If you want to improve the look and feel of your fireplace, one answer is to add a mantel with fireplace corbels. These decorative shelf supports are very popular due to their intricate designs and other features. Mounting fireplace corbels is an easy task to accomplish, and should take you no more than a few hours to prepare the corbels and fit them to the right location.
Step 1 - Prepare the Corbels
If you have bought your corbels from a store they may need to have a coat of paint to fit in with the room. You should always remove them from the box a day before putting them into your fireplace, and make sure that they are thoroughly clean. If you want to paint them, you can purchase suitable fire-resistant paints that match the decor of your home. Paint them carefully, covering one side and leaving it to dry before painting the other side. This method prevents fingerprints and droplets of paint being left on the fireplace corbels.
Step 2 - Position the Corbels
Once they are ready, you can locate the corbels on your fireplace. Use a length of wood in place of your mantel, and put a spirit level on top of this. You can then determine when your corbels are in the correct location. Have a friend hold one end of the corbels while you mark the drill holes on the wall, and then change places. You can then remove the corbels.
Step 3 - Add the Corbels
Using the drill holes, make a series of small pilot holes in the wall. You should then be able to insert wall anchors—small pieces of plastic which secure the screws in the wall—so that your screws will have a secure grip. Add wood glue to the backs of both fireplace corbels. Place one of your corbels on the wall and screw it in firmly. You can use a screwdriver to get a close but precise fit. You can then add the second corbel on the other side.
Step 4 - Finishing
Once the corbels are in position, apply a little wood glue or caulk around the edges of the corbels for added strength. Once this has been done, you can then fit a mantel over the top of the corbels. Either secure this using screws, or leave it loose on the top. The latter means that you can lift the mantel up and down when you want more access to the fire. You can place ornaments or other objects on the mantel, making sure that they are not too heavy for the supporting corbels.