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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My parents live in an old house with lathe and plaster walls. They have an unused chimney coming up through their living room. This chimney is covered directly with plaster-no convenient studs to work with. Here's my problem: I would like to mount a mantle on this wall. While it's not extremely heavy, I do like to over-engineer/overbuild things to prepare for things (such as maybe my younger niece and nephews deciding to hang from it). Obviously I can't prepare for everything, but I do want it to be mounted as securely as possible. Now, I could try to use longer Tapcons into the brick or even run toggle bolts into the chimney, but what if I drill through I grout line? Note: I can't see where the grout lines are through the plaster. Of course I could deliberately remove some of the plaster to determine the grout pattern, but I *really* don't want to have to do that. Any thoughts??
 

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Remove some of the plaster, set your lines, drill in you tapcons or masonry anchors into your grout lines vs. the brick, mount a "ledger" of sorts, then mount you mantel to the ledger.

I would agree with this process except maybe for the age of the brick, mortar & plaster. If the mortar joint material is the old time soft beige Lime & Sand mortar it will be very weak in which case with tapcons He will need to use the brick & even this way it could pull the brick loose. May want to look at the use of an Epoxy type fastener & go extra in depth.
 

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Agreed. If the mortar is crap, you will be looking at the bricks and perhaps some of the masonry type fasteners that are installed in epoxy cages like Hilti used to make.



If the brick or mortar isn't in great shape, the tapcons won't hold much so you are going to need an adhesive bond as well as the mechanical one.
 

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Can you see inside the FP where you'd mount the mantel? Measure up to where you'd be so you can aim your drill to avoid grout? How many bricks thick would you be drilling through here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your responses. I am reading these, but am busy buying a new house at the moment. I will try when I can to respond to some of these suggestions in a more appropriate/useful way in the not too distant future. Thanks again!
 
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