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Manufactured Stone Veneer Installation

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I was meeting with someone this morning at a beautiful golf course in Scottsdale AZ. Our conversation quickly turned to our businesses and he started to ask questions about the “cultured stone” industry. He told me that he’s done a number of renovations and even some “flips” while he was in California, but he had always used natural stone because he didn’t want the fake look.


When you hear the words “cultured stone” or “manufactured stone veneer,” if you conquer up images of fake stone that you can spot a mile away, then you need to take another look at Kodiak Mountain Stone’s products. The manufactured stone veneer industry has come a long way over the years and many people today would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between most manufactured stone veneer and natural stone. Therefore, with manufactured stone being cheaper and lighter than natural stone it is a great choice for any do-it-yourself stone veneer project.

Lethbridge Parade of Homes  Palmer Homes Fireplace 597 Aquitania Blvd W Gary Station Fireplace


Kodiak Mountain Stone’s manufactured stone veneer products are great for both interior and exterior applications. The biggest difference between an interior and an exterior application has to do with waterproofing and flashing. Any time that you are installing stone you should research your local building codes and requirements because they will vary from one area to the next. Improper waterproofing and flashing can be an extremely costly mistake that you could pay for down the road.


To download a PDF version of the Kodiak Mountain Stone installation guide click HERE


Your project begins with your vision. As you are planning out your project it will be helpful to use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer where you can upload photos of your project and see what it would look like with stone in different areas. Try out the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer online HERE


Once you have designed your project you will need to calculate the amount of stone you will need, prepare the surface and begin the installation. All of these items will be addressed below in the Kodiak Mountain Stone Installation Guide. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at or at 1-877-563-4252 or contact a professional mason in your area.


You can also watch our video below that shows the step-by-step installation methods for manufactured stone veneer.




Estimating Material Needed:

  1. Measure total square footage of area to be covered with Kodiak Mountain stone veneer. For example, a wall may be 12 feet at the base and 12 feet highó12 x 12 = 144 square feet.
  2. Determine the area of all large openings such as windows and doors. For example, the wall in part A) may have a window measuring 3 feet by 4 feetó3 x 4 = 12 square feet.
  3. Determine the linear footage of corner stones needed. Each linear foot of corner stones also accounts for approximately square foot of area. For example, the wall in part A) may have 24 linear feet of cornersó24 x = 12 square feet of area.
  4. Deduct the area of openings and corner area square footage from total square footage: A ñ B ñ C = needed square footage of rock. Example from parts A), B), and C) yields the following: 144 ñ 12 ñ 12 = 120 square feet of flats are needed, along with 24 linear feet of corners.
  5. Some extra quantity of stone is desirable for fitting and cuttingóplease add 10%.

Tools Needed:

  • –  Hammer
  • –  Level
  • –  Grinder complete with masonry cutting blade
  • –  Circular Saw complete with both wood and masonry blade
  • –  Safety Glasses
  • –  Dust Mask
  • –  Grout Bag
  • –  Soft Bristled Brush
  • –  1 æî Roofing Nails
  • –  Tin Snips
  • –  Wheel Barrow
  • –  Hoe
  • –  Masonry Trowel
  • –  Hawk
  • –  Spacers or ìshimsî
  • –  oî Margin Trowel
  • –  Hammer Tacker complete with Staples
  • –  Stiff Bristle Brush

I. Preparing the Surface 1. Moisture Barrier

If you are installing the stone over wallboard, paneling, plywood, or other rigid wood- related sheathing, it is necessary to cover the wall surface with a moisture barrier. In most cases, building codes are satisfied by using 2 layers of tar paper or two-ply 60 minute grade D paper. Be sure that the sheets overlap from the bottom up. Overlap 2 inches on the horizontal seams and 6 inches on the vertical seams. Flashing, weep screed, and appropriate drainage means are required at stoppage points of stone veneer and at any places of potential penetration.

When stone is to be installed over clean brick, block, cement board or other masonry surfaces, no moisture barrier is necessary.

Check your local building codes for required flashing specifics and to ensure these instructions meet specific moisture barrier requirements.

2. Wire Lath

Directly over the moisture barrier, cover the area with a wire lath. We recommend using at least a 2.5 lb (1.71 Kg) diamond mesh expanded wire lath meeting the requirements of ASTM C 847. Overlap lath sides and ends no less than 1î. Be sure the lath is attached with the small cups pointing upward. Attach the lath using galvanized nails or staples every 6î on center vertically, and 16î on center horizontally, trying to penetrate studs with each nail. Use staples or fasten any loose areas between the studs. Use tin snips to cut the lath. With corners, ensure that the lath is tightly foldedónever have a seam on the corner, and nail the lath on both faces of the corner.

II. Mixing the Setting Mortars

You will need three different mixes for your stone veneer installation: scratch coat, mortar, and grout. Each differs and requires specific amounts of different materials. While each mason tends to have their own recipes, we have found the following proportions to work well:

Scratch Coató1 part Type S Masonry Mortar, 2 parts Masonry Sand Mortaró1 part Type S Masonry Mortar, 2 parts Masonry Sand

Groutó1 Part Type S Masonry Mortar, 3 Parts Sand

NOTE: If mixing your own mortar from scratch, ensure that all ingredients comply with, and are mixed to meet ASTM standards and/or local building codes:

  • –  Cement: ASTM C 150, Type I, or masonry cement meeting ASTM C 91.
  • –  Masonry sand: ASTM C 144, natural or manufactured.
  • –  Pigments: ASTM C 979, mineral oxide type. Do not exceed color manufactureríslimitations.
  • –  Mixed mortar should comply with ASTM C 270, Type S requirements
  • –  Mixed grout should comply with ASTM C 270, Type S proportionsSteps:
    1. Combine mortar and sand in a wheelbarrow and mix them together. Do this before adding any water.
    2. Add water slowly, mixing continually while mixing. Avoid adding too much water as this can make the mix an unsuitable consistency.
    3. Continue adding water and mixing until a consistent paste is formed, free of excess clumps.
      1. Scratch Coat
        1. Cover the entire wire lath with an even, î layer of mortar. Work the mortar with a cement trowel then scrape off the excess.
        2. While the cement is still wet, gently scrape it with a fine bristled brush or hair pick. The resulting grooves rough up the scratch coatóthis added friction creates a better bond when the stone is applied. The brushing should be gentle enough that no mortar is removed.
        3. Let the scratch coat dry sufficiently. Drying can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours depending on temperature, humidity, airflow, and mix used. Once dry, the scratch coat should have a light gray color.
      2. Applying the Stone

1. Before applying stone, ensure that proper measures are taken to divert water run- off away from the stone. This can be done through the use of cant strips, gutters,

and flashing. Excess run-off and splashing can, over time, stain the material. Also ensure that the stone will not be applied below the water level, and will not be subjected to chlorine or other chemicals that may discolor the stone.

  1. Mix a batch of mortar according to the recipe and directions in this manual.
  2. Before any installation, it is always wise to lay out a section of stone on the groundópreferably 15-30 square feet. This exercise will help you better blend colors and stone sizes when you apply the stones. The goal is to achieve a balance of stone sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and thicknesses. Proper blending can also be achieved by selecting and mixing different stones from different boxes during installation.
  3. Cornersóit is helpful to install the corners first. Alternate the short and long returns as you install them.
  4. When installing flats, start from the top and work your way down; this will help keep the stones clean from dripping mortar. However, with Ready Stack, we recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up.When using Ready Stack, work your way up, pushing each piece tightly against the stone next to it and below it. Use a level as you work. We recommend these stones be installed side by side to keep the entire row the same height. This will ensure that with each new row, you have a flat level surface to work on.
  5. Before mortaring and installing, dry fit each stone to ensure it will fit in the desired place.
  6. Using a trowel, apply a inch layer of mortar to the back of the individual stones. Press the stone against the wall, and gently press it into place. If mortar drips onto another stone, wait until the mortar is dry, then brush it off with a dry whisk broom.
  7. Stones can be cut or trimmed for fitting purposes. A power saw with a masonry blade works best. You can also trim small pieces off with a widemouth nipper, or cut a stone in half with the back of your hammer, a trowel, or a hatchet. Cut at an angle so as to best disguise the cut. Cutting can also be concealed through the grouting process.
  8. In extraordinarily hot weather, dampen the back of each stone just prior to installation, as well as the surface to which the stone will be applied. Note that in cold weather below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), mortar will not cure properly.

V. Grouting

  1. Mix a batch of grout according to the recipe and directions given in this manual.
  2. The hole in the tip of the grout bag should be no larger than a inch to begin with. You can always cut the hole bigger if needed, so it is best to start small.
  3. The grout bag should be approximately half full with the mixture. Twist the top end of the bag until some grout is pushed back into the bucket. This will eliminate air bubbles, and help the grout stream to be smooth and consistent.
  4. Keeping the top end twisted, gently squeeze the grout into the joints. Gaps between stones should receive a inch layer of grout.
  5. Let the grout begin to dry until it is firm, but not solid. This usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Be sure to not let grout fully dry or striking will be impossible.
  6. Use a wooden or metal striking tool to rake out the excess mortar. This helps you achieve the proper depth, and also forces the mortar into the joints to achieve a thorough seal along the stone edges. When striking, the grout should crumble away. If it smears or gathers too much, then it is too wet and needs to dry for a few more minutes.
  7. Use a soft bristled brush to sweep excess dust off the stone and further smooth the joints. Never use wire brushes, and make sure brushes used are dry, as wet brushes, combined with the grout, may stain the rock.


REGARDING: The use of Polymner Modified Mortar for tight-fit/dry stacked veneer installation
TO: All Kodiak Mountain Stone Dealers, Installers, and Users:
We believe quality stone demands quality installation. Mortar has changed.  We ask that you all stress the importance of using Polymer Modified Mortar for tight-figt/dry stacked veneer installation. These new Polymer Modified Mortars are more workable, and they bond better.
Type N or Type S mortar should not be used for installing tight-fit/drystacked installations.  Polymer Modified Mortar should be used for these tight-fit/drystacked installations.  Conventional Type N and Type S mortars are designed for laying up block and brick, and are not required to have high bond strength.  Polymer Modified Mortars on the other hand are made specifically for bonding and provide very high bond strength.  Type N and Type S mortar are adequate for installing stone applications having grouted joints because the grouted joints provide additional bond to the sides of the stones; and also because the grouted joints act as a secondary attachment.  In addition, the grouted joints also seal the stone walls from water accumulation behind the stones which can cause debonding when frozen.  But tight-fit/drystacked stone installations don’t have these grout joint “safety valves”.


More About Polymer Modified Mortar:

Ultimate Bond. Non Sagging.


SPEC MIX® Polymer Modified Stone Veneer Mortar (PMSVM) is a technologically advanced adhered veneer mortar for use in bonding adhered manufactured stone veneer, natural thin cut stone and thin brick to a cementitious substrate. PMSVM is designed to provide excellent workability, cohesion, high bond strength, sag resistance, water resistance, efflorescence minimization, and durability. SPEC MIX PMSVM is the ideal solution for architects and contractors with projects where an immediate and ongoing need for mortar delivering high bond strength and sag resistance during installation is required. In applications where mortar joints are not utilized,such as dry stack applications, SPEC MIX PMSVM should be used to gain additional bond strength and “pop-off” protection. Installing natural thin cut stone veneer is aided by the unique anti-sag and high bond properties of SPEC MIX PMSVM.

In addition to custom mix designs that are available for specific applications or properties, the SPEC MIX Polymer Modified Stone Veneer Mortar is designed to be compatible with the characteristics of most all specified adhered masonry veneer units. It is acceptable for all types of construction: concrete, masonry, wood frame or steel studs, with submittals available upon request.










Approximate Coverage Rates 80 LB. (36.3 KG) Bag:

  • Scratch Coat: 20-23 Square Feet
  • Bonding Coat: 24-26 Square Feet
  • Joint Grout (1/2″ Joints): 38-40 Square Feet
  • Full Installation (scratch, bond & joint): 13-15 Square Feet

*NOTE: coverage is approximate and will vary depending on workmanship, method of installation, substrate, style of stone, waste and regional variation.



  • Contact your local SPEC MIX manufacturer
  • Visit
  • Phone: 888-SPEC-MIX



Please contact us if you need more information:

1-877-KODIAK-2 (877-563-4252)





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How to Plan Your Next Project

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If you have not tried the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer, you need to!


This is a tool that will help you to visualize your project as you make your plans. The Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer  lets you upload photos of your project and see what it will look like with stone in different places. All of our profiles and colors are not available on the Visualizer, but there are enough to help you to figure out what you want your final project to look like. You can even go beyond the stone and add different siding, stucco, windows, doors and so much more.


This is a great tool for new home construction or a renovation project. It works well for both interior and exterior designs.

Have fun, get creative and let us help you to see your dream come to life!









kodiak-mountain-stone-visualizer-002 kodiak-mountain-stone-visualizer-experiment
































Check out our video tutorial to learn how to use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer.


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*Printed from d/d July 11, 2017


The annual pace of housing starts in Canada picked up in June, says the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in June came in at 212,695 units, up from 194,955 units in May.

Economists had expected the annual rate to come in at 200,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

In a CMHC release, chief economist Bob Dugan says only one region across Canada is behind trend. In June, he says, “The trend in housing starts for Canada reached its highest level in almost five years. So far this year, all regions are on pace to surpass construction levels from 2016 except for British Columbia, where starts have declined year-to-date after reaching near-record levels last summer.”

The overall increase in starts came as the pace of urban starts increased by 9.6% to 194,773 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 9.4% to 127,944, while single-detached urban starts increased by 10.1% to 66,829. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,922 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates increased to 215,459 in compared with 214,570 in May.

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