Stone work question

I'm putting stone on the floor <done , and it looks good> and up the wall behind and on the left of my wood burning stove . The floor is done , and in a week or so I'll move on to the wall . My question is whether I need to leave a small space between the stone and the sheetrock or to let the stone touch the wall . I had originally planned to leave "ducts" behind the stone for convective circulation . I have decided that the return doesn't merit the extra work since we'll have a big ceiling fan in the room to keep heat from stagnating at the ceiling . The rocks are all free stuff from our land , and I've got them graded by thickness from 4" down to around 2" . Thicker stones will be used lower down . Since I have leftover materials from the shower project , I'm using a mix of 5 masonry mix <sanded> 1 portland , 3 sand , and 1 gray thinset mortar . I mix it up dry as a premix and make small batches as I can use them before it sets . This gives a very sticky mud when mixed on the dry side that worked very well on the floor . I expect it will do the same on the wall . Corrugated brick ties will be used at about 10-15 inch intervals to make sure the wall remains a wall and not a pile of rocks and mud on the floor <my brother made that mistake when he laid up a fireplace surround of volcano rocks many years ago ...> .
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On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:22:41 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

When I had a decorative stone surround put around my fireplace, they attach ed wire lath to the drywall, then the mud and stone went on that. Mine was decorative though, so only about 1" thick. Using real stone, that's going to weigh a whole lot more and IDK what the weight implications are. But I don't see why you'd want a space between the stone and drywall in any case .
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trader_4 wrote:

This is going to be both decorative and a thermal storage mass . I asked about the space because I've seen a dead space behind "brick veneer" in general construction . I tend to think I don't want any space , but figgered I'd check with the "experts" here too . This floor is looking better and better , the rocks here in Stone County Ar have a fairly high iron content , and the reddish colors really pop in contrast to the gray of the mortar . I need to get some muriatic to finish cleaning mortat haze , vinegar works but not as well as I had hoped . About the weight issue , this wall is directly over one of the main support beams . I'll probably be adding extra crossblocking between the joists to be sure I don't have any sag - though if this is a solid mass when finished , I'm not so sure extra blocking is needed .
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Hi Terry,

I think it depends on the clearance ratings of your woodstove. If you have the rated distance between the woodstove and the stone wall, you can do it however you want, it's just decorative. If the stone encroaches into the rated clearance space, I believe code requires the gap behind the stonework. I would assume this is due to conduction, heat traveling through the stone to the combustible wall behind. The gap acts as a thermal break.
Personally, I always thought the gap would collect bugs, dust, spider webs, and other debris that would combust easily. It seems counterintuitive to me, but I guess the "experts" test these kinds of things for fire safety.
I wouldn't use sheetrock behind the stonework though. It would be better to install something like durock or hardibacker that is made for tile work. Mortar could soften the paper on the drywall and allow it all to separate (cracks, crumbling, etc.).
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Only as a matter of protocol, and not because you need to, I'd use fireplace high temp mortar. Why not? small amount.
We have high iron content here, too. Here's a 'heads up' be really, really sure you want that gray mortar look before you do it. When I first did it, I thought nice contrast, then slowly started to hate it. After using sakrete color, brown, from home depot; the mortar became 'similar' in color to the stones, which left the stones dominating, not the mortar when I looked at it. Now when I look, I see the stones. Seriously, be really, really sure you want that gray mortar dominating over the look of your stones.
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RobertMacy wrote:

My wife and I really like the look of the floor , with the contrasting colors . The wall will have smaller mortar joints , I won't be filling the joints smooth/flush like the floor . This type of stonework is very common here , probably due mostly to the easy availability of rocks - there's a reason they called it "Stone County" ... our house will use the same type of stone facade up to the bottom of the windows , then white oak split shakes above to the eaves . I'll be using as much native material as possible , just like they did in the "Old Days" . Interior finish is planned to be "rustic" , also incorporating native materials as much as possible . I may have to build a bandsaw mill to get the lumber I want ... We've got nearly 12 acres of trees , predominantly whit and red oaks . Can you say "Solid Oak Cabinets" ? I knew you could ...
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Sounds like your project is going to be outstanding results.
12 acres of trees?! arrrg bragging, or complaining? covet, covet, covet.
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RobertMacy wrote:

Welllllll ... Neither , just sayin' . We bought this land in '01 I think it was , with the intent of retiring here . What I didn't know then was that retirin' is more work than workin' ! The big difference is that this is all stuff I want to do , so it's not really work . Like this afternoon , I just made a couple of lead weights to replace the lost ones for a triple beam scale I was given . I now know that a gallon ziplock bag of frozen blackberries weighs almost exactly 4.5 lbs . Just right to make a gallon of medium-bodied wine <grin> . Guess where I picked the berries <bigger grin> ? And it looks like we'll get a bumper crop of muscadines this year too ...
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I've got 65 acres of trees, spring fed pond too. You interested in buying?
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Well, THAT just got a Pavlovian response! Hope you get a chance to post pics
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Know I can't afford, but where located?
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RobertMacy wrote:

I just started a batch of muscadine wine , from berries my neighbor picked last fall . He gave me a couple of 1 gallon freezer baggies last winter because he needed more room for venison ... and I ended up with some of that too because of lack of freezer space . I sure love living out here , got some of the best neighbors I've ever had .
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