How to Install a Soapstone Fireplace Surround

soapstone woodstove
  • 10-30 hours
  • Advanced
  • 6,000-30,000
What You'll Need
Construction adhesive
Soapstone fireplace surround
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Small pry bar

There’s nothing more beautiful than a soapstone fireplace but the cost is very high. Soapstone is easily taken care of and this characteristic makes it perfect for fireplaces. Due to the expense that a soapstone fireplace commands you can go an inexpensive route by installing a soapstone fireplace surround.

A surround is a fancy way of saying a façade, or, a covering. The soapstone fireplace surround is placed directly over an existing fireplace be it brick, stone or tile. This is a job that can be accomplished by professionals but you can also do it yourself. The article below will show you what you need in order to install a soapstone fireplace surround yourself.

Step 1 – Out with the Old

In order to install a soapstone fireplace surround you first need to remove the old fireplace mantle if there's one installed. This also depends on the surround kit you purchased and the size of the existing fireplace mantle. The mantle can be removed by using the small pry bar. Slide it between the mantle and the wall then apply leverage. The removal may be simpler and you may only have to lift the mantle up from the wall.

Step 2 – Dry Fitting the Surround

Make sure the wall behind the old mantel is smooth. You may need to sand it down slightly to make sure that it is. Lift the mantle in place and check to make sure the legs are plumb. Use the level to make sure the mantle is level. Also check to make sure that there is plenty of space around the mantle and the opening of the fireplace. Do the same with the legs for the surround. Use a pencil to draw a line around each piece. This will help during the installation.

Step 3 – Place the Legs

Now that you are certain the soapstone fireplace surround will fit comfortably you can start to install the pieces. Begin with the legs. Use the utility knife and create cuts and groves on the wall where the legs and mantle will be installed.

Cut the tip off of the tube of adhesive so that there is approximately a 1/4 inch opening. Apply the adhesive to one of the legs and then press in place. Apply pressure to the leg. Make sure that you line up the legs with the lines you drew as this will ensure they will be even. The grooves you cut are important because they will fill with the adhesive to create a strong bond. Do this with the second leg.

Step 4 – Secure the Mantle

Wait for the adhesive to dry then apply adhesive to the top of the legs. Use the utility knife to cut in the wall as you did for the legs. Place adhesive on the mantle’s back and lift in place on top of the legs. Use the level to ensure it is straight then press the mantle firmly in place.