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Before you buy your stone veneer for your next project, there are a few things that you should know. Arming yourself with the correct knowledge before purchasing stone veneer will help you bypass anything that could potentially go wrong.
Here are a few tips you need before you adventure out and purchase your stone veneer:
- Decide whether you’re using interior or exterior stone
- Have an idea of the type of stone veneer you want to use
- Know how many supplies you need
- Research prices online
- Know your budget for your project
There is a lot more that goes into purchasing this kind of project than people realize. This article will explain what you need to know in order to buy the stone veneer that is perfect for your project.
Interior VS Exterior: Using Stone Veneer and Why It Matters
While you’re researching different types of stone veneer and the pricing of those, you will see that some of the products specify whether they’re exterior or interior. But what are the differences between exterior and interior stone veneer?
Exterior stone veneer:
- Tend to be heavier and higher quality due to the need to last through season changes
- Will most likely require the use of mortar to ensure stability and a long-lasting finish
- Has a tendency to be more expensive than the interior
Interior stone veneer:
- You have the option of peel and stick, or screw into place
- Will most likely be lighter weight since it has to adhere to an interior wall
- Is less expensive than the exterior stone options
It isn’t unheard of for someone to use the peel and stick stone veneer for exterior project, but, unless you live where the weather is always dry and doesn’t change often, then that may be something you wouldn’t want to risk as it may cost more in repairs than it would to just buy exterior stone veneer.
Does Stone Veneer Come in Sheets?
There is a difference between the sheets and the panels of stone veneer. The sheets of stone veneer are derived from real stone; it is flexible and it’s more of a peel and stick sort of item. You can also cut it which is very convenient. However, these sheets are only ideal for indoor projects.
For the panels of stone are chunks of stone veneer that can be cut with any type of wood cutting tool. This particular product is not flexible, and instead of adhesive tape for application, it is screwed into place. These panels are ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects, but they do run a bit more expensive than the stone veneer sheets.
These options are best for individuals who don’t want or need mortar for their finished project.
How Much Stone Veneer Do You Need?
Now, to figure out the amount of stone veneer that you need, the process is different from how you calculate the amount of mortar.
There are a few things that you need to take into consideration:
- What type of stone veneer are you choosing?
- What are the measurements for the area in which you’re wanting to apply the stone?
- Are you going to choose a sheet or panel? Or are you going to do this by singular stones, using mortar?
The answer to these questions will impact the amount of stone veneer you need. The measurement of the different types of stones will slightly differ.
What Tools Do You Need To Calculate How Much Stone Veneer to Purchase?
In order to calculate how much stone veneer you need, you will need to have a few tools handy:
- A pen and paper (or something to jot down notes)
- A measuring tape
- A calculator
It would help if you had another person available to assist you in measuring the area, but if not, no problem!
First, measure the square footage of the area for your project. If you were planning on stoning an entire wall, you would want to measure the height of the wall and the width of it as well.
Once you have the height and width, you need to multiply both of those numbers together. For instance, say that your project area is 8 feet high, and 10 feet wide. That would give you 80 sq ft.
Next, you will want to subtract the square footage of any window or door that is on that wall as you will not be covering it with stone.
So, let’s say you have a bay window on your wall that measures to be 80 sq ft. You want to measure your window in the same manner. Let’s say your window is 3 feet high, and 4 feet wide, that equals to be 12 sq ft. Subtract 12 from 80, and you are left with 68 sq ft of the area that you need to buy stone veneer for.
Figure Out How Much Stone Veneer You Need After Calculating Square Footage
You will want to choose the type of stone veneer you want and calculate how much you will need to buy for this particular project. Each type of stone veneer runs at a different cost:
- For the slabs or panels, those typically cover a 49 sq ft area. The cost of these run anywhere from $200 and above.
- If you were going to do a 68 sq ft area, you would need to purchase two of these.
- For singular stone pieces, on the average, they cover about 4.9 sq ft, to 8 sq ft per set.
- In order to find out how much you will need, you need to take your square footage, and divide it by the number of square feet these sets cover.
- For a 68 sq ft wall:
- At 4.9 sq ft per set, you would need to buy 14 sets for your project.
- At 8 sq ft per set, you would need to buy 9 sets for your project.
Whatever route you choose to go, make sure it’s right for your budget.
How Many Bags of Mortar for Stone Veneer?
How many bags of mortar you need will differ for each project. This is all dependent upon how many square feet of stone veneer you plan to use for your project.
For instance, if you are doing a relatively small project and you have 8 sq ft of stone veneer, you would only need 1 80lb bag of mortar. This calculation includes both a ½ inch thick scratch coat and ½ inch thick bonding coat.
Here are a few more examples of how much mortar you may need:
- 25 sq ft project
- 3 80lb bags of mortar including a scratch coat and bond coat
- 2 80lb bags of mortar for the bond coat only
- 50 sq ft project
- 6 80lb bags of mortar including a scratch coat and bond coat
- 3 80lb bags of mortar for the bond coat only
- 75 sq ft project
- 9 80lb bags of mortar including a scratch coat and bond coat
- 5 80lb bags of mortar for the bond coat only
- 100 sq ft project
- 12 80lb bags of mortar including a scratch coat and bond coat
- 6 80lb bags of mortar for the bond coat only
As you can see, the price greatly differs from your decision to use a scratch coat or not. A scratch coat is highly recommended for the best bond and stability. You can calculate how much mortar you need for your particular project by using a Veneer Stone Mortar Calculator.
Do You Have to Use Mortar If You Buy Individual Sets of Stone Veneer?
You do not have to always use mortar if you’re choosing to purchase the individual sets of stone veneer. Although, you do need to make sure that the brand you’re planning to use states that you do not need mortar.
Some of the stone veneers have a peel and stick option aside from the sheets. Some people prefer this for the larger projects, but of course, it looks vastly different from using the mortar. This is because the peel and stick are typically made out of lighter stone so if you’re going for that jutted edge look, you may not get it with the peel and stick.
Whether or not you choose to use mortar will highly depend upon what you are wanting the final piece to look like. This also depends on if your project is on the outside of your house, or the inside. Mortar is the best option for outdoor projects, while peel and stick are best used when on the inside of your home.
You Should Know How Much You’re Willing to Spend
Renovations involving stone veneer can be very costly depending on the size of your project and the type of stone that you need. Having a general idea of what your products will cost, will eliminate the chances for any unexpected surprises during the checkout process.
The worst-case scenario is that you’re planning to spend $300 only to be met with an $800 bill. This is why it is important for you to research different aspects of your project such as:
- The types of stone
- The cost of those different types of stone
- Whether or not you need mortar
- What other tools you need for the project
If you can estimate the amount this project will cost you, then you can adjust accordingly instead of getting stuck backpedaling products at the store with a line of people behind you. That’s always embarrassing!
In order to bypass that embarrassment, spend the time to calculate your costs for supplies, and don’t forget to add in tax.
Calculating the Cost of Stone Veneer For Your Project
After you have researched some prices at a handful of different stores, and you have made your choice, you will want to pull up the calculations for your project area.
For this example, we will assume you chose some ledge stone for the 68 sq ft wall, that covers 4.9 sq ft per set. This particular choice costs $66.15 per set.
In order to calculate the cost of your stone veneer you need to:
- Divide the square footage of your project by the number of square feet one set covers. In this instance, you would divide 68 by 4.9 which is equal to 13.8. Since you can’t buy 13.8 sets, you will need to purchase 14 of them. This is okay as it allows you room for mistakes.
- Each set costs $66.15, so multiply that by 14. That is equal to $926.10. Of course, depending on what the sales tax is where you live, this could push you to over $1,000.
If these sets of stone veneers are not peel and stick, you would need the mortar as well.
How to Choose the Right Stone Veneer for Your Project
Several factors are going to play into how you choose the right stone veneer for your project. These factors are:
- The price of the stone
- Whether your project is exterior or interior
- If you want to use mortar or avoid mortar
- How big your project is
- Whether or not you are doing it yourself, or hiring someone else to do it
These factors matter because they all affect each other. For instance, peel and stick are quite a bit cheaper than singular sets with mortar. The screw-in panels are also cheaper than mortar, but if the price isn’t a problem, mortar allows for a better-quality finish.
Or, if you are working on this project alone you may prefer to buy panels of stone instead of singular sets.
The Price of the Stone Veneer For Your Project
Of course, the price is particularly important in weighing your options because this all boils down to your budget. If you only have $400 to spend on the stone, you most likely wouldn’t choose stone veneer and mortar; you would probably choose panels of stone, or the sheets.
Again, the peel and stick sheets or the panels you screw into place are likely to be a more budget-friendly option. This is why it’s important to figure out your budget before you purchase the necessary products.
Hiring Someone to Do Your Project VS Doing It Yourself
If you are not well-versed in masonry it may be a good idea to hire someone to install your stone veneer. This is especially important if you’re wanting to use mortar but don’t know the correct way to mix it or apply it.
Hiring someone can open up so many different stone options and may very well save you from the hassle of needing to calculate costs, materials, and of course, from the hard labor. If a professional does this for you, of course, it will cost more but you will have the assurance that it is installed correctly and securely.
However, if you do decide to install this yourself there are a few things that you should do to ensure the best outcome:
- Have all the tools that you need on hand. This includes:
- A drill
- A Mortar spade
- A bucket to mix the mortar
- Learn some basic masonry tips if you don’t already have this sort of knowledge
- If this is an exterior project, choose to do this on a warmer day so that it dries quicker
- Ask a friend to help you, especially if this is a bigger project
Since the bigger projects can be overwhelming, it may help you to break it down bit by bit. You could buy certain amounts of product at a time and pay as you go. Just make sure that you plan it out accordingly so you head to the store knowing what you are going to buy.
Planning Purchases for Stone Veneer Will Make for A Smooth Process
Regardless of how you decide to go about your project, planning exactly what you’re going to purchase will make it all easier. Again, you don’t want to go to the store planning to spend a certain amount and have the actual amount cost several hundred dollars more than you intended.
Knowing your limits, and your preferences for your project will allow you to purchase the correct type of stone veneer. This will also help you to know what other types of tools and supplies you may need.
Whether your project is interior or exterior, or if you hire someone or do it yourself; these tips will help you to make the best choices possible in choosing the stone veneer for your needs.
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.