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Even though it may seem obvious, it’s unlikely that we know how important both the colour and decor living on our walls enhances a room's overall appeal. If you’ve been thinking about change and are looking to renew your home decor, then we’d suggest getting creative and trying something innovative.
If you’re searching for a material that exudes warmth and rustic flair while remaining classic, natural stone is the way to go. This material will never go out of style and is an excellent way to revive your home decor.
Real stones are still a popular option but imitation products are increasingly convincing and offer a much better price point. In this article, we’re going to discuss the characteristics of natural stone as well as the various imitations available on the market.
For architects, builders and homeowners like yourself, there is a reason why natural stone remains popular. Much like brick, natural stone is a great material for both interior as well as exterior wall cladding. Installed on one or two walls, stone suits most spaces, be it a dining room, bedroom or living room. This material can add a lot of elegance to a room's decor.
Many different shapes, colours and textures exist, so it’s possible to find a stone that fits your individual needs. Depending on your style, you can further opt for a smooth and geometric finish or you may choose to go for an uneven look, characterized by its irregular shapes.
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Natural stone has the advantage of being authentic and as a result, very durable. Of course, due to the natural singularity of each stone, the accomplished look will be unique. However, starting at $12 per square foot, this will not be a reasonable price point for the modest homeowner. As mentioned, it’s not easy to install unless you’ve been trained to work with this material.
If you use natural stone, it’s recommended that you hire a professional bricklayer to complete the project. Lastly, since natural stone is very heavy, it can be quite difficult to handle. As a result, you may have to solidify or add further bracing methods to the wall you’re working on.
As we mentioned in our introduction, natural stone can be costly and in some special cases will require an expensive installation process. Luckily, if you love the look of stone but can’t afford the natural option, faux stone is an excellent alternative.
In recent years, plenty has changed in the manufacturing of faux stone. For a much lower price point, it’s easy to find materials that are made to look like stone though constructed with materials such as concrete, veneer as well as polyurethane.
In most cases, decorative stone on the market will be a combination of anything from concrete, aggregates and iron oxide pigments. The highest quality faux stone features pigment that has been applied by colourists working by hand, offering each piece a cared-for and unique look.
As with real stone, most will not come in a uniform colour. Another huge benefit of working with stone veneer is that it’s much lighter than natural stone, coming in at 1/3 of the weight. As a result, it’s much easier to install.
As with real stone, thousands of shapes, textures and colours are available. If you do choose a faux stone, the lifespan of these materials is quite long, and sometimes this means a minimum of 50 years. As we’ve mentioned a few times, they’re much less expensive than natural stone, starting at an average of $7 per square foot.
However, decorative stone is significantly less durable than real stone, so if you do choose to work with this material, it’s important to be fairly gentle. Additionally, the finish is smoother than with natural stones, making it appear less realistic.
Incorporating natural or faux stone into either your exterior or interior will come down to your style and decor choices. Working with stone on your exterior will help to connect you with the surrounding nature.
For this reason, we’d recommend choosing a texture and colour of stone that matches your region's natural resources while also being in line with your taste. Cladding can be used to enhance the exterior of a home, but both natural and faux stone can also be used to build stone pillars or as accent pieces on a porch or deck.
When it comes to working in your home’s interior, stone can be used around a fireplace, as a kitchen backsplash or as an accent wall. The bathroom is another great place to explore the possibilities of stone, transforming a boring bathroom into a more luxurious one.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your stone wall installation process. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the most suitable contractors for your project. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get quotes from home renovation companies that are specialized in wall coverings.
Last modified 2023-01-24
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N/A • 21 Apr 2021
Are you thinking about replacing your exterior siding? Without a doubt, such a project will revamp your house’s exterior, especially if it’s not a newly built residence. Needless to say, the exterior siding options available on the market are just as diversified as they’re numerous; the choices are not lacking, that’s for sure. Among those which stand out from the crowd, CanExel exterior siding, which is made from engineered wood, immediately comes to mind. Everything About CanExel Source: Canva Brief overview CanExel siding is made with engineered wood, which is made of 95% wood fibres, to which wax and resin are added. These elements are then fused together under pressure. Because of the numerous baked coats of paint that are applied to the surface of the boards, the engineered wood is rendered UV ray resistant and counteracts the effects of colour fading, which is a direct result of prolonged sun exposure. Pros of CanExel Siding As mentioned, CanExel exterior siding is particularly resistant to the detrimental effects of UV rays. Aside from this clear advantage, this type of siding is also decently resistant to climate variations, which are rather common here. There is no need to worry, as this type of siding will not crack or buckle. Although that is quite the added bonus, it is not its biggest advantage. As a matter of fact, this type of siding has the benefit of being low maintenance. All you need to do is wipe it down once a year with a soft, non-abrasive soap, then rinse it with clear water. Now that’s something that will please the masses! Do you have an exterior siding project in mind? Fill out our form to receive quotes from certified contractors! It should be noted that CanExel siding has a 40-plus year lifespan, which, truth be told, is a rather attractive feature. Let us also highlight the fact that this type of siding is rot-proof, which is super important, considering the function of exterior siding. What about its impact on the environment? Note that it is partially made from recycled materials. Some products are even made with repurposed wood gathered through eco-responsible and sustainable initiatives. Lastly, it is available in a wide range of colours and finishes, making it a highly versatile product that can adapt to many houses' styles. Cons There’s always a flip side. Note that this type of exterior siding is rather vulnerable to humidity and prone to cracking. However, this drawback is somewhat minor, as it is more problematic for companies that store and transport this type of product than for consumers. Installing Your CanExcel Exterior Siding Source: Canva When it comes to installing this type of exterior siding, it is rather easy: the boards are interlocked or fitted, whether vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Upon purchase, several accessories will be provided in order to properly install the siding and achieve a quality finish. The proper procedure one must follow when installing CanExcel siding will vary depending on the type of product purchased. Another reason why it is extremely important to take into account the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Products Offered Out of all the products available, let us start off by introducing Ridgewood D-5. This one is actually a classic Dutch lap style, which is made up of 12-foot boards. The grooves on these give off the impression that two 5-inch wide boards are juxtaposed. The homely feel that this product exudes makes it much sought-after, especially by traditional design enthusiasts. This product can be installed horizontally and is available in 19 colours. As for the Ced’R-Vue, note that it is a credible tribute to cedar wood's timeless charm. However, it does not require as much maintenance as the latter. Also horizontally fitted, it is made up of 12-foot boards with exactly 9-inch lap sidings. At last, let us discuss UltraPlank. It is also composed of 12-foot-long boards. Being 12-inch wide, these have a groove that gives off the impression that two 4 ¾-inch boards are side-by-side. Fun fact: the siding can be installed both vertically and diagonally, depending on the style one wishes to create. From an aesthetic point of view, one will note that these boards allow for a flawless finish, thereby concealing any nails. What About the Warranty? Source: Canva To wrap it up, it is worth mentioning the warranty that accompanies these products: 25-year substrate limited warranty; 15-year finish limited warranty; 5-year 100% material & labour cost warranty. Curious as to how much your exterior siding project might cost you? Try out our cost calculator! Before jumpstarting your project, don’t forget to check out our article: A Checklist to Follow: Exterior Siding Renovation Guide.
Karine Dutemple • 07 Dec 2020
Are you looking to give your interior brick wall a new coat of paint to offer a more modern look or integrate it into your brand-new decor? Here are the steps to follow to make this project successful. A Step-by-Step Guide to Painting a Brick Wall 1- Protect nearby surfaces As it’ll be necessary to first clean your brick wall, be sure to protect the surrounding surfaces by installing a drop cloth on the floor. To prevent it from moving, secure it to the floor with tape. Remember to protect nearby walls by applying painter's tape around the edges. 2- Clean the brick Before painting your brick wall, you’ll need to clean it correctly to make sure it’s in the proper condition for painting. To do this, there are two options on offer. As a first step, you may decide to get a powdered trisodium phosphate (T.S.P.) cleaning product, being careful to choose a liquid, no-rinse formula. Note that this product is also recommended for cleaning garage floors, asphalt driveways, paintbrushes and surfaces coated with grease or wax. Secondly, note that it’s possible to make your own cleaning solution consisting of equal parts of water and vinegar. Now if this option is more suitable for you, note that you’ll need to rinse the surface following the application of this solution. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure it’s completely dry before you start. Note that the use of a stiff bristle brush is recommended so that all the dirt is removed. Looking for specialists for your masonry project? Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network! As a tip, we’d recommend cleaning a few days before your project begins. This will ensure that your wall is completely dry when you apply primer. Finally, keep in mind that you should wash from top to bottom, to prevent streaks from appearing. 3- Apply a coat of primer Now’s the time to apply a primer coat to your brick wall. To do this, purchase a 100% acrylic latex primer and equip yourself with a brush and roller. For the roller, be aware that it’s preferable to choose a roller whose size is at least 20 millimetres in length. Also, it’s preferable to use a brush to cover particularly hollow joints (and go over them with the roller afterward), as well as for the wall edges. When it comes to applying the primer, alternate strokes in both directions (horizontal and vertical). Finally, be sure to let everything dry for 24 hours before going ahead with your first coat of paint. 4- Apply a coat of paint to brick wall It's finally time to paint your brick wall! Following our recommendation for selecting a primer, know that 100% acrylic latex interior paint is your best option. Now when it comes to choosing the type of finish, it will all depend on your desired result. In this regard, you should know that matte finish paint is less effective at hiding imperfections, which can be a disadvantage if your brick wall is damaged at all. If you’d like to preserve the natural appearance of the brick as much as possible, we’d recommend a paint with a velvety or satin finish. Moreover, it should be noted that this type of paint tolerates cleaning with soapy water. Of course, it’s preferable to apply a second coat of paint as well as respect the drying time recommended by the manufacturer to ensure the best result. Finally, remember that the painter’s tape must be removed before the paint is completely dry. Otherwise, the edges of the wall may be damaged, which would be very disappointing! Would you like more information about brick walls? See our article Interior Brick Walls: Installation and Maintenance Costs and Tips.
Cynthia Laferrière • 22 Nov 2022
As far as interior design goes, there are two schools of thought when it comes to white walls. Some love the way their seemingly timeless shade enhances and brightens a room, while others find them rather boring, uninviting even. A clever way to reconcile these opposites is to add texture. Rather than simply painting your walls white, opt for a cladding that'll add volume, patterns, and elegance to any space within your home, like a white brick. Interior Wall Cladding: White Brick Source : Canva One of the universal principles behind creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere, regardless of the decor, is to showcase different elements. There's nothing like natural materials to get you started. Whether you choose imitation white brick wallpaper or a veneer wall panelling that’ll echo its porous, weathered look, definitely opt for warm shades of white. Just a dash of beige or a smear will draw out that original brick colour as a base, and you'll avoid negating the intended cozy vibe you're looking for. In fact, blue-tinted whites tend to create a sterile, and sometimes aggressive, aesthetic. Such shades of white are more likely to be found on materials with a glossy finish, such as cabinets or countertops. Are you looking for experts for your masonry project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Advantages of White Brick Source : Canva White Brick: Synonymous with Versatility First off, if you happen to be an avid interior design website or magazine peruser, you’ll notice that white brick walls elegantly suit most interior decors: Minimalist and zen; Classic and romantic; Rustic and contemporary; Industrial and urban; Coastal and cottage-core. Whether featured room-wide, on a single wall, or around the fireplace mantel, this neutral and versatile wall cladding is perfectly suited to mix and match with a variety of materials that make up your decor, such as wood, metal, concrete, linen, and far more. White Brick: Ideal for Big or Small Spaces Although nothing beats a natural source of light to boost productivity and well-being, white brick is ideal to offset a lack of windows, thus creating a sense of spaciousness and brightness, even in small or enclosed spaces. On the flip side, for similar reasons, it'll be just as beneficial to put in a massive space, such as a commercial office. It'll blend in with any other colours you may want to showcase in regard to your corporate branding, all the while creating a cozy and inspiring setting to entertain your clients. White Brick: A Smart Choice In Quebec, brick made available on the market for interior walls is more often than not imitation brick. Yet, it’s durable and mostly made of recycled drywall, cement, or polyurethane, and is sold in a variety of shades, sizes, and shapes. Since brick wall panelling is lightweight and easy to install, you'll save on labour costs by DIY-ing the work. Also, these panels can be easily painted should you wish to change your decor, thus cutting back on future home improvement costs. Its sleek look will enhance the value of wall ornaments, such as photos, knick-knacks, or paintings. Not unlike an art gallery, you'll be able to direct attention to your favourite furniture pieces or valuables. Ultimately, it's common knowledge that genuine brick (should you choose this option instead) provides excellent soundproofing and thermal control. Installing and Cleaning an Interior Brick Wall Source : Canva For regular maintenance, like your weekly household chores, simply vacuum the brick cavities to remove the dust. For optimal results, don't use acid-based products; you risk destroying or making the brick’s interior lining crumble. Instead, wash it with a brush (with bristles that are neither too soft nor too coarse) and soap and water, then thoroughly rinse. T.S.P. all-purpose-type cleaners can be effective when removing stubborn stains or the lingering smell of cigarette smoke. However, remember to thoroughly clean the wall with water, and note that this extensive cleaning process will be somewhat labour-intensive! Faux brick cladding can be mounted on most surfaces (wood, gypsum, etc.) with no additional structural reinforcement required. For information on the type of adhesive or which mortar to use, consult the instructions provided on the packaging or inquire with the retailer directly. For more detailed instructions, check out these two articles on the subject matter: How to Lay Decorative Brick or Stone on an Interior Wall Interior Brick Wall: Cost of Installation and Maintenance Naturally, if you want to lay real brick indoors or outdoors, it's possible to do so. However, costs are significantly greater, both in terms of purchasing the material and hiring a professional to lay it and assess the structural wall support. Check out these two articles regarding masonry to help you shed light on your decision: Repointing Mortar Joint on Brick Walls: The Costs Price Guide: Masonry Work and Bricklaying Cover image source: engin akyurt - Unsplash
Cynthia Laferrière • 27 Oct 2022
A building's structure is either made of wood, concrete, or steel. To finish this structure and give a business, facility, or home an eye-catching look, opting for masonry siding is a definite possibility. And, a bricklayer-mason hired by a contractor will be qualified to carry out this type of project. While this type of siding is quite durable, the bricks may need a little bit of a facelift down the line. To that effect, masons also offer a range of repair services, whether they’re working with brick, stone, or concrete to achieve a specific result. Here’s a more detailed look at the work carried out by these skilled professionals. Why Hire a Mason? For one, the most common reason to seek the services of a mason is during the construction of a new building. Other reasons may include a purely aesthetic desire to change the overall look of a house. Then, and especially in Quebec, seasonal climate change tends to speed up a building’s structural wear and tear. Amongst the wide-ranging problems that can be encountered with brick, stone, and concrete, are cracks, water infiltration, detachment of the bricks (belly-beef), cave-ins, etc. To avoid costly and time-consuming renovations, it's best to carry out exterior maintenance work as soon as you notice any signs of deterioration on part or all facades. Also, one can benefit from carrying out related work, such as changing windows or improving insulation. On top of boosting the structure's energy efficiency, safety, and appearance, properly executed masonry work will add significant resale value to the home. Categories of Masonry Work Divvied up into 3 categories, and designed for both commercial and residential properties, the services offered are: Foundation and main walls: Involves the structural elements necessary to ensure the structure's integrity (load-bearing walls, foundations, siding, demolition, etc.). Intermediary work: Prerequisites needed prior to installing masonry (air barrier, waterproofing membranes, etc.). Finishing work: Related to interior wall finishing and exterior siding to ensure an impeccable end result (washing, caulking, etc.). Naturally, as with any project, a mason's work involves site analysis, devising tools, site safety plans, and so on. A number of standards and certifications have been put in place to regulate the trade (CCQ, AEMQ and AECQ) to guarantee the quality of the work and to protect cultural heritage, especially when restoring historic buildings. Furthermore, there are health and safety standards imposed by the CNESST, particularly with respect to scaffolding and the dispersion of hazardous particles. Source: Jesus Rodriguez – Flickr Are you looking for experts for your masonry project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Different Types of Masonry Work Brick and stone work Needless to say, when building a new house or structure, work entails starting from the ground up. It includes the entire exterior facade, low garden walls, interior wall coverings, fireplace mantle, etc. For existing structures, an assessment determines whether restoration, repair, or substitution is best. Expect to pay between $25 and $40 per square foot for such work. Technically speaking, masons can also make and lay concrete blocks and foundations. Restoration When it comes to restoring existing masonry materials, in particular, that of heritage buildings, the idea is to preserve what's already there — not replace it, but rather to modernize and improve the original materials. In fact, one can restore decorative elements made of stone, brick, or cement, such as gargoyles, rosettes, and columns. To give you an idea of the scope of this kind of work, think about all the steps involved in restoring a large stone wall. First, the mason has to install the necessary floor supports before dismantling the wall while, one by one, marking the stones. Then, they’ll make the necessary improvements, and before the mortar has time to dry, put the stones back up in sequence. Repair and material substitution Repairing masonry is extremely important when maintaining a building to ensure that the structure is preserved, especially when the problem doesn't warrant simple restoration. Without necessarily having to completely replace a wall, repairing only the damaged sections is also a possibility, provided safety concerns prevail, of course. If not, the next options are substituting the old material with new material, or even demolition and rebuilding. However, prior to proceeding, a professional will determine the extent of the damage caused by time, impact, or poor original workmanship. Some of the issues commonly experienced include: A part of the facade broke due to a build-up of freezing water; Bulging bricks commonly referred to as belly-beef, which are a direct result of excessive moisture under the mortar joints or broken anchors that no longer hold the wall upright. Jonathan Barras of Maçonnerie Élégance, during an interview with us, explained that repairing a belly-beef is dependent on several factors such as height, surface area, and materials used. Prices vary from $35 to $50 per square foot. Repairing Mortar Joints and Cracks This type of work is carried out on crumbling mortar to restore a facade to its original integrity and appearance. The most effective repointing method is known as "moist curing.” Initially, the mason will rake the joints with a specially designed vacuum. Next, they'll clean the joints with a watering can to remove any worn patches of mortar. Then, with a trowel, they'll fill in the whole area with new mortar and ensure that the wall is, over a 72-hour period, dampened from time to time to prevent hairline cracks from forming (should the material dry too quickly). A good example of such a restoration project is the Saint-Joseph's Oratory facade – all the mortar joints were completely redone. Expect to pay between $12 and $18 per square foot for repointing work. Source: Alejandro Gonzalez – Pixabay Masonry-Related Work As previously noted, a mason's services often include finishing work. Therefore, it's not uncommon for them to caulk around doors and windows, do yard work, and even wash or paint brick walls. Moreover, masonry professionals can also provide niche expertise, either during inspection or at the request of an engineer/inspector, in matters such as water infiltration, wall ventilation, and the condition of the foundation. Lastly, masons are trained on how to replace architectural support elements such as sills, lintels, angle irons, and anchors. Jonathan Barras, of Maçonnerie Élegance, noted that there are three basic types of lintels: galvanized iron, cement, and arched. Replacing the lintel costs between $1,000 and $1,500. As far as substituting a standard lintel with a similar one or a totally different model, you're looking at a price somewhere between $500 to $800 for a 4-foot lintel. Cover photo: Sergio Sánchez – Flickr
Karine Dutemple • 16 Nov 2021
The beauty of a brick exterior is undeniable. It’s captivating, offering a sturdy-looking facade in a way that other materials can’t compare to. However, a modern brick home doesn’t mean the walls will be made of solid brick. In fact, it’s likely that this home has a conventional wood frame with brick veneer installed overtop. Aside from its obvious beauty, there are many advantages to a brick exterior, so how can you install one for yourself? This article will offer key information on exterior brick siding, also known as veneer, as well as discuss the steps to installing this on your own or with the help of a trusted professional. What are the steps to install exterior brick siding? Source: Pexels Types of brick veneer Before we go into the steps to complete this project, we should first discuss the types of brick siding that are available for you to choose from. There are two main types of brick siding. The first mimics the look of traditional brick siding, as the bricks are laid in a similar pattern as a traditional brick wall, but doesn’t add any structural support to an exterior wall. Generally, brick siding consists of full-sized bricks that have been laid with mortar and tied to an already framed wall with anchor ties. The second category of brick veneer is referred to as both thin brick and brick tile. These could be compared with ceramic tiles, as they consist of very thin clay or concrete-like pieces that are only ⅝ to ¾ inch thick. Just like ceramic tile, thin brick is glued to a surface or wall with a thin-set mortar or adhesive. Once the brick is in place, the spaces between bricks will need to be filled in with mortar or grout to simulate real mortar joints. Vous cherchez des expert pour votre projet de maçonnerie? Remplissez le formulaire pour être mis en contact avec des entrepreneurs certifiés! The steps to install brick siding 1- Clean your exterior walls Before starting most renovation projects and installations, it’s important to begin with a clean surface area. This can be done with a stiff-bristled brush to clear away any visible dirt and grime. We’d also recommend rinsing the wall with a power washer to get rid of excess debris that's collected. The clearer the surface, the better the brick siding will be able to adhere. Following these steps, use a terry cloth to wipe down and dry off the wall. Then, we’d suggest letting the wall dry for a 24-hour period before moving on to the next step. 2- Attach wire mesh Now that your wall is clean and dry, you’ll need to attach a wire mesh over the length of the wall where you’re planning to install the brick siding. The mesh should be secured into place using galvanized nails that sit at 1-foot intervals. This step will likely require two sets of hands in order to go smoothly. Source: Pexels 3- Apply mortar to the wall Next, you’ll need to apply mortar to the wall. Begin by mixing the mortar as per the instructions from the manufacturer. Take a trowel and use it to apply the mortar in the top corner of the wall area where you’re working. Scooping the mortar with the trowel, you’ll be looking to apply a thick layer over the corners of the wire mesh, about ½ an inch. Make sure you are using the trowel to firmly press the mortar through the mesh. Using the notched side of the trowel, create horizontal grooves in the mortar. This will help it to properly adhere to the brick siding when it’s installed. 4- Install brick siding corners The brick veneer will come with specific corner pieces that’ll have to be installed first. Gather these pieces together, then take one and apply a ¼ inch layer to the back of the piece. This can be done using the smooth side of your trowel. Spread the mortar evenly onto the panel and then attach the first corner piece to the wall. Now, press the piece firmly into the corner of the wire mesh and into the mortar that’s already in place. Repeat this step for all of the corners of the wall you’re working on. Source: Unsplash 5- Place the panels Now you’ll take on one of the most important steps, putting the brick panels in place. You’ll begin at the corner where you first started and spread a ½ inch layer of mortar onto the wall. Then, apply mortar in a ¼ inch thick layer to the back of the brick panel. This piece will need to be carefully fitted beside the first corner piece. Wiggle the panel so that it bonds firmly, and also press it in all 4 corners as well as the middle to make sure it adheres. Move onto the adjacent area of the wall, apply mortar to it and then repeat the process with another panel. Work your way across the wall and then move downwards. Bear in mind that for this to look like real brick, you’ll want to attach panels with staggered joints. It's worth mentioning that brick can be laid in a variety of traditional patterns, such as running bond, common bond or stacked bond. You may need to use a circular saw in order to cut end pieces to complete your installation. Make sure to scrub away the residual mortar by scrubbing the surface of a wall with a brush. The mortar requires 24 hours to cure. Source: Pexels 6- Grout Start by preparing the grout. This grout will need to be applied to the joints between veneer panels. You’ll want to wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge. This is the last and final step in your exterior brick siding project. You can now reveal the beauty of your brick veneer. If you’re looking for more information on exterior siding, you may want to check out a few of our other articles on the subject: Exterior siding: what material should you choose? Exterior siding renovation guide