How to Install Ledger Stone Backsplash

Installing a ledger stone backsplash can add beautiful texture and charm to any kitchen. Ledger stone brings the look of natural stone indoors in an affordable and low-maintenance way. With some planning and DIY skills, you can install a faux stone backsplash that looks like the real thing.

Things You’ll Need

  • Ledger stone tiles or panels
  • Mortar or thinset adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Grout and grout float
  • Grout sealer
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter or wet saw
  • Safety gear – gloves, goggles, mask
  • Bucket for mixing mortar
  • Grout sponge
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil

Preparing the Wall

Before installing the ledger stone backsplash, you’ll need to prepare the wall surface.

  • Clean the wall thoroughly and remove any old backsplash or wall coverings.
  • Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and let dry completely.
  • Prime the surface with a latex primer to improve adhesion.
  • Use painter’s tape to mark the area for the backsplash installation.

Planning the Layout

  • Measure the area to determine how many full stone tiles will fit.
  • Plan the layout so seams between stones don’t align but appear staggered.
  • Cut border and filler tiles as needed using a wet saw.

Applying the Mortar

  • Mix the mortar or thinset adhesive according to package directions.
  • Use a notched trowel to spread the mortar evenly over the installation area.
  • Spread only as much as can be covered in 15-20 minutes.

Setting the Ledger Stone

  • Place the first row of full stone tiles against the bottom edge.
  • Use tile spacers between each tile for even grout lines.
  • Press tiles firmly into the mortar for a good bond.
  • Check for level often and make adjustments if needed.
  • Repeat process for each additional row of stone.
  • Cut and install border tiles last using the wet saw.

Grouting the Stone

  • Let the mortar fully cure according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Mix the grout per package instructions to a thick, smooth consistency.
  • Use the grout float to spread grout over the stone, packing it deeply into joints.
  • Let the grout firm up slightly and then clean excess grout off the stone face.
  • Clean any haze off the tiles with a soft, damp sponge.
  • Allow grout to fully cure before sealing or regular use.

Sealing the Stone

  • Apply grout sealer according to label directions once grout has fully cured.
  • Penetrating sealers are recommended for natural stone.
  • Re-apply sealer yearly to protect ledger stone from kitchen stains.

With the right preparation and materials, installing a ledger stone backsplash is a project any DIYer can handle. Proper planning for cuts and layout will ensure your stone tiles fit together perfectly. Take your time grouting and cleaning for professional looking results. A sealed ledger stone backsplash will provide natural character for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of mortar should be used with ledger stone?

For ledger stone, a polymer-modified thinset mortar is recommended. This provides a strong bond and more flexibility for the irregular shapes of natural stone.

How are ledger stone tiles cut?

Ledger stone can be cut to size or custom shapes using a wet saw with a diamond blade. Always use proper safety precautions when cutting stone.

What color grout is best for ledger stone?

Ledger stone looks best with grout in earthy, natural shades that complement the variegated colors of the stone. Popular choices include sand, almond, and walnut colored grout.

How should the mortar be mixed for ledger stone installation?

Mortar for ledger stone should be mixed to a fairly dry, stiff consistency – wetter than for ceramic tile. Follow manufacturer’s product instructions.

What is the recommended grout line size for ledger stone?

The most common grout line width for ledger stone backsplashes is 1/8″ to 1/4″. Wider grout lines suit the rough, natural look of stone.

How long does mortar take to cure before grouting ledger stone?

Ledger stone mortar will need to fully cure for 24-48 hours before grouting can begin. Cure times depend on factors like temperature and humidity.

Conclusion

Adding a textured ledger stone backsplash brings natural character into any kitchen or living space. With proper planning, materials, and technique, you can install an affordable faux stone backsplash as a DIY weekend project. Once grouted and sealed, ledger stone requires minimal maintenance while providing long-lasting durability and charm. The end result will bring warmth and rustic style to your home.


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