So you have a stone fireplace and you want to install a mantel on it? Well, you have come to the right place.
This is something you can do yourself if you have the right tools and skills.
This is not an easy task, but anyone who has built shelving before should be able to do it.
One thing you need to be aware of is that you must leave enough space between the top of the fire and the mantel or you may damage the shelf.
Before you start the job, you will need to make sure that you have the following equipment:
- Miller Saw
- Drill Driver
- Tape Measure
- Spirit Level
- Masonry Drill
- Hole Saw
- Masonry Hammer
- Socket Wrench
Once you have collected all of these tools, it's time to get the items you will need to make the mantel.
You will need the following 6 items to install the mantel:
- Mantel (made of your choice of wood)
- Brass Screws
- Framing Screws
- Wedge Anchor
- 2x4” Framing Lumber
Step By Step Guide To Installing A Mantel On A Stone Fireplace
Time - 3 hours
Rough Cost - $330
Skill Level - Advanced
It will be useful to have someone else help you do this - even if they just hold the mantel up while you check everything is straight.
Take your miller saw and cut the framing lumber to the size of the mantel.
Your aim is to make a cleat that the mantel will sit in on the wall. Using the butt joints and the framing screws, secure the cleats.
Set the cleats aside.
Now, it's time to decide where you want to put the mantel and how high up you want it to be. Get your measuring tape out.
Traditionally, mantels sit about 5 feet 5 inches above the ground.
However, if your fireplace is raised from the ground or is a non-traditional size, you may want to break this rule.
You also need to think about the surface you are going to attach the mantel to.
You want this part of the wall to be as flat as possible. You cannot securely attach a cleat to a rough part of the wall.
Avoid areas where stones are sticking out. Do not attach your cleat to the cement holding the stones together.
It is best to move your mantel up higher if the patch you want to use is not suitable.
You also want to make sure you get your mantel in the exact center, or the whole fireplace will look uneven.
Use your chalk to mark out where the cleats and the mantel will sit.
Mark the center of the fireplace vertically from a foot above where you are going to hang the mantel, to a foot below.
This will be a useful visual while you are hanging everything. And you can wash the chalk off easily later
Hold your cleat up against the wall - get someone to help you do this as you can.
Line it up with your markings then use your spirit level to check that it is perfectly level.
It is important to take the time to get it right at this stage so you don't have to take everything down again once you have finished.
Once you are sure everything is level, mark out where you are going to place your securing bolts with your chalk.
Mark both the wall and your cleat. If your stone is too soft, you might want to drill into one of the mortar joints instead of the body of the stone.
If there are stones that will stop the cleat from sitting flush against the wall, mark bits on the cleat you need to take off.
Put your cleat down again.
Use your hole drill to cut out the parts of the cleat where you will be putting the bolts.
Take off the bits of the cleat that were preventing it from sitting flush to the wall.
You can use the saw or the hole drill, whichever you find easier.
Have your assistant hold your cleat up against the wall. Take your masonry drill and drill through the cleat into your wall.
Place the anchor wedges into these holes and hammer them into the wall. You can then use your socket wrench to fully tighten them.
Now, your cleat should be completely secured to the wall. Check that it is straight again. If it is, lay your mantel on top of the cleat
Using your brass screws, attach your mantel to the cleat.
Sit back and admire your hard work.
Using the tips above, you can attach a new mantel to your stone fireplace.
You can also install a mantel if there has never been one there before.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Clean My Fireplace Bricks?
The best way to clean your fireplace bricks is with a soft brush and some vinegar mixed with warm water.
Soak the brush in the solution and gently scrub over the bricks until the dirt starts to lift.
Dry the bricks with a paper towel - dab instead of rubbing or the towel will fall apart.
How Often Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
You should have your chimney cleaned at the end of winter after you have used it for the final time of the season.
You should have your chimney cleaned again at the end of summer or fall before you use the fireplace again for the first time.
Then you should have it cleaned in the winter if you are ever worried that something is stuck in the chimney.
Or the room is filling with smoke instead of it going up the chimney and outside.