Can Stacked Stone Be Installed On Drywall?

January 11, 2021


If you’re tired of looking at plain, bland walls in your home, we have a solution for you — stacked stone! Adding stone is an easy way to add dimension and character to any space within your home. But you might be wondering if stacked stone can be installed directly onto drywall. While stacked stone should not be applied directly to drywall, there are a few solutions that will still enable you to create the look you’re going for.

Let’s dive into why you can’t install stacked stone on drywall, workarounds for installing stone panels with drywall, and the steps for a superior installation.

msi-cosmic-grey-stacked-stone-tv-surroundCosmic Gray Stacked Stone

Why Can’t You Install Stacked Stone on Drywall?

Stacked stone tile isn’t a difficult project to take on — but without the proper knowledge about installing it correctly, you can end up damaging the drywall in your home (leading to a costly repair). Because of the weight of the stacked stone, it can’t adhere directly to the drywall. Its weight won’t be properly supported. Even if it goes up initially and looks good, you’re in danger of dealing with a costly drywall issue if the stone panels end up pulling the wall down. Additionally, the moisture required throughout the installation process can also compromise the integrity of the drywall. It’s not worth the hassle or headaches. You might get the desired look at first, but it could turn into a costly nightmare in the blink of an eye.

How Can You Install Stacked Stone Tile with Drywall?

Installing stone wall tile is still possible — you just need to decide between one of two workarounds! Your first option is to completely remove the drywall in the location where you want the stacked stone to go and install a cement board. The cement board is heavy-duty enough to withstand the weight of the stone veneers. Another option is to install a cement board over the top of the drywall (instead of removing the drywall first). 

Installing Stone Wall Tile In Your Home

With access to the right ledger panels and tools, you can easily install a stone wall on the interior or exterior of your home. From home entryways to a stacked stone backsplash, the installation is relatively the same — and we’re here to walk you through it step by step so you can feel confident throughout the installation process.

msi-arctic-white-stacked-stone-feature-wall-in-white-living-room-minArctic White Stacked Stone

Determine How Much Product You Need

Depending on where you’re installing the stone panels, you might need to have both L-shaped panels to seamlessly fit around corners and flat panels for all other areas. To make installation easy, the pieces have an interlocking feature that allows you to slide them together seamlessly.

Before getting started, you need to have a clear idea of how much product you will need to complete the job. You don’t want to get halfway through only to realize you don’t have enough ledger panels to finish the project. To determine the number of stone tiles you need, you must calculate the surface area of the space where the tiles are being installed. Multiply the height and width of each wall and add the products together to get an idea of the number of panels you’ll need. No matter what number you calculate, you should always order 10% more than you think you will need to ensure you have the right panels to fit all interlocking cuts.

Prepare the Space

To get started with the installation project, you first need to prep the floor to prevent any damage from the stone veneers. Place drop cloths along the ground in front of the wall will minimal gapping between clothes so the floors aren’t exposed. Once the floors are covered, you can begin prepping the drywall to ensure it can withstand the weight of the stacked stone wall. The stone tiles will need to be attached to cement block walls or a cement board attached to your existing drywall — but before you can attach them, you need to clean the ways to ensure there is no residual dust or debris that can weaken the bond. If using a backer board for extra durability, you need to fasten it securely to the wall with backer board screws and the joint between the backer board must be filled to create a flat canvas to work on.

msi-charcoal-pencil-stacked-stone-wall-urban-living-room-minCharcoal Pencil Stacked Stone

Organize Your Stacked Stone Panels

With so many panels to adhere to, you don’t want to just right in and begin applying them directly to the wall. Begin by laying out all of the stone panel pieces on the floor directly in front of the project to help you visualize where everything will go. Because the wall is made of natural-looking stone, each piece isn’t going to be identical. By laying them out beforehand, you can imitate how the tiles will look and create an even blend of tones and coloring throughout the entire wall. Spend as much time as needed on this step to ensure the rest of the installation process will go smoothly.

Install the Stacked Stone

With the layout of your stone panels decided on the floor in front of you, it’s time to begin adhering the stone panels to the wall starting from the bottom row and working your way up the wall. As you install the first row, you must ensure that it is level along the ensure wall — the rest of your tile placement will depend on how well the first row was installed. Once the first row is level and installed, you can finish installing the rest of your paneling, making cuts and adjusting the panel sizes when necessary to fit the space perfectly. If you have any corners on the wall where your project is taking place, we recommend starting every row with the corner tile pieces and working your way to the flat stone panels. Continue row by row following this process and you’ll find yourself with a beautiful stone wall that adds character to any space.

For more information on installing stacked stone, check out this helpful video:

Are you ready to get your DIY project started? First, find the wall stone by reviewing MSI’s expansive Stacked Stone Collection. You can also chat with us online now, visit an MSI showroom, or contact an authorized MSI retailer near you.