Before you begin any updates on a fireplace, it is important to consider its overall condition.
Does it need more than just a facelift especially if you actively use it for heating purposes? It is best to schedule a fireplace inspection with a professional so they can assure nothing else needs attention first. One of the first steps in the project phase is the check the firebox to see how wide the opening is.
Adding stone veneer will close this opening a bit, and you want to be sure that it doesn’t cause any ongoing issues. Before installing stone, you will need to apply a scratch coat to the brick which is a layer of mortar applied directly to the brick.
The scratch coat provides a stable surface for the stone veneer, so it is secure after installation. If the brick is painted or crumbling, you may need to resurface it prior to adding the stone veneer using a cement board or a metal lathe.
Stone veneer offers many benefits to homeowners, including:.
Appearance: Stone veneer is a beautiful addition to a home and easily turns an outdated fireplace into the focal point of the home.
It has the capability to appear natural and elegant at the same time which is rare to find.
Versatility: Although stone veneer is traditionally used to spruce up the look of your fireplace, it can actually be used throughout your entire home.
Durability: When you use stone veneer, it may cost more upfront, but homeowners can be sure the final product will last.
Stone veneer is known as a durable material that can withstand ongoing use and still look exceptional.
Morris Brick & Stone is an authorized dealer for several veneer stone manufacturers.
Plan on visiting our showroom at 94 Ridgedale Ave.
in Morristown, NJ to see 150 different samples or contact us for additional information at (973) 539-9400 or (973) 539-1176.
If you’re thinking of updating your fireplace but are holding back because of the potential cost, time and mess of removing what you currently have, thin stone veneers may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Thin stone veneers are cut natural stones that are mortared onto a fireplace to cover the existing material, such as brick or concrete, and give it the look of a natural, full-stone fireplace without the weight, expense and time spent building an entirely new stacked stone fireplace.
According to Douglas Bennet, owner of Bennet General Contracting, LLC in Fairfield, Connecticut, “The number one reason people choose thin stone veneer is to update the interior of their house.
Brick fireplaces just aren’t in style anymore.
A lot of people just want to cover it up without doing a bunch of demo work, so it’s a great option.”.
True stone veneers will give your fireplace the warmth and charm of natural stone.
“You just can’t get that with the faux stone you get off the shelf from the big box stores,” says Bennet.
Swenson Granite Works’ thin veneers provide the same look and low-maintenance durability of full bed stones with a much easier installation process.
Bennet says, “If you’re moderately handy, you could install thin stone veneers yourself.” But be prepared.
There is a little bit of puzzle-work to it.
A professional can eyeball how the stones will fit together and has the tools to cut the stones to fill in any gaps.
“We put the stones in one by one,” says Bennet.
“I can pretty much visualize what I want the end product to look like; I’ve been doing this for over 30 years.
That just comes with experience.
Typically, we lay them out in the work area and get an idea of the shapes and sizes and how they will fit nicely together, so there are no gaps.
It’s just piece by piece.”.
The products needed include:.
Stone veneers, typically ¾ to 1 ¼ inch thick.
Veneer stone mortar (Bennet likes to use Spec Mix).
A diamond-cut blade (Bennet uses a wet saw and a 4-inch angle grinder).
When buying the stone, be sure to measure the corners and the center field.
Corner stones are sold by the linear foot, so measure how many corner pieces you need and then how much center field you need for the center of the project.
Center stones are sold by the square foot.
Check that the existing fireplace is structurally sound since it will be holding additional weight from the stones.
Tiles should be removed and there shouldn’t be any loose bricks.
Clean any dust or soot from the surface.
Remove existing tiles.
Attach a wire lath over the sheetrock and screw it into the studs.
This will help support the weight of the stones.
Apply a skim coat of veneer mortar over the lath; this will be your scratch coat to put the stones onto.
Check that bricks are secure and clean.
Wet the brick slightly and apply a scratch coat of veneer stone mortar.
When it is just about dry, scratch vertical and horizontal lines into the mortar.
This gives the next coat something to grip onto.
Let dry overnight.
Lay the stones out and see how they will fit together.
Start at the bottom corner.
Dampen the back of the stone and add a thin coat of veneer stone mortar.
Put the stone against the wall and apply pressure while shifting stone left and right, up and down, ensuring maximum mortar coverage on the back of the stone.