How to Install Stone Veneer around Porch Columns

It is relatively simple to install stone veneer to porch columns. Just keep in mind to prioritize safety when cutting the stone pieces. Stone veneer produces an effect as if natural stone was used to create the columns, but with comparatively lower costs. Below is a safe and easy way to install stone veneers.

Tools and Materials

  • Angle grinder with diamond blade
  • Safety gear
  • Stone veneer mortar
  • Type S mortar mix
  • Bucket
  • Mortaring trowel
  • Notched trowel
  • Tape measure
  • Roofing felt
  • Diamond mesh metal lath
  • Grout bag
  • Dry brush
  • Utility knife
  • Galvanized nails
  • Hammer
  • Tin Snips

Step 1 – Prep the Surfaces of the Columns

Measure the dimensions of each side of the column, to estimate the required roofing felt and metal lath. Use a utility knife to cut the felt and cover the column from top to bottom. If it takes more than 1 sheet of felt, the upper felt piece should overlap the next one directly below it by about 4 inches. Secure the material to the column near the edges, using galvanized nails spaced 6 inches apart. Use tin snips to cut the lath. Attach the lath on top of the felt and attach it to the felt and column using galvanized nails spaced 6 inches apart.

Step 2 – Apply a Scratch Coat

Mix type S mortar for about 5 minutes, into a consistency similar to whipped potatoes. Apply a thin coat on all surfaces. Ensure that the coat completely covers the lath and is about ½ to 3/4-inch thick. Use a notched trowel to create grooves on the coat. Let it cure.

Step 3 – Plan the Layout

Transfer the dimensions of the columns into a flat surface and lay the individual pieces of stone veneer. This allows you to create a good layout before sticking them to the surface of the columns. Before the installation of the stones, wash them properly with water.

Step 4 – Install the Pieces

Mix stone veneer mortar in a bucket, to a consistency of thick mud. Put some mortar onto the mortaring trowel and apply it to a small area at the bottom of the column. Do not work on a large area at once. Work on a manageable area slowly.

Butter the back of the stone with mortar, using the trowel, and make sure it is spread evenly. Position the veneer onto the surface of the column and tap it lightly with the base of a hammer. Hold it for a few seconds, until it sticks. Remove any excess mortar that oozes out of the edges. Continue in this manner with the other stones.

Step 5 – Cut the Stones to Fit the Edges

Use protective gear when cutting the stones with the grinder. Ensure that the cut edge is even with the edge of the column. Install the cut pieces in the same manner as above.

Step 6 – Finishing Touches

After all stones are installed in place, place mortar into the grout bag and fill all gaps in between them. Leave it for about 30 minutes before removing excess mortar with a dry brush. Allow the mortar to cure.