How to build a block wall and apply with natural stone veneer.
Block walls, constructed of concrete masonry units (CMU), are most common in the residential arena as home foundations.
In commercial settings, and a growing number of residences, CMU walls are also used to frame exterior walls. These exterior walls offer strength, durability, and quite often, a backdrop for brick or stone veneers.
In the commercial arena, most veneers are made of brick because of its uniformity and relative ease of installation over a large surface area. A larger percentage of residential homes prefer natural stone veneer because of its aesthetic and individual appeal.
Block walls covered with natural stone veneer are significantly more expensive than other types of cladding, but the smaller surface area — usually limited to the front or street side of the house — creates an affordable project for homeowners as well as adding substantial resale value to the home.
Covering a block wall with natural stone veneer does require some extra
considerations, mostly due to the weight of the stone itself. A footing must
be poured beneath the wall, as per usual, but a ledge must be created to
support the veneer. Stone veneer is typically about four inches thick. The
veneer ledge is designed to be slightly recessed from the finished stone
edge and should be equipped with a metal drip edge as part of a flashing
system to vent air and moisture from behind the veneer.
As the block wall is constructed, metal strips are installed at regular
intervals, set in the mortar between CMU blocks. These strips, often called
brick ties, are designed to hold the veneer to the block wall and prevent it from tipping or collapsing.
*Given these two additions, the block wall to be covered by natural stone veneer is generally built as follows:*
l . Footing is poured, taking into account several structural considerations including the veneer ledge. A block wall is constructed atop the footing, complete with steel reinforcing bars, mortar and metal strips. 2. A vapor or weather barrier is first applied to bare block wall, overlapping the flashing system at the base of the wall; that flashing consists of a metal drip edge, base metal flashing (running at least 8″ up the block wall), and a drainage mat with weep holes for condensation run-off. (Natural stone is naturally porous, which is why the weather barrier is necessary.) In some applications rigid, foam insulation is installed beneath the block wall and veneer.
And Finally, the natural stone veneer may be installed.
There are man-made stone veneers which are thinner, lighter, and easier to install. From a distance these veneers have the exact look of natural stone and thus have grown in popularity in recent years as manufacturers perfected
the art of imitation. Still for many there is no replacing the natural look and feel of real stone. Where as once natural stones comprised the entire wall structure, that model is simply too heavy and inefficient for the modern home; hence the rise and continued dominance of natural stone veneers.
by Dan Harding
Back to our Home Page
Locations in the Nashville area. We have an extensive lineup of Drystack Natural Stone products that you can use for veneers:
Build a drystack veneer , natural stone veneer, or mortar on a veneer of your choice after selecting a flagstone product to work with. Visit our locations to buy your drystack fieldstone by the palette.
Nashville Dry Stack, Nashville Slate Stone, Fieldstone, Flagstone, Nashville Loose Stone, Nashville Crushed Stone, Nashville Mexican River Pebbles/ Nashville Mexican Beach Pebbles, Limestone, Pea Gravel, Nashville Black Lava Rock, Nashville Red Lava Rock, Nashville Pavers for Patios and Paver Walkways, Nashville Limestone,
Buy Nashville River Rock here.
Other Natural Stone Products: Nashville Stone Bench,
Granite, veneers, Block and Brick.
Local Website Links:
- Landscaping Service
- Designing a Landscape?
- Nursery in Nashville
- Lawncare in Nashville
- Tree Service in Nashville
- Nashville Mulch Delivery
- Nashville Sod Sales
- Nashville TopSoil Delivery
- Nashville Garden Supplies
- Hardscapes Nashville