For the better protection of a facade it is always recommendable that you use stone cladding. Natural stone cladding, for instance gneiss stone cladding, has the advantage that it makes the wall stronger and more beautiful at the same time.
Installation of stone cladding is a process, comprising several stages, which will be discussed in more detail.
Preparation of the base
One should first examine the surface of the wall on which stone cladding will be installed. The base for the cladding should be dry, intact and without any visible cracks. Save for the examination, you should use a metal brush to clean up dust, contamination or remnants of old plaster. If there are uneven areas on the surface, any hollows should be filled. All this is necessary for the better adhesion of the stone and the material that will bond it to the wall. About 5-30°C is considered as a good temperature for the base, which means that work in the hot and cold months should be avoided.
After we have cleaned and prepared the base, it is necessary to apply appropriate primer that has the ability to soak. Apply a layer of the primer, using a brush, and if the surface is rough and uneven, apply a second layer. The primer helps strengthen the base, provides better adherence with the cement glue, and later will protect the base from moisture. After applying the primer, leave it to dry off for 4-6 hours.
Preparation of the stones
Stone cladding is extracted from quarries, where there is a lot of dust, and afterwards is stored in pallets. Because of that it is covered with dust and tiny particles, which makes gluing more difficult. That is why it is necessary that you first carefully wash out the stones with water and a hard metal brush. Then leave them to dry off, and only after that are they ready to be used.
Preparation of the cement glue
Buy cement glue, appropriate for decorative stone cladding. Then follow the directions on the package and measure out the exact quantity of cement glue and clean water. Stir them up, using your hand or a drill in low gear until you get a homogeneous mixture with no lumps. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes and stir it up again. Usually the cement glue can be used in the next 2 hour, after which it begins to stiffen.
You can see a useful video on the preparation of the materials on the page of Bonding exterior cladding for decoration.
Stone cladding installation
An even layer of the cement glue should be spread on the wall with the use of the even side of a trowel, after which the other side is used to get an uneven surface. The stones should be installed within 20 minutes after you have spread the cement glue on the wall. It is a good idea first to spread the stone on the ground in the desired way, so that it will be easier to install them. If you have not prepared grout mixture, you can colour the cement glue in the desired way and use it as grout. After the stone cladding is put on the cement glue, it should be fixed with a rubber hammer for better bonding. During the installation, leave space of several millimetres for the grout. If necessary, break or cut the stone in the desired shape in advance, so that it will be easier to adjust it to the shape of the other stones. After the installation, leave the stone cladding to dry off.
Cleaning the grout
Within 2 to 3 hours after the installation, you should start cleaning the unnecessary grouting mixture. Use a 20-30 mm-wide brick trowel. For the more minute remainders of grout, it is a good idea to use a hard, usually metal brush, but be careful not to scratch the surface of the natural stone cladding. A day after the installation, wash out the remaining dirt with water and a metal brush.
Application of the sealer
In order to highlight the natural colour and pattern of the gneiss, as well as to protect it from moisture, use dull water-based sealer, which will protect the stones. Use a wide brush to apply an even layer over the stone cladding. One layer is enough. Leave it to dry off, after which you can enjoy the beauty of the natural stone cladding facade.
See the stages of installation, described above, in the following video: