Builders & Installers
Please view our Installation Guide below, if you require any further information or assistance with your application please contact us, we are always available to assist.
Below is a GUIDE ONLY to the installation of Alpine Stone veneer.
For Fibre Cement Board install ensure the board is BGC Stone Sheet, please view the Alpine Stone Technical and Install Manual for details specific to your application.
You may also like to view the video on the right hand side of the home page.
Details of the installation are to be checked and / or confirmed with the local body authority and carried out with thought to specific local conditions.
For any technical or construction details these can be fond in the “Technical and Installation Manual”(above) or under “SPECS”/ “ARCHITECTS & SPECIFIERS”
Where council signoff is required a “PRE-ALPINE STONE VENEER APPLICATION CHECKLIST” must be completed by an LBP, before an approved installer can begin. Form is located in the “Technical and Installation Manual” and also above to download separately.
Step 1 – Estimate the Required Quantity of Stone Product
Our products are delivered in two basic forms: 1. Flat pieces, which will be applied to flat surfaces, and 2, corner pieces which are specially designed to wrap around 90 degree corners. Modular stone panels incorporates interlocking corners and these are included in the flat stone price ie. no extra cost.
- Our flat stone products are sold by the square metre. To determine the required amount of Flat stone, measure the width and height (in metres) of the surface to be covered, and multiply these two figures together to derive the total square meterage amount. For triangular areas, calculate the square meterage by multiplying Width x Height x ½. Be sure to deduct from this total amount any areas such as doors or windows which will not be covered with stone. If you have corners you will need to add the thickness of the stone to each affected flat surface otherwise you will be 40-70mm short per side, especially important for 4 sided pillars.
- Our corner stone products are sold by the linear metre. Let’s say you wanted the left and right corners of a structure to be covered with Corner stone’s. Each corner contains a total of 3 linear metres so you would need a total of 3 x 2 = 6 metres of corner stone’s for this project.
Step 2 – Assemble the required tools and supplies
Tools: You will need the following:-
- Tape Measure
- Masonry cutter (diamond or masonary blade on an eg. Grinder)
- Brickies Trowel
- Chalk line
- 20 litre bucket or wheelbarrow(for mortar)
- For the bigger jobs, it pays to hire a good brick saw if there are a lot of cuts.
- A grout piping bag can be supplied with each order. This is used to quickly apply mortar to any voids in the work. Certain patterns have overall application of mortar ie Blue Stone, River Stone and Otago Schist etc.
Step 3 – Surface Preparation
Clean, unpainted Masonry. This substrate includes all masonry surfaces such as brick, block, stucco, cement sheets and concrete so long as the surface is clean (ie free of form oil or other release agents) and has not been painted, sealed, or treated in any way. If there is any question about the surface to be covered, please err on the side of caution and assume it does not meet the above criteria. If you are certain that the above conditions apply, the no other surface preparation is required apart from the required waterproofing sealer before application of stonework.
Step 4 – Work area preparation
The main goal of the installation process is to create the appearance of a single, uniform surface rather than “areas” of similarly sized, coloured, or shaped stones. A bit of planning in the early stages will go a long way toward helping you achieve a high-quality result.
When you receive your stone order, it is a good idea to spread the products out at the job site so that you will have a variety of stone shapes, sizes and colours to mix into your work surface. Laying out small sections on the ground before applying them to the work surface will help you envision how the section will look once it is installed. To achieve the kind of variety and contrast that is the hallmark of a quality installation, you should attempt to use dark stones next to light ones, small stones next to larger ones, heavy textured stones next to smoother ones, and so forth throughout the entire work surface. Corner stone’s should be installed first at each vertical corner and work towards the center of the wall. Be sure to stagger joints at every opportunity.
Step 5 – Sealer coat (if required)
Where the substrate needs to be sealed first, this can be done by using 50/50 ratio of adhesive concentrate(do not add water to this) and bagged mortar. Brush or roll this onto the substrate, only a thin coat is required but it is essential that no part is left uncoated. Only enough should be applied so that it is it has not fully dried when the stone veneer is applied, This is so that when the adhesive mortar is applied it bonds and becomes a single glued layer as opposed to the stone veneer being applied to a dried layer. Any joins when using Eterpan/BGC fibre cement board must be covered as per manufactures instructions. Once dry, stone can be applied as per the rest of the installation instructions.
Step 6 – Mortar Preparation
Mortar can be supplied with all Alpine Stone products Approximately 4 litres (Mix 1 part adhesive concentrate with 3 parts potable water, ie. 1L adhesive concentrate with 3L water to give you 4L total) of Alpine Adhesive / water mix is required to be power or hand mixed with 15kg’s of pre-coloured (Black/White/Natural) Cemix Trade Motar add adhesive mixture till a toothpaste like consistency occurs.
This polymer modified mortar will achieve around 1 square metre when applied to the back of the stone at the required thickness of 4-8mm.
Do not trowel the mix onto the wall.
Always apply a creamy wet mixture, the consistency of toothpaste directly to the stone, apply to the wall with a firm twisting pressure until holding fast.
Once mixed to a creamy consistency the useable life will we up to 90 minutes.
Add a small amount of Alpine Adhesive concentrate to wet the mix if needed.
It is essential that the back of the stone is cleaned so that there is no loose dust or contamination prior to application of mortar
Step 7 – Stone Application
If the stone is to be applied over concrete, masonry, or sealer scratch coat in very hot/dry weather conditions, the work surface should be dampened before applying mortar. In addition, each stone should be moistened with water prior to installation. This can be accomplished by using a fine-mist spray, a wet brush, or by dipping the stone into a water bucket. Allow the work surface and the stone to dry for just a few minutes to eliminate excess water.
It is essential that any dust, dirt or other contaminates are removed from the back of the stone and substrate before mortar is applied.
There may be a selection of sizes and flat ends included which can be used where suitable or mixed in to create random joins. In some occasions we may add stone sections(in excess to that that was ordered) that were damaged during demoulding process theese come in handy for cuts and tricky/fiddly ares.
Apply approximately 4 – 8mm of mortar to the back of each stone just prior to setting that stone. This is referred to as “buttering” the stone.
The stone is generally applied from the bottom-up. Starting at the bottom generally allows you to achieve tighter joints. Use wedges to keep them level from layer to layer.
It is a good idea to begin your work by applying the corners first, since they are slightly less forgiving when it comes to fitting them in. Each corner piece has both long and a short leg and these should be alternated at every other stone.
Once the corner stones are in place, the flat stones may be applied working toward the wall centre. Modular stone pieces have interlocking corners and should be installed first.
You must ensure complete coverage between the mortar and the back surface of the stone. Set each stone by firmly pressing the stone into the mortar with a “wiggling” action. If you see some mortar squeeze out around the stone’s edge, you are using the correct pressure. The stone should remain in place when you release it. If not, remove the failed mortar, replace it with fresh mortar, and reapply the stone.
If you are consistently having difficulty getting the stones to stick, consider the following:-
- Is your mortar mix too dry, or too wet? It is generally better for the mortar to be on the “too wet” side than “too dry”, but it can’t be runny or soupy either.
- Is the work surface flat? Work surface irregularities can create high and low points that enable the stone to rock back and forth. This rocking motion will pop the stones off the work surface. If this may be the problem, consider applying a scratch coat or mortar to the surface.
Press the stone firmly onto the substrate and allow any excess to ooze out between the stones, DO NOT WIDE THIS AWAY! Instead, allow the mortar to set until it is dry and crumbly, and then use a whiskbroom to remove the material. Wiping will smear the mortar over the stone and stain it.
Apply the stones tightly together(modular panels), some may need to be trimmed slightly to create a tighter fit, the edge of the trowel may assist here. This will save time if you do not need to fill these gaps with the piping bag. Stagger the joint lines both vertically and horizontally to achieve the most natural look. Lay the ‘z’ shaped stone modules, similar to the rhythm that bricks are laid. Don’t place the same shape stone module on top of each other – stagger the position of the modules along each row so that the modules are in different places to the row below. When installing rectangular stones be sure to keep your joint lines level. You may wish to snap a chalk line every so often to help you with this.
You will probably need to cut a number of stones in order to achieve the best possible fit. The stone can be cut using wide-mouth nippers or a mason’s trowel edge. You can also use an angle grinder or any other cutting saw with a masonry or diamond blade. You should then cover the edge with mortar to conceal the cut. Turn the cut edge down when applying the stone below eye level, or up when applying the stone above eye level.
Step 8 – Grouting and Joint Finishing
If you require the grout colour to match your stone colour, Alpine Stone can supply you with this. Just add water and apply with the plastic mortar bag as if you were icing a cake. You do not need to add Alpine Adhesive polymer to this mix…just water.
Once a section has been laid, step back and look for any shallow spots in the joints. Use a grout bag to fill in these areas. Be very careful not to smear the grout onto the stone face. If grout gets onto the face of any stone, DO NOT try to wipe it off – the wiping action will smear and possibly stain the stone. Instead, allow the mortar to set up until it is dry and crumbly, and then use a whiskbroom to remove the material.
Allow sufficient time (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on weather conditions) for the joints to become firm. Then use a paintbrush, wood stick or metal jointing tool to dress the joints and remove any excess mortar above the desired joint depth. Ensure that the mortar in the joints completely seals the stone edges.
Modular units (‘z’ shaped) ie. Ledgestone, Modular Schist etc need very little mortar at all after laying. The odd vertical joint on the corners may need an application from the grout bag. Use the same bagged colour for final grouting but use plain water to mix small quantities…not Alpine Adhesive 430 additive.
Step 9 – Finishing Touches
After dressing the joints, allow the work surface to set up for a few hours. Then use a DRY whiskbroom to clean away any loose mortar and clean the face of the stone. After the mortar has set for at least 24 hours, wash the work surface with a water hose to remove any remaining dust or debris.
Because our products are made of concrete, it will absorb water just like any other concrete surface. Over time, the repeated absorption of water and a freeze/thaw cycle can potentially cause permanent damage to the stone. Since manufactured stone is reserved for use in vertical (wall) applications, water usually doesn’t have the chance to sit on the surface long enough to cause a problem. Stone laid at ground level, however, may be at greater risk. A sealer will help to close the pores in the concrete, thereby repelling the water rather than allowing it to be absorbed. Please ask your installer or Alpine Stone representative if you require this.
Please note that some sealers are designed to “enhance” the surface appearance of the concrete and give it a gloss look, it will also make it look a lot darker. Others are essentially invisible. Be sure to test your sealer on a small test portion of our stone to ensure that the final appearance is what you’re looking for.
Please talk to your installer or contact Alpine Stone if you have any questions.