Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Condo Renovation & Decor Idea: DIY Stone Wall

A space transformed:
the stone wall is subtle and neutral yet provides high impact.

In his search for something to liven up the stark white wall in his condo living room, Julius wanted something unique that would set his condo apart from others. Inspired by the popularity of stone fireplaces, he decided to install a decorative stone wall, even though the idea was initially met with raised brows.

The project took approximately two days to complete and cost approximately $1,600 for the materials.

Julius' condo before the transformation

Materials and Equipment:

The Stone

Materials were purchased from Ciot; the stone was sold in sheets, similar to many backsplash tiles.

  • Hints & Tips: While the selection was much more limited at the time Julius embarked on this project, keep in mind that popular DIY stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Rona now carry a wide variety of stone tiles. Shop around to find something that works with your style and budget.

The Equipment

Saw – Required to cut the stone tile to the exact required dimensions.

  • Hints & Tips: If you don’t already have a saw, rentals may be available at your local hardware store if you don’t want to purchase one.

Cement – This acts as an adhesive between the stone and drywall.

  • Hints & Tips: To avoid any need to first apply a mesh base or foundation (which is sometimes recommended in this type of project), the staff at Ciot advised Julius that “super adhesive cement” could be used. He followed their advice and saved himself a step while easing his concern that a mesh base might affect the aesthetic of the stone wall.

The Installation:

Armed with his earlier experience from other DIY projects, conversation with others, as well as tips and tricks picked up from home improvement shows, Julius began his installation.

First, all the stone tiles were laid out on the floor so that Julius could get a better idea of what the wall would ultimately look like.

  • Hints & Tips: Laying out the stone will also enable you to take more accurate measurements while minimizing potential waste.

Figuring that the process would be similar to installing a backsplash, Julius began by applying the stone tiles from the middle of the wall, then working his way outward. He quickly learned that this wouldn’t work given the (much heavier) weight of the stone.  In the end, Julius installed the stone tiles starting from the bottom of the wall, working his way up.

Other Tips from Julius:

Consider having the stone delivered to reduce any unnecessary physical and emotional stress. If you’re picking up the stone from the store yourself, then make sure you have a van or are ready to take a few trips as the stone is extremely heavy.

Before you begin, be sure to check with your property management or condo board to see if any specific rules or by-laws apply that will impact the project. At minimum, you’ll likely encounter a noise restriction clause.