Natural stone is an excellent material for cladding a building exterior. It is weather resistant and non-combustible and will also create an attractive appearance to any property’s façade. If you’re a builder or roofing specialist and you’ve been contracted to install natural stone cladding, you’ll want to ensure that you do the most professional job possible. To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve compiled this handy guide on how to install natural stone cladding.

The importance of good preparation

Australian cladding

Before beginning a cladding installation project, it’s essential that you take accurate measurements of the exterior area that you plan to clad. All external walls will need their length and width measured. Spaces around windows and doors will also have to be measured to allow for any corner pieces of cladding.

During the preparatory phase, you will also need to carefully inspect the condition of the exterior walls. Checking the substrate involves closely examining the wall for any protruding mortar and trying to make the wall as smooth as possible. Ideally, concrete blocks should be used to build the exterior walls and should be built on strong concrete foundations. It’s important to remember that Riverstone cladding can be installed using an adhesive up to a maximum height of 5.5 metres. Any higher than this, and the cladding will require mechanical fixing.

Fixing the cladding to the wall

Riverstone cladding on a low wall

Firstly, attach a timber batten to the exterior wall at the height of the first course of cladding. Using a trowel, apply an even layer of adhesive to both the wall and the back of the slate. Press the slate firmly to the wall then check it is horizontally straight using a spirit level. Wipe off any excess adhesive and continue the process.

When installing any mitred corner slates, both the internal and external corners must line up. This includes around any windows and doors. Finally, if you need to cut any of the slates to size, this should be done using a wet bed, diamond bladed table saw. This is the most effective way to achieve a clean cut.

At SSQ, we have decades of experience in the natural stone industry. If you’d like to find out more about natural stone from SSQ, whether it’s for roofing or cladding, get in touch today. You can call us on 020 8961 7725 or send us a message online and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.