How to Install a Rustic Log Fireplace Mantel Shelf

A rustic log fireplace mantel adds charm and nostalgia to a home like few other things can. Better still, installing a log fireplace mantel is easy and can be done over the course of a weekend. Here is a step by step guide that will show you how.

Materials for Installation on a Stud Wall:

  • 2x4 Piece of lumber same width as mantel
  • Support brackets
  • Wood screws

Materials for Installation on a Masonry Wall:

  • 3/4x10 inch Reddy bolts
  • High temperature silicone

Other Things You Will Need:

  • A log fireplace mantel kit (or a self made log mantel and support pieces)
  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • Screwdriver

Installing on a Stud Wall

Step 1 - Mark and Measure Location for Mantel

First, measure the width of your fireplace. Then, cut the piece of 2x4 lumber to the same width. Next, use a stud finder to find studs above the fireplace and mark their positions with a pencil. When marking positions for the 2x4 brace, be sure to leave at least 20 inches between the bottom of the mantel and the top of the fireplace (or make marks for measurements for building codes in your area).

Step 2 - Attach 2x4 Support Brace

Use wood screws to attach the 2x4 brace to the studs over the fireplace. Make sure that the brace is screwed into at least three studs and that you use 3 inch wood screws to securely attach the brace to the wall.

Step 3 - Attach Mantel to Support Brackets

Follow the directions that came with the mantel kit for attaching the support brackets to the 2x4 support brace. Use wood screws to secure the brackets to the brace.

Step 4 - Install Decorative Support Log Covers

Place the decorative support log covers over the brackets and secure them with screws.

Step 5 - Attach Mantel Face to Support Brackets

Use the included screws and attach the mantel face to the support brackets and support log covers.

Installing on a Masonry Wall

Step 1 - Measure and Mark the Location Where Mantel Will Be

Make a line on the wall about 20 inches above the top of the fireplace. Make sure the line is straight and level and then create two marks for bolt holes for the support logs. Make sure the holes are about 3 to 6 inches from the outside edges of where the mantel will be installed.

Step 2 - Drill Holes for Support Logs

Use a three-quarter inch masonry bit and drill holes at the marked locations that are about 4 inches deep.

Step 3 - Fill Holes with Silicone and Insert Reddy Bolts

Squeeze about 3 or 4 ounces of high temperature silicone into the holes that you just drilled. Then, insert the Reddy bolts and allow the silicone to thoroughly dry before continuing.

Step 4 - Drill Holes in Support Logs

Mark a spot in the center of the edge of the support logs. Then drill a three-quarter inch diameter hole that is about 6 inches long in each support log edge.

Step 5 - Attach Support Logs to Reddy Bolts

Fill the holes in the support logs with 3 to 5 ounces of high temperature silicone and press the support logs on to the Reddy bolts. It should be a tight fit, and you may need to use your hammer to gently tap the support logs onto the Reddy bolts. Allow silicone to dry.

Step 6 - Attach Mantel to Support Logs

Attach the mantel face to the support logs and secure by using nails or wood screws.