A fireplace is often the focal piece of a living room, family room or den. Updating a fireplace requires a bit of work, but since it's the room's main focus, it's well worth the effort and investment. When looking for an upgrade that goes beyond a simple paint job, consider refacing your brick fireplace with stone. For a relatively low cost you can dramatically change the look of your entire room.
Things You'll Need
- Stone facing
- Bucket or pan for mixing mortar
- Stick for stirring mortar
- Heavy-duty staple gun or nail gun
- Spray sealer
- Safety glasses
Wash the brick or brick facing with mild soap and water to make sure that no greasy residue is present. Allow to dry thoroughly before proceeding. Apply a scratch coat of stucco over the brick to create an even working surface for installing stone. Allow 24 hours to dry.
Assemble the pieces of stone facing in a desired arrangement, using measurements of the brick area. You may wish to create a cardboard template of the brick area first and set the stone facing on the cardboard. Otherwise, simply lay the facing on the floor. Cultured stone can be used on almost any fireplace. Real stone may require additional support if the fireplace is over a basement.
Mix the mortar according to package directions. Using the trowel, spread mortar 1/2 inch thick over the stucco, starting with the bottom third of the fireplace. Place stone facing into the mortar in the predetermined pattern. Apply enough pressure for the stone facing to sink into the mortar and hold. Repeat this process over the rest of the fireplace. Allow to dry for several hours.
Mix the grout according to package instructions. Apply to the entire area and remove excess using a trowel or large scraper. Allow to dry thoroughly, at least 10 to 12 hours.
Apply a spray sealer if desired. Some people opt to omit this step, which is an extra assurance that the grout won't become stained and mar the look of your newly transformed fireplace. Within a couple of days you'll be ready to put logs in the fireplace, light a cozy fire and bask in the glow of your own handiwork.
Tips & Warnings
- Always wear safety glasses when operating a heavy-duty staple gun or nail gun, and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Photo Credit room with fireplace image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from Fotolia.com
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