Instructions: Build sandstone wall yourself and grout

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Instructions: Build sandstone wall yourself and grout: instructions

Sandstone is a common building material used in Germany since time immemorial. There are good reasons to stay with this tradition, because sandstone is also a very beautiful building material, and the sandstone wall is one of the most durable horticultural buildings that you can build and grout very well. Even in two different variants, for which there are instructions below:

Foundation or no foundation?

This is the first question to be decided before the Wall is built, it is followed by decision support and the instructions for making a strip foundation:
  • A sandstone wall, in which the stones are properly walled with mortar, should be placed on a frost-free foundation
  • A wall with support function, down on a slope z. B., is pending on the ground, already needs a foundation for security reasons
  • If a sandstone wall is to undergo no uplift and subsidence even in heavy frost, is also better placed on a foundation
  • If the sandstone wall is to be built on an existing smooth concrete surface, this is easily possible if it is on a proper substructure made of a shaken gravel grit bed
  • If not, it depends on the height of the sandstone wall, really mighty walls should not be placed on an unpaved concrete surface that eventually crumbles
  • Especially not when water could collect, then makes itself felt quickly if a ballast foundation as a capillary-breaking frost protection layer is missing
  • As soon as the lower bricks stand "in a water tub" during frost, they will simply burst
  • Then you can put on the concrete a capillary breaking layer with border and drain or put the sandstone wall somewhere else
  • If you want it to be just a simple little sandstone wall as a garden decoration, you do not need a frost-free foundation, but can simply build the wall on a 30 to 40 cm thick gravel or gravel layer

The frost-free strip foundation

A frost-free strip foundation is created as follows:
  • Insert the base of the wall + addition of at least 10 cm to all sides (depends on the height of the wall) + thickness of the formwork with a batter board
  • A batter board is a simple construct of mason's string and wooden pegs
  • This foundation strip will now be dug to a depth of 75 cm
  • For a long time, a depth of 80 cm was the measure for frost protection, and warming due to climate change is already changing the standard specifications here
  • When the foundation trench is finished, a gravel bed comes as a so-called cleanliness layer on the ground
  • This is then compacted with a vibrating plate and possibly covered with PE foil
  • Now the formwork is introduced, if necessary reinforcement is laid out on the ground
  • The upper edge of the formwork is aligned horizontally, now the concrete for the foundation can be filled
  • You need concrete of strength class C12 / 15
  • For small foundations of tiny walls, the concrete can be mixed by hand:
  • For example in a wheelbarrow, most simply from pre-mixed concrete, which only has to be mixed with water
  • Concrete for larger foundations is mixed with the concrete mixer on site (first sand and cement, then water) or delivered directly from the concrete plant
  • It must be evenly distributed in the formwork, with occasional use of a shovel in the mass to avoid air pockets
  • If the concrete is in the formwork, it is compacted by tampers and possibly filled up a bit
  • Then the concrete is pulled off smoothly and covered with foil / tarpaulin, after drying the formwork is removed
  • If you were self-employed, immediately clean tools and concrete mixers with water
  • Make sure that no concrete residues get into any sewers, which clog immediately
  • When skin contact with concrete, caution is advised, it irritates the skin

Instructions: Sandstone wall

First of all, all ingredients are adjusted:
  • Maurerhammer
  • trowel
  • Mortar mass, ready mixed, for beginners as well as finished, only to be touched with water dry mortar
  • guide
  • sandstones
  • plummet
  • spirit level
  • ruler

terrace tiles

Now it starts with the walls:
  • Apply a thick layer of mortar to the foundation
  • For sandstone you need a very special mortar, see below
  • On the mortar, the first row of sandstones is lined up
  • And with a spirit level, folding rule, masonry hammer and guide exactly aligned
  • Between the sandstones joints of about one centimeter are left
  • Between the rows also upwards
  • It is important that the first row is straight so that the entire wall does not slant upwards
  • If you are building in the classic runners' association, the next row of sandstones is always placed half offset
  • You can first pull up the side walls of the wall
  • Similar to a staircase wall, bottom 4, then 3.5, then 2, 1.5 sandstone left and right
  • Now you can build high walls in between, with sandstones in equal distances, which sit as exactly as possible in one plane
  • In between, the spirit level and plumb bob should be constantly used, even if the wall looks pretty straight
  • From the sides of the base plate and the joints may well swell a little mortar
  • Then you do not need to pay attention to the beauty of the joints
  • The stones are "full" and fully bonded with mortar
  • With this method you have to scratch out the joints every now and then about 1.5 cm
  • When the wall is up (and you have paused), grout the open 1.5 cm completely at rest, carefully, evenly and well

Mortar for the sandstone wall

An "iron basic law of the walls" reads: The mortar must be softer than the built-in stone. For the very soft sandstone, many natural stone mortars become too hard after setting. Using too hard a mortar will have long-term consequences: if the weather conditions your wall, it will not be trapped by the mortar, as it would normally be, but the beautiful, soft, sensitive sandstone will be directly affected. The weathered then much faster than it would normally be the case.
So do not use "any mortar", even the commonly recommended trass mortar leads water to soft sandstone and is not suitable. Sandstone should rather be built only with so-called NHL mortar, which is a mortar with natural hydraulic lime. Alternatively (because not so authentic) you can use HL mortar, which is chemically identical, but more uniform, it is a fine lime mortar made from hydraulic binder phases (cement + hydrated lime). In contrast, the air lime mortar often offered today is not suitable, it has been shown that it suffers relatively quickly in outdoor use. For new sandstone walls with standard joints, a grain size of around 2 mm is recommended.

A very special wall

A very special wall is the drywall of sandstone, a wall that is stacked up completely without any binder. Dry stone walls have a long tradition here, as Germany is rich in sandstone. From Buntsandstein, Burgsandstein, limestone, reed sandstone and Stubensandstein each region has its own sandstone to offer, in greenish color (Abtswinder + Sander sandstone) or yellowish brown to brown (Ibbenbürener sandstone, Ruhr sandstone), for example. Bentheimer sandstone is light gray to white, Dietenhan sandstone, Seedorfer sandstone, red Weser sandstone are red, sandstone was used in many old buildings and in many dry stone walls. Such a traditional horticulture is currently back in fashion, because it brings more nature into the garden. Sandstone dry stone walls are not only ecologically and biologically valuable, but also incredibly durable, if they are built properly. They become small biotopes, in whose cracks and crevices (already rare) small animals such as amphibians or wild bees live. Building up a sandstone drywall is a fun experience that has more of a jigsaw puzzle than a classic masonry construction with wet and irritating mortar. For a beautiful drywall of sandstone, some planning is required, but it's worth it.

Foundation for the drywall of sandstone

Classic dry stone walls are placed on a dry foundation, made of gravel or gravel, on both sides about 10 cm wider than the lower row of masonry. How to proceed:
  • You need gravel or gravel grit 0/32 - 0/45, building sand, sandstones for the wall base
  • Dig 30 to 40 cm deep ditch for the foundation, store excavation in the vicinity
  • The trench should be 10-15 cm wider than the wall base and 5-10 cm wider than the lateral wall terminations
  • If water has to drain, you need to bring in an incline in drain direction
  • The trench is filled well over two-thirds with gravel / gravel, this layer is then compacted very carefully
  • This works with a rammer and a lot of power and best with a mechanical jogger
  • Above that comes a layer of building sand, which is 5 to 10 inches to the edge, which is smooth pulled off (with a plain board, for example)
  • The big heavy stones for the wall base are laid, they should (and will) press a few inches into the sand bed
  • Leave gaps of about 2 cm between the individual stones
  • These joints and are filled with soil of the excavation

Dry wall of sandstone

Now the dry stone wall can be piled up:
  • With the wall base, the heaviest chunks are processed, now the remaining stones are sorted by size
  • In decreasing size for the wall, a few particularly beautiful, if possible somewhat elongated stones for the wall crown
  • A pile of small stones is stored separately, they are used for wedging gaps
  • They can support the settlement of wild animals by planting, which also looks very decorative
  • Every rock garden plant, many perennials and a number of grasses can be planted in the sandstone wall
  • If the excavation for the foundation is mother earth, you can fill it in between
  • Otherwise, other earth should be ready
  • The plants must also be selected and provided beforehand, sorted by masonry base, joints, wall crest
  • Planting is also strongly recommended because it stabilizes the drywall
  • Even considerably, otherwise it is held together only by the weight and tilting of the stones
  • On the first stone row now comes some mother earth and the corresponding plants
  • Then the pre-sorted stones are gradually piled up with evenly spaced joints
  • In between, always fill soil and plant plants
  • Quiet a lot of soil, with increasing height is the compacted by the weight of the stones
  • Where stones are "wobbly", wed small stones in between until everything is tight
  • When your stone puzzle is done, the masonry crown is laid
  • Make sure you have a consistent height and wide joints that are suitable for a lot of soil / plants
This was the construction at a glance, a drywall can grow straight up, but then needs from a certain height a static calculation, or is classically built around three times as wide as wide, with a mighty base of at least 40 cm and up up to 20% narrower, on both sides. Always remember that sandstones are a soft and sensitive material, which also wants to be treated with care during cleaning and would like to see nothing but water and brush with ev. Some soft soap, especially neither chemicals nor acid household cleaners.
Especially the natural dry stone walls of sandstone are very popular, but sandstone is a great building material. But also a very soft building material, whose processing and treatment you should inform yourself well, if your sandstone wall should last and look beautiful.

Video Board: Stone Liquidators - How to Apply Grout to Stone.

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