Take any room, bathroom, kitchen island, or in this case an outdoor grill from drab to fab with stone accents. Desert Ledgestone Quartz can provide a natural and rich look, it’s easy to install, and the stone will last and stand up to even the toughest exterior conditions. And yes, it can be installed by the average DIYer for as little as $5 dollars a square foot! Watch the video above for a complete DIY how-to and don’t forget to check out David’s helpful hints below.
- Apply substrate either ¼” or 3/8” depending on the height of your walls (I used “rock on” 1 -1/4 fasteners)
- Make sure all your outside and inside edges have structural support behind them
- Mark out level lines up the surfaces to be finished with a chalk line, level or laser level. This will ensure even stacks, even cuts, and a professional installation.
For the first few stones or tiles laying them out and pre-cutting might be beneficial so you get a feel for how the install will go, and you’re not rushing to make cuts.
- Mix mortar per manufacturer instructions. We used a large stone polymer enriched thin-set mortar (we use a super mixer paddle that works with any ½” drill and our consistency is always like peanut butter)
- Apply mortar to surface area (start with 3 or 4 sq. ft and see how long it takes you)
- Use notched trowel to make perpendicular notches to the longest direction of your stone
- Put a scratch coat on the back of each piece of stone
- Press the stone level firmly onto the backerboard and move slightly left to right a 1/4 “ or so, to get a good set into the mortar bed
- Stager edges or purchase edge specific pieces for easiest corner solution
It may be necessary to shim pieces here and there to give a more aesthetically pleasing look, just understand that this may affect adjacent stones. Continue to mix batches of mortar and install the stone to your desired look.
- Create a scrap pile of different lengths, widths etc. so when you need smaller pieces you can more easily find the piece that works the best.
- You don’t always need to use the wet tile saw. Some of the smaller more detailed cuts can be accomplished with an angle grinder with a tile/stone continuous rim blade.
- For tiles that don’t have lower support, try using rubber feet clamps (tile over an opening etc.) for bracing.
I typically can work off a batch of thin-set mortar for around 45 minutes before it starts to breakdown. It all begins with a level and plumb structure, so make sure whatever you are applying the stone to is a sound structure. It’s not necessary to stagger start each row like you would shingles since the erratic nature of this stone should hide imperfections, but you can as long as you don’t have field cuts exposed other than an edge.
Comment below with any questions. Good luck!