This is my second attempt at a faux stone project, or any kind of stone project for that matter. The first was a sign I built and used "cultured stone" brand for the bases. This next one is some "Coronado Stone" I'm putting on the fireplace which we're finally getting around to doing after living in our house for 13 years. I have already laid stone on the hearth, using polymer-modified thinset, and plan to lay the wall using polymer-modified mortar. Does it look like I have the stone arranged right? The ones sticking up are the corner/returns which have not been cut off yet. Should I use larger stones directly over the top edge of the fireplace insert? I have installed a piece of black-painted 1/4x4 flat bar attached to the header above it and sticking out about 3/4'' or so out from the scratch coat as sort of a heat-sink barrier. I'm just wondering if it will look right. Thanks :smile:
Are you planning on having a mantel? Have you prepared the location for it yet? How will you mount it? We just finished this one last week, and the client wanted her mantel to appear being held up with pilasters on either side. There was actually a set back for the mantel to sit on and the TV mount was in the set back. Having the pilasters eliminated the need for corner stones.
Yes, I have beefed up the area where the mantel will go with extra 2x4 framing and covered the whole wall with sheets of 3/4'' plywood. I intend to drill and install two big lag bolts exactly 4' apart, driven in at 90 degrees or slightly less so they angle up just a tad. Oversized holes will be bored into the back of the solid mantel with a drill press at the same distance. So the holes will be filled with silicone, slid onto the lag bolts and tweaked for exact level. Or I may install it so it can be removed.
Another way to hang the mantel is to use a cleat set up. See the picture. Cut a 2x4 or 6 at an angle lengthwise, mounting one half on the mantel and the other half to the wall. Once you mount the mantel, you can drill long screws or timberloks vertically through the cleats to hold it solid. Your stone is averaging 2" thick, so I save out the thickest ones to surround the mantel with when I get to that height. That way, too, you don't lose any of your mantel in the stone as it is fully exposed. It says "brick facing", but in your instance it would be your plywood.
I would work the corners out first, then keep a laser level handy and use it to help keep things in order. I have mine on a tripod and just crank it up with each line of stone. Nothing's perfect, so don't look for it.
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