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How to Install Thin Stone Veneer on Your Indoor or Outdoor Fireplace

Thin Veneer

A fireplace is a cozy way to spend fall evenings.

And installing thin stone veneer on your indoor or outdoor fireplace is full of great benefits, such as:

  • Giving it a rustic and charming appearance
  • Protecting it from the outdoor elements
  • Extending your enjoyment of the fireplace for the season

The best part is that installing thin veneer stone on your fireplace is quite simple to do – even if it’s a brick fireplace.

Veneer stone

Choose your stone veneer

There are two types of stone brick veneer for you to choose from:

  • Authentic: It may come at a higher cost, but it’s a gorgeous, long-lasting choice for your backyard or family room fireplace. Usually it’s heavier than artificial veneer, but is cut thinly enough that weight is not an issue.
  • Artificial: Sometimes known as faux stone. Manmade stone veneer now looks, feels and behaves like the natural version. If you’re planning to do it yourself, artificial stone veneer is lighter, tidier and overall easier to work with.

Preparing to install thin stone veneer

Whether you’re installing authentic or artificial stone veneer to your brick fireplace, the process more or less remains the same.

First, though, you’ll need to clean the surface where the stone will be affixed and remove any:

  • Paint
  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Debris

If you’re planning to install thin stone veneer directly into a brick or concrete fireplace, you can apply it directly to the surface.

Then, apply a scratch coat (about ½” think) of mortar to the surface and let it cure for 24 hours.

1. Mix the right amount of mortar you’ll need

Usually the mixture is two parts of washed masonry sand to one part of cement.

Stir it up for a minimum of five minutes until the mixture is both think and creamy.

2. Lay the stones out in the pattern you want

If you need to trim the stones to fit your backyard fireplace, you can use a masonry hammer or masonry saw from Grand River Natural Stone.

3. Clean the stones before applying them

After you’ve cut the stones to fit, you’ll need to remove all dust, dirt and loose particles from them.

If necessary, you can even wash them with water.

However you’ll need to wait for them to dry before you install them.

Once dried, you can moisten their backsides with a masonry brush, which will help strengthen the bond between the stone and the mortar.

4. Apply mortar to the back of the stone

Then, press the stone to the fireplace wall.

While you’re pressing it, rotate the stone slightly in order to force some of the mortar to squeeze out around the edges of the stone.

Before the mortar has finally set, remove any extra from the surface of the thin veneer stone with a rag or brush.


5. Point the joints with grout

When all of the stone veneer elements are in place, grout any large gaps between the stones.

Post-installation maintenance

Once four weeks have passed, you may wish to apply a high-quality sealer to the stone veneer.

  • For an indoor fireplace: Sealing is more of an aesthetic reference, as opposed providing a protective barrier (simply because it won’t be exposed to outdoor elements).
  • For an outdoor fireplace: Even though it’s outside, your fireplace doesn’t need to be sealed. However, if you want to enhance, darken or bring its colour back to life (especially if it’s an older unit), then sealer is an appropriate option.

Applying stone sealer on a regular schedule is completely optional.

Remember: the sealer may change the colouring of your thin veneer stone, so make sure you test it out first in an area of the fireplace where it won’t be noticed.

And since stone veneer is easy to clean, just wash off the sealer with a hose if you aren’t happy with the results. Just make sure you do this within minutes.

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We’re ready to start when you are

Now that you know how to install thin stone veneer to your backyard fireplace, it’s time to make it happen.

And Grand River Natural Stone can help. We’re your source for everything you need to get it done, including:

Just contact us for a FREE quote or to speak with any of our product or building experts.

We’ll answer all your questions and give you the guidance you need to get started.

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