How to Make a Fireplace Mantel

A fireplace is nothing but a space to build a fire. Once it’s framed by décor – a surround and mantel – it becomes attractive and entertaining.

The mantel turns the fireplace into a center of attraction, and makes it stylish from overall room décor perspective.

You can design a fireplace mantel taking into consideration your tastes and requirements by deciding on its size, material etc.

First Step is to Plan the Mantel

Take precise measurements. Make a sketch of your fireplace. Drill pilot holes to decide what solid backing is behind that wall where you will install the mantel. Select a ready-made mantel with suitable style and size, or design it on your own.

Second Step is to Install Noncombustible Surround

Masonry fireplaces already have stone or brick around the immediate firebox opening. For a more traditional look, you may install tile, brick, veneer stone, or any such non-combustible surround material. Most of these will simply adhere to mantel wall with an adhesive. The joints are then grouted.

Third Step of Making a Fireplace Mantel: Mill Custom Moldings

A well-equipped workshop with a router, table saw, and power sanders is required to mill moldings for design duplication.

Fourth Step is to Attach a Wood Surround

window.google_render_ad();You now need to attach wood surround to the mantel wall with construction adhesive and the fasteners.

Fifth Step is to Build Up the Molding

Get precise measurements. A good miter box (preferably, a 10″ power miter saw) is needed for precision miters, crosscuts.

Sixth Step is to Apply Finish

After final sanding is done, clean the surface meticulously with a tack cloth. Then, mask the wall are adjoining surfaces that you are not finishing. Brush or wipe on stain, and smoothen the surface with a 0000-grade steel wool. Apply minimum three polyurethane coats or any other clear protective coat. You may use a paint primer prefer a painted finish.

Before you design a fireplace mantel, check for fire safety guidelines with your local building dept. These rules specify required top and side clearance between any combustible materials and a fireplace opening.

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