During some eras of human history, building were constructing with stone. Many people might think of medieval castles when they imagine stone walls. Some people may even like the thought of remodeling a room to remind them of castles. Others might imagine a surrounding stone wall could compliment a fireplace, creating a pleasing style or symmetry.
The costs of remodeling a house, even a single room, to add stones walls are in most cases expensive. In some cases, it’s not even financially feasible. Don’t let that dash your dreams, though. You can find alternatives, namely faux stone.
As its name suggests, faux stone is a superficial addition to a wall that creates the impression, even the illusion, of solid stone walls. You may have seen the technique on the outer facades of some modern buildings or even fireplaces. It’s a simple and effective way to give your home a new look without breaking the bank.
Most do-it-yourself stores carry stone facing, or stone veneers. These faux stone products look and feel like actual stones, but they’re not as bulky or heavy as traditional stone. Designed to simulate stone, they are surprisingly convincing. Many construction companies use them these days. There’s even a good chance that you’ve encountered it, perhaps even felt it, without realizing it wasn’t real stone.
Tricks to Using Faux Stone
1. Cement board is similar to plaster board. As its name suggests, if looks and feels like cement, even though it comes in a variety of sizes and usually isn’t much thicker than drywall. It’s not as cheap as drywall, however, so use it carefully by applying it to your walls the way you’d apply drywall.
2. When using cement boards, be certain to fully prepare your room in advance. Make sure you remove all baseboard, trim, light switches, plug covers, and anything else that might impede a smooth job. The idea is to create an impression of realism. Keeping door trims intact might shatter that illusion. If, however, you want to keep your trim, remove it beforehand to ensure you properly cover the walls with a sufficient amount of boards and faux stone. You don’t want to accidentally leave gaps or other imperfections that could spoil the illusion.
3. Even though you’ve removed light switches and electrical sockets, you’re going to need them once the walls are up. Ensure a perfect fit by recording their exact dimensions and cutting holes corresponding to the dimensions in your cement board. This will ensure an easy fit when you’re finishing up your work.
4. Install the cement board to the existing walls using nails or screws. This requires no more work than installing drywall does. When the boards are installed, cover the seams with mesh tape, which you can pick up at most stores.
5. Measuring is important. Before beginning any remodeling jobs, you must take meticulous measurements. Cutting your stone and attempting to adhere it to a wall only to realize your measurements were wrong could increase frustration, and even cause you to go over budget. You’ll want to make certain you record every possible measurement. Make sure to measure and understand how the stones will meet at corners. Leaving this unknown might create headaches down the road.
6. Before attaching the faux stone to the cement boards, you’ll have to cover the board with mortar. Apply the mortar to the cement boards. Be mindful to cover the boards entirely.
Remember to test the mortar before you begin. Since mortar requires mixing, spread a little on a board after you’ve mixed it. If it spreads easily, then you’ve mixed it correctly. If it’s thick or clumpy or breaks up, add a little more water and mix it again. Then test it again. When the mortar is ready, apply it to every surface you plan on covering with faux stone.
7. For best effect, and to ensure a perfect fit, don’t start at the top or bottom of the wall. Instead, start a few inches above or below.
8. When you’ve covered the walls, now is the time to revisit the top and bottom. These require precision when cutting the stone because you want to ensure a perfect fit. Once completed, the wall should meet the ceiling perfectly, which will help solidify the illusion of a perfect and natural stone wall.
9. Adding dim lighting might even enhance the effect of the walls, forcing the faux stone to cast shadows and reveal its realistic texture.