How to Repair Sandstone Fireplaces

What You'll Need
Sandstone slabs
Mortar adhesive
Wire brush
Tile cutter
Wet saw

Sandstone fireplaces add a great charm to any room. Many homeowners are renovating their homes today rather than purchase a new home. One of the improvements they are adding is to install a sandstone fireplace. This type of fireplace is showing up in living rooms, bedrooms, dens and even outside entertainment areas. When there comes a time to repair sandstone fireplaces, there are certain steps that one should take. Here are some steps that you can take to easily repair your standstone fireplace without having to call in a stone mason.

Step 1 - Inspect Condition of Fireplace

Before removing any of the stones that make up the fireplace you should take a look at the general condition of the sandstone, fireplace, and chimney. There may be problems that contribute to the damaged sandstone that will have to be addressed as you are working on the repairs. Take a good look at the condition of all these aspects. It is also highly recommended that you have a fireplace expert inspect the condition to let you know about any hidden problems.

Step 2 - Remove Loose Pieces

Use a small brush and remove some of the loose and crumbling pieces of the sandstone surround on the fireplace. You may also need to use a chisel in order to remove larger pieces. Most of the small pieces will be the mortar that is crumbling. If that is the only problem, this is the only "prep" that you will need to do. From here new mortar will be applied.

Step 3 - Remove Individual Stones

Sandstone is usually in thin slabs that is installed much like tile. The mortar holds it in place in the design that you decide on. To repair the sandstone fireplace where the stone is cracked you will need to remove the piece of stone and replace it with a new one. Chisel away the mortar around the stone and then pry loose the broken sandstone.

Step 4 - Scruff Up Mortar

When replacing the sandstone onto the fireplace you will need to give the new mortar something to grab onto. With a wire brush, scruff up the mortar that is on the fireplace now. You do not want to remove it, but rough it up a little bit.

Step 5 - Cut Stone to Fit

Using a wet saw, or a pair of tile cutters, cut the replacement sandstone slab to fit. Cut the sandstone carefully as it is very easy to crack.

Step 6 - Mix Mortar and Install New Stone

Mix the mortar according to manufacturer's directions. There are small ready made mortar adhesives that you can also use for smaller jobs like this project. Set the stone in its place and wiggle it a little so that the mortar will adhere with a stronger bond. Hold it in place for a few minutes before you release any pressure on the stone.

Step 7 - Apply Mortar to Seam

Apply new mortar to the seams around the sandstone to create an even look to the fireplace.

Step 8 - Seal New Sandstone

Sandstone fireplaces need to be sealed to make cleaning it much easier. Use a sealer that is made for sandstone or it will either burn the surface or cause stains.