How to Install a Stone Fireplace


Installing a stone fireplace can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you are new to the process. Fireplaces have been the main features of homes for years. Whether you are building one for a heat source or one for design, a stone fireplace will add to any decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Stones
  • Moisture-resistant barrier --roofing felt or tyvek
  • Plastic covering
  • Expanded metal lathe
  • Type N pre-mixed mortar
  • Mason's trowel
  • Finishing trowel
  • 1/2" Tuck pointer
  • Grout bag
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Whisk broom
  • Circular saw
  • Diamond mMasonry blade
  • Stud finder
  • Measure how much stone you will need to build a fireplace. Purchase materials listed above if you do not have them yet. Collect tools that are needed.

  • Take off existing trim around the perimeter of the fireplace and the front glass. Put up the weatherproof barrier so that the elements will not come inside your home. Tape the weatherproof barrier down making sure to also cover the fireplace opening.

  • Use the stud finder to locate studs and attach the expanded metal lathe to each stud. Cover the floor with plastic to prevent damage to existing floor.

  • Read the mortar instructions to mix the mortar in a bucket. Mortar should be firm but moist. Cover the entire surface with a thin scratch coat of mortar making sure to apply enough to cover the mesh. Allow the mortar to set overnight.

  • Create a spacer between the fireplace mantel and the mantel stones that will be installed at a later point by setting a few bricks on top.

  • Lay out each piece of stone on the floor to see how it will look. The measurements can also be checked this way.

  • Draw an outline on the wall so you know where the perimeter lines are.

  • Butter one corner stone with mortar, completely covering its entire surface. Place the stone and apply pressure holding it there for a second. Wiggle the stone to set it into the mortar before slowly removing hands.

  • Find a stone that will fit perfectly in the middle between the two corner stones.

  • Cut stones that are too large to fit into the design you have laid out on the floor. Hold the saw at an angle and rock back and forth until you have cut the stone to the desired size. Use a hammer and nick the edges that you have cut to create a more naturally looking stone.

  • Use a spray bottle on the mortar if it starts to look dry.

  • Squeeze mortar into the joints with a grout bag after all the stones are placed. Wait at least an hour for the mortar to set up before using a ½ inch tuck pointer to pack and scrape away extra mortar. Brush away loose mortar with a whisk broom.

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