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The natural stone cladding can be installed mainly by two methods, namely the wet installation method and dry installation method. Both the ways have their pros and cons, whose application is based on the objective and the wall conditions.
The article explains both the methods along with their pros and cons.
- Wet Installation of Natural Stone Cladding
- Dry Method of Natural Stone Installation
- FAQs on Natural Stone Cladding Installation
Wet Installation of Natural Stone Cladding
The wet installation is the most commonly used method for natural stone cladding. The crucial decision is to select the best method from the variety of installation options given by the wet process. The wet method can be performed by the Direct Adhesion Method and Spot Bonding Method.
1. Direct Adhesion Installation for Natural Stone Cladding
Direct adhesion method is the most common wet met method employed. A wet method, by default, is considered a direct adhesion method. It makes use of a liquid latex combined with a cement-based filler powder to form cement mortar.
The mortar is applied to the surface in thin layers. The method does not demand onsite drilling. It is the cheapest method, among other installation methods.
2. Spot Bonding Installation for Natural Stone Cladding
Spot bonding makes use of adhesives to bond the stone cladding onto the wall surface. The difference between spot bonding and direct adhesion method is, the adhesive uses only 10 % of the area. This installation technique hence leaves gaps or air pockets between the stone and the wall. The gaps and air pockets created thus reduce the chances of water staining.
Advantages of Wet Method of Installation for Natural Stone Cladding
The main advantages of wet installation of cladding are:
- The method is cheap.
- The technique does not require on-site drilling.
- No on-site drilling prevents cracks on the walls.
- Bond between the stone and cladding is entirely made throughout the area. No space is left between them.
- More even look is achieved.
Disadvantages of Wet Method of Installation for Natural Stone Cladding
- The later expansion is not possible due to the edge to edge bonding. This limitation results in the buckling of the natural stone. Hence, this method requires adequate expansion and contraction joints.
- Improper bond between the wall and the adhesive or the mortar can make the stone to fall off.
- The cladding stone may absorb water from the mortar. This makes the stone to change its color.
- The wet method, though, is easy, can consume a lot of time.
Dry Method of Natural Stone Installation
In this method, fixed or embedded anchors, metal framing, steel brackets, or ties attach the stone to the surface. The method is applied only on thicker and stronger stone cladding, as the process requires drilling of a hole into the stone. This method demands a gap of ¾ inch to allow drainage.
Dry stone mechanical method is the best and safest way compared to wet cladding installation. The process maintains a high level of accuracy while installing the stones.
The dry stone mechanical cladding system vary based on different factors like:
- Stone weight
- Cavity Size
- The design
- The strength of the wall surface
Advantages of Dry-stone cladding system
- The method is safe, and the stone stays for long life without falling off.
- The method allows for expansion and contraction.
- An air cushion is provided by the arrangement between the dry cladding and the wall surface. This air cushion helps to act as a thermal barrier.
- The arrangement gives a clean and pleasing look.
- The whole procedure consumes less time.
Disadvantages of Dry Installation method
- The substrate has chances for cracks while drilling the hole
- The method is expensive
- Improper drilling of holes results in wastage of the tiles
- Drilling process is conducted with utmost safety features
- High-skilled labour is required
FAQs on Natural Stone Cladding Installation
Natural stone cladding can be installed on the wall either by using a wet method or dry method. In wet method mortar mix of cement or adhesives are used. In the dry method, the stones are installed mechanically to the wall either by drilling and bolting or by arranging the stones on a metal frame system.
The natural stone cladding can be installed either by using a direct adhesion method, which uses cement mortar to stick the stone to the wall. The second method is pot bonding, which makes use of adhesives to stick the stones on to the surface.
The spot bonding consumes less area of the tile to apply adhesive. It allows to have air pockets behind the stones. These air pockets avoid the chances of water standing, unlike the direct adhesion method. The method also lets the stone to have higher chances to stick on the wall, compared to the direct adhesion method.
The dry stone method is the best and safest way compared to the wet process. The technique demands a gap of ¾ inch to allow drainage. It provides a higher level of accuracy.