Stone is known for its old-world charm and rustic appeal. It is easy to maintain, cost-effective and durable. There are several ways you can use stone to bring charm to your exterior. You can, for example, build a stone fireplace or an accent wall inside your home.
A stone wall construction project may need some consideration by an expert. Before you start stone masonry construction in Calgary, hire a structural engineer to assess the feasibility of your project. The expert may perform some tests to determine if you need to pour a footer and stem wall into the crawlspace.
Depending on the structural integrity of your foundation, the structural engineer may also recommend installing a steel I-beam beneath the proposed stone wall location, as standard floor joists are not strong enough to support the weight of a stone wall. A slab foundation may support a lighter stone wall.
Stone vs. Stone Veneer
Many contractors prefer stone veneer to stone for interior stone wall construction. There are two types of stone veneer-natural stone veneer and manufactured stone veneer.
Natural stone veneer utilizes the faces of real, quarried stones such as fieldstone, sliced into thin pieces or cut to a thickness of about 1.5 inches. The textures, tonal variations, and irregularities of natural stone veneer give it a natural and rustic appearance.
Manufactured stone veneer, also known as faux stone, is made by pouring a concrete-type mixture into molds. It is designed to mimic the appearance of natural stone.
The most important difference between stone and stone veneer is weight. Though heavy, a stone veneer wall is still considerably lighter than a natural stone wall that can weigh tons.
Stone Veneer Wall Construction
You can install a stone veneer wall as a facing for an existing wall after you make load-bearing provisions. Stone veneer walls are constructed from the bottom up, with each row supporting the row above. Brick ties are inserted between the stones and attached to the wall beneath. They play a vital role in ensuring the stability of the wall.
Regular mortar or a type recommended by the veneer manufacturer is used to cement the stones in the wall.
Natural Stone Wall Construction
In the first step, the contractor cuts the subfloor away to expose the load-bearing blocks or steel beam, or concrete slab foundation. Stones are heavy. Make sure your contractor's team handles the stones properly when moving them inside your home or they may cause undue stress on the floor joists.
Next, the contractor uses specialized heavy-duty tools such as a masonry saw and chisels and a mason's hammer to score and break the stones. In the final step, the contractor lays real stones from the bottom row up using mortar joints.