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Johnston Masonry is the most qualified and experienced masonry company in the Northland with restoring and maintaining historic masonry buildings and features. We take great pride in the successful projects completed to this day and continue to provide undeniable service and results. There are many such buildings and features in Duluth and the surrounding areas that, with our expertise, can continue to remain, and look as they did when first built, for a lifetime.

Full Thickness Stone Veneer

There’s nothing more durable, more natural, or more breathtaking than the beauty of natural stone. There’s something soothing and timeless about natural stone. It’s both elegant and rustic, making a room feel comfortable and grand at the same time. Plus, it’s a perfect fit with you, the homeowner who wants to connect his indoor and outdoor living spaces. One of the beauty marks of natural stone is the natural cleft face which cannot be copied by man-made products. Natural stone is an elegant yet powerful material which is born deep beneath the earth, and extracted from the side of mountains. During its formation, unique features, characteristics, colors, and patterns emerge in its surface which give each piece a one of a kind personality. At Johnston Masonry, we have refined and honed our craftsmanship to provide the best possible service around. The result is an impeccable line of custom home exteriors and interiors which are elegant and sophisticated, while retaining the inherent power of real stone for years to come.

Thin Stone Veneer

Thin Stone veneer gives you old world charm without the expense or the hassle. Cut stone veneer products can give both the exterior and the interior of your home that distinctive touch of elegance that it needs. Mortar air vent provides that missing air space in thin stone applications. This does two things — it lets the weather-resistant building paper perform as it was designed by creating an air space on one side of it while providing an avenue for drainage and ventilation. Incidental moisture that is migrating through the wall has a place to exit the building without seeping inside because the weather resistant barrier is performing properly. It has a cavity that drains through the bottom to the exterior, as well as letting air circulate, providing drying on both sides of the wall In parts of the country that experience frequent freeze and thaw cycles (Minnesota), hairline cracks in the mortar joints can exacerbate the moisture problem. These hairline cracks allow wind-driven rain to penetrate the mortar and collect within the interior wall. Moisture eventually gets in and of course, causes mold and rot. After installing their product, Mortar air vent, a ventilation cavity is created between the vapor barrier and exterior wall. The polymer core mesh creates airspace, while the filter fabric blocks mortar droppings from seeping into this newly formed cavity — and still allows moisture to pass through. The combination of drainage and ventilation eliminates the threat of toxic mold.


Versatility of Design & Aesthetic Appeal Aesthetic appeal and versatility of design have for centuries captured the imagination of architects and builders. Portland cement plaster (stucco) has inspired designers to new levels of artistic expression in a variety of building projects — used alone or in combination with other traditional building materials such as stone, brick or wood. Stucco can be applied to most flat or curved surfaces, inside or outside in any structure or building, lending itself to innovative and creative solutions. Any project can be individualized. Color & Texture The finish possibilities are infinite. Stucco is unique among the decorative finishing materials. It can be used to provide highlights, depth and continuity. A nearly unlimited palette of colors that does not require painting is available to provide a uniform, maintenance-free finish for your most lavish designs. Imagination is the only limitation. Color is determined by selecting cement and aggregate color, and quite often modified by adding mineral oxide pigments to the plaster mix. Texture is achieved by selecting aggregate size, controlling finish mix consistency, and using special treatment techniques during and after application of the finish coat plaster. Texture gives substance and character to the plaster surface — adding highlights, depth, continuity, segmentation, and even achieving the look of a completely different construction material, such as wood timbers, brick, or stone masonry construction. Application Stucco is applied either by hand or machine to exterior and interior wall surfaces. It may be applied directly to a solid base such as masonry or concrete walls, or it can be applied to metal lath attached to frame construction, solid masonry, or concrete construction. Applied to metal lath, three coats form a 7/8-inch total thickness. A vapor-permeable, water-resistant building paper separates the plaster and lath from water-sensitive sheathing or framing. Cementitious stucco has high impact resistance and sheds water, but it also breathes, allowing water vapor to escape. It is a proven system that works in all climates. Long-Term Value Stucco is the most inexpensive wall finish by far. Its proven long-term value has been time tested and well documented. Stucco is the most durable and long-lasting wall finish providing years of maintenance-free beauty. Stucco is also easy and inexpensive to repair. Re-stucco of existing buildings easily allows change to the appearance of color and texture, giving new character and variety to old buildings.


Stucco tests high for strength and durability. Stucco also provides protection from extreme weather with minimal maintenance. In fact, in many climates it’s reasonable to expect 50 years of beauty and duty from properly applied stucco. What can cause a stucco application to fail, though, are careless workmanship and skimping on important preparation details. Here are a few key areas where it’s smart to trust Johnston Masonry to do it right. Substrate No amount of lath will make up for structural movement if stucco is applied over an unstable substrate. If there’s any sign of green or wet lumber in the frame, you can be sure there will be problems with your stucco as the wood dries and the building moves. Ingredients Fresh cement, clean sand, and clean water are essential. If the Portland cement is old or has been exposed to moisture, it may be partially hydrated. If there are lumps or “rocks” in the sack, throw it away and get fresh cement. If the sand doesn’t meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials, also called ASTM International) specs for plaster, don’t use it. Dirty sand (sand with clay, silt, or excessive fines in it) will make it hard to predict the amount of water required for a workable mix and make quality control difficult. Dirty sand also greatly increases the likelihood of cracking for similar reasons. Excessive salts in the sand makes stucco “bloom” or bleed effloresce. Papering & Flashing If there’s one place extra diligence pays off, it’s proper papering and flashing. Carelessness or poor skills are at the root of almost every moisture control problem seen in stucco—or any other siding for that matter. We frequently encounter failed stucco applications where the source of the problem is at windows, doors, utility penetrations, parapets, and corners—or anyplace where paper or flashing was improperly installed. The paper layer is typically made up of two layers of Type-D asphalt building paper or a weather-resistant barrier like synthetic housewrap for stucco. This, along with appropriate flashing, must be applied in a weatherboard fashion—just like shingles on a roof. If moisture does get behind the stucco—and it will—a barrier installed this way will channel that moisture back out of the building without the water contacting the sheathing or framing When we explain this on site, we tell the our guys to “think like a raindrop.” It sounds silly, but the answer to any flashing/papering question usually becomes obvious when they do. To check your work, ask yourself, if a raindrop gets in behind the stucco, can it run downward all the way to the ground without hitting the sheathing or framing? If the answer is “yes,” you did it right. Here at Johnston Masonry we understand that each project and application is unique to each home and customer. To determine the best design and use of materials for your job, we listen carefully to your needs and desired goals. [post_title] => Stone Work [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => stone-work [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-02-12 09:07:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-02-12 15:07:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => page [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Helping People. Lasting Results.

Stone Work.

Durable Solutions.

The benefits of masonry veneers last a lifetime.

There’s nothing more durable, more natural, or more breathtaking than the beauty of stone. There’s something soothing and timeless about stone. It’s both elegant and rustic, making a room or home feel comfortable and grand at the same time. Plus, it’s a perfect fit with you, the homeowner who wants to connect indoor and outdoor living spaces.

While we could boast about our 20+ years of experience in custom stone masonry, we want to focus on our clients, and what you want. Stone is versatile, you can get creative and put stone almost anywhere. It could be a backsplash, interior accent walls, or a 4′ veneer on the front of your home. Give us a call and lets get together and dream up your next stone project!

Masonry Perks.

There are many ways to incorporate masonry veneers into your next project. Whether it’s your business or your home, appearance is an important consideration when selecting exterior materials. You can select a color and texture consistent with the message and image you wish to convey.

Get Started.

Add Masonry Veneers to Your Home or Business.

View Portfolio.

Our Clients Say.

***** (five stars) – Loved it!  “Hire them! The team at Johnston Masonry is just awesome.  They worked with us to re-engineer what turned out to be a major structural issue in our walk-out basement.  The masons were hard-working and skilled, as well as considerate and friendly. The management was excellent, communicating fully and problem-solving with us along the way.  We also hired them to do stonework repair on our fireplace mantle, which required special matching of stone. We are so pleased with and grateful for their work.”

The Zaks