Where do you plan on using stone on your project?
Stone is one of the most versatile building products and can be incorporated into any project. Expand your view of the product, and look to the new and unique areas you can plan for natural stone.
Are you using stone on more than one area of the house?
2. interior walls/ kitchens, and fireplaces
3. retaining walls
4. patios and outdoor living areas
Does your project have a more old world or contemporary feel?
There is a natural stone to fit owner’s and designer’s project requirements. For a more contemporary look, consider products with sawn lines like those in our Dimensional line or our cut stone panels. A rustic finish can be done altering the joints of the stones. Overgrouted mortar joints provide the look and feel from a time when stone was a structural, load bearing building material. At that time, function was critical and finish a secondary need. It is also important to pay close attention to the mortar joints. In an installation with a standard mortar joint, it is common for 25 percent of the finished installation to draw color from the mortar. With that, consider this:
Mortar color – gray is standard, white, tan, brown and charcoal are sometimes used
Joint finish – raked is most common – you can also consider several others – flush, drystacked, struck, and overgrout. See how the same stone can look different just by changing mortar and joints.
Common coverage to plan for:
*Coverage can vary also depending on the amount of field trimming a mason may use to achieve a certain look. Always plan a waste factor into your order.
Are there going to be transition areas between stone and other material such as stucco, windows, siding, or brick?
Consider transitional material such as a cut stone sill to bridge areas of stone and building features. This is a important item to provide in areas where water could get behind the stone and possibly do damage to the substrate or force the stone off the wall due to freezing and thawing.
There are also several materials you can use for sills. The most common is rockfaced 2 ¼” sills, but several others are available. See our cut stone page for more options.
Do you know what other products are being incorporated into the project?
When going to select your stone, bring along as many of your samples as possible. For exterior, bring other facing materials – siding and stucco; also shingles, window trim, soffit and gutter options. For interior installs – flooring, trimwork, and paint color can be a great help.
What should you consider when selecting a contractor for installing your products?
Several people will install stone themselves. Depending on look and product, this may be a feasible option. It is important to remember that stone installation is an art form, and the best material supplied will still have dramatic visual differences if not installed in the proper way. When selecting a mason or landscape contractor, ask the following questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have past project references to contact?
- Do they have a portfolio of past projects?
- What is the length of time they feel the project will take?
- Are they insured?
- Do they warranty any of the work they do?
- Have they done any work similar to what you need?
- Are they billing time and materials or is it a lump sum bill?
- Is dust or noise a concern in your subdivision? If it is, how do they plan to address this?
Although these things may seem trivial, you want to make sure you compare apples to apples when reviewing bids. This can save surprises during the project.
When the project is ready to start, make sure your contractor is aware of the materials you have selected.
This is especially important if you have changed your product selection somewhere during the process. Plan a meeting ahead of the start date to make sure the contractor is aware of all your requests, such as installation finishes (raked joints, dry stacked, etc.).
Before commencing the installation confirm with your contractor all the particulars of your job, this eliminates the risk of a change being missed.
Attention to Detail
Once the material has been delivered and the contractor is ready to start, it is a good idea to stop by the project once they have some material installed. This will make sure things are going the direction you want. Remember – it takes a while for mortar to cure. This can affect the final look as the wet mortar will appear much darker than the final cured mortar.
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Buechel Stone Quarrying Processes - Blasting
Buechel Stone Quarrying Processes - Opening the Layers
Buechel Stone Splitter Department
Buechel Stone Cut Stone Department
Buechel Stone Natural Thin Veneer Department
Limestone is formed from sediment laid down in seawater or fresh water. Limestone contains calcite, a mineral made from crushed shells and bones of sea creatures. Much of our limestone is dolomitic limestone. This type of limestone is heavier and denser than standard limestone. Although no one is exactly sure how dolomitic limestone formed, it originated from the partial replacement of calcium in limestone by magnesium.
Limestone used in the building industry has three different classifications based on how much one cubic foot of stone weighs:
Low density: 110 - 135 pounds per cubic foot
Granite is easier in terms of classification. It is an igneous rock having crystals or grains of visible size and consists mainly of quartz, feldspar, and mica or other colored minerals. Whereas other stones have three different classifications, granite used in the building industry has only one. It must be at least 160 pounds per cubic foot and have a water absorption rate of 0.40 percent or less.
Quartz Based Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary stone composed mainly of sand-size mineral grains. Most are composed of quartz and/or feldspar, the most common minerals in the Earth’s crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors are tan, brown, yellow, red, gray and white. Quartzitic sandstone grains are mainly quartz with silica, a bonding agent that fuses the stone together.
Our goal is to assist you every step of the way in your research. We’ve included this section of stone terminology to help educate during the process. If you have any questions, we’re here to help.
Arris Line: the angle, corner or edge produced by the meeting of two perpendicular stone surfaces.
Ashlar: A horizontal stone pattern generally made from squared and rectangular shapes having sawed or dressed beds of joints.
- Coursed Ashlar: Ashlar set to form continuous horizontal joints with one rise.
- Stacked Ashlar: Ashlar set to form continuous vertical joints.
- Random Ashlar: Ashlar set with stones of varying length and height so that neither vertical nor horizontal joints are continuous.
Band Course: A continuous horizontal course with one gauged or reasonably consistent rise.
Bed Face: Installing a stone in a vertical wall with the natural bed exposed.
Bed Joint: A horizontal joint between stones, usually filled with mortar, leased or caulk sealant.
Belt Course: A continuous horizontal course, making a division in the wall plane.
Block Quarry: A quarry that contains a sound, natural deposit of natural stone where nature allows the harvest of stone blocks.
Bush Hammer: Finish applied to cut stone by a bush hammer tool to create a decorative dimpled appearance.
Chinking: The method of filling large mortar joints in stone veneer with small chips or slivers of stone.
Chisel: A steel tool used to “dress” or “trim” stone, available in steel or carbide tipped.
Course: A continuous horizontal band of consistent height.
Cut Stone: Dimensionally cut stone, cut to size and shape, finished and ready to set in place.
Depth: Measurement of particular piece of stone from front to back.
Dimensioned Stone: Stone precut and shaped to specified sizes (“cut stone”).
Dressed: The trimming and shaping of rough pieces of stone, done by hand chiseling to create a square, rectangular, or finished desired shape.
Dry Stack: Horizontal pattern of stone installed “tight” to allow a very narrow bed joint. Joints are raked back deeply into stone work as to be undetectable.
Hand Tracer: Steel chisel tool with two beveled edges to make a sharp bladed end used for hand dressing, available in steel and carbide tipped.
Hand Chipper: Steel chisel tool with one beveled face and flat back to form a sharp bladed end used to produce a rock face finish, available in steel and carbide.
Hand Ripper: Steel chisel tool with saw toothed end for tooling and dressing stone faces.
Hand Set: Steel chisel tool with two beveled edges to form a 1/4” flat head bladed end, used for intense hand dressing.
Joint: the space between stone units usually filled with mortar, sealant, or epoxy.
Ledge Bed Quarry: A quarry that by nature allows the harvesting of natural stone by peeling off the natural random layers.
Length: Measurement of a particular piece of the stone from left end to right end.
Natural Bed: The horizontal stratification of stone as it was formed in the natural stone deposit.
Hand Pitch: The technique used by striking a smooth edge of stone with appropriate tools to create a rough, convex appearance.
Quarry Pit: The location of a stone quarrying operation where a natural deposit of stone is removed from the ground, as it lies.
Quarry Run: The condition of stone that is not sorted but instead naturally and randomly selected to a natural range of size, color, and shape.
Rise: Measurement of a particular piece of stone from the top to the bottom.
Rockface: Similar to a split face edge finish, except this face is “pitched” to a given arris line, producing a bold, convex appearance.
Rubble Stone: A blend of stone that is naturally or mechanically broken or split, to make up a particular random pattern, but holding a reasonably consistent joint.
Rustic: See “Weathered Edge”
Seam Face: A stone that exposes a surface that is taken from a vertical quarry seam.
Soldier Course: A horizontal course of series of vertically laid stone.
Splitter: Hydraulic machine/equipment used to split natural stone.
Tapestry Finish: A finish applied to stone by a sandblasting wand at a consistent PSI.
Thin Veneer: Veneer stone that is saw cut to a 1 1/2” wall depth from front to back, leaving a sawn back side and an intended finished face. Installed on a vertical wall without a support ledge.
Tumbled Stone: Stone that is mechanically tumbled to create a worn and distressed finish.
Veneer: A layer of natural building stone facing material used to cover a cavity wall.
Weathered Edge: A stone surface that is naturally created by the combination of extreme natural pressure and mineral staining, offering a beautifully unique color and texture.
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