STONETILE (Canada) Ltd.
Stonetile’s founder and president, Peter Kuelker knew there had to be an alternative to costly natural stone masonry. With that, he began to explore and engineer a unique all weather solution that was reasonably priced, highly durable and available in a wide variety of colors, textures and styles.
From its humble beginnings, Stonetile has grown into a state of the art, North American company based in Calgary, Alberta. With impeccable quality control and production from the 13,000 sq. ft. plant, Stonetile continues to deliver customers a product with an enduring style all its own.
Installed to exacting standards by our highly trained craftsmen, each Stonetile project carries a 10 year guarantee providing, long term investment benefits to new or renovated buildings.
Stonetile is a sophisticated, comprehensive, architectural cladding product line that replicates the look of real stone work. Stonetile uses a unique mechanical fastening system without using mortar which means it can be installed year-round in all weather conditions.
Stonetile’s innovative “Rain Screen system” ensures a continuous airspace between the stone cladding and the building allowing ventilation of trapped moisture to escape, virtually eliminating any possibility of wood rot or mould formation. Stonetile Canada Ltd. is the originator of this revolutionary cladding system and holds patents for product design in both the U.S. and in Canada.
Stonetile offers many advantages over traditional masonry products, yet is a cost effective solution. Using only the highest quality engineered and tested precast, installed by our certified craftsman, Stonetile is an enduring permanent exterior solution.
HERE IS MY STORY
For 15 years I was a builder of luxurious residential homes in the city of Calgary, Alberta.
I loved my craft and I loved being present in one of my show homes on a Sunday afternoon and witness the visitors admiring my workmanship.
It was great to hear the words of approval.
“Wow, this home is gorgeous”
“Wow, this home is gorgeous” or “Would it not be nice to live here” or “We wish we could afford it”.
One Saturday afternoon in 1988 I passed by a construction site (Earl’s Restaurant on 4th St.) where stone masons applied a product that I had never seen before, a solid stone facade. I stopped and asked where this product came from and I was told that this material was from fallen buildings in Mexico, remnants of the big earthquake.
Wow, the look was so beautiful and it inspired me to start tinkering in my garage to achieve such a look. I thought it would be cool if I had this kind of look on the exterior of my next project. I got busy and built some molds and took them to a vacuum former. I was very pleased with the initial results!
People passing by stopped to ask
The fastening system was a real challenge, but soon I had enough pieces to actually install them on the front of my own home. I simply loved the look and people passing by stopped to ask where I had purchased this product. This told me that I needed to develop this product fully and actually produce and make it available to the building community.
Soon I moved my tinkering operation into a small warehouse and started to operate. For every answer I found there seemed to be more issues to resolve. When I introduced the product at the Home and Garden show in Calgary it was a big hit. Sales came faster than I was able to produce. I started with 12″ x 18″ bevel tiles and soon I saw the need to develop a whole product line.
“WE JUST LOVE OUR STONETILE EXTERIOR”
Several times I went to the library and I took out as many architectural books as I could carry and I sought out all types of designs for moldings and other architectural design element. Most illustrations in these books looked somewhat familiar to me. I grew up in Germany and I immigrated to Canada when I was 18 years old and this was the look that I had grown up with.
More and more I became fascinated with building new molds and getting a complete product line that would serve not just only traditional architecture but all the different period architecture, all the way to contemporary modern.
I applied for government approvals in Edmonton and thereafter in Ottawa. After a couple of years of engineer testing it was a day of celebration when we received our CCMC number 12886-R. Stonetile was the only manufactured stone product to receive such an approval! This was due to the fact that Stonetile has the required 10mm Rain-Screen airspace built right in. It is always such an honor to hear a customer say, “We just love our Stonetile exterior”.
Stonetile receives certification through Built Green Canada
Stonetile’s Red Brick is added to the product line.
Stonetile becomes a AAA Course Provider to Architects presenting a “Moisture Control in Exterior Walls” program
New products LedgeStone, AstroStone, MetroStone and SummitStone
New product line UrbanStone (3D panels for exterior)
Stonetile developed the Cabo Stone product.
Starts a full time proactive Rust spot repair program.
Stonetile starts using new formula with pure ground limestone. This eliminated the rust spot issues.
Stonetile Saskatoon is started.
Stonetile expands by opening a distributor Vancouver
Stonetile increases the 6mm Rain screen space to a 10mm space, conforming to the 2005 national building code.
Stonetile expands again into eastern Canada opening a distributor in Halifax.
It was also in 1999 when Stonetile received the CCMC evaluation. Extensive engineering tests preceded obtaining this approval.
Due to manufacturing needs, Stonetile is relocated to its present facility in February of 1999. 13,000 sq. ft.
Stonetile expands by opening a distributor Edmonton in the summer 1997.
18 months after leasing the first facility the production was moved to a 3500 Sq. Ft. space. We outgrew this space by January 1995 and moved to a 6000 sq. ft. location in which we operated for 4 years.
Stonetile was introduced to the general public in February 1991 at the Calgary Home and Garden Show. The customer response was overwhelming. The second significant installation was done in the spring of 1991 at 37 Woodhaven View.
Asides from installing tiles on Peters own home the first full installation was done in the fall of 1990 on a new home located on the east side of Chestermere Lake.
The first government approval was the provincial approval: Alberta Product Listing
The first leased facility was 1200 sq. ft. and served as office, show room, and the production area. Several months of further development followed.
A $25000 grant was secured from the Alberta Innovative Housing Grants Program It took almost 2 years of time to develop the form and backer board, the hanger and production system.
The first tile was made on April 20, 1988. Home garage was used to do a lot of the initial experimentation.
Stonetile is manufactured in a state of the art computerized process. It ensures that all our formulas are dispensed precisely for each batch. All forms are covered during the heated curing phase. This process ensures high quality product but at the same time it allows us to produce each one of our richly crafted pieces at affordable prices.
The raw material we use to create our high density concrete is the finest ground stone available, without impurities such as iron stone, pyrite or coal thus preventing unsightly rust spots.
Customarily pumice or expanded shale is used in the production of manufactured stone. These materials have a negative impact on our environment due to the fact that long distance transportation is required as well as high energy requirements for manufacturing in case of the expanded shale production. High Density concrete can not be achieved with these materials. And since these materials are highly water absorbent, concrete longevity is difficult to achieve.
What is Stonetile?
Stonetile is a richly crafted exterior wall product consisting of a diverse line of patented concrete tiles and moldings suitable for all types of new and retrofit construction. This line of stunning concrete products ranges from the Ultra Modern, to the traditional classic designs at a very reasonable cost. All tiles and moldings have imbedded metal fasteners that allows this product to be screwed onto the exterior. The joints are filled with urethane caulking which is then coated with silica sand to give the joints a realistic mortar appearance. This joint material will remain flexible.
How long will Stonetile last?
Stonetile is made of high density concrete. Dry or wet concrete will last almost indefinitely. Concrete is not affected by UV. Concrete, and for that matter real stone, will however deteriorate if it is subjected to many wet freezing and thawing cycles. The first Stonetile installations were done over 25 years ago. Upon examination of these projects, one could expect centuries of life as there has been no detectable change. Proper flashing installation and the prevention of ground water soaking into the Stonetile exterior are important steps to ensure that the Stonetile exterior stays unchanged. Our warranty is 10 years on the product. Under normal circumstances, Stonetile can last almost indefinitely if not exposed to unusual wet freeze thaw cycles.
What maintenance is required?
Maintenance is not required.
Will it match with my existing style of my home?
A Stonetile exterior will add beauty to any home, no matter what architectural style it is, that being said the choice of moldings should be in keeping with the architecture of the home. To select baroque moldings, keystones and some other accessories for example would not be the correct choice for a Craftsman or a contemporary style.
Will it match with my existing siding?
Stonetile will add beauty to a home where large partitions of the home feature another siding products such as Stucco, Vinyl, fiber board, brick etc. Great results can be achieved with existing stucco. Moldings and quioning can be installed without removing the stucco. A Stonetile representative will know if an existing product needs to be removed.
What happens when a tile or molding gets damaged?
Call us toll free at 1-800-266-9320 or fill out our service request form here and they will either repair or replace it.
What will my home look like with Stonetile?
We suggest you look at the “Gallery” and get a feel of what your project would look like. You may choose a simply elegant tile exterior with very little moldings or you may choose an exterior with a lot of trim moldings. It will be determined by your personal preference on influenced by your budget.
Do you make cultured stone?
No, the cultured stone is applied with mortar onto a stucco scratch coat, it is produced with light weight aggregate and features multi color shading on the surface. Stonetile has a mortar free installation and the rain-screen system.
Who makes Stonetile and where is the factory?
Stonetile is produced in a Calgary plant by Stonetile (Canada) Ltd.
Where is it sold?
Stonetile is sold though our distributors (see list of distributors) or it is sold directly through Stonetile (Canada) Ltd.
Why are there sometimes rust spots on Stonetile?
Until 2007 Stonetile was produced with concrete sand from local pits. We found that the impurities, especially Pyrite in this material was increasing dramatically. Even though the concrete quality was excellent, the fragments of pyrite resulted in unsightly spots. Stonetile has since solved this issue by sourcing from a new quarry, pure crushed limestone.
What is the Rain-screen system?
Rain-screen is basically a 10mm (or more) airspace directly behind the siding. This airspace allows water that has migrated through the siding to drain down on the backside of the siding and exits at the bottom. This space also allows any condensation to vent out at the top. Rain-screen is the second line of a very effective defense of water entering the building wall cavities. Rain-screen is the solution for preventing rotting of the exterior walls or mold and mildew to appear on the inside of the building. Many other exterior products do not feature the rain-screen system even though the 2005 Canadian national building code requires rain-screen for all new construction.
Can Stonetile be installed over stucco?
We recommend that the stucco is removed so that the tiles and molding can be screwed directly to the wood substrate. If you are doing a small appearance package, such as a few sills under window or some corner quoining it may be simpler to keep the stucco.
Can Stonetile be installed over Styrofoam?
We have developed a fastening system that allows the product to be installed over Styrofoam. There will be extra installation costs. Please call an exterior envelope engineer to get assurance that potentially devastating condensation issues are avoided with the application of Styrofoam.
Can Stonetile be installed over siding?
Vinyl and aluminum siding must be removed. Wood siding could be left in place provided that a flat surface can be achieved.
Can the whitish stains be removed?
The whitish stains are calcium efflorescence. Efflorescence may occur with all product where cement is used. The stains will come off with the household cleaner CLR. After the cleaning rinse and scrub with a hard nylon brush.
Could I use Stonetile inside?
Yes, but our craftsmen are trained for exterior installations only.
How do I clean Stonetile?
Stonetile does not need cleaning like for example vinyl siding. The reason why vinyl siding gets dirty prematurely is the fact that due to the excessive shrinking and expansion between day and nighttime temperatures. This movement causes static in the siding. It is this static which attracts air born dust. If you have accidental dry paint splatters on your Stonetile, they can be removed with acetone or lacquer thinner on a cotton rag.
Can it be installed in winter?
Yes, wintertime when the vegetation around the house is dormant is the best time of the year to install Stonetile on renovation projects.
How long is the manufacturer’s warranty?
Stonetile has a limited manufacturer’s warranty for 10 years. Stonetile has now been in business for over 25 years and good customer service is behind our success. In contrast, siding applicators traditionally do not offer lasting warranties.
Will Stonetile fade?
Stonetile is produced with iron oxide color pigments which are the most fade resistant color pigments. Color changes over time will likely not be noticeable.
How is Stonetile installed?
Stonetile is installed by our trained craftsmen. Most recently we have a training program for the DIY “do it your-selfers”. There are several videos on our website under “Installation” that teach the know how. We still recommend that the more complicated installations are done by our craftsmen. We firstly do a layout in order to center the product on the wall and set up the necessary scaffolding. We ensure that the product is installed level and that the caulking and sanding is done in a professional manner.
Do you replace tiles or moldings that have rust spots?
No, it is not necessary to replace tiles or moldings which have developed a rust spot (pyrite spot). In our signed contracts we commit to repair these spots with a colored grout.
Why is there a patent on Stonetile?
Stonetile has uniquely tapered edges. When expansion happens on hot days, the product expands slightly. (concrete expansion is minimal when compared to plastics or metal) nevertheless this expansion is absorbed in the tapered edges and any thermal cracking is prevented. In contrast other masonry products need unsightly expansion joints and even with expansion joints cracks often develop.
Is there a government approval on Stonetile?
Stonetile had received a CCMC approval in 1999. In the last 5 years we have made quality improvements to Stonetile such as increasing the rains-screen air space and changing to a contaminant free aggregate. It will take a month more for the CCMC review process. Only the best products receive this high standard of approval.
What is CCMC?
CCMC (Canadian Construction Material Centre) is a division of CMHC. This governing body evaluates the durability and suitability of materials that may be used in construction. Only accredited engineering firms may perform the test on these materials and write the reports.
Can Stonetile be painted?
Yes Stonetile can be painted with a good quality acrylic latex paint. Due to the fact that Stonetile has the venting and draining rain-screen system paint will adhere perfectly and not peel on vertical walls.
Do all the tiles have to be fastened to the studs?
No Stonetile gets screwed into the plywood or OSB sheathing with 1” #8 screws.
What is Stonetile made of?
Stonetile is made of high density concrete of which the main ingredient is pure crushed limestone. The tiles and the moldings have embedded galvanized metal fasteners.
Are the joints completely water tight?
We make an attempt to seal all joints with the urethane caulking but our primary focus is a great appearance. If traces of water end up behind the tiles it will simply runs down the backside of the tiles and exits at the bottom and there is no harm done. If for example the joint filling was not done, the rain-screen system would still be fully functional and water could not enter the wall cavity.
How heavy is Stonetile?
Stonetile is about the same weight as a good quality stucco exterior and no additional support is required.
Should the brick always be removed?
Architecturally, brick and Stonetile is quite complementary although the earth tone color palette of Stonetile may not be complementary to the bright brick colors. If brick and Stonetile are used together, painting the brick may be a solution.
Is Stonetile treated with a sealer?
No sealer is sprayed on the surface of the tile. Sealers have a limited lifespan. Our high density concrete is the best protection against UV light damage. Sealers as well as many other products will be damaged or will disintegrate over the years.
How do I become a Stonetile craftsman?
Contact the distribution directly you would ideally like to work with, and email a copy of your resume attention to the Construction Manager. The duration of your training will depend of how much general construction experience you have already.