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05/24/2022

Limestone Cladding Guide: Is Limestone a Good Cladding Stone?

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Natural stone has been a dominant feature in building, architecture, and landscaping since the beginning of time. Today, natural stones like limestone have not lost their appeal. This gorgeous stone is preferred for its durability, strength, and ability to add classic beauty to buildings.

Many of the homeowners of Columbus and Cincinnati like to have their buildings designed with a finish of limestone cladding. To give your house that desired finish, it is important to understand how limestone exterior cladding works and the various limestone products that are available for use.

General Types of Natural Stones Cladding

There are different methods for cladding stone. These are generally determined based on the architectural applications and the type of stone being used. Cladding stones are typically very heavy. Therefore, you should consider how that could affect the building and figure out what is the best way to lay the stones on the exterior.

Handset Cladding

cladding stone
Limestone exterior cladding

This is the traditional cladding method for all kinds of natural stones including limestone. In this method, the cladding stone is fixed to an already existing backing structure and therefore becomes the exterior envelope for the building.

Handset Cladding spreads the weight of the stones to load-bearing fixings located on the floor plates. This system also incorporates movement joints and compression joints to ensure a solid structure is maintained.

Limestone façade cladding is a typical example of handset cladding.

Rainscreen Cladding

Rainscreen cladding is a modern stone cladding method that is gaining popularity among the homeowners of Columbus and Cincinnati. In this method, there are no movement or compression joints and the stone panels are installed on the building either through a concealed or exposed clip system. Rainscreen façades also usually have an interior drainage cavity that helps to remove moisture that is likely to seep into the cladding.

Custom Cladding

limestone facade
Natural stone cladding

As the name implies, custom claddings are made based on the homeowner's or architect’s specific directions. Stoneworkers can design cladding stones to fit whatever the homeowner desires. This would therefore require them to consult with cladding stone manufacturers and reiterate the concept they have in mind to them.

Installation of the Limestone Façade Panels

If this happens to be your first time working with limestone panel cladding, here are the steps to take:

Calculate the Amount of Panels You Will Need

This depends on how large the cladding surface is and the sizes of the limestone-clad to be used. Even after getting a precise estimate, it is best to buy a little more than what is needed. This will help you cover emergency needs or damages that may occur to some slabs during transportation and installation.

Prepare All the Tools and Materials

The tools and materials needed for the cladding stone installation are relatively straightforward - you will need mortar, cement floor leveling compound, trowel, nails, string, masking gloves, and coating liquid for finishing. Remember that some certain types of materials like cement only work for a specific cladding stone type.

Inspect and Prepare the Surface

limestone clad
Limestone cladding

The surface to be used for limestone cladding must be clean and free of damage. If the wall was initially painted, you will need to scrape off the paint to ensure the limestone panels stick properly.

Install the Limestone Cladding Panels

This is the most important step of exterior limestone wall cladding and should be done carefully. First, you will need to layer the wall so it properly absorbs the adhesive. Layering can be done with a metal lathe after which you apply battens to generate a slightly rough surface.

Next, you should prepare the mortar mixture. It is important not to get the mix ready to go until the mortar is ready for use, as it dries very fast. Apply the mixture to the wall surface and immediately but carefully install the limestone-clad on the wall.

After installation, erect a makeshift tent to protect the wall from sunlight or rain which can potentially damage the work or distort the natural drying process.

Final Steps

Finally, you need to ensure your work is done perfectly. Look out for evident flaws and fix them if you can. Once you are confident in the work, apply a liquid coating to the limestone façade. This prevents mold growth and preserves surface luster.

Conclusion

Limestone exterior cladding is a rising home finish style among homeowners of Columbus and Cincinnati. It gives homes a polished look and can be customized to achieve intricate patterns. If you are working on custom limestone cladding, Stone Center is the best place to consult for your custom stone cutting needs. We bring years of direct experience with cutting-edge technology to the table to help homeowners complete their house projects according to their vision and plans.

Should you have any questions, contact us!