Building Cast Stone Fireplace Mantels
Cast stone fireplace mantels are an excellent way to bring the beauty of nature inside your home. You can buy kits containing all the materials that you need for the construction and work on the project in your spare time. The cast stone, though, is easy to damage and should be handled carefully. It is also very easy to scratch, which means you need to keep them away from harder objects that could cause deep scratches that will mar the look of the finished fireplace mantel.
Step 1 – Make Sure the Surface is Flat
Cast stone is easy to attach to a flat, dry surface. Drywall is the best material for use on interior walls so the project won’t require any preparation. If you have a wooden wall, you should take steps to either plaster it or apply drywall over it because the joins in the wood could cause cracks in fireplace after a while.
Step 2 – Lay out the Stone
It is best to store the stone at room temperature for a few days after you bring it inside. This gives it time to acclimatize to the temperature. All the expansion and contraction will be finished by the time you are ready to start the construction process. Leave the stone in the packaging and lay the packages out on the floor.
Step 3 – Install the Legs of the Mantel
Each mantel leg should overlap the panel associated with it. Both legs must be the same height to ensure that the mantel will be level. If you need to, use the shims to keep the legs level. Apply a generous amount of construction adhesive to both the legs and the wall, and press gently to make sure they stay in place. Use boards to brace the mantel legs until the adhesive is set.
Step 4 – Install the Cast Stone Mantel Shelf
Set the shelf on the legs making sure that the overhang is the same on each side. Make a mark on the wall where each end of the shelf will be. Take off the mantel and apply adhesive to the back of it. Then set it against the wall in the same manner as you did with the legs.
Drill two holes in the shelf, 18 inches from the center on each side, through to the wall on the back. Countersink the wood screws to make sure the mantel is attached to the wall. Make sure that you cannot see the screws on the top of the mantel.
Mix a paste from the facing powder and apply it to the holes made by the screws. Smooth it out and wait for it to dry.
Step 5 – Apply Sealer
Use a clean dry cloth to apply sealer to the fireplace mantel and sit back to admire your finished project.