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A Quick Guide to Mortarless Stone Veneer Solutions and Benefits

What is Mortarless Stone Veneer

Stone veneer siding is becoming exceedingly popular, as it is a fairly easy renovation project that adds lasting value and curb appeal to a home, while protecting the structural integrity of the building itself. In addition to exterior siding, stone veneer can also be used for interior accent walls, backsplashes, mantels, and a variety of other creative applications.

Mortarless stone veneer is faux stone that does not require any mortar. This means no mixing, grouting, masonry tools, or metal lath in the installation process. The stones are dry-stacked tightly, minimizing the joints between them and eliminating the need for grouting. This typically saves the installer time and money, and that savings can be passed on to the customer or homeowner. Instead of mortar, the stones are installed with either fasteners or adhesive, both offering advantages over mortar use.

The alternative installation systems for these mortarless products typically require some form of fasteners, like screws and clips. The majority are sold as prefabricated panels where the stone styles and colors are already blended and assembled for the installer. While these panels are easy to install and reduce the time spent planning layout, it can lead to more repetition of patterns and stand out as obviously fake looking.

These panels are also difficult to cut and customize. Fewer manufacturers offer mortarless stone systems that comes as individual pieces, which can allow for more installation flexibility. It is rare that your installation field will match the exact parameters of the prefabricated panel dimensions. When custom cuts are required, blending that cut in with the rest of the installation field can be difficult, sacrificing the natural flow of the pattern and stone assortments that the panels were designed to simplify. Evolve Stone engineered easy to install patterns that can quickly be customized to suit any installation field, since the stone is easily cut and not part of a panelized system. This has major advantages where stone installations intersect complicated elements like intricate molding, arches, or obstructions.

Advantages of Mortarless Systems vs. Traditional Stone Siding

Traditional stone veneer and real stone siding can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to install. Prior to placing stone on the wall, a layer of mortar called a scratch coat must be placed and left for 24 hours to cure. The mortar and metal lath required are expensive underlayment materials compared to mortarless systems. The mortar itself has limitations. It cannot be installed in very cold or freezing temperatures and requires specialty tools and accessories. Traditional stone also requires professional masonry skills to install without the stones drooping out of level or leaving yourself susceptible to installation failures that could impact your building beyond just the appearance.

Another consideration should be the ability of the structure to bear the weight of heavy traditional stone products or natural stone. The weight of stone varies by thickness and stone type, but can be upwards of 15 to 20 pounds per square foot, while mortarless stone alternatives can be as light as 2 to 5 pounds per square foot. There are many applications where real stone will be ruled out as an option due to structural considerations.

The Evolve Difference

It can be tricky to install any kind of stone veneer while maintaining proper drainage and protecting the home like siding should. This is one of the key problems Evolve set out to solve. In addition to engineering an easy to install product with simple and adaptable patterns, we created a veneer solution that protects the substrate beneath it. If installed properly, Evolve Stone is proven to weather a wide range of temperatures, precipitation, freeze/thaw cycles, wind loading, UV exposure, and other regular natural obstacles that threaten other siding products.

Evolve Stone is the most intuitive stone product on the market. The workability is similar to wood products, as it cuts like balsa wood. No specialty tools or training are required. The material is totally colored throughout and texturable, allowing the installer to disguise exposed cuts and blend them into the installation field. The customizable natural of the product allows for open-ended use cases, limited only by the creativity of the installer. Other stone veneer products require wet saws and dust collection systems in order to make cuts, increasing the cost and hassle of installing these products.

Lastly, the speed of install is unbeatable. Evolve Stone can be face nailed in the same fashion as vinyl siding, using 16 gauge stainless steel finish nails. The average installation time is than traditional stone and leads the other mortarless stone veneer systems in installation speed. If you are looking for an easy-to-install mortarless stone veneer, Evolve Stone is the solution.