Wednesday, October 1, 2014

If you don't like it then you should put some stone on it.

Whilst in the trenches of the basement renovation, I taught myself how to clone a human so I could get some work outside done AT THE SAME TIME! Because, why finish one project when it's halfway done when you can start a NEW AND EXITING ONE!

SO, my geeeerahge. The siding is short about 2.5' riiihurrr, and it looks, meh...



See that little area to the left of the door? Or the corner by the downspout? Not a HUGE deal, but the patch jobs were...not so great? I knew i'd eventually want to beef this area up. Paint? Mural?! BRICK? ALL THE BRICK? So, when a co-worker came to me with a baller deal on a brick mosaic I was like...WHEN CAN WE START? 

Strategically hidden by blue table and chairs

I googled my brains out on how to install it and bought the materials and we just WENT for it. Thankfully, he just finished doing this on his house, so he basically taught me and then left me to finish the proj.

Materials:
Brick mosaic (mine was about 1/2" thick)
Type S mortar (I used 2.5 bags for 70 sq.ft)
Trowel
5 Gallon bucket
Hammer Drill (you can rent from Home Depot) & screws*
Wet tile saw (also rentable)

*unless you are installing on plywood, then you'll need to install wire mesh!

Juuust mixing up some cupcakes, don't mind me
FIRST, mix the mortar, you want it the consistency of peanut butter. If there isn't enough water, sticking it to the wall is going to be HORRIBLE, so just add more water/more mortar until you get the good stuff. ALSO, stirring mortar with a power drill is basically like using a blender,  it's SO FUN/FAST.

THEN, go to your wall and dry fit a piece of stone into place, mark the bottom line of the stone with a marker.

Make sure to drill on or above the line to fully prop the piece up

Then, use your HAMMATIME drill and plow through the concrete at two points along your line. We are doing this so we can use screws to hold up the stone while the mortar dries. If you want, you COULD hold it in place for like 24 hours, but your arms might get tired.


Then smear on someadat mortar. I also placed the screws lightly into the holes before placing the stone on. YOU SEE, the stone is kinda heavy, and SOMETIMES I lost the screw holes (it's super difficult to re-hammer drill holes WHILE holding up these pieces). SO. Make your life easier, and slide the stone in WITH the screws in place, then screw them in all the way after placing the stone.


You'll also need to smoosh some mortar all over the back of the tile before placing it on the wall. When placing it, slide it in there a bit for better adhesion. 


THEN, screw the screws all the way in to hold the piece TIGHT and move onto the next one!


Once I got in a groove it took about 5 minutes per tile, and I can only do 1 row a day, to let the mortar on that row fully dry before pulling out the screws and starting on the next row.

If you want it to go faster you can work your way from the bottom up, screwing a piece of wood at the bottom to hold up the brick. Ya know, DO YOU.

Hammer drill stage right

looks like it's time to pull some weeds...


The project took about 2 weeks, working every other day after work for 2.5 hours. Once you finish the tile, you'll want to caulk the gaps between the pieces and on all of the corners/sides to really seal the deal. And maybe paint your door because wtf happened there??!...

Before
AFTER!
There's still a lot to be done on the landscaping front, but I feel it was a successful first summer here! We installed a rain barrel, removed the eyesore canopy, and planted some new greenery. Still so much to do, i'm most excited for some raised garden beds I've been noodling. AND to finally tackle the FRONT yard. Fingers crossed winter doesn't last until APRIL this season!




6 comments:

  1. i found this project on ana white and was curious where you found the brick mosiac at? would love to try this out looks great.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam! I actually got it from a co-worker, who had just completed a similar project. They sell this (slate tile) at most home improvement stores, here is a similar product at Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/MS-International-Golden-Honey-Ledger-Panel-6-in-x-24-in-Natural-Quartzite-Wall-Tile-5-cases-30-sq-ft-Pallet-LPNLQGLDHON624/204374698). If you do tackle the project, i'd love to see photos!

      xoxo,
      Jenn

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  2. That is going to leak like crazy. Your foundation is now screwed. Terrible building practices here.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, i'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this. I work in the construction industry, and after asking around this was the best method to fixing up the look of my foundation wall (aside from patching+paint). The concrete walls never leaked, so I figure adding another layer to the wall can do nothing but help. I'm not sure how my foundation will be screwed, this is just a garage after all :)

      xoxo,
      Jenn

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  3. The stone look like it protrudes past the edge of the siding. You need a drip edge on the last course of siding. The cappillary effect of water will run down the back of that fascia. Its not flashed properly. It will trap moisture. It will also penetrate those screw holes you used to hold up each course. Also, it looks like you didn't wet the foundation at all when you applied the mortar. Not the way to get the best bond.

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    Replies
    1. The stone is flush with the siding, so a drip edge wasn't necessary - I just added a bead of caulk between the two to close it up. I've never heard the reasoning behind wetting the concrete prior to installing (care to enlighten?!) - it seems unnecessary as the mortar is already fill with water.

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