Resurfacing fireplace with flagstone

Old 11-23-02, 04:49 PM
Leo Troy
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Question Resurfacing fireplace with flagstone


I have a standard fireplace that has a brick facing that extends upward to the ceiling with concrete/plaster.
I would like to re-face it with 1/2 inch thick flagstone, pieces will be roughly 8-10 inches wide.
My plan was to drill into the brick and concrete and secure with (brackets, anchors) to bear the weight of each piece of flagstone. Each piece would have ceramic tile glue on it's back. This idea was to offset too much downwards force on the flagstone. The backing wall is very solid.
I would then mortar in around all pieces to hide the brackets and secure and solidify the complete surface.

Is there a better and/or more efficient method?

Any other tips?

Old 11-23-02, 09:42 PM
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Leo Troy,

Flagstone has some weight for sure but since you are wanting to apply this over existing brick, I am going to suggest something that may be OK with you and make it look good. This is an idea but I have not done this with flagstone, not on a vertical.

Since we really don't have to prep the surface of the fireplace how about using Nylon Drive In Anchors, like 1/4" x 1 1/2" or Zinc Hammer Drive Nail In Anchors 1/4" x 2"?

If you could use Thin Set Mortar, with a set time of about 30 minutes or less depending on what you do, like let it set for 15 minutes or so. You could determine the location of your stone, mark and pre-drill holes. Install the anchors, apply thin set to the brick and onto the flagstone, apply with a slight twist. The idea is to allow you to contiually install and as the thin set hardens, you can just use a punch and nail in your anchor nails. This would create less problems than brackets and then procede with what you described. Your final grouting, of whatever color you choose would secure it all in place.

Just an idea. Hope this helps!
Old 11-24-02, 12:31 AM
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"Z" Brackets?

I've seen this project done with 'z' brackets - the same type of hardware that is used for hanging chalkboards, mirrors and sometimes cabinets on walls.

The person doing this project covered a whole floor to ceiling brick fireplace, and the cinderblock wall on each side - about wainscot height, with randomly sized and shaped, variously colored flagstones.

After deciding which side he was going to use for the face, and figuring out which piece went where, he epoxied 1/2 the 'z' bracket - usually 4 or 6" long brackets - to the back of the stone, and then drilled and anchored the other 1/2 of the 'z' bracket to the brick with rawl plugs and screws.

These brackets - sometimes 2 were needed for some larger stones - carried the weight just fine; and the brackets even allowed him to switch the stones around, or move them left/right as needed for fit and appearance.

Once he had a row or two up he'd mark them, take them down, and apply some sort of tiling compound or mortar to the wall and then wiggle the stones through the mud and back onto the brackets as marked. Small fill-in pieces were fitted and marked, but they were put aside and set into place without brackets - usually supported and spaced with wood shims or duct tape - as the last step before final grouting.

He put a lot of sweat and time into the project, but it came out nice. I think he should have used a lighter colored grout because the stones he used are very dark.

Maybe those 'z' brackets will work for you.
Old 11-26-02, 11:21 AM
Leo Troy
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Thanks very much for the replies.
I was talking with a couple other people, one of whom is a mason and he suggested the method of 'thin set mortar, cement and brick sand' and that I shouldn't need any anchors.
Another person recommened clear silicone is all that's required which led into a debate between the old world and the new world ways of doing things.
I may try both just to see.
My concern was that the heat may weaken the silicone.

so, we'll see if any toes get broken.



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