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CMU | Veneers


In circumstances where a full concrete masonry wall is not practical or possible, Veneer units manufactured by Desert Block afford the same attractive and maintenance-free wall surface as a structural cmu wall. Certain conditions may exist that would dictate use of Veneers instead of a full cmu wall, such as weight limitations in a wall, cantilever, long spans, existing walls, etc. Otherwise, it is generally more economical to construct a conventional structural cmu wall. The installed cost of concrete masonry veneer is very near that of a full hollow unit wall of like face texture, and, added to the cost of the structural backing, will likely total more than the self-supporting cmu wall.

Installation of concrete masonry veneer units is an Anchored Veneer application for masonry and stone units (5 inches maximum thickness) as defined by Chapter 14 of the Uniform Building Code or Chapter 14A of the California Building Code. Please refer to the appropriate code for specific requirements.

  • A common veneer system consists of (from inside out) the structural back-up (studs and plywood sheathing shown here), waterproof sheathing, wall ties, 1-inch min. space with mortar, joint reinforcement, and the cmu/mortar installation.
  • In Seismic Zones 3 and 4, the tie shall have a lip to engage horizontal joint reinforcement.
  • Shown are the two methods for the space between backing and veneer. Top, fill completely with mortar or fine grout. Bottom, spot bed around anchors for protection and elsewhere for support.
  • The basic elements of a veneer application above an opening, including a steel angle lintel and flashing.

Additional Resources - UBC References
Chapter 14 of the Uniform Building Code

Chapter 14A of the California Building Code

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