I am installing a gas fireplace, with a veneer stone surround and "chimney" (fireplace vents out the back, chimney just for appearance sake). Since this is new, now seems to be the time to make provisions for hanging things above the mantle (wreath, pictures, boar's head, marlin, whatever).
Any thoughts or experience with this? Looking for something relatively inconspicuous, but useful when it needs to be.
Right now, I'm thinking of an eye-bolt at a stone seam, set into a stud. I can affix a hook to that when needed. Just wondering if there are other solutions that would work/look better. Or, if nothing else, a source for a non-bright eye-bolt.
I was, actually, going to put 1/2-in Durock over the studs. Pretty much intending to follow Tscarborough's suggestions, but I might add a scratch coat to make the surface rougher. With plywood, I would have to lath and scratch, wouldn't I? Right now, I have an open frame. My middle stud looks like it's in a fine location for a hanger, but I can easily add others. It just seems, to me, to be smart to add a hanger of some sort before the veneer stone goes on, rather than drilling through the stone afterwards.