How to Lay Decorative Stones

Written by sarah schreiber
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How to Lay Decorative Stones
Decorative stone can improve the look of a back yard wall. (stone wall image by Radoslav Lazarov from

Decorative stones can be used to make a garden wall, to spice up a backyard outdoor fireplace and for a decorative border around your house. If you are a do-it-yourself homeowner that wishes to add some decorative stones to your backyard, with adequate time and supplies, you can conquer this task.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mortar
  • Moisture barrier
  • Galvanised diamond mesh
  • Galvanised nails
  • Decorative stone
  • Whisk broom

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  1. 1

    Mix your mortar together if you're using a powdered type. Some mortar is pre-mixed.

  2. 2

    Install a moisture barrier such as waterproof building paper or asphalt saturated felt paper. This step can be skipped if your wall is new or completely clean and unsealed.

  3. 3

    Install expanded galvanised diamond mesh onto the wall or surface by securely fastening it with galvanised nails. This step can also be skipped if your wall is new or completely clean and unsealed.

  4. 4

    Add a coat of mortar between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch thick over an area of the mesh to which you can quickly apply the decorative stone.

  5. 5

    Spread a layer of mortar over the back of the stone and press into place, leaving a space of no more than 3/4 of an inch between each one.

  6. 6

    Repeat this process until your wall is complete.

  7. 7

    Let the mortar harden for the recommended amount of time. Times may vary based on the mortar used.

  8. 8

    Brush the joints clean with a whisk broom.

Tips and warnings

  • You may have to trim some stones in order for them to fit properly on the wall.
  • For an interesting effect, try using coloured mortar.

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