How to Install Thin Veneer from Indiana Limestone

Indiana Limestone is an American classic, bringing a look of timelessness wherever it’s used — whether on the soaring Empire State Building or cathedrals and monuments across the North American continent. With Swenson Granite Works’ newest addition of Indiana limestone thin veneers, the durability and versatility of the stone can now be easily added to residential projects.

Unlike heavy brick or thick stone veneer, which can be labor intensive and difficult to install, Rockford Estate Blend® and Berkshire™ Indiana limestone thin veneers are an excellent alternative for homeowners.

Rockford Estate Blend® Indiana limestone tumbled veneer in full color blend on the exterior of a home

Rockford Estate Blend® is a tumbled product stocked in sawn thin veneer and available in full bed veneer. It contains a full color range and displays the sense of permanence found only in natural stone. These veneers offer a robust option for your design vision, whether it be homes, offices, buildings, fireplaces, chimneys, landscapes, or other architectural projects. The lightly tumbled Indiana limestone surface and broad range of stone shapes make this our most rustic looking veneer. Ideal for creating a traditional, handcrafted look.

A contemporary outdoor fireplace crafted from Berkshire Indiana limestone veneer with split face in full color blend surrounded by neutral colors

Berkshire™ can inspire those historic design longings, while offering the durability and versatility that comes with all Indiana limestone products. Clean edges and a split face make this Indiana limestone veneer a versatile cladding for modern and traditional designs that require both classic and pleasing random definition. The split faced Full Color Blend natural stone can be used as an accent piece for indoor or outdoor fireplaces, interior or exterior walls, or walkways. Also stocked in thin veneer and available in full bed veneer.

Formed over 300 million years ago, Indiana limestone has been one of the top building stone choices for nearly 200 years. The stone brings a look of history and permanence to any residential project and thin veneers make installation a snap. To learn more about Indiana limestone thin veneers, call or visit your local Swenson Granite Works store and we can help you choose the right stone for your project

Reduce costs, simplify the process

Thin stone veneer can be installed over solid facing, which eliminates the challenge of removing the original masonry underneath. The stone is cut thin, but still maintains the authentic look and feel of a thicker stone without the heavy weight of a 3-6 inch deep stone veneer, making installation fast and simple.

While full dimension stone masonry could require a base structure as deep as 4 feet into the ground, with thin stone veneer, you can build right off the wood floor because it’s bonding to the actual structure and not bearing weight on the floor. Not only does this reduce costs and simplify the installation process, but it gives homeowners the flexibility to create a natural stone appearance with almost any fireplace in their home or backyard.

Rockford Estate Blend® Indiana limestone veneer

Installing Indiana Limestone Thin Veneers

The thinness of the veneer makes it quick and easy to install. Here’s how:

Scratch coat (2 methods)

Option #1: Traditional hardened scratch coat

  • Completely encapsulate lath with 1/2” to 3/4” mortar thickness.
  • Create horizontal texture in scratch coat with steel comb or 1/8” notched trowel.
  • Allow scratch coat to dry for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Dampen scratch coat with potable water before installing units.

Option #2: “Scratch and Go” method

  • This technique is sometimes desirable for construction sequencing purposes.
  • Completely encapsulate lath with 1/2” to 3/4” mortar thickness.
  • Keep work area limited to 10 square feet so mortar on the wall does not fully set before placing stones.
  • Back-butter and install veneer units. Use shims to keep stones from sagging.

Setting veneer units

  • Dampen dried scratch coat or cement board sheathing with potable water before applying veneer units. Surface should be moist but not saturated.
  • In hot weather conditions or with hot units, dampen back of stone.
  • Apply 1/2” minimum thick setting bed mortar to back of veneer unit per ASTM C1242-15 (~100%).
  • Place a slight excess of mortar at edges of stone to allow some mortar to squeeze out of the stone edges and fill the joints when pressure is applied.
  • Place stone firmly into scratch coat with slight rotating motion.
  • If unit gets disturbed during installation, remove unit and reset with new mortar.
  • Do not install veneer units when other trades will be working nearby resulting in vibration for 24-hours, e.g., site work or interior work.
  • The resulting total mortar thickness behind the stone should be between 3/4” and 1 1/4”.

You can use our printer friendly version of the Indiana Limestone Thin Veneer Installation Guide to simplify the process.

Swenson Granite Works’ Indiana limestone products will help you achieve lasting beauty at an affordable price. To see prices of thin veneers, please download our price guide.