I helped my daughter install an Airstone (Not an affiliate link) backsplash in the Autumn Mountain colors and we changed her Vinyl wallpaper covered walls into textured walls recently. This was our first time to use Airstone and we learned a few tips along the way to help others that I thought I would share with you along with the before and after pics of her kitchen.
Airstone is a new cement material shaped and colored like stone veneer that is mixed with air (to make it lighter) that can be used indoors or outdoors. It weighs 75 percent less than stone and it is very easy to use and durable too. No grout is needed between the stones
- We tried several of the suggested ways (by the store) of cutting the Airstone. We found that using a stone cutting end on a Dremel Tool was by far the easiest and quickest way to cut this stone. Once we started doing it this way then the application went very quickly. The hacksaw was too slow and labor intensive, the jigsaw with a tile/stone blade was too strong and shattered our stone. We decided against a tile cutter because we didn't want to wait for the stone to dry after getting it wet on the cutter.
- Make sure the surface you are applying Airstone to can support the weight. It is much lighter than stone but it is still heavy to some degree and needs to be applied to a sturdy surface (not ever over wallpaper)
- If there is not something under the Airstone to support it while it is drying (such as a counter top) then it is a good idea to install a temporary board to hold it up and steady during installation and drying time. We used this behind the stove.
- The store suggested we use the glue that comes in the super size tubes (like caulk but bigger). These were very difficult for us to squeeze. It is the waterproof glue that was like this. Buttering the stones with the non waterproof glue is so much easier. My tip here, if you need the waterproof glue is to have a strong man to help do the squeezing (LOL) or do like my daughter to help keep your hands from blistering (gloves didn't help). She used Kinesio tape on her fingers and hands in the spots that were getting sore to prevent any blisters and to help her continue working without any more soreness. It won't take you long to figure out where you need the tape (LOL)
- The first row is the most important one. If you get that one unlevel then it will get farther and farther off as you go like wallpaper does (we didn't have a problem with this). Make sure the first row is level and keep using that level as you go because houses are rarely level and even though your first row is level, the stone may start getting off because of the odd spots in your home as in relation to windows, cabinets, outlets that aren't level...this was a frustration at times.
- Use a large slot screwdriver like an icepick to knock off the slub areas on the stones. The stones have little slubs on the sides of nearly all of them and if you don't knock them off then the stones will not stay level as you go. Knocking them off using a screwdriver was easy but took some time so one of us did that job while the other worked on the backsplash.
- My daughter used a waterproof spray for her Airstone backsplash just in case something got spilled. This makes the water bead up rather than absorb if splashed. She did this to also prevent any possible staining. One could possibly use sealer made for stone tile for this purpose too.
This is a before picture of my daughter's kitchen. It looks nice but adding the Airstone took her kitchen from average to an upgraded look and feel.My son in law was on a fishing trip while we did our work and so he was quite surprised when he arrived home. He sent her a text that said, "I love, love, love it!" She promptly texted back asking who was texting on her husband's phone because her husband never says things like that. You will notice that she changed her light fixture over the island as well. It isn't as easy to see the texture on the walls that we did too but let me assure you that it made a world of difference in her room.
If you decide to use Airstone, then I hope our tips will be helpful for you and save you lots of time.
P.S.: I have had several questions about the Dremel Rotary Tool that we used. The tool we used is something like this Rotary Tool:(not an affiliate link:)
The Dremel Blade we used on that tool was something like this Dremel Blade (not an afilliate link)
Read Some More:
How To Change Ugly Vinyl Wallpaper or Paneling To Textured Walls
Homemade Wallpaper Remover
My Beach Cottage Inspired Redo Part 2