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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Been a while since I've last posted and hope all is well. I've got a cultured stone wall side job coming up and was wondering if I could gain some in sight on what I've learned thus far.

When you see a cultured stone wall in public or anywhere, what are some main points or concepts on how you critique the work of others? Any info. Is greatly appreciated.

-Logan
 

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Same as it is for any stone work, no zippers, no run-through joints, and level coursing.

For faux stone the main things I notice are cuts made at the corners instead of in the field and drystack that is done with the wrong color mortar/thinset so that it is visible in the joints.
 

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Keeping it level if it is a ledgestone. type of joint be it a drstack or a jointed appearance. how many cut pieces I see. How often I see aggregate in cuts. If its ledgestone and I see one piece layers vertically my eyes will be drawn to it very very quickly. Stones can't be dirty or scratched up.

We lay thousands of sf of cultured. Not my personal favorite but gotta do what we gotta do. Just try and make it look as best as possible. This a wall on a current project
 

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The art of cultured stone ,is making it look like real stone. And if it's dry stack, fit it as tight as possible, and make sure it's clean, and try and hide the cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok great! Thank you guys. How about as far as patterns go? Do you generally lay out most of the wall before installing? Any personal techniques that have worked for you?
 

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I don't work with cultured stone often. But the best advice here is from CJKarl. Make it look as real as possible. If whatever you are doing isn't what natural stone would look like, don't do it if possible. That's the difference between a mason and a cultured stone installer.




Cut a thin one and put a thick one next to it.
To add to this a little. I have often thinned out a stone to hide a cut. Cut the back off and rough it up with a grinder/saw.
 

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That's the difference between a mason and a cultured stone installer.


To add to this a little. I have often thinned out a stone to hide a cut. Cut the back off and rough it up with a grinder/saw.
Exactly. Also the difference in what you can charge....for me it's 50% or more of what a tile guy charges. Some folks care, others don't...i target the ones that care
 

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Out at a new bar with friends and there are 6 columns like this in here. They don't understand why I hate them so much. 2" joints my 11 year old cousin could lay better
Looks like they ordered stone for 3 columns and then went "WHOOPS" and just used what they had. Man those look bad and I'm not even a stone guy. :whistling
 

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Next time you drive through town check out the cultured stone on the houses vs the stuff on the commercial buildings and try to see what stands out to you.

Commercial work is almost always faster, sloppier and has a very fake look to it. A guy that knows what he is doing can do a lot with cultured stone, so most residential installations tend to look much more natural.

Honestly I hate installing the stuff, and I used to pass it off to another guy, but you have to take what pays. I get way too picky though and end up always touching up most stone with a grinder for a much better dry stack.
 
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