Simple Tips on Laying Limestone Blocks
Stretcher Bond Design
Limestone can be cut to any shape or size using an angle grinder with a masonry cut-off disk, easily obtainable at most hire firms.
However, if the common stretcher bond coursing as shown above is used, no cutting is required as half blocks are available for delivery with the full blocks.
6 parts yellow brick layers (brickies) sand, 1 part lime, 1 part off white cement
This is based on sand available in Perth.
However as the sand colour may vary in between different regions, advice from local brick layers may assist in sourcing the most suitable sand to achieve the desired mortar colour.
Keep mortar vary according to the type of stone used, however as a general guide, mortar joints for landscaping blocks should be about 20 to 25 mm while joints used in housing construction should be 10 to 12 mm.
Flush joints are possibly the easiest joint is to create by using a trowel to remove excess mortar back to the level of the face of the stone.
Rolled joints where an inexpensive tool, available at hardware stores is used to depress the mortar in a concave manner.
Raked joints, also created with an inexpensive tool available at hardware stores, is an excellent way to actually feature each stone when using good stone with good firm edges.
Limestone cladding is fixed to most surfaces by the use of adhesives. The two major glues available are the standard glues used to fix ceramic tiles to wall and flooring and a flexible glue (such as 'Resinflex' from Henry Morgan Adhesives) that will allow movement in both surfaces and is water proof.
The second product is most suitable for use on timber framed homes, outdoor areas and high moisture areas such as water features. Both types of glue are easy to use.
The normal thickness of the glue is 10mm which will allow for variations in the surface the cladding is being fixed to. The glue is placed on the cladding in five areas.
That is in each of the four corners and in the centre of the cladding tile. By placing the glue in dollops, it allows the cladding to be placed on the surface and pressed in to achieve correct positioning of the cladding tile. The glue behind the tile is compressed and spreads when pressing the cladding tile against the surface.
This forms a solid bond. The same method is used for both butt and mortar joint finishes.
If extra restraining is required, as could be the case of walls several metres high, a stainless steel dowel can be used for support where necessary. This can be done by drilling a hole (preferably on a 45-degree downward angle) into the wall and inserting a short dowel in a position that will take the weight of the cladding tile. This dowel should be positioned in the mortar joint and be short enough to be covered by mortar when the job has been completed.
The mortar joint thickness should be the same as bricks, at 12-13mm thick.
When necessary, cladding can be easily cut with a masonry cut-off disk.
It is best not to exceed 1.5 metres in height each day of laying, as this will allow time for the glue to cure.
This is good practice in mortar joint type finishes as it gives a firm base to start from on the following day.