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Which Mortar to Pick for Your Stone

So you have picked your exterior stone and now you need to know which mortar to pick. Mortar is the paste used to bind the stones together and it also binds the rock to the exterior of the home. Without mortar all you would have is a pile of rocks in your front yard. Mortar makes up an astonishingly large part of the surface on a stone wall, up to 20%. When you look at other new construction home, you may not think to pay attention to what lies between the stones, but the effect of the color of mortar is indisputable. By adding color to your mortar, any stone wall can be easily enhanced and given that extra touch of refinement. Here we will talk about the various benefits of choosing one color over another and you will be able to pin point which style appeals to you more. At Castlerock Homes we have limited the plethora of color choices to 9 distinctly different options. This color series has set the standard for decades as the most consistent colored mortar.

There are two main routes that you should consider, trying to match the tones in the rock to give the stone a cohesive look, or you could pick a mortar that contrasts the rock to make the rock "pop" against the house. We will also discuss what to do when your rock has multiple tones in it and any mortar appears to pull different values from the rock.

Matching Rock to Mortar

If your rock is primarily all one color, you may want to pick a mortar that matches the same tones in the stone. This gives the wall a homogeneous look. The wall will appear as though it is one large unit that only varies in texture. People choose to do this if their intentions are to unify the area. This will give the new home a solid division between the rock and the stucco.

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Similar Color Mortar to Stone

This person chose to match as closely as they could to the overall tones of the rock.  When you do this sunlight still creates shadows to define each rock, but the overall appearance is the same.  The rocks all feel like they are connected.

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Castlerock Matching Mortar

This is an example of a Castlerock Home that chose to use mortar that matched the color of the rock.  Here you can see there is a very strong division between the rock and the stucco.  The only variation below the stucco banding comes from the changes in color in the rock, not the mortar.

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All-Over Light Tones

This homeowner chose to match the mortar, rock, and stucco to have all the same tones.  This makes the homes very cohesive.  Your eye is more drawn to the windows and the beautiful arch over the door.  This is a great option for those who want the house to blend into the environment.

Contrasting Color Mortar

Many people want each rock on their home to be seen individually; using a contrasting value of mortar achieves this look! Whether it is dark stone with light mortar or light stone with dark mortar, this is a great way to add more interest to your home. However, if your home already has several interesting elements to it, this method of contrasting values may be distracting and make your home look too busy.

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Picking Darker than the Rock

The rock on this home has both very light, and very dark portions.  This homeowner decided they wanted that part of the home to have an all-over darker value, so they picked a dark mortar.  This acts like an outline for some of the lighter stones, while blending the darker stone together.

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Castlerock Contrasting Mortar

This new homeowner decided to use dark mortar with the rock they chose that is overall pretty light.  This contrasts allows each rock to be defined.  You can obviously see where one rock ends and the other begins.  The mortar also ties in the color of the stucco to the portion of rock.

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Dark Rock with Light Mortar

Here the homeowner chose a very dark rock and then a very light mortar.  This combination makes the overall wall lighter and more grey.  The rock's texture "pops" more and it gives the wall a unique appearance.

Variegated Colored Rock, Which Color Mortar to Pick?

Most of the rock that Castlerock Homes has included in the selection, and most of the rock that suppliers carry, is variegated, meaning the supplier pairs rocks of different values and tones together in the same collection. This makes homeowners a little bit stumped when it comes to picking a mortar. The truth of the matter is that as long as you pick a mortar that pulls at least one of the tones in your rock selection your house will look fantastic. The lighter the mortar, the lighter the overall portion of rock will appear, the same applies to darker mortar.

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Picking a Mortar in the Middle

In this rock selection you can see that there are rocks that are red, gray, and brown.  They paired the rock with a gray mortar, this choice subdues the gray rocks while allowing the reds and browns to be more visible.  The gray mortar also makes the overall area appear more gray.

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Castlerock with Mid-tone Mortar

Uintah Ledgestone is an inspired twist from northern Utah’s majestic canyons mixed with the aesthetic of traditional stacked slate. Uintah stone veneer features rough textures and jagged edges to provide a dramatic accent to fireplaces, columns, walls and entries.

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Picking One of the Values

The mortar they chose, matches the dark values in the rock.  This allows a cohesive look without subduing the lighter tones in the rock.  If they chose a lighter mortar then each stone would not be as defined as they are.

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