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Can You Put Stone Veneer over OSB? (How To)

OSB is not as strong as some other types of materials used for the interior and exterior of a home. Stone veneers are a much heavier type of siding and wall finishing, and are attached to the wall using mortar. Today I will explain if stone veneer can be installed over OSB.

Stone veneer can be installed over OSB. It is one of the recommended materials to use under stone veneer. The process to install stone veneer over OSB is the same as installing stone veneer on other types of materials suitable for stone veneer. The steps to do so are explained below.

Wooden OSB

For exterior walls or walls that need to be waterproof you should first check what the wall assembly and moisture barrier requirements are for your jurisdiction. In most cases, there will be a special government department or office that can advise you what these are over email or the phone. Below, I will cover if it’s a good idea to put stone veneer over OSB, and step by step instructions for how to do it.

Can You Put Stone Veneer over OSB? (How To)

Stone veneer is a type of siding that looks particularly good and almost always has a unique look. Stone veneer involves attaching stones to a wall with mortar, however, OSB is very smooth and not as strong as other types of materials such as concrete. So, here’s whether it’s possible to put stone veneer over OSB.

Overall, stone veneer can be put over OSB. OSB is one of the recommended materials to use underneath a stone veneer. The process is to install waterproof builders paper, then the metal lath, scratch coat, individual stones, and finally grout in between the stones.

After the scratch coat has been applied the individual pieces of stone are attached to the scratch coat using mortar. Finally, mortar is squeezed into the spaces between the stones using a grout bag. Once the mortar in between the stones is firm but not completely dry, it’s smoothed out using a joining tool.

Should You Put Stone Veneer over OSB?

Man putting stone

Not all building materials are the same, OSB is not as strong as say concrete or block. Stone veneer is typically quite heavy, and if the underlying surface is not strong enough the mortar can rip off and fail very soon. But, here’s whether OSB is a good material to install a stone veneer on, and any key considerations you need to know before doing so.

In general, you should put stone veneer over OSB. OSB is one of a few materials that stone veneer can be installed over. There are no unique issues with installing stone veneer over OSB, and the same method for applying stone veneer over the other recommended materials can be used for OSB.

OSB and plywood are very similar, but OSB is a bit stronger than plywood. Both are recommended to be used as a surface underneath stone veneer.

But, for exterior walls, a few layers of waterproof builders paper should be installed first. The details on how to do this are covered at the end of this article.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Stone Veneer over OSB?

Tools in the floor

Installing stone veneer does not require many tools, but it’s a good idea to get everything together ahead of time, and know what tools you need to get if you don’t already have them. So, these are the tools you need to put stone veneer over OSB.

A grout bag, hammer, utility knife, square trowel, garden hoe or similar for mixing the grout and mortar, metal rake, small spray bottle, safety gloves, plastic bristled brush, masons hammer, stone chisel, bucket, and joining tool, are needed to install stone veneer over OSB.

A wide mouthed nipper can also be used instead of a stone chisel. A staple gun can also be used to attach the metal lath to the waterproof builders paper. But it is optional, as you can also be nailed instead of stappled.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Stone Veneer over OSB?

Man putting stone

Before installing stone veneer over OSB there are few steps you need to do beforehand. These ensure the stone veneer will last as long as it should, and the end result will look professionally done. Here is what you need to do before putting stone veneer over OSB.

Overall, for exterior walls, or those that need to be waterproof, waterproof building paper needs to be installed first. After that a metal lath is installed onto the OSB, and then a scratch coat of mortar. Next, you can begin attaching the stones to the scratch coat.

Interestingly, the preparation steps you need to do to put stone veneer over OSB are the same as when you are installing stone veneer over the other recommended materials such as plywood, concrete or block. Next, I will cover the step by step instructions for how to do it and a very good video that shows the entire process from start to finish.

How to Put Stone Veneer over OSB

confused man standing

Installing stone veneer has been done for many hundreds of years, but doing it properly will ensure it both looks great, and lasts a very long time. There are a range of steps that need to be done in order so that the end result looks professional, here is a summary followed step by step instructions for how to put stone veneer over OSB.

In general, a metal lath is installed over the OSB. For walls that need to be waterproof such as exterior walls, first install waterproof building paper. After that apply a scratch coat of mortar, then apply mortar to the stone, and attach them to the wall, these steps are explained in detail below.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on December 24, 2022.

The first thing to do is to determine the style of stone that you want to use. After you have decided on the type of stone you will use, start with step 1 below, which is to determine the amount of stone you will need for the area you are applying stone veneer over.

1. Determine the quantity of stone you will need

Figure out how much stone you will need. To do that, find the area of the wall by multiplying the width by the height. And subtract the area of any windows or door. Allow an extra 5% to 10% in case stones break, or you prefer to use a certain piece of stone instead of another.

2. Apply waterproof builders paper (only for walls that need waterproofing)

Two layers of waterproof builders paper. Waterproof builder paper should be installed so that the vertical seams overlap at least 6 inches (15.25 cm), and horizontal seams should overlap at least 4 inches (10 cm). It should also go past the edge and around the corner another 16 inches (40 cm).

3. Install galvanized expanded metal lath

Galvanized metal lath significantly increases the strength of the mortar once it’s applied. It’s a large sheet of metal mesh that you nail over the top of the builders paper. Attach it to the wall using galvanized nails or staples.

These should penetrate the OSB board by 1 inch (2.5 cm). The nails or staples should be nailed in every 6 inches (15.25 cm) both horizontally and vertically. The next steps after that are to:

4. Lay out stone veneer on the ground to create the pattern

5. Apply mortar scratch coat

6. Apply veneer stone

7. FIll in the joins using a grout bag and finish the joins

These steps are a little bit complicated, and there are many small details that ensure you get a professional finish. Below, is a very good video from mortar and grout manufacturer Quikrete where the show the whole process in step by step detail:

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on December 24, 2022.

In general, stone veneer can be installed over OSB, and is a recommended material to be used under stone veneer. The process to install stone veneer over OSB is the same as installing stone veneer on other types of materials suitable for stone veneer. Below is how to do it.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 24, 2022.

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