Install Slate Cladding for Exterior Walls: 7 Steps to Follow
Apr 13, 2023
Slate cladding is a wonderful and perfect alternative for exterior walls. Slate cladding or any other natural stone cladding will always give a protective layer to your outside walls in addition to an aesthetically pleasing look. In addition, the stone cladding for exterior walls will assist you in hiding wall damage, difficult stains, and an ugly appearance.
The best part about slate cladding is that they are pretty easy to install. Yes, installing the seemingly complicated wall covering on your exterior is quite simple.
So, take a look at this article if you’re searching for some inspiration to install it yourself. You can check the complete installation process of slate cladding for exterior walls below.
But before moving further with the installation process, let’s check the list of tools and materials you will require during the installation process.
Tools and Materials Required
Here is the list of tools and materials you will require while installing the slate cladding.
- Slate Cladding
- Pointing Gun
- Hand Grinder
- Work Gloves
- Mason’s Trowel
- Wide Mouth Nippers
- Meta Stick
- Steel Toe Cap Boots
- Mortar Mixer
- Wood/ Metal Strike Tool
- Tuck Pointer
How to Install Slate Cladding for Exterior Walls?
Wall cladding is among the best modern commercial architecture design trends used. So, you need to follow the steps properly and spruce up your space with stone cladding. Following is the step-by-step process and some important tips that will help you install slate cladding for exterior walls.
Step 1 – Measuring the Area and Calculating the Stones
The first and foremost step while installing slate cladding is to measure everything. Measure the area as well as the exact number of stones required. You simply have to multiply the width and height of the area and subtract openings like doors and windows.
Step 2 – Laying a Strong Foundation
Once you have calculated the area and the exact number of stones required, it’s now time to lay the foundation. A strong and solid foundation is a must to install stone cladding on your exterior walls. A sturdy base is required to support a wall, whether it is a garden retaining wall or the façade of a building covered in stone. The outcome will be impacted if your substrate is of poor quality.
You must construct a structural base out of materials like concrete, blockwork, or brick in order to install natural stone wall cladding. A variance of no more than 2 mm every 4 metres is required for it to be true and even. In some cases, engineering may be necessary to make sure that this substrate is structurally sound and suitable for the application.
Step 3 – Preparing the Surface
Whatever the design of your substrate, the surface must be clear and devoid of any contaminants. Eliminate all paint, curing agents, oils, waxes, and loose debris. This is necessary for the stone cladding to cling to the surface effectively. The stone-clad structures cannot remain in place over uneven or rough surfaces. Make sure to smooth out the surface by scratch coating.
Step 4 – Laying Out Your Stone Cladding Roughly
Just as you did for the interior wall cladding, dry lay out the exterior stone cladding pattern is a must. It is recommended to lay out a pattern on the ground before you begin installing the stones on the substrate. Please be aware that creating the pattern on paper will not indicate any potential installation-related problems. The ground pattern makes it easier to position the pieces according to size, texture, and colour variation and to combine different parts as needed.
Step 5 – Install Slate Cladding on Exterior Walls
Once you are satisfied with the laying pattern, you should start installing slate cladding on your exterior walls. The bed should be at least 2 mm thick. A suitable natural stone adhesive must be used in order to guarantee longevity and a successful cladding installation. The adhesive should be applied to the substrate using a notched trowel. Make sure each stone item has a clean, dust-free back before using adhesives. Each stone is fully back-buttered before being affixed to the surface.
Step 6 – Filling the Gaps
After you have laid all the slate stone cladding on the exterior wall, fill the gaps between the stones. This will create a strong bond between the slate cladding.
Step 7 – Cleaning & Sealing
Once the stone cladding installation is complete, it is advised to clean and seal the surface. Professionals should perform this using superior penetrating sealers. Natural stone cladding must be sealed in order to preserve its beauty and lengthen its lifespan. It is crucial in outdoor applications and those that take place in damp spaces like bathrooms or swimming pools.
In seven easy steps, you will be able to lay slate cladding for exterior walls. But make sure, while installing the stone cladding, you should deal with quality materials. You can also hire a professional, as they will guide you with the correct process and the right materials to use.