Stone Cutters Journal

A Mason's Blog

The Best way to Install Stone Veneer on a Retaining Wall

Whether it is a cut slope or an engineered wall, veneered retaining walls depict high end luxury. Stone veneer may be used on retaining walls of virtually any height and thickness. Thin stone veneer is a magnificent design choice for retaining walls. Basically, landscape retaining walls is meant to hold back dirt. However, they may be used to enhance the beauty of the property. Basically, traditional retaining walls are boring and drab. However, veneering such walls can boost their appearance. Proper installation of these blocks is very vital in creating a lasting visual appeal on retaining walls. Here is an overview of the best way to install stone veneer on a retaining wall.

Calculating The Materials

Before starting the process, you need to do calculations and estimate the amount of materials you will need for the project. This is done by calculating the square footage of the retaining wall by multiplying the length by the height of the wall. This will make it easier for you to estimate the number of blocks and the amount of mortar you will need.

Surface Preparation

This step is essential as it ensures that the Stone veneer is not easily damaged by weather elements. To begin with, you should first clean the surface to eliminate any paint, dirt and debris. You may need to sandblast the surface if it is painted.

Applying the Stone

Having cleaned the surface, you may now proceed to install the thin stone veneer. Basically, the stones are attached to the wall using veneer stone mortar. To prepare the mortar, mix polymer fortified Type S mortar, which is pre-blended, with water. These should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s directions. The stones should then be laid flat to make the desired pattern. At this point, you should cut and trim the blocks to the desired size and shape. You should then clean the blocks to ensure that they are free of dirt and loose particles.

Working your way from the bottom, you should first install all the corner pieces. Using a masonry brush, dampen the back of the stones to ensure that it does not absorb moisture from the mortar. After this, butter the back of the stone with a layer of mortar, preferably half to one inch thick. Now lay the stone against the retaining wall, while rotating and pressing slightly. After installing all the stones, you should fill all the joints with grout.

Stone veneer is the best way to add a bit of beauty and excitement to a traditional retaining wall. With the above guide, installation of these blocks should be easy.

Thin stone veneer

Using natural stone thin veneer Texas on the exterior of your home

If you are looking to give a special appearance to your home, then you must definitely have to try natural stone thin veneer Texas. I’ve talked about this quit a bit. I can not emphasize enough how it can make something go from ordinary to extraordinary.

highest quality natural stone in a variety of colors, cuts, and patterns that will add value and distinction to any custom residential or commercial project.

outdoor fireplace with thin stone veneer

This product will provide a premium appearance and will allow your house to easily get lots of compliments. Furthermore, it will provide enhanced protection and it will add a sleek modern look. It is a easy update and will add some value to your home. Natural Stone thin veneer is a product that will add seek style and exclusivity to your home. It will look like your paid a contractor several thousands of dollars – when you only did this yourself over a weekend.

highest quality natural stone in a variety of colors, cuts, and patterns that will add value and distinction to any custom residential or commercial project.

The first stage of the fireplace.

Thin stone veneer holds up through time. Very durable! This stone is able to transform an average home into a state of the art place ready for the presence of guests as well as for hosting family members at all times. Guests will think you had demolition done or a wall created when only you placed thin stone veneer on top of an existing wall.

Where can you use thin stone veneer
If you enjoy having fun with your family outdoors for the weekend why not enhance your outdoor fireplace with thin stone veneer. And what better way to put it in evidence than by adding this exquisite stone which has been designed in such manner as to resist any type of weather and time? Why natural stone veneer is a good choice.

You are a special person hence the reason why you deserve the very best. Why waste time with cheaper materials and appliances when you can opt for this premium veneer stone and give your house a truly unique look? Although many homes in Texas still rejoice from a classic appearance, the few ones who have embraced modernism showed that it’s possible to achieve something full of personality with a relatively decent budget. Thus, if you are wishing for the best in terms of style and appearance, then you can count on natural stone veneer.

What is Thin Stone Veneer
Natural stone thin veneer in Texas as you may know already, this stone finds itself in a natural Texas stone, mostly light in color and in an unaltered state which means that it will resist without problems in extreme Texas heat and for a longer period of time. Thin stone veneer is just the front or face of the stone. It does not embody the entire rock. It has a clean cut to allow you to place the veneer to any flat surface.

highest quality natural stone in a variety of colors, cuts, and patterns that will add value and distinction to any custom residential or commercial project.

Natural thin stone veneer on face of a new home

Upgrade your home
By choosing this type of stone for yourself what you actually do is add a new life. You step into the modern era and that bit of style which traditional homes simply lack and will never be able to achieve. If you consider yourself a special person and want to given yourself a treat for the upcoming period, then you simply can’t go wrong by choosing to invest in the renovation of your home. After all, this is the place where you spend the largest part of your time and also the place where happiness is more than welcome. Thus, why not make it more special than ever and improve it with the aid of this unique natural stone veneer which will make all your neighbors envious? Make your home a more visually-delightful place and be proud to make a long term investment which will certainly prove rewarding. This type of stone will most definitely be appreciated by all your family members, friends and relatives.

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How To Use Thin Veneer Stone On An Indoor Fireplace


Planning to install an indoor fireplace? With natural stone veneers as I have found out you have many varieties to suit your taste and application. Natural stone thin veneer  material is durable with little to no water absorption especially compared to the slightly porous man-made stone.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Natural Stone Thin Veneer

Great way to start your fireplace project. Lay them out first to ensure all the pieces fit together nicely.

Great way to start your fireplace project. Lay them out first to ensure all the pieces fit together nicely.

I can install natural stone thin veneer in a half the time I would use to install a full veneer. It has a thinner cut profile therefore I can lay it out without a brick or stone foundation ledge. This makes it quite good for a remodeling project and zero-clearance fireplaces. Being thin and relatively light in weight, I can basically install thin stone veneer anywhere aligning it to the vertical surface. Therefore, I don’t require footing for support. It is also easier to handle and I can quickly cut, trim and set it up which also lowers the installation costs. With more varieties that are now available I pre-cut thin stone veneer corner pieces just like a full veneer. This makes thin stone veneer quite ideal for covering unwanted brick on a fireplace. The added aesthetic feature makes it a great addition to how my house looks. Though the material costs averagely about the same as a full stone veneer, I will ably handle a job using thin stone veneer than with the full veneer.

Do I Have To Hire A Mason To Install The Natural Thin Veneer Or Can I Do It Myself?

Thin stone veneer Fireplace-02

THis is what the finished fireplace will look like. Add a shelf for the family photos

I can easily set up most patterned materials through a D-I-Y installation process. A professional mason can install the stone on my fireplace but if I follow the installation guidelines outlined by the stone suppliers, I am assured of getting the best results.

What Is The Difference Between Natural Stone Thin Veneer Texas Material And A Man-Made Stone?

Compared to man-made stone, natural thin veneer is unique in both color and shape. The stone has no color differences from flats to corner or flats to flats because it is not made from varying manufactured runs. I can also custom cut it and trim it to my specifications. Great thing is that you can also by pre-cut corner pieces – so it looks like a real piece of brick on the corners.

Do I Require A Sealer For The Thin Stone Veneer Installed On A Fireplace?

I don’t require a sealer to seal my stonework but where necessary there are a variety of sealers I can choose from. There are good sealers that when applied well can change the appearance of my fireplace and also enhance the color of the stone and even give it a wet look.

Will I Need Any Extra Floor Support If I Plan To Finish The Fireplace With Natural Stone Thin Veneer All The Way Up To The Ceiling?

Thin stone veneer Fireplace-03In most cases, I won’t require an extra floor support to handle such a task. It is however a major concern and therefore I can check with my contractor or mason for further approval before proceeding with the job.

Generally, apart from being affordable and easily customizable, natural stone thin veneer will not only add value to my home but I can also install it myself in the process saving additional money I can commit to other remodeling projects.

I found some YouTube videos I watched to help me with the thin stone veneer project.

I found that getting stone straight from the quarry cuts out the middle man and is far more cost effective. I found one Quarry that was near me.

What are Hand Chopped Stone Cuts?

carriage house


Hand Chopped Cuts

Hand chopped stone cuts are also a popular choice. They are hand formed rough squares and rectangles sized at randon heights ranging from 3″ to 8″ tall with square rectangluar widths that are 3-5″ thick. This cut covers approximantely 40-45 square feet per ton (same as the sawn stone cut). Popular color options include autumn blends, cream, gold, browns and reds.

What is the Sawn Stone Pattern?



Sawn Stone Patterns
Another unique pattern available is the sawn cut. It is typiclally a rectangular or square cut with heights that are cut into certain specifications. Typically the sawn pieces are 4-12″ with square to rectangluar widths and 3-5″ thick. They cover 40-45 sqare feet per ton (one load usually covers a nice sized patio or bathroom) and come in tan, white, red, autumn and mixed blends.

If you want quality stone, buy from a Quarry



It’s awesome to shop at a quarry and buying stone veneer is very simple. You can always find a stone quarry near your hometown. Shopping at a stone quarry will save money while giving you multiple color options. There is less wear and tear due to less shipping and handling of the stone. The customer service at a quarry is more educated on the usage of stone products, especially in comparison to a big shopping centers like Lowe’s; where people don’t specialize in stone veneer finishes and application. Do yourself a favor and skip the middle man. Go straight to the quarry and you will be much more satisfied.

Nearly exhausted sulphur vat from which railroad cars are loaded, Freeport Sulphur Co., Hoskins Mound, Texas  (LOC)

Understanding Irregular Stone Patterns


Take a look at these photos showing you how irregular stone patterns create both horizontal and vertical joints.


Irregular Stone Patterns

Of many patterns available, people often chose the natural broken look of the irregular builder cut. It is often used with rustic designs. Similar to the pattern on a giraffe’s back, the irregular builder comes in many different colors including tans, autumn blends, reds and browns. When the irregular cut is installed as a wall veneer it is normally 3-5″ thick covering approximately 35-45 feet per ton. You can compare 35-45 square feet to the size of a patio.  This irregular stone pattern is broken into shapes and sold by weight.  The face of the stone is larger than a dinner plate and but smaller than a chair cushion.