How To Stone Veneer Your Columns
The starting point of any stone veneer column job is going to be the outside corner.Most stone veneer manufacturers now have outside corner units that are designed to turn outside corners, offer varying degrees of a seamless look at the corner itself, and make a natural stone column project easier to do today than ever before. Depending on the manufacturer, options for outside corners in the stone veneer industry range from preassembled corner units, simple dovetail corners, and more complex staggered patterns, like Norstone’s Interlocking Finger Jointed Corner. Let’s take a quick look at each type of corner and the pros and cons of each.
Preassembled corner units typically offer a quality look since they utilize the natural cleft of the stone face to form the corner, but since they are already connected at a 90 degree angle, they can be cumbersome and expensive to ship / transport and run a higher risk of breakage. Simple dovetail corners, which most manufacturers prefer, alternate overlapping sides, typically every 3 inches. This ensures that any outward facing stone is either the face or the natural clefted side of the stone, but since the pattern repeats on designated intervals, it’s easy to spot and starts to look anything but natural. By far the most advanced corner system on the market today is Norstone’s Interlocking Finger Jointed Corner Unit. This unit utilizes individual fingers, typically 4 or 5 per 6” panel, randomly sized and spaced to create a non repeating, fully formed and natural looking outside corner.
With the corner units vetted and decided upon, the next thing to consider on your stacked stone column project is the size of the column, relative to the size of the corner unit. Manufacturers all have different sizing on their corner units, and the calculations can sometimes be tricky, so it’s always a good idea to have someone double check your figures. With Norstone’s Interlocking Finger Jointed Corner Unit, figure on one side of the corner unit being about 8” long, the other side about 16”, with both sides being 6” tall. Since the two sides overlap when they “finger” together at the outside corner, you might figure they’ll return back from the outside corner somewhere in the range of 7” on one side and 15” on the other. While corner units can be used on columns as small as about 10” in width, the larger the column, the more of each corner unit that you’ll be able to use. Standard square columns, where all four sides are the same width, in the 20”-22” range are going to be ideal and will allow you to use only corner units. Field units can be easily added to “bridge” the gap between the outside corner units to accommodate a larger column.
Natural Stone Columns are going to beautify any environment or space they are used in, and with the variety of easy to use corner unit options, a stacked stone column is now much more plausible than it was in the era of hammers and chisels. Whether your columns already add to the beauty of your home, or are just there to serve a purpose, consider turning them into stone veneer columns to transform the look and feel of the space.