How to Install Natural Stone Veneer Panels

What You'll Need
2 by 4 inch natural stone veneer panels
Grout float

Natural stone veneer panels are very similar to real stone surfaces, but are much lighter in weight. Using these panels are a cheap way to accomplish an expensive and high-end look. They can actually be installed on almost any kind of surface such as drywall, wood, metal or concrete. Natural stone veneer panels come in different designs, textures, colors, shapes and patterns. They are very durable and can hold up against the most extreme weather conditions if installed outside. Installing natural stone veneer panels is an easy do it yourself project. It also cuts down on the installation time and is worth the money you will spend. Everything you will need is listed below. 

Step 1 – Preparing the Wall

Sand the wall so that it will be smooth. If the drywall has seams or had nails in it, be sure that you have filled the holes with putty before sanding. After sanding the walls, use a sweeper or duster to clear away all the dust and sand. If you are to install the natural stone veneer to a wall that is painted, wash the walls using water mixed with sodium phosphate.

Step 2 – Spreading the Thin-set to Place the Panels

Starting at the bottom corner of the surface, use the trowel to apply a thin layer of the thin-set to the wall. Work your way up from the bottom corner to the top and sides. A thin layer of thin-set will also need to be spread on the back of the 2 by 4 inch veneer panel. If you are using larger panels, you will save more time than using smaller ones. Press the panels into the wall firmly. Make sure that as you set and install the panels, the corners are installed well and the panels are a snug fit. You can use a rubber hammer to tap the panel lightly to ensure a good adhesion. Continue to install the panels in this manner until the install course is complete. 

Step 3 – Trimming the Panels

If you are trying to install panel around any type of fixtures, it will need to be cut to fit. Tin snips can be used to trim the panels to size. Trimming the panels to fit around the fixtures will give the panels a more professional appearance. It is important to trim as neatly and as accurately as possible. 

Step 4 – Grouting the Natural Stone Veneer Panels

Grout can be used over the natural stone veneer panels to provide extra reinforcement. It will help to seal the seams and protect the walls behind them. The grouting technique is optional, but it will stop any water that may get into the paneling creases. A float can be used to apply the grout to the entire surface. After the grout application, use the wet sponge to help remove any excess grout.