Stone Artisans Services

What You Need to Know About Concrete Stonefacing

Concrete Stonefacing is a cost effective way to dress up a block or poured in place wall. It is best applied over a weather resistant barrier such as tar paper and metal lath overlapping the lath 4″ in shingle fashion.

concrete stonefacing

Dry pigment powders (Iron Oxide) are available in earth tones and can be added to the mix prior to adding water to create a mottled appearance. Moisture management is key in this application as it can cause efflorescence.

Unlike surfaces that can be painted over, stone veneer must stand the test of time and weathering. The color of your stone and mortar is an important consideration because it won’t just be on the backs of your thin stone veneer units; it will also seep between them and fill gaps, influencing how your project looks as a whole. For this reason, you may want to choose a neutral color for your mortar, but you can also tint it in a variety of hues to match specific shades of your manufactured stone or brick veneer.

While natural stone comes in a limited range of colors, there are dozens of options for concrete walkway and patio pavers. Manufactured stone, on the other hand, is available in a wide range of colors, with a palette that closely mirrors nature. With the addition of pigments and oxides, the color of manufactured stone can closely mimic those of real natural stone – and it can look far more vivid than painted concrete.

Even though it is a relatively new product, manufactured stone is already a familiar sight for homeowners. However, low quality manufactured stone is typically painted and fades quickly. Choosing the right mix of block and pigment for your project is crucial to ensure the longest lifespan and best looking finished result.

With many different manufactured stone and brick veneer brands and color choices, it can be overwhelming for homeowners to make decisions. That’s why professional designers make their selections based on a range of practical and aesthetic criteria. For example, a designer may select a more muted color for your mortar if they know that the stone you choose has an overall tone of gray, tan or brown. This helps the mortar blend in and complement the stone rather than compete with it.


A stone texture gives the finishing touch to any concrete project. These textures add depth and make the finished product look more realistic to the eye. They are also a great choice for projects where you may want to use your stone facing for decorative purposes. There are a variety of different textures to choose from. Some are more subtle while others are more dramatic. Some even mimic natural rock formations. You can choose the texture that best suits your project’s aesthetic.

Manufactured stone veneer, or MSV, is an increasingly popular stylistic choice for residential and commercial projects. It is created by combining concrete, aggregates and pigments inside molds shaped like natural stones to mimic their appearance. It can be attached to a wall to create an elegant and upscale look.

MSV can be applied directly to a clean concrete or masonry surface if metal lath is not used, but a scratch coat must be placed first. The surface must be free of dirt, waterproofing, paint, form oil and other materials that could inhibit a mortar bond. It should also have a rough texture to help create a good mortar bond.

A water soluble release agent can be added to the mix prior to casting. This will ensure a smooth, positive release and minimize air bubbles in the finished casts. GlobMarble is a popular brand of water soluble release agent that can be added to your concrete or gypsum plaster mixture to achieve this.

When laying the stone, try to avoid large gaps between each piece. This not only looks unnatural, but it can also allow the stone to shift over time and weaken the wall. Tight joints will help prevent the movement of the stone and will also look better to the eye.

After the stone is affixed to the scratch coat, you will need to grout the joints. This process is very easy and requires little skill. Just make sure that you saturate the joints with the grout, but don’t saturate it too much. Too much grout will cause the stone to pull moisture from the surrounding mortar, causing it to dry prematurely and potentially resulting in discoloration.


Durability is the ability to withstand wear and tear without significant damage. Concrete is highly durable and can withstand the elements, chemical attack, abrasion and weathering, making it an ideal material for cladding walls. However, the durability of concrete depends on a number of factors, including the type and amount of cement used, aggregates, reinforcement materials and placement and curing practices. In addition, the service environment will also influence the durability of concrete. Durable building materials are important for sustainable design as they reduce the need for repairs and replacements, which deplete natural resources and produce waste and air pollution.

Typical manufactured concrete wall stone products are characterized by repetitive patterns and limited color options. However, the use of natural stone can create a unique and customized façade for buildings. This process requires a large amount of labor and equipment, but the results are rewarding.

A masonry stain is an excellent option for coloring concrete stone. These stains are absorbed into the top one-sixteenth inch of the surface, and can be made in any earth tone hue. In addition to achieving a more natural appearance, these stains are water resistant and can prevent concrete from cracking or discoloring over time.

Dry pigments, which are usually Iron Oxide, come in a variety of earth tones. These powders can be added to a concrete mix before pouring to provide different coloration and a more natural appearance to the stone veneer. The colorant can be mixed into the concrete as it is being poured or sprinkled over the surface of the molds before casting. The mixture should be shaken thoroughly to blend the color and ensure a uniform appearance.

When constructing a concrete stone wall, it is essential to prepare the construction site properly. This will prevent any structural problems. Before starting the project, make sure that all construction materials are in place and ready for use. The area should be free of debris, such as grass, leaves or twigs. It is important to cover the surface with a waterproof barrier, such as tar paper or metal lath, and overlap the sheets at laps a minimum of 4″.

For a clean release and to avoid spotting on finished stone, GlobMarble manufactures an innovative water soluble release agent. This product will aid in releasing concrete or gypsum plaster castings from rubber molds and will minimize air bubbles in the finished product.


A concrete stone facing has a more rugged, durable appearance than traditional masonry. However, the material still requires regular cleaning and maintenance. The type of cleaning solution used is important because some products can damage the surface. Many manufacturers recommend a non-acidic cleaner that is safe for most types of stone. Others may advise that the stone be sealed, but only with a penetrating and breathable silane, siloxane or silicone-based masonry sealer.

It is critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times – during installation, when using a cleaner and for maintaining the integrity of the manufactured stone. The first step is to ensure that the substrate on which the veneer is installed is fully prepped. This includes tar paper covering the wall, overlapping the metal lath by at least four inches and penetrating the studs a minimum of 1″.

Once the stone has been affixed to the scratch coat, it is time to install the mortar joints. It is crucial to keep the mortar joints as close together as possible. This not only prevents water seepage, but it also helps maintain the structural integrity of the masonry unit.

As the mortar is applied, it is important to brush away any excess that lands on the face of the finished masonry unit. It is also important to use a dry pointing trowel, rather than a wire bristle. Scratching too soon may smear the cement and compromise the integral structure of the mortar bed underneath.

If any of the mortar does smear on the face of the masonry unit, it is important to wait until it dries slightly before wiping it off. Otherwise, it will smear and be difficult to remove later on.

After the mortar is applied and allowed to dry, the joints can be filled with grout. The color of the grout should be consistent with the color of the stone and the overall color scheme of the building. The grout should be smoothed with a whisk broom. After the grout has set, it is important to inspect the masonry unit to make sure that no stones have become dislodged or damaged during the installation process. Performing a routine check of the masonry units every six months can help protect them from damage and extend their life.