How to Install Stone Veneer Panels [A Complete Guide]

by Key Crops on Apr 20, 2023

stone veneer

Stone veneers are one of the best and most affordable ways to bring a natural stone-like feel to your wall. They allow you to choose from a variety of natural stone textures. The best part about these panels is that they are lighter and easier to handle. With that much ease to handle, it's even easier to install these in your home.

So, if you are looking for the step-by-step process of installing stone veneer panels, consider reading this article. Here, you'll find the complete process of installing these stone pieces into your walls. But before checking out the process, have a look at the list of all the tools and materials required while installing them.

Tools and Materials Required

Here is the list of all the tools and materials required while installing the natural stone veneer into your home.

  • Hammer
  • Wheelbarrow or mortar box
  • Bucket
  • Hoe for mixing
  • Wire brush
  • Grout bag
  • Stone cutting tool
  • Stone veneer (flat pieces and corners, as needed)
  • Nails
  • Expanded metal lath
  • Type S or N mortar
  • Scratch comb
  • Aviation shears
  • Mortar sand
  • Vinegar
  • Masonry trowel
  • Pointing tool

How to Install Stone Veneer Panels

If you want to improve the interior design of your home, you should consider installing stone veneer. These are lightweight and give a natural feel to your room. So, to install these panels on your walls, follow the below process.

Step 1 - Calculation is Important

The first and foremost step is calculating the required materials. Calculate how much stone you need and if your project involves corner stones, calculate according to that. You have to deduct around 1 square foot for each linear foot of corners. Also, consider the size of the joint between the stones to have an approximate idea of the amount of mortar you'll need.

Step 2 - Preparation of the Surface

Preparation of the surface is one of the most important things to do. It prevents any water damage and keeps your panels structurally sturdy for years to come. However, the preparation of the surface is different for each wall.

For Exterior Walls Made From Wall Sheathing, Plywood Panelling or Flush Metal Siding

If you want to install these panels on your exterior walls and they are made from wall sheathing, plywood panelling or flush metal siding:

  1. Consider covering the surface with a weather-resistant barrier.
  2. Install metal lath on top of the weatherproof barrier in accordance with local building requirements by using galvanised nails or screws spaced 6 inches apart vertically and 16 inches apart horizontally and penetrating the studs at least one inch.
  3. Stop the metal lath 1 inch from the edges with a finish.
  4. Carefully overlap the metal lath and wrap all the corners at least 4 inches.
  5. Always overlap joints 4 "in shingle style.

For Exterior Walls Sheetrock, Fibre Cement Board, Plywood, or Green Sheetrock

You don't need any weather-resistant barrier to cover the surface for interior walls made from sheetrock, fibre cement board, plywood, or green sheetrock. You are good to go by applying the same procedure for exterior walls.

For Masonry, Stucco, Cleaned or Untreated Concrete Walls

If you have masonry, stucco, cleaned or untreated concrete walls in your exteriors or interiors, then you can directly install stone veneer on the surface. You need to etch the concrete surface using an etching agent if there are release agents on the surface. Also, ensure the surface is free of dirt, dust or paint. If the surface is too difficult to clean, consider affixing the metal lath to the surface. The rest of the steps are the same as mentioned above.

Step 3 - Applying the Scratch Coat

Now it's time to apply the scratch coat of type N or type S mortar. If you want your mortar mix to be good quality:

  1. Consider mixing one part N or S cement and 2.25 parts sand. You can use this same mortar for the bond coat and grouting the seams.
  2. Once you are ready with the mixture, cover the entire surface with it in a ½ to ¾ inch thick layer.
  3. Let the coat dry for at least 24 hours before you start installing the stone veneer panels.

Step 4 - Preparing the Stone Veneer Pieces

Before you install these panels on the walls, wash them and lay out these stones on a flat surface to determine the right layout, you can try different types of wall texture design. While installing the stone veneers, make sure they are damp to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the mortar. This will also ensure that any trimming and cutting of stones are needed.

Step 5 - Installing the Stone Veneer Panels

Now it's time to start installing the stone veneer on your walls. Apply a ½ inch thick layer of mortar on the back of each stone piece and onto the scratch coat. Remember to apply the mixture in small areas, so the mortar does not dry out. Once you apply mortar, start installing these pieces. It will be great to start from the walls' bottom corner. These panels perfectly resemble the look and feel of natural stone wall coverings.

Step 6 - Grouting the Joints

Use the same mortar mix you used for the scratch coat and bonding mortar to fill in the gaps between each stone piece. Fill the joints with a ½ inch layer of mortar. Once you are done filling the joints, clean the entire surface.


In these six simple steps, you will be able to install stone veneer panels on your walls and bring a natural look and feel to your home.

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