Zero joint walling, sometimes referred to as dressed stone finish though not necessarily meaning the same thing, are terms commonly referred to a method of building with external masonry blocks that does not show a mortar joint. The stones used for this type of walling are also called bush hammered stones and are available on order from different vendors.
This is a common method used to spruce up the exterior of a building and where the budget allows, is recommended. The dressed stone takes the zero joint further by ensuring the zero joint stone has immaculate designs that echo the bricks of the olden days. Different methods are used to build the zero joint walling with the top two methods illustrated below.
Construction of zero joint walling requires skill and time and the walls are finally finished by polishing to further reveal the natural stone in all its glory. The normal wall rate for building with quarry cut masonry stone walls ranges from 1800 – 2100 per sqm, translated from the cost of a single stone being Kshs. 50 – 55, transport included. However, the cost for the dressed stone masonry walling is much higher at around 2200 – 2500 per sqm with a single stone being around Kshs. 70 – 75 once the shaping has been included.
If one is looking for a cheaper finishing method on the natural stone masonry walling, the keyed finish is preferred due to the obvious advantage that it does not require further finishes on the outside and is able to stand up to the passing time with ease and generally does not go out of style. Keying is done using a metal shaft that is run through the mortar joints creating the illusion of visible blocks. This goes for Ksh. 1800 per sqm.
All the finishing methods mentioned above require minimal maintenance and would be the preferred method of finishing walls due to their timeless nature.When well done, they do not require any additional works on them such as plaster, textured finishes or paint. They also invoke a more classic look in homes echoing British architecture.
In order of superiority, it goes from the dressed stones being the most superior external walling, closely followed by flat zero joint masonry, then to the keyed joint method. Learn about zero joint walls here: https://youtu.be/lqYoI3Jb5Gk
Which one do you think works for you?