"cementing" stones onto wall

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I've been collecting the field stones from the property that I just bought as I try to clear the field. A few are "fist-sized" and bigger, but many are only a couple inches in diameter. They seem to be a pretty granite (reds and greens, etc), and white and pink quartz. I even found one that is kinda shiny black, and very heart-shaped!

    Is there any way that I can use these to create a wall behind a woodstove, or a fireplace? I know that they aren't big enough to mortar together, but could they be used as facing stone for a facade?

    For instance, if I put in a woodstove, could I line the wall behind it with sheet asbestos (or what would you use??) and then cement and grout these to it? Would it still be fireproof?

    If I built a fireplace, could I build it out of cement blocks, and cement these stones to all the outside surfaces?

    I don't have anything specific in mind, but would really like to use these pretty stones in some fashion.

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    You can make a beautiful wall from these small stones. What you need to do is a prefab method. Build a form using 2 x 6 inch boards. If the area is to be large then you will have to allow for a joint as the "wall" will be heavy when completed. Lay the 2 x 6 form down on a flat service but put a sheet of heavy poly down first. Make up a batch of mud using brixment instead of concrete. Adding some portland cement to the mix is a plus but not totally necessary. Pour the mixture into the form and do a rough leveling. Now take the stones and push them into the brixment. Leave the stones slightly protruding and arrange to suit. As the mix cures take a burlap (real burlap not plastic) and clean the stones. Let this cure for a few days and then dismantle the form and get some help and place the finished wall behind the stove. ps....if you predetermine where the studs are in the wall you can leave a couple of small holes through the rock wall for lag bolts to secure the rock wall to the house wall to prevent the rock wall from tipping.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    While the stones are attractive now, they have hidden colors inside. The centuries have dulled and faded the outside colors. Split a few of the bigger ones to see what you are missing. As far as applying to a wall you will proabibly need brick straps, galvanized metal strips that are nailed to the background material and then inbedded into the stones mortar.
     
  4. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    what i would do is screw 3 steel studs to the wall that will give you an air gap then mix some portland cement its more sticky they will stay up by themselfs you wont neet straps if you want to fill in the gaps cut the corner of of a plastic bag fill with portland and use as a pastry bag waite a few hours then wipe down the joints with a mason brush
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    o sry i forgot to say screw cement board to the steel studs duro-rock board
     
  6. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Hehehehe... I was going to ask what I was supposed to cement the stones TO.

    Is cement board fireproof? Will the steel studs give it enough air space to have the backing wall be fireproof?

    Are you filling the 2X6 form all the way up?? So you have a 6" think slab of concrete? How big of an area do you think is manageable? I'm thinking that'd be awfully heavy! Very nice, though!!!

    Ahhh!! Such a good idea! I remember collecting geodes from Keokuk (sp??) Iowa once.... such fun!! If I break some of the larger ones, they will be a more uniform size and I can mix them in with the colorful small ones.

    It's funny, I didn't realize that "field stones" were so pretty!!! Maybe they aren't all this way and I'm just blessed. :)

    Is there any way to make them shiny like they are when they are wet? Something that I could spray them with.... but not something that looks really phony. (Does that make sense??) The colors are so much more vivid when they are wet.
     
  7. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Agmantoo,
    I'm curious about brixment. I googled and without reading a lot, it seems it is waterproof and colored, but I didn't see anything about heat resistant. Maybe I missed it. Have you used this product? Do you order it, or does a national big box keep it in stock?

    I think the heat would be the biggest concern. The stones will take the heat, but the mortar may not. Also, cement backer-board comes in different styles. I don't know if there is one which is designed to take the heat, so it may be worth asking or calling the manufacturer.

    Cement blocks may be ok for the exterior parts of a fireplace, but you'll need firebrick for fire box. It would be worth studying fireplace design before you embark. Here's a link to some information you could find usefull:
    http://mha-net.org/html/mall.htm

    Some older masonry wood burning heaters used stones to cover the exterior because it increased the surface area that radiates the heat. Keep collecting and take pictures. Wood burning stoves are a regular topic and I know many dream of building their own.
     
  8. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I did something similar, but just used saltillo (mexican tiles) for the finished surface. I put a couple layers of drywall behind the durock...cement board... as drywall is fireproof, and insulation for the studwalls. The outside paper facing will burn, if you keep a continuous flame on it, but the gypsum won't burn. Had my woodstove cherry red before, and the saltillo/drywall combo hasn't burnt down yet...6 years and counting....
     
  9. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I love those tiles! I'm hoping to use tiles for all the floors (going the passive-solar route), but I really want to use these pretty stones somehow, too.
     
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Agmantoo - thanks for the site, but I didn't see anything saying it was suitable for high heat.

    CCrider
    I was watching hgtv channel and Debbie Travis installed rock (as you describe, but maybe more uniform is size and color) on the bathroom walls. It looked great. The rock came glued on a sheet of mesh, and interlocked so you didn't see seams. It was installed just like tile. The sheet of rocks was just placed on the bed of mortar, and then grouted after it set up. It was installed in the shower and all the bathroom walls. I bet it was expensive.

    Your posting got me wondering how to do this without buying the expensive stuff.

    One of the challenges in placing a lot of rocks into mortar would be the time limit imposed by the setting up of the mortar. This would make it a little tricky to place the stones in an ideal arrangement. You could layout the rocks first, then put on the mortar, and transfer the rocks. This would be a pain if the area is large.

    Or maybe you could make your own sheets by gluing the rocks onto some mesh. I think window screen wouldn't work too well. Stucco mesh would be perfect, but it may be difficult to find. I bought some fiberglass stucco mesh this summer. A 4 inch roll by 150 feet cost me $13. It has adhesive on one side, and the adhesive is compatible with contact cement. So you could lay out strips the right length, sticky side up, then put a dab of contact cement on one side of each rock. Then arrange the rocks and place them on the strip.

    I bet it would work. It would make an awesome shower.
     
  11. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Interesting concept. I like the idea of making it in small, manageable pieces. I wonder if one could lay plastic wrap down, put a couple layers of nylon net over top of that, and then a very thin layer of mortar and then arrange the stones. Make the blocks no bigger than 18" or so square and leave the edges uneven so that you can fill in later so you don't have "lines".
    Once it is dry, you should be able to peel it off of the plastic, but have the nylon net to stabilize it.

    Then, when you are ready to use it, do like mtman said and put up steel studs and durock. Then you'd mortar/cement the blocks to that, fill in the gaps, and then use a pastry bag to spread more mortar between ALL of the stones once it was set on the wall nicely.

    My only concern here would be the flammability of the nylon net. But maybe it'd just melt and not be a problem??

    I wonder if there was a problem with the moisture when they did this in the bathroom? Mortar wouldn't hold up to constant moisture, would it??
     
  12. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    I came across some fake, concrete stone veneer a few years back and used it as a facade on a fireplace. The stone was installed over a diamond lathe...I suppose use could use the same technique to install real stone. Here is a link to the instructions from the manufacturer...if nothing else there might be an idea or two that you could use:

    http://www.bouldercreekstone.com/literature/StoneInstallation.pdf
     
  13. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know for certain that concrete and diamond lathe will begin to delaminate at 200 degrees F. Since the diamond lathe works for the fake stuff Diamond Joe described, I bet the fiberglass wouldn't be a problem either. Just exactly where would you use it?

    The brixment Agmantoo described is waterproof and could be used in a wet environment, and there are plenty of grouts labeled for use in showers that would work fine on the stones.
     
  14. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I'd only be using it on an interior wall, behind a wood stove, or on a fireplace.

    I have a problem with rocks in the shower..... I don't think you could keep "things" from growing on them and they'd be impossible to clean. It's bad enough trying to keep the grout clean on the tile!

    Lots of good ideas here! I need to go gather more rocks!!! :)