How to Face a Block Wall With Natural Stone

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How to Face a Block Wall With Natural Stone
Create a stone accent on the exterior of your home to increase your home's value. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Creating stone foundations and accent walls on or within your home does not require building the entire wall from irregular shaped stone. To take the complications out of building stone walls, many experienced and amateur masons use natural stone veneers to cover unattractive concrete block. The light weight of stone veneers makes facing block walls less of a strain on backs and knees and also makes the process much easier for inexperienced masons than using whole stones.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ready-mix mortar
  • Water
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden hoe
  • Garden hose
  • Trowel
  • Joint tool
  • Mason's broom
  • Plastic sheeting (optional)

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  1. 1

    Empty a bag of ready-mix mortar into a wheelbarrow and add water following the suggested amounts from the mortar packaging. Mix the ingredients together using a garden hoe. Rinse the garden hoe with a hose immediately after mixing to prevent the mortar from sticking to the hoe's handle and blade.

  2. 2

    Choose stone veneers for the first, bottom layer of the wall. Lean each piece against the wall to arrange into place before using mortar to set the pieces into place permanently. Cut stone will take less time to piece together because the pieces are generally in the shape of square and rectangles. Veneers made from quarried stone may have round or irregular shapes that will take longer to piece together to minimise joints.

  3. 3

    Scoop mortar out of the wheelbarrow with a trowel and apply to the smooth bath of each stone veneer piece. Pile on a layer of mortar measuring approximately 1 inch thick and covering the majority of the veneer's back.

  4. 4

    Align the stone veneer over its final resting spot in the finished wall and press the mortared side against the block wall. Slide the individual veneer piece up and then back down to fill the gap between the floor and the first stone. The remaining gap or mortar should measure approximately 1/2 inch wide.

  5. 5

    Cover the back of the next veneer with mortar and press the mortared side onto the block wall against the first veneer. Only press the veneer into the wall halfway and then slide it up and away from the first stone as you press the stone veneer back into place. Press it down fully to fill the gap with mortar. Smooth the mortar into the joints with the joint tool.

  6. 6

    Continue to add the stone veneer to cover the chosen area of the block wall. Work back over joints to smooth the mortar into the gaps between stones and remove excess mortar so gaps measure one-fourth inches 1/4 inch deep in relation to the face of the stone veneers. Remove crumbly pieces of mortar by sweeping the wall and joints with a mason's broom before the mortar sets.

Tips and warnings

  • Lay plastic sheeting into place in front of your work area if you are working over a deck, patio or indoors to prevent damage to floors and surfaces.

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