Tips on Installing a Thin Stone Veneer Fireplace Surround

Outdoor thin stone veneer fireplace

Old and outdated fireplaces are an eyesore and a safety concern. Bringing your home fireplace up-to-date with a new thin stone veneer surround is a rewarding and fun project you can do during winter.

So if you’ve been putting off this home renovation because of the concern that you had to use actual, uncut rock and stone, then worry no more. Today’s cast stone veneer (even the stuff made from actual stone) looks so much like the real thing that not even a professional contractor could tell the difference.

Here are some tips on installing a thin stone veneer fireplace surround.

Do you install metal lath or apply scratch coat?

Assessing your situation is the first order of business. Since you likely already have brick around your fireplace, you’ll need to know how to proceed: do you install metal lath or try to apply over the brick with a scratch coat? Here are your options:

1. Prepare brick for installation: Sand or water blast the brick so it is porous and ready for new veneer. Some advise that this way is the “only” way.

2. Install metal lath over existing brick: Corrosion-free metal lath installed with masonry fasteners is a fast and effective solution.

Choosing the right stone for the job.

After you’ve decided in which application is best, then you can move on to what veneer you would like to install. Essentially, you have two choices.

Natural Stone: Exactly as its name implies, natural stone is heavier than its faux counterpart and, some would argue, difficult to work with. It can, however, be cut into thin veneer to make it more workable. This makes it a viable solution for a project such as this.

Faux Stone: Faux stone is made from man-made materials and is designed to look just like the real thing (some even being cast from actual stone). It comes in panels for a quicker installation. To many, faux stone looks just like the real thing.

Practice makes perfect.

Before you begin the installation process, we recommend laying out your choice of stone on the ground in a sort of template. Visualizing your design and layout will save you a headache when you are ready to set your stones in place. It will also allow you to get a feel for the material you are working with and reduce costly mistakes.

For more information on how we can help you select the right stone for the job, indoors or out, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.