Gemstone ground face masonry is a unit that has surged in popularity over the last few years. The natural aggregate of the block is brought forth by grinding the face of the unit to a smooth “polished” looking finish; a sealer is then applied to give the block an added sheen and to assist in the resistance of natural elements that may mar the surface. Gemstone units are used both inside and out because of their smooth, easily cleaned faces.
There are many standard sizes and shapes to select from and a variety of colors that show the natural beauty of the aggregate. They require no additional refinishing and will retain their color and appearance for the life of the product. Gemstone block, whether used as a veneer or in standard wall thickness, conforms to ASTM C90 standard specification for loadbearing concrete masonry units.
It is fire resistant and acoustically and thermally massive, providing an alternative to many other more expensive building products. Many interior walls are constructed using only Gemstone block while exterior walls combine the uses of many architectural types for more dramatic results. As architectural lines and styles change, the Gemstone unit will continue to enhance design and offer a clean, striking appearance.
Description : Use this unit for any depth corners.
Technical Data & Installation Guide
Submit color samples for selection from manufacturer’s series. Submit product literature, certifications, test reports and full size sample(s) of each color specified.
Certifications (Split Face, Rustic Face, Smooth Face):
Concrete blocks for finishing shall conform to ASTM C90. The provisions of ASTM C90 apply with regard to appearance.
Certifications (Gemstone®, Gemstone Plus®):
Concrete blocks for grinding shall conform to ASTM C90. The ground surfaces are produced with sealer. All units contain an integral water repellent and CMU admixture at the time of manufacture.
Fire Resistance: Define hourly ratings required as 1, 2, 3 or 4 hours.
Field Constructed Mock-Ups:
Construct a sample panel, no less than 4' x 4', of units of each color & size to be used in the project.
Delivery, Storage And Handling
Masonry units shall be delivered to the jobsite on covered banded pallets. Store pallets in single stacks on level ground and cover with waterproof covering (e.g., tarpaulins) to protect the blocks from inclement weather. Handle blocks carefully to avoid breakage and damage to the finished surfaces.
Protection of Work:
Cover tops of walls each day after installation to keep open walls protected and dry. After units are installed they should be protected from staining or other damage by covering the bottom of the walls with plastic.
Architectural Concrete Masonry Units – All Finishes
York Building Products
950 Smile Way, York, PA 17404
Colored matching or contrasting mortar is available from WorkRite . Refer to Division 4 Masonry Section for mortar type and specifications. In all exterior mortar, use water-repellent mortar additive available from York Building Products and follow manufacturer's instructions.
Sizes And Shapes
Nominal 2", 4", 6", 8", 10" and 12" standard block thicknesses are available, as well as all standard block shapes. High-strength units for special structural requirements are also available.
Use masonry cleaners such as Prosoco Masonry Cleaner for all finishes. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for proper mixing and application. Do not apply cleaner with pressure spray above 50 psi.
CAUTION! Never use Muriatic Acid solution on units.
Lay blocks from more than one pallet at a time during installation. Lay units using the best concrete masonry practices. Lay blocks with the faces level, plumb and true to the line strung horizontally at the face. Complete masonry construction using procedures and workmanship consistent with the best masonry practices.
Make all unit cuts, including those for bonding, holes, boxes, etc., with motor-driven masonry saws, using either an abrasive or diamond blade. Cut neatly and locate for best appearance.
Mortar Bedding and Jointing:
• Lay units with full mortar coverage on head and bed joints, taking care not to block cores to be grouted or filled with masonry insulation.
• Tool all mortar joints -when thumbprint hard - into a concave configuration.
• Care should be taken to remove mortar from the face of masonry units before it sets.
• Tuckpoint the joints of scored units for proper appearance. All exterior scored units must be tuckpointed to prevent water penetration.
DO NOT USE RAKE JOINTS – UNLESS NOTED.
• Cavity wall construction is recommended for exterior walls with proper flashing, venting and weep holes.
• A complementary or matching mortar color is recommended when using colored architectural units.
Flashing Of Masonry Work
Install flashing at locations shown in the plans and in strict accordance with the details and the best masonry flashing practices.
Weeps And Vents
Install weep holes and vents at proper intervals (32" O.C. above bed joints, typical) at courses above grade, above flashing and at any water stops over windows, doors and beams.
The unit faces shall be free from chips, cracks or any other imperfection that would detract from the overall appearance of the finished wall when viewed from a distance of twenty (20) feet at right angles to the wall with normal lighting.
Keep walls clean daily during installation using brushes. Do not allow excess mortar lumps or smears to harden on the finished surfaces. Harsh cleaning methods after walls have been erected may mar the surface of the blocks.
Always test a small, inconspicuous area before using cleaners. Do not use acids or abrasives on finished surfaces. Clean the completed walls with masonry cleaner APPROPRIATE FOR THE FINISH, strictly following the manufacturer's instructions including thorough rinsing.
Do not use acid or abrasives on the finished surfaces. Failure to strictly follow manufacturer's instructions can result in permanent damage to the finished faces.
Properly installed and cleaned architectural masonry units need virtually no maintenance other than routine cleaning with standard commercial grade cleaning agents.