Time = Money
We asked Fred Hueston, Chief Technical Director for surpHaces, and a world-renowned natural stone expert and author of over 30 books, 10 instructional videos with good installation instructions, and over 100 articles on the stone installation process, care, and restoration in both the United States and foreign publications and journals, to explain why mixed stone surfaces require more time to restore than single stone surfaces. He said,
The reason for this can be a little confusing to the average client. There are diamonds made for honing and polishing marble and others specifically for granite. Some diamond pad manufactures now have combination diamonds that can be used on both. But the price difference has to do with time, not diamond cost.
For example, granite is going to take four or five times as long to refinish and polish than marble. The contractor may opt to tape off the granite, refinish the marble with one set of diamonds, and then tape off the marble and refinish the granite with another set of diamonds. If the contractor uses a diamond pad that can restore both marble and granite to refinish the entire area all at once, the amount of time spent on the floor must be based on the granite, not the marble. In certain circumstances, only the marble is refinished because the granite is in much better condition than the marble. Even so, the granite portions of the finished surface will need to be taped off.
Suggestions for New Installations With Stone Combinations
We also asked Hueston what kinds of stone combinations he would recommend for people who have their hearts set on utiliSing more than one kind of stone in their design. He said,
Obviously, using different colours of one type of stone would be good, for example, black marble with white marble. If you are going to use different stone types, they need to match in hardness. So, generally marble, onyx, and limestone can be combined and then later restored or refinished with little or no price difference from a single-stone application.
Home and business owners also can expect to see a price difference to have combination finishes restored. A honed finish must be achieved first, and then the portion of the surface that should remain a honed finish must be taped off before the polished portion of the surface can be restored. This takes extra time than just achieving a single finish for the entire surface. However, there should be no price difference if you want to go from a combination finish to a single finish. If you are installing a new stone, you must either go with a single finish or be willing to pay a little bit more to maintain the appearance of a combination finish.
When embarking on a mixed stone installation project, several important considerations come into play to ensure a successful outcome. Proper installation of stone veneer demands attention to detail and adherence to best practices.
To begin, selecting the right type of manufactured stone is crucial. Different types offer unique aesthetics and characteristics, so choosing the one that aligns with your desired design is important. Next, preparing the installation area is essential. This involves attaching galvanized wire lath securely to provide a solid foundation for the stone veneer.
A scratch coat of mortar mix serves as the initial layer, promoting proper adhesion of the stone. Applying this layer evenly and at the correct thickness is essential for a good bond. When installing the stone veneer, follow precise installation instructions, ensuring each piece fits snugly and maintaining consistent horizontal joints.
For added durability, consider using a bonding agent in the mortar mix. This helps enhance the long-lasting quality of the installation, ensuring it withstands the test of time. During installation, using a grout bag to fill gaps with a thin layer of mortar contributes to a seamless finish.
Design considerations shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Pre-blended mortar mix can offer convenience and consistency, streamlining the installation process. Additionally, design choices like stone placement and arrangement can enhance the aesthetic appeal of the final result.
Remember these important factors as you work on your mixed stone installation. Attention to detail, proper techniques, and a focus on achieving a good bond will yield a stunning and enduring outcome that elevates your space with the timeless beauty of stone veneer.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of surpHaces Partners.