How can I build a stone fireplace ?

If you are tired of your old fireplace’s look, change it into a stunningly elegant stone fireplace. It is a very easy do-it-yourself task. First, prepare the tools necessary. All you need is cultured stone product, two by four for bracing, metal lathe, mason nails, mortar mix, wood for mantel, plywood for hearth, wood nails, wood glue, grout, slate, grinder, sealer, square, level, table saw, nail gun, router, trowel, hammer and grout float.

If you simply want to renovate, you can just take loose bricks, but if you want to replace the whole fireplace, you will need a mason’s hammer to break and remove everything. Then, nail metal lath to the brick with masonry hammer and nail, making sure to keep clear of the edge. Next, measure the fireplaces around where you want the new stone placed and create an outline or a template on a wood board with a painter’s tape. Lay out stones in a pattern that fits the outline to ensure color distribution and proper spacing.

Create cuts in the stone with a diamond-tipped blade saw or a grinder and break off unnecessary pieces along the line with a mason hammer. Mix a bag o mortar in a pan until you have a soup-like consistency and start installing the stones in the hearth. When you reach the top of the fireplace, make three wood frames with your 2x4sw for lintel stone support. Apply mortar on cracks between stone when visible.

For wooden hearths, begin by taking measurements of the area next to the fireplace and make wood frames from plywood. Cut two by four wood pieces, connect to the underside of the frames with glue, and nail it around the edge. Next, put the hearth against the stone and place the slate the frame with mortar.

Apply grout in between stone spaces after the mortar dries and wipe the excess with sponge. Sealer application between slate spaces is recommended after the grout has dried. Take measurements on the fireplace’s length and width to make a new wooden mantel. With a chosen wood, cut the base and another wood piece six inches in width and connect it to the mantel with a nail gun. If you want some design on the outer edge, you can use a router.

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