Lime Based Faux Rock Veneer (I need your help)

Written by Andrew Morrison

faux rock veneerQuestion from a reader: Do you know a way to apply extremely fine ground sand mixed with natural lime or some other binder (resin) and color and bond it securely to a plywood floor as artificial stone (pattern to be achieved through removable tapes)?

I would love for anyone who reads this who has knowledge about this topic to post an answer here. I have no direct experience with type of faux rock veneer creation.

What I do know is that lime will need to be mixed with sands of at least four different sizes unless a chemical binder of some kind is used because lime has to bind with the sand mechanically without it. The different grain sizes of sand help the lime and sand to bond together. They can all be fine grains, but they need to be different sizes. You can find all kinds of sand at a plaster or stucco supply store.

My experience with lime plaster would suggest that this is possible to achieve and that the artistic nature of the material may come into play. Of course, you could use a concrete veneer and simply stamp it. Perhaps you could use a stamp pattern with the lime as well. The crucial step will be the sealing of the plaster mix so that it does not crumble over time and under wear and tear as a floor.

Another aspect that you will have to consider is the load bearing capacity of your floor. If the floor was designed to hold a dead load of 30 lbs. per square foot and you up that load to 50 lbs per square foot with the addition of the lime mix or concrete, your floor will be over loaded and could fail. Failure may not be catastrophic, but it could mean the deflection of the floor joists would cause the faux veneer to crack and crumble. You may want to add some additional joists to the floor system to help support the load.

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