29 Tips to Start Interlock Stone Installation Work

 Interlock Stone Installation Work: Installing stone is a great way to enhance the interior and/or exterior of your home or any structure.

This versatile and low maintenance update.

Can be achieved with a few simple tools and little bit of know-how by almost anyone.

Virtually all stone veneer is made of the same materials.

And the installation is all the same.

Here are some steps to guide you as you learn how to install stone.

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1. Plan the Project

First, establish a general idea of how large an area you will create and where you want it to be.

Good drainage from the area is essential.

So you will want to examine how water runs to and from the area.

When it rains and avoid any places that often flood or have standing water after heavy rains.

2. Interlock Stone Installation Work

Generally, you want the land to slope slightly down.

And away from the areas you plan to use.

Like homes and yards are usually situated.

The standard amount of desired slope is 1/8 inch per foot.

Which is usually about what you’ll find around your home.

And what you’ll want for the newly created space.

3. Interlock Stone Installation Work

You can mark the area off with spray paint, stakes and strings.

Wood planks or other material.

Just to get a feel for the size you need and/or if a certain shape will fit.

Take some measurements and think about what the paver area will abut and what is around it.

Observe how the sun hits the spot.

And your preference might be to put the area in the shade, sun or a location that gets both.

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4. Interlock Stone Installation Work

Define your new outside area.

By placing stakes every few inches and putting string around them.

Taking care to allow a few extra inches.

All the way around for the restraint and edge materials.

If your project has a pattern.

Or design that requires centering or special alignment.

Use stakes on the edge with a low string between them.

To mark points from which you can work and stay on track.

You can also carefully use chalk-coated string.

To mark lines on the top of the sand bed for alignment guidance.

5. Interlock Stone Installation Work

In order to calculate the amount of sand and gravel you will need.

Measure the project dimensions including length, width and depth.

It is possible to calculate the amounts yourself with the help of industry guidelines.

Or your vendor or contractor can help figure out.

How many cubic yards are needed for your paving-stones installation.

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6.Pick the Pavers

You will encounter a broad range of choices.

When you begin looking at interlocking pavers.

Which are available in an uncountable number of colors.

Patterns, shapes, sizes and thicknesses.

Typically, the standard thickness for an area with pedestrian and average vehicle traffic is 2 3/8 inches.

7. Interlock Stone Installation Work

The array includes tumbled stones

That have rough edges and look like stone or slate.

There are also bush-hammered and shot-blasted interlocking stone

Which have a textured, stone-like finish.

Ground pavers resemble stone, but they are smooth like marble or granite.

Nearly any design and style imaginable can be created with the interlocking concrete stone

8. Gather the Materials

You will need a number of basic materials for paving stone installation:
• Masonry saw or splitter to trim
• Vibrating plate compactor to settle
• Shovels to put in base material
• Brooms to spread and sweep sand
• Grading rake to even out the base material
• Rubber mallet to adjust the pavers snugly into place
• Enough concrete sand to accommodate your project
• Wooden 2×4 and 1-inch pipe to screen the sand
• Enough pavers to cover your area plus some extras for error allowance
• Stakes and string
• Hand level

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9.Prepare the surface.

Stone can be applied to any masonry surface.

Such as concrete, existing brick, or foundation cinder block.

If you’re working with wood or any other non-masonry surface.

You can create an appropriate surface.

By surrounding the non-masonry surface with a water barrier.

10. Dig the Base

A crucial part of installing  stones is proper preparation of the base.

Since it is literally the foundation for your new patio, living area or driveway.

Because it involves excavation of several inches.

You’ll want to be sure and call your local or state utility-dig line.

A few days before you’re ready to start.

That way, you can have the utilities marked.

And make sure you don’t hit anything important.

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11. Interlock Stone Installation Work

Preparing a good base requires the excavation of any loose.

Or otherwise unstable soil down to the solid, compacted earth.

How deep you need to dig depends on the combined thicknesses of the gravel base.

Sand layer and your pavers, which vary — as does how you will use the area.

12. Interlock Stone Installation Work

For example, the recommendations are to provide a base of gravel 4-6 inches thick.

For average pedestrian traffic.

Which requires you to dig about 7-9 inches deep.

For vehicle traffic and around swimming pools.

The gravel base should be 6-8 inches deep.

With even a few more inches if you plan to park.

Or drive an extra-heavy vehicle on the surface.

Such as a recreational camper or an 18-wheeled truck.

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13.Interlock Stone Installation Work

The most common advice on gravel size for the base is 3/4-inch crushed aggregate.

You will need to use the plate compactor between layers of the gravel.

So it becomes compacted into place.

Keep adding gravel and compacting until you reach the desired base depth.

It can help with the compaction process to slightly wet the gravel — not a soaking but a light mist.

14. Apply a moisture vapor barrier if you’re doing an exterior application.

Moisture vapor barriers usually come with a self-sealing membrane.

Peel back the outer layer to expose the sticky backside of the membrane.

And simply stick it onto your surface.

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15. Interlock Stone Installation Work

Be careful about only applying the membrane where you want it.

The membrane’s unpeeled surface is extremely sticky.

If it accidentally sticks somewhere it shouldn’t.

You’re going to have a hell of a time trying to get it off.

If you’re working inside.

You shouldn’t need to set down a water vapor barrier.

Unless you’re adding stone veneer to a wood surface, like plywood.

Interlock Stone Installation Work

16. Create a barrier of 18-gauge metal lath after you’ve placed your water vapor barrier.

Use 1 1/2 to 2 inch (3.81 cm to 5.08 cm) nails, and space them out at 6 inch (15.24 cm) intervals.

17. Create a scratch coat with mortar.

You can make mortar by mixing 2 or 3 parts washed sand.

With 1 part cement and adding water.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions.

With a trowel, cover the entire surface of the lath with this mixture.

About 1/2 to 3/4 inches (1.27 cm to 1.905 cm) thick.

The lath should not stick out from the scratch coat.

  • Directions for mixing mortar will vary.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions.
  • But most of all, be consistent with whatever recipe you choose.
  • If you decide to use 2:1 sand to cement.
  • Stick with 2:1 each time you use mortar elsewhere.

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18.Before the scratch coat dries, scrape horizontal grooves into the scratch coat.

Use a metal scraper or a scrap piece of the lath material.

Allow the scratch coat to set up, or cure, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Now, you are ready to apply your stone veneer.

19. Mix the mortar, following the same ratio you used for the scratch coat.

Mix for a minimum of 5 minutes, until you’ve achieved the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Too wet and your mortar will lose strength.

Too dry and your mortar will seize up too quickly.

20. Determine the layout of the stones.

It’s helpful to do a dry run and think about the layout of the stones.

As they will appear on the wall.

Spending a little extra time configuring their placement now.

Will save you the headache of excessive trimming later.

  • If it’s helpful, do the dry run on the ground.
  • Instead of trying to hold the stones up against the wall.
  • The basic arrangement of the stones should transfer.

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21. Use a chipping hammer, trowel edge, or other blunt tool, to trim the stones to shape.

The stones themselves should be fairly easy to shape.

You will be able to hide the trimmed edges later, using grout.

So don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfectly rounded.

22. Wash the stones until they are completely free of any dirt, sand or other loose particles.

The grout adheres much better to completely clean surfaces.

23.Dry the stones to assure that the surfaces of the stones are damp.

If necessary, use a masonry brush to lightly moisten the stone, but do not saturate it.

This will prevent the stones from drawing moisture away from the mortar.

Which will allow it to set up with a naturally stronger bond.

24.Backbutter the mortar onto the stone pieces one by one.

Try to keep the backbuttered mortar about 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) thick.

If you happen to get any mortar on the face of the stone.

Wipe it away with a damp towel before it dries.

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25. Start installing the stones, beginning in the bottom corners.

Turn any trimmed edges either directly up or down, away from the focal point.

Press the stones into the mortar.

Twisting them slightly to squeeze out some of the excess and strengthen the bond.

Use a trowel, joint tool, or brush to remove any excess mortar.

That has been forced beyond the finished joint, or onto the surface of the stone itself.

  • Keep the joints consistent to achieve the most appealing result.
  • You probably want your joints to be between 1 and 3 inches (2.5 and 7.5 cm) long.

26. Continue back-buttering and laying stone until the entire wall is finished.

Take period breaks; step back and prospect your work every so often.

If you are installing veneer across more than one face of a wall.

Consider getting cornerstone pieces.

Most stone veneer manufacturers make them.

And they add an easy naturalness to the project.

Interlock Stone Installation Work

27. When finished placing all the stones, fill the joints with a grout bag.

Best results come from using a grout bag.

During this step, conceal any trimmed edges.

Use a striking tool to get the joints to the desired depth as the mortar stiffens.

Interlock Stone Installation Work

28.Clean away any excess particles with plain water and a whisk broom.

Be sure to remove any stray mortar from the face of the stone within 30 minutes.

Mortar will be impossible to remove after 24 hours.

Use a paint brush to clean up the mortared joints.

Before the mortar sets completely.

Do this especially if working inside, as inside stone wants a more polished look.

Interlock Stone Installation Work

29. Apply a sealer, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Sealed stone will be easier to clean and maintain.

And some sealers will repel stains.

Reapply the sealer periodically to maximize the advantages.

Be advised some sealers will change the color of the stone or create a “wet” glossy look.

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