Useful Tips

How to do the artificial stone lining of the exterior walls of the house with your own hands


Installation of artificial stone is much easier when compared with laying natural stone. It will not require serious physical effort, however, in order for the cladding to serve for a long time and not require repair, certain technologies will have to be observed during installation. Their violation is fraught with the fact that the surface will be uneven, unaesthetic, warp after some time, will cause other unpleasant phenomena.

Surface preparation before laying artificial stone

Before laying the facing material, it is necessary to prepare the surface. The wall should be perfectly flat and strong. In addition, it will have to be freed from any pollution, including fat. The wall will need to be dried because moisture reduces the adhesion of the adhesive.

The texture and surface quality of the outer or inner wall for facing with decorative stone does not matter. This material can quite successfully be mounted on a capital support or heat-insulating materials, such as:

  • painted surface
  • plastered surface,
  • single or multilayer cladding,
  • aerated concrete block
  • concrete wall
  • silicate brick,
  • masonry of ordinary or ceramic bricks,
  • hollow concrete, brick or pumice concrete,
  • tree,
  • polystyrene foam (insulation),
  • drywall or gypsum board,
  • chipboard panel.

Laying on a painted surface

In order to mount decorative stone on a painted surface, all the paint will have to be removed with a metal brush. You can use a sandblasting machine to speed up and facilitate the process. After that, the surface is checked for flaws and is plastered. Particular attention should be paid to old, crumbling plasters. Next, just plastered places should be sanded, as well as the structured surface that the old plaster has. After that, the entire area:

  • cleaned with a dry brush
  • washed with water
  • well dried.

In the event that the paint or putty is not removed, nail a special plaster grid to the wall.


Getting to laying artificial stone on a plastered surface, it must first be leveled. Do this with plastering.

It is recommended to fill the wall with a special metal stucco mesh if the leveling layer does not exceed 2 cm. It is advisable to take a galvanized mesh if light tile finish is to be done.

If there is old plaster on the wall, it is necessary to assess its real state. If it is unsatisfactory, the plaster will have to be removed. A plastered and highly structured surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sanded. This is followed by surface treatment with a deep penetration primer. Not earlier than after 2 hours, you can begin to work, allowing the treated surface to dry well.

Laying on multi-, single-layer cladding, aerated concrete blocks

These types of surfaces should be primed beforehand, but provided that the lining is protected from rain. Lime-cement mortar additionally plaster a single-layer cladding. The thickness of the plaster layer is 2 cm, and aerated concrete is protected by external plaster very carefully.

Laying on concrete wall

Before facing, concrete walls must stand for at least 6 months for final shrinkage. Solid cast facade concrete or foundation blocks do not need additional processing, since the wall and facing stone have equal physical properties. Facing tiles are laid on special glue. No need for additional hardware. Be sure to plaster with a mortar having a thickness of 1-2 cm masonry from:

  • cinder block
  • silicate brick
  • foam concrete blocks.

Laying on wooden surfaces

If you have to lay artificial stone on a wooden surface, you must first install a waterproofing material. It can be glassine, ruberoid or other waterproof construction paper. Thus, the tree is protected from decay. In addition, glue, which is destroyed by the polysaccharides that make up the tree, will be preserved. Paper is laid in horizontal rows. The final top row is placed 4 cm overlap, and on vertical seams this overlap increases to 8 cm.

After completing the installation of waterproofing, use galvanized nails or staples to fix the plaster mesh to the surface. It should have a protective anti-corrosion layer. The vertical distance between the fasteners is 10-15 cm, and the horizontal distance is 35-40 cm. The grid on the corner surfaces, internal and external, is mounted in two layers. A layer of plaster mortar 1 cm thick is applied on top of it. Let the plastered walls dry thoroughly before installing the tiles.

Similar work is carried out in the presence of the foundation of the facade:

  • metal
  • asbestos cement
  • plastic
  • glass.

Their physical properties are different from concrete..

Expanded polystyrene laying

In recent years, great attention has been paid to building energy-saving technologies. These include external wall insulation, followed by their finish. Expanded polystyrene, a popular modern insulation, is fixed to the wall by means of "fungi" - special plastic dowels with a pitch of 35-40 cm. The fungi have steel cores. The stucco mesh is pressed to the polystyrene foam with the same dowels. The mesh is plastered with a special mixture designed specifically for polystyrene foam.

Attention! If installation of facing materials is required above 70 cm in height, the plaster grid should be fixed in addition!


The loose and “smudged” surface of gypsum panels should not be. Dispersion pre-priming is started if the surface has good bearing capacity. The wall must dry thoroughly so that the primer takes the form of a dry, transparent film. Only then can we proceed to facing.

Chipboard laying

Only water-tight chipboard is suitable as a base for thin brick cladding. To avoid twisting, the plates must be fixed firmly. Highly adhesive and highly elastic adhesives are used in the cladding. It is highly desirable to fix the reinforcing mesh on the surface of the sheet.

Upon completion of installation

Facade finishing materials according to building codes must be coated with hydrophobic compounds. These are special water-repellent impregnations that:

  • reduce moisture absorption
  • increase frost resistance and thermal protection efficiency,
  • protect against the appearance of "efflorescence" - ugly white spots.

Protective fluids and varnishes should be gas permeable. Otherwise, the atmosphere in the room can not be called comfortable. It also affects the duration and strength of adhesive bonding to the wall of decorative stone. Silicone water repellent agent successfully solves these problems. With its help, a semi-permeable elastic membrane is created on the treated surface. From the shifts of the house, the coating is not destroyed. It:

  • repels water
  • protects against acid rain
  • protects from exposure to solar radiation.

This protection is necessary for fogging, temperature changes, other adverse events that can spoil or contaminate the mounted lining. When installing stone in places of particular pollution or the presence of particularly adverse effects, such treatment of the cladding is mandatory. The surface treated with a water repellent gains a saturated color and is easily cleaned. This will facilitate the subsequent care of her.

How to store products

Store products required indoors:

  • closed
  • dry
  • not freezable, preferably heated.

Make sure that the ambient temperature during storage of products does not exceed + 10 ° C, and humidity - up to 70%. Professional recommendations for installation. The use of materials specially designed for the installation of artificial stone and thin-walled facing bricks is required.

When working with consumables (adhesives, grouts, water repellents, etc.), follow the attached instructions for their use. Adhesive compounds that are used for installation work should be used at a surface temperature of + 5ºC and above.

About the exterior features

So, let’s remember why home improvement cannot be considered complete without an exterior finish.

  1. First of all, the outer layer of the cladding should protect the room from aggressive influences from the outside (high humidity, temperature jumps, precipitation, etc.). This is especially true of structures made of wood.
  2. The finishing coating must be fire resistant and comply with fire safety standards.
  3. The level of sound insulation and thermal insulation of the material should be high enough.
  4. Resistance to ultraviolet rays is also a very important characteristic for exterior materials.
  5. An ideal cladding is an obstacle to the formation of condensation and the protection of load-bearing walls from its harmful effects.
  6. Of course, the cost of finishing coatings should not go beyond the reasonable.

So, we can safely say that many types of artificial decorative stone meet most of the above requirements.

Well, now let's move on to the process of decorating the exterior walls with artificial stone and preparing for it.

Start of installation work

Mix artificial stone intended for cladding from at least 5-10 boxes before starting work. Lay it on a horizontal surface to see the future masonry pattern. These manipulations will help you successfully group them by size and color to select individual elements. Use the "grinder" - an angle grinder equipped with a stone disc if there is a need to fit the stones to fit the elements.

Attention! Pay attention to whether the so-called “cement milk” is present on the reverse side of the facing material - a foamy thin layer up to 0.5 mm thick. If there is such a layer, it must be cleaned with a hard metal brush.

Before starting laying, it is recommended to moisten the surface of the installation of artificial stone with a paint brush, as well as the working side of the tiles. Lay from top to bottom, starting from the first tile in any of the corners of the room where, according to your calculations, the first uncircumcised tile should be. Thus, you can prevent glue from entering the laid rows of tiles.

Start the installation by installing the corner elements. Next alternately alternate the sides of the corners - short and long. Carry out the work, as described above, from top to bottom.

If laying artificial stone involves alignment, observe the width of the gap between the stones without fail. Remember: for different textures of the facing material, stone leave is set, taking into account the recommended joint width for the standards.

Attention! Recalculation of the amount of necessary material will require installation options that provide for a different width of the masonry seam.

Cooking surface

Preparatory work in this case has its own characteristics and specifics. From the very beginning, you should decide whether the fundamental foundation of the house can withstand the additional load (weight of the facing material). In this case, we strongly recommend that you seek the help of a specialist. Such calculations require certain qualifications and the availability of special equipment. After consulting with the master, you may have to spend some time strengthening the foundation.

In order to independently clad the exterior walls with stone, you will need scaffolding. In the absence of a stationary version of scaffolding, you can do with a temporary construction of your own manufacture. We emphasize that the staircase in this case is not an option!

The next step is to remove all facade parts that can become an obstacle to the installation process.

Next, we process the surfaces of the walls with an antifungal antiseptic using a spray bottle or a special brush (in the case of a wooden house).

After finishing the antiseptic treatment, we proceed to the device of the waterproofing layer (film). There are different options for attaching films, for example, you can use shingles. In the case of conventional nails, it is best to drive them through a sheet of cardboard so that the caps do not damage the waterproofing.

Next, we fix the building reinforcing frame (mesh) on the surface of the walls.

We prepare the required amount of cement mortar and apply it to the walls. The main thing here is that the common planes are flat. Checking the evenness can be done by pulling the line along the diagonal of each wall.

If we are dealing with concrete or brick walls, the process of preparing for the installation of stone occurs in much the same way. The only significant difference is the application of a primer layer instead of a reinforcing mesh and waterproofing.

So, we stopped at checking the evenness of surfaces. In case of deviations of more than 2 centimeters, it is necessary to level the plane with a solution.

At the next stage, we determine the lines (boundaries) of the beginning of laying. Often the basement is finished with one type of stone, and the rest of the surface with another. First, mark the line of passage of the first row. Next, accurately and accurately “transfer” the line on the surface of other walls. In order to carry out this “procedure” accurately - we will use the hydraulic level. After the test is completed, we connect all the tags using a nylon thread. Further, the styling border is simply beaten off.

Laying artificial stone

Using a trowel, apply an adhesive layer to the back of the cladding element for mounting masonry with a thickness of 0.5-1 cm. The solution should cover the entire surface.

Press the cladding element firmly against the wall. In order to get the best fit, gently move it from side to side. The solution after such manipulation should protrude on the sides of the installed element.

When laying seamlessly, pay special attention to the fact that the end joints of the cladding elements must be filled with a thin layer of mortar.

Necessary for thism:

  • completely cover the back side of the cladding element with a solution so that during installation the excess is squeezed out along the edges
  • remove with the trowel the excess solution immediately after installation, leaving only a thin layer of it on the ends of the tiles, in addition, you can apply a thin layer of the solution to the ends with the help of a bag filled with the solution.

When installing the cladding on a very dry surface, as well as during installation in hot and dry weather, it is recommended to pre-wet the mounting elements and the surface of the base with a paint brush or spray gun. Lay down, as in other situations, from top to bottom, in small sections from 0.3 to 0.6 sq.m. With this method of laying, smudges of the adhesive solution almost do not stain the decorative surface.


One of the most important stages of laying decorative stone is the embroidery. When conducting it, achieve thorough sealing of the surface. This will prevent moisture from entering the lining. Thus, you will protect the lining from cracking of elements in the cold season and the destruction of all masonry in the future.

They carry out the alignment using a construction syringe-gun. You can also use a special bag (bag), which allows you to fill the seams with a solution. It is not difficult to do it yourself: it is enough to cut off the corner of a medium-sized dense plastic bag so that the diameter of the outlet is slightly less than the width of the seams, i.e. spaces between cladding elements.

Fill the bag with the solution and, slowly squeezing it through the hole, fill it with seams. You will have to be extremely careful and attentive, since the solution should not get on the lining. If this still happened, the grout should be removed from the surface of the stone immediately.

After setting the mortar, smooth the seams of the embroidery with pressing movements with a spatula, then remove the excess. It is not necessary to process the seams immediately after they are filled. The mortar that has not yet set will leave dirty marks on the lining. You can finally clean the surface with a stiff, but not a metal brush.

Water repellent for protection

It is required to treat the masonry with a hydrophobic composition after it dries for special protection. Благодаря гидрофобизатору, образуется силиконовая, эластичная, паропроницаемая пленка, которая полностью защитит камень:

  • от воздействия влаги и грязи,
  • кислотных дождей,
  • появления высолов,
  • воздействия солнечной радиации,
  • поражений камня грибками и плесенью.

By observing all these rules, you can avoid unpleasant mistakes when creating facing surfaces.

Preparation for work

So let's get started. The first stage is a visual inspection of the walls. Tools required:

  • as a rule, at least 1.5 m long (I have 2 m with a built-in level),
  • level or plumb
  • roulette,
  • chalk or construction pencil (I use automatic)
  • notebook for notes and pen.

As a rule, we define "bellies" and hollows on the walls, and by their level or plumb line - their deviations from the vertical. Using a tape measure, we measure the necessary distances and write the data in a notebook. Carefully inspect the surfaces and be sure to mark the cracks in the walls, if any, with chalk or a construction pencil.

Crack Sealing

Before starting any work, the cracks must be repaired with a traditional mortar or any other glue mixture. To prevent further cracking, I recommend applying a bandage, i.e. reinforce the surface with a reinforcing mesh.

Tools and materials necessary for filling cracks:

  • putty knife,
  • scissors,
  • reinforcing mesh
  • primer,
  • container for mixing mortar,
  • cement, sand or ready-mix.

Work order

The first step is to thoroughly clean each crack from dirt, loose pieces of plaster, brick, small pebbles and other things. Without fail, apply a primer coat and wait for it to dry. During this time, cut a piece of reinforcing mesh of the required size and prepare the solution. Close the crack with a building mixture, carefully tamping it. Then apply a layer of mortar up to 0.5 cm thick on the wall around it, lay a reinforcing mesh on top and press it into the mixture with a spatula. Level the solution, remove the excess.

Mesh wall reinforcement

Finally the cracks are repaired. Now be sure to strengthen the walls of the house with a metal mesh. A case from personal practice: I once helped a neighbor to clad his house, but the walls were not reinforced, and the stone was glued directly to the plaster. After about two months, some plates began to fall off. Moreover, the problem was not in glue, it was of high quality. The stone fell off with the plaster. Since then, I do not undertake such work if the owner does not plan to reinforce the wall.

Tools and materials for wall reinforcement

In contrast to the technology for sealing cracks, such a grid is attached to the wall with a stapler, nails (wood, chipboard, SIP panel) or dowels (brick, concrete, foam, gas or other block), and then a solution is applied to it. To do this, you will need the following materials:

  • galvanized metal mesh
  • nails (staples for stapler, dowel),
  • aluminum beacons
  • sand, cement or mortar,
  • concrete mixer,
  • the rule
  • level,
  • trowel (trowel),
  • flat spatula
  • notched trowel,
  • primer.

How to strengthen the wall

Reinforcing with a mesh can not only strengthen the wall, but also eliminate cavities, irregularities, as well as deviations from the vertical. For this, beacons are used. The installation process is quite simple and does not require special skills. First determine the most protruding point on the surface. Set here the lighthouse bar, which will become "zero". It is on it with the help of a level (plumb line) and rules that you need to set the remaining lighthouses. To fix them on the wall, I usually use cement or lime-sand mortar, although nails or dowels will do here.

Set the grid between the lighthouse strips, then use a flat spatula to apply a leveling mixture to the wall. Let the plaster dry a little, and after a while, make grooves (grooves) in it with a notched trowel. I use a wide spatula with a 5 mm tooth. After the wall has completely dried, treat its surface with a primer for better adhesion to the finishing stone.

Wall cladding with stone

Now we proceed directly to the decoration of the walls. If you plan to use natural processed or artificial stone, then some of the problems are removed. Since the dimensions of the stone slabs are unified, their masonry is practically no different from the installation of ceramic tiles.

Examples of our work

Solid stone walls

They are erected without any voids, and all insulation is attached to the outer (inner, outer) sides of the walls.

From natural stone, you can also build the external and internal walls of the house. But there is one trick - individual stones should be connected not only with the help of spikes, but also due to the addition of crushed stone or gravel to the cement mortar.

Brick walls

In the construction of houses, brick walls are often used. In this case, the bricks and beams themselves turn into heat-saving and soundproofing material, so that the house does not require additional insulation, and this can reduce construction costs by 20-30%.

Modern technologies make it possible to build internal walls in one brick. But in the case of load-bearing walls, you will need more rows.

Walls of foam blocks

Walls of foam blocks got their distribution only recently. Due to their large size they allow to carry out construction 3-4 times faster than when using more traditional materials.

You can calculate the number of blocks for walls like this - 1 row for minor, 2-3 for bearing.

We carry out facing

So, independent external wall cladding with artificial stone is a very real and even interesting task. The main thing is to strictly observe a certain sequence of actions.

  1. First of all, we lay out all the stones from the packages and sort them according to size. As a result, we have three “piles” of stones.
  2. We start the cladding from one of the lower corners and move up. You should not proceed to laying the next row until the previous one is completed. It is necessary to ensure that the seams are as even as possible. Here we will be helped by a regular straight rail (template), the size of which will be laid.
  3. Remember to check each stone before laying. If necessary, any element can be “fitted”.
  4. If some stones stand out for their thickness, take your time to start fitting them. Often, thanks to such elements, the overall appearance of the cladding becomes more natural and original.
  5. We apply the required amount of mortar to each subsequent cladding element, then we press it and make several unsharp rotational movements (so that air bubbles do not form in the masonry). After completing the laying of the next row, it is necessary to check it using the building level (the location of the plane relative to the ground).
  6. In conclusion, it is necessary to close the seams. Some experts use a simple but proven method here. A bag of polyethylene is taken, one of its corners is cut off. Then the right amount of solution is poured into the bag and gently poured into the seam.

In the process of sealing joints, it is necessary to ensure that the solution does not fall on the front side of the finishing material. If this still happened, the particles of the solution should be removed from the surface of the stone as quickly as possible.

Wild stone finish

Want to make the facade of your house original? Then your choice is a "wild", raw stone. In any case, a hammer and a chisel should be at hand, and best of all, an angle grinder (grinder) with a circle for cutting stone. In addition, prepare:

  • tile adhesive
  • container for mixing the adhesive,
  • flat spatula or trowel,
  • rubber mallet
  • building cord or thick thread.

Before gluing a "wild" stone to the wall, I recommend laying it on the ground so that it can be used to the fullest with the minimum amount of waste. Plates that will be installed on the corners must have one flat side.

Tip When laying unprocessed stone, place large pieces at the very bottom, and in each next row use slabs of a slightly smaller size. In this way, the effect of striving upward will be achieved, despite the apparent heaviness.

Cladding technology

Between the opposite corners, pull a building cord or thick thread to indicate the thickness of the decorative layer. Apply glue to the back of the stone with a thick layer (about 2.5-3 cm), making a bevel 45-60º from all sides. Attach the plate to the wall, press and align it along the stretched thread. Glue the next piece in the same way. Observe the seams between the stones of at least one and not more than two centimeters. From my own experience, I determined the optimal distance - 1.5 cm.

Tip To prevent slabs from slipping off and preserving the distance between them, use the pieces that went into waste when they were first laid out on the ground. Insert them between adjacent stones, and after the glue dries, remove.

Grouting and jointing. Tools Required

The next step is grouting. You can start it no earlier than before the glue for the tile on which the stone slabs hang completely (see the manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging). Grouting (filling) the joints performs a hydrophobic function and extends the life of the facade.

For work, take a special grout and a rubber spatula. If you have a trowel bag or a construction syringe this will greatly facilitate the whole process. Prepare the stitching for an aesthetic look. For these purposes, I usually use a piece of metal-plastic water pipe of the desired diameter. It turns out such a profile as the 5th position in the figure.

Before starting to grout, clean the seams from excess glue and debris. Then dilute the grout and fill the bag or syringe. The tip through which the finished grout is fed should not be larger than the width of the joints. While squeezing the grout evenly, fill the seams between the stone slabs. Wait until the mixture dries slightly and tamp it into the seams with the stitching. Remove excess grout.

Tip Fill the joints with grout vertically (top to bottom) and horizontally, and not around each individual stone. Stitching, and in our case, pipe scrap, in diameter should be slightly larger than the width of the seams.

Antiseptic and hydrophobic treatment

Everything! The work is almost done. It remains to clean it of the remnants of building mixtures and protect it from adverse effects. To do this, take:

  • rags
  • liquid container
  • antiseptic
  • varnish for stone and concrete,
  • brush, spray gun or spray gun,
  • protective film
  • masking tape.

With a damp rag, clean each stone of the facade of the remnants of the grout. Use a spatula carefully if necessary. Treat the wall with an antiseptic using a brush. After drying, apply a protective and decorative varnish with another brush, spray gun or spray gun.

The facade, finished with stone, is ready. If you followed my recommendations, then I guarantee that it will serve you for many years, decorating the house.

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