How to Turn Your Current Fireplace Into a Stone Veneer Fireplace How to Turn Your Current Fireplace Into a Stone Veneer Fireplace

What You'll Need
Stone veneer
Wet saw
Thin set mortar
Tape measure
Rubber mallet
Scrub brush
Warm soapy water

Making a stone veneer fireplace from your existing fireplace will add style and individuality to your living room. Stone is far more fashionable than brick and looks much better, as well as being easier to clean. A stone veneer fireplace is the easy way to have a stone fireplace, and the installation isn’t complex.

 Step 1 - Cleaning

Before starting to install the stone veneer fireplace you need to clean all the brickwork and the fireplace itself. For this you should use warm soapy water and a scrub brush. You’ll probably have to change water several times and you should finish by rinsing with clean water before allowing the fireplace to dry.

Step 2 - Thin Set

In the 5 gallon bucket, mix up thin set mortar. You have ample time to work it, up to 8 hours depending on the weather and humidity, so you don’t need to go too quickly. Be aware that you should discard the mortar in the bucket once it begins to harden. Mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Using the trowel, spread a layer of thinset over the brickwork of the fireplace, both the sides and the header. It should be thick enough so that none of the bricks show through. Smooth it out evenly over the surface.

Step 3 - Cutting Stone

Once the thinset is in place you can measure the fireplace and cut the stone veneer to size. Use a wet saw for the job. You’ll need to cut four separate pieces, one for each side of the fireplace, another for the fireplace header, and the last for the hearth.

Step 4 - Hearth

The first piece to put in place for the stone veneer fireplace is the hearth. Apply a thin coating of thinset to the underside of the hearth and put in position. Press down on it to eliminate most of the air bubbles and then tap with a rubber mallet. Not only will this secure the stone veneer, it will also eliminate all the rest of the air bubbles.

Step 5 - Sides

By having put the thinset on the fireplace in advance it will have had chance to set a little before you put the side pieces in position. Press one of the side pieces in place and then tap it all over with a rubber mallet to remove all the air bubbles. You’ll need to hold the side piece in position until it’s firmly adhered to the thinset and won’t move. You will find it advantageous to have a friend help you by holding as you move on to the other side piece. Attach that in the same manner and hold it in place until it’s secured.

Step 6 - Header

To finish the stone veneer fireplace you need to install the header. By this time the thinset will have set a little harder, so you’ll need to hold it in place for a shorter time. After positioning it, use the rubber mallet to tap it and remove the air bubbles. Hold in place until there’s no question of it pulling away from the fireplace.

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