribing to a wall. Use a similar procedure to scribe to a ceiling or floor.
1. Set the compass spread:
o If you’re installing the first panel in a row, and the panel is already cut to the right rough length, spread the compass just wide enough to cover the biggest gap between the wall and the solid part of the panel — say, 1/2 inch.
o If you’re fitting the last panel in a row, first cut the panel an inch or two over-long. Hold it in place, level and butted against the wall, so it slightly overlaps the next-to-last panel. Then spread the compass to exactly match the amount of the overlap (not counting the interlocking tabs).
2. Carefully hold the panel in place, level and butted against the wall. With the compass pencil resting on the panel and the point resting against the wall, slide the compass so the pencil traces a line on the panel as the point follows the contour of the wall.
3. Cut carefully along the line. Test the fit and use a coarse file to remove any high spots.
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