How to Install Manufactured Stone Over Cement Board

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Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • Mortar mix

  • Electric drill w/ mixing paddle

  • Brick trowel

  • Manufactured stone veneer

  • 4-foot level

  • Masonry hammer

  • Grout mix

  • Grout bag

  • Large sponge


Break the stones to fit in limited spaces, using the masonry hammer; breaking the stones to size offers a more natural-looking edge than cutting with a blade.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Manufactured stone can offer a natural look to exterior or interior walls, and because the product is man-made, it is much easier to install than its natural counterparts. Cement board is a cementitious backer board that is often used for tile application but also serves to offer a strong bonding surface for other masonry products, like manufactured stone veneer. Cement board makes manufactured stone installation a fairly straightforward task.

Step 1

Mix the mortar in the 5-gallon bucket using the electric drill and mixing paddle, referring to the mortar packaging for mixing directions.

Step 2

Apply a scratch coat to the cement board using a concrete float; this is a thin coat of mortar (usually about 1/8-inch thick or less). Allow the scratch coat to cure before moving on; refer to mortar packaging for curing timetables.

Step 3

Apply a generous coat (about one inch thick) of mortar to the back of a stone and press it firmly to the bottom of the wall so that mortar squeezes out from the back of the stone. Repeat on the following stones, working in rows and up the wall and spacing the stones about 1/4-inch apart unless otherwise desired. Refer to the manufactured stone packaging for any additional application specifications and requirements.

Step 4

Allow the mortar to fully cure per the curing timetables indicated on the mortar packaging before moving on.

Step 5

Mix the grout in the 5-gallon bucket using the electric drill with the mixing paddle; refer to the grout packaging for mixing directions.

Step 6

Pour grout into the grout bag while pinching the small opening at the bottom of the bag, and twist the top when the bag is about ¾ full.

Step 7

Apply the grout to the stone joints, working your way from one wall corner to its diagonal.

Step 8

Clean all excess grout from stones and joints using a wet sponge.


J. Cavan Barry

J. Cavan Barry is an architecture student with over a decade of experience in the general construction field, and four years in architecture. Barry also has nearly a decade of automotive repair experience and is an avid auto enthusiast. After finding an interest in creative writing, he began writing a novel and recently finished the first draft.