Step 14: Finish the Field

man installing the rest of the stone in courses from top down to create a stone veneer fireplace surround
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Continue adding stones from the top down, which will keep mortar from falling onto the face of the stones below as you work. Again, leave a joint as wide as your finger between each stone. Dress the ends of any cut stones by applying extra mortar to them. Before you finish for the day, remove excess mortar between the stones with a striking tool and whisk broom so that there's enough room to add fresh grout tomorrow. Let the mortar cure overnight (or longer).

Tip: Pay attention to the size, color, and shape of the stones as you install them. Don't be afraid to change your original layout or cut the stones to size for better results.
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    Tools List

    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • flat finishing trowel
      Finishing trowel
    • notched trowel
      Tiling trowel with 3/8-inch notch
    • angle grinder
      Grinder fitted with a diamond masonry blade
    • brick trowel
      Brick trowel
    • brick hammer
      Brick hammer
    • grout sponge
      Grout sponge or spray bottle
    • grout bag
      Grout bag
    • masonry striking tool
      Masonry striking tool
    • Whisk Broom
      Whisk broom

    Shopping List

    1. Stone veneer. Get about 20 percent more than you need to cover your fireplace, to accommodate fit and breakage.

    2. Builder's felt. It acts as a moisture barrier between the mortar and your walls to prevent water damage.

    3. Metal lath to install over the felt. It keeps the mortar in place, creating a base for the stone veneer.

    4. 3/8- or ½-inch staples.

    5. 15/8 -inch galvanized roofing nails.6. Veneer mortar. It contains special additives to create a strong bond between the stone veneer and the surface to which it's attached.

    7. Plastic sheeting. Tape it to your walls, floor, and hearth to protect them while you work.

    8. Painter's tape.

    9. Old drop cloth (optional).