Our Installation Guide
Good preparation is the key to a successful project
Please read this page carefully as part of your preparation process and make sure that you have all necessary tools and material before commencing installation.
*a steel trowel, notched trowel, level, scraper, stiff wire brush, masonry brush, large sponge, polymer modified tile thinset or suitable tile adhesive
A Square or U notch trowel should be used as they have large notches to spread more adhesive quickly in wide lines across the wall. For fixing Ochre and Charcoal rock panels, which have rough or irregular backs, a U notch trowel is the ideal tool.
An angle grinder may be used for cutting stone to fit around small protrusions in the wall such as pipes, steelwork, power points etc
A good quality level, preferably 1.2m or 4ft long, is a must to ensure levels are correct. The level should be used to set the base line and frequent checks of the stone veneer as it’s been installed to the wall.
Wet or Tile Saw
A quality brick or tile wet saw is necessary because accurate cutting of the panels is essential to achieve tight joints and it helps to save your time. A saw with a tilting blade is optional for angled cuts, such as 45 degrees or to form mitred corners and angled pieces if necessary.
A large sponge with high absorbent factor is required to clean off excess tile adhesive as the job progresses.
Recommended Thinsets or Tile Adhesives
The recommended type of polymer modified tile thinsets and adhesives must meet ANSI 118.4 and 118.11 adhesion standards, and are generally available from the same retailer where Norstone products are purchased or at any tile shop and most home improvement stores.
Tile adhesives or thinsets are rated for both interior only and interior / exterior work, so it is important to use a thinset or tile adhesive that meets the requirements of your installation, especially for wet applications.
Norstone recommends using Laticrete tile adhesive. For more options check this link.
Warning: Mastic or Polymer adhesives are not suitable for fixing stone veneer. Setting materials must meet ANSI 118.4 and 118.11 standards.
Warning: Because stone veneer is typically heavy, up to 60kgs per m2 or 12lbs per square foot, then Dry wall, Sheet Rock, Gypsum board or Plaster board are not suitable substrates
Natural stone tiles are heavy, therefore it is critical that they are adhered to appropriate substrates. The substrate and wall should be structurally sound, secure and capable of supporting the weight of the stone veneer product, which will range from between 3 kgs to 6kgs or 7 lbs to 12.5 lbs per sq ft, depending on the product.
Norstone products may be applied over properly prepared masonry / cementitious surface such as fibrous cement board*, CMU or concrete block, brick, cement, Pre-cast concrete slabs or lathe & scratch coat combination.
*Fibrous cement board
The fibrous cement board must be a minimum of 16mm or 5/8 inches thick to support the weight of these stone veneer products and should be securely fixed to the wall’s framework. We suggest that the board should be glued and screwed to the frame, screwing at 600mm or 24 inch centres using screws that are a minimum of 60mm or 2.4 inches long and covering the entire frame.
It is also important to provide additional adhesion to secure the fibrous cement sheeting where contact with the cement board is made with the stud work or framing, by using a good quality mastic type adhesive. To ensure safety, strength and permanent fixing, this work should only be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor or builder.
must be sandblasted, or otherwise stripped of paint before installing and if a new wall needs to be built, or layer added to an existing wall, the most suitable product for these purposes is fibrous cement sheeting such as Hardie backer board.
Each stone veneer product should be checked and if necessary remove any contamination, dust or dirt, sand, or loose particles prior to installation. When necessary, wash them thoroughly. If the back of the product is dry, dampen it first with a wet sponge, but do not saturate. This prevents the stone from pulling the moisture from the adhesive, allowing it to cure naturally and form a stronger bond.
Mix the appropriate tile thinset to a creamy consistency for a minimum of 5 minutes or as per manufacturer’s instructions. When fixing natural stone tiles or veneer it is necessary to start the bottom row on a level line to maintain a consistent level as you work up the wall. It is also important that they rest on a secure base such as a concrete floor or footing to help carry the weight and ensure the level stays consistent until the thinset is cured.
When installing Norstone products use a generous amount of recommended tile thinset and apply it to the back of each rock panel or tile and to the wall. It is important to use a notched trowel to apply the tile adhesive on to the wall as would normally be the application method used for laying tiles. By applying the adhesive to the back of each tile and to the wall, this ensures the maximum possible adhesion to your wall surface, because all the gaps, voids and cracks between the back of the stone veneer and the wall substrate are filled. This is a critical to ensure that a strong bond is formed between the stone veneer and the wall, especially for wet applications.
Press each rock panel into the adhesive, rotating slightly, forcing some of the thinset to squeeze out freely. Any thin set forced out beyond the finished joint or on the tile surface itself must be removed immediately before it is allowed to set. Remember keep the joints tight between each rock panel or stone tile because this will provide a neat appearance. Be sure not to allow any thinset to harden on the face of the tiles because this will help speed up the clean-up process.
The installation pattern of the product should be strictly followed during installation. For example, Rock Panels and XL Rock Panels should be overlaid or offset so that a “continuous running bond” pattern starts to form, which minimises the appearance of vertical joint lines up the wall. The panels should not be “stacked” one on top of the other in a single line up the wall.
Installation in Progress
Good Moisture Management now will prevent serious damage later
Natural stone is an excellent choice of building material for any environment or climate, whether it is used for interior or exterior applications, adjacent to or completely submerged in water, dry desert heat or polar cold. However to ensure installation is successful certain products should be used and procedures followed in some of these environments, as noted below:
Moisture Rich Environment
It is critical that a waterproofing membrane meeting or exceeding ANSI 118.10 & 118.12 standards be applied between the substrate and tile adhesive to form a waterproof barrier. This will ensure moisture will not reach the substrate material and potentially degrade its ability to support the stone veneer.
Norstone natural stone products are unaffected by the normal freeze/thaw conditions of extreme environments such as northern Canada, Alaska or Scandinavia and thawing of the climate which they are exposed to. However, the same cannot be said about the substrate to which they are applied. It is critical that a waterproof anti-fracture membrane meeting or exceeding
ANSI 118.10 & 118.12 standards must be applied between the substrate and tile adhesive to form a water and fracture proof barrier, capable of resisting substrate movement during freeze/thaw cycles.
Please reference Norstone’s product installation guides for substrate details and alternative waterproofing techniques available for your installation.