Natural stone has won the hearts of many when it comes to construction or interior and exterior décor. This natural element is a great addition to any contemporary interior and opens the door the creativity and beauty. According to experts, natural stone is not expected to go out of trend anytime soon, which makes it a long-lasting décor to have in your home. Builders, designers, and consumers have been intrigued by this material for years.
Regardless of whether you will choose to use natural stone for a split-faced stone or stacked stone fireplace surrounding or a natural stone countertop, you can never be wrong when it comes to this durable and easy to maintain material. It is an ideal choice if you are looking to create a living space that feels unique, natural, and modern. You can play around with the rich colors of different natural stone pieces and there is no need to worry about being like the rest as every natural stone has its own and independent beauty.
There is no doubt that including natural stone in your interior design offers a wide array of benefits. But how is natural stone handled? What are the tools that stone veneer experts use for cutting, processing, and cladding natural stone?
We have prepared interesting insights around this topic that we hope you will enjoy. What better way to prepare for your next home renovation project than to have all the information necessary?
What are the tools for cutting stone?
Natural stone is more demanding when it comes to cutting as it is harder than other materials such as ceramic or porcelain. Having this in mind, we can say that using a standard tile cutter or tile snips will not be the best option. Let’s see what the most suitable alternatives for cutting natural stone are.
Cutting natural stone with a wet saw with a diamond-encrusted blade
You might be wondering why a wet saw is among the most suitable solutions for cutting natural stone. The simple explanation is that water comes in handy during the process as it lubricates the blade and lowers the temperature, preventing it from overheating. On the other hand, a diamond blade is advisable as it does a great job at cutting the stone cleanly. In addition, all types of natural stone can be cut with this tool, including marble, granite, slate, travertine, limestone, and more.
If you don’t have much experience using a wet saw with a diamond-encrusted blade, there are more alternatives to try. However, it is worth noting that they may not be as efficient as the tool described above.
The hammer and chisel solution
If your natural stone project is related to adding some extra décor to the garden walkway, a hammer and chisel can be a good option. The tiles will not be perfectly cut but this may be in your advantage if you are looking for a more rustic and imperfect but beautiful result. Score the tile using a carbide-tipped pencil and straightedge. Place the chisel on the center of the line and tap with the hammer.
Cutting stone with a hacksaw
A hacksaw can come to the rescue when you’re cutting natural stone, especially if you only need to cut a few tiles. Make sure that the hacksaw has tungsten carbide teeth that will guarantee that the tool will be able to go through the hard material. Using a pencil, sketch the line and score it using a sharp utility knife. Follow the line with the hacksaw, making slow and precise movements. To finish, use sanding stone to smooth out the edges.
Tile nippers for natural stone
Tile nippers are often used to finish the already cut natural stone tiles. For instance, if you need to fit the tiles around a pipe you can use tile nippers to cut the unnecessary edges that get in the way. Operating with tile nippers is a challenge for beginners but with experience, your grip becomes firmer and you will be able to have more precise results.
Tile cutter for cutting stone
Before we get into the scenario of cutting natural stone with a tile cutter it is worth noting that it will only be possible if it has tungsten carbide blades. If you are not looking to invest heavily in tools, a tile cutter can be rented out from different stores.
Stone cladding – the tools you can use
Stone cladding is a popular way to use natural stone as part of the exterior and even interior design. It is defined as the process of adding a thin layer of stone as a cladding for the exterior part of a structure. The experts in stone cladding achieve a beautiful three-dimensional result which makes you think that the whole structure is created using natural stone alone.
In order to have stone cladding, natural stone is quarried and milled into thing pieces. Cladding opens a wide range of creative choices and ideas as it can be arranged in different sizes, colors, thicknesses, shapes, and patterns.
To use natural stone for cladding, stone veneer professionals must ensure that the stone has been quarried and cut into the required pieces to take away from the weight. Natural stone is a heavier and harder material, requiring mechanical fixing in order for it to stick to substrates. This can be done through the use of shelf angles or stone clips.
Let’s see a list of tools and materials required for stone cladding:
- Hand grinder
- Wide mouth nippers
- Pointing gun
- Metal stick
- Mason’s trowel
- Spirit level
- Wood or metal strike tool
- Tuck pointer
- Electric mortar mixer
In reality, stone veneer experts use these tools on a regular basis and they are part of the preparation and execution of natural stone products. However, if you are a stone veneer newbie, it is worth exploring in more detail what every tool from the list is used for and find instructions on how to best use them.
A number of the listed instruments can also be used for different natural stone processing purposes.
What are the tools for processing stone?
Processing stone may not only be limited to cutting or cladding. You may want to calibrate or polish stone, for instance, which will require a separate set of tools and instruments. Polishing and calibrating are related to finishing the natural stone surface and ensuring that it is as smooth and as gentle as desired. It is also a valuable stage that will prepare the stone for the following processing.
This finishing process usually consists of four different stages. Let’s look at them in more detail and see what the best tools for each stage are.
- Natural stone roughing – During this stage, all imperfections are removed from the stone surface. The most commonly used tools are rollers, roughing or flicker plates.
- Calibration – This is an important stage that ensures that the final product will be geometrically and superficially correct according to the predefined requirements. For natural stone calibration, the most suitable tools are grinding wheel, finishing rollers, and calibrating plates.
- Smoothing – Once the smoothing phase is complete, there are no signs of the processing that has been conducted on the natural stone. Smoothing ensures a final smooth and satin finish of the stone. Popular instruments that professionals use for natural stone smoothing include steel or diamond brushes, along with synthetic frankfurt
- Polishing – At last, when the natural stone tiles reach this phase, they are given the polished look and color that can now be sold on the market. Here, the tools that dominate are resin fickerts, synthetic frankfurts, resin frankfurts, and polishers.
Using natural stone to the fullest
As you can see that handling natural stone may seem quite simple at first but when we dig deeper we have discovered that it does require a lot of technical knowledge, precise planning, and information regarding the suitable tools that can be used.
Although it may be tempting to decorate your home with natural stone all by yourself, it may be worth receiving help from a professional or preparing well in advance with a course related to cutting, processing, or cladding natural stone. If you are excited about using some of the tools listed here, then natural stone projects are an ideal choice for you.
On the contrary, if you are simply looking for something beautiful to add to your home, then find a stone veneer partner that can make your dreams come true. You can be as creative as you want with natural stone and remember – no other design will be exactly like yours thanks to the individuality and authenticity of every natural stone tile. Embrace the world of natural stone – it is a truly inspirational one!