How Is a Brick Fireplace Built?

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A brick fireplace can add to the beauty and charm of your house. Nothing beats a hot cup of cocoa besides a warm fire roaring in a brick fireplace. You can build your own brick fireplace easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Acid washing brush
  • Angle grinder
  • Bar clamp
  • Brick jointer
  • Bricking trough
  • Concrete slab
  • Drill
  • Leveling instrument
  • Muriatic acid

Preparing

  • Use a concrete slab as the foundation for your fireplace.

  • Fill a wheel barrow with mortar, then mix water in mortar until it forms a thick paste.

  • Ensure that you have all your tools nearby.

Constructing the Exterior

  • Use your trough to lay down a line of mortar along the edges of your building site.

  • Place a bit of mortar on the longitudinal edges of your bricks and begin to place them in line.

  • Lay down your bricks along the edge and the sides of the building site. Tap the bricks down to ensure that each brick is straight. Use your brick jointer to remove the excess mortar from between the bricks.

  • Brush away the remaining concrete with the acid wash brush to smooth down the structure.

  • Repeat steps 1 to 5 to place consecutive row of bricks on top of each other. Continue repeating until you have brought the fireplace to your desired height.

Constructing the Interior

  • Place a metal lintel on top of the fireplace.

  • Place a ceramic pipe of roughly 13-by-13 inches as a smoke chamber on top of the fireplace. Place it so that it rests on the lintel and the back of the fireplace. Cover the open sides on the top of the fireplace with concrete blocks and fill in any remaining openings with refractoring mortar.

  • Use a hard cardboard and place it on top of the front opening of the fireplace. Fix it into place by using a few extra supports. Place bricks and mortar them in on top of the hard cardboard and allow it a day or two to dry adequately. Removing the hard cardboard once the mortar is dry should allow the bricks to remain in place.

  • Place another ceramic pipe on top of the first one and mortar it along the joint to seal any openings. Place bricks on top of the initial building to extend it up to cover the second ceramic pipe.

  • Cut a few bricks into halves with the angle grinder and use the mortar to place them at 45 degree angles along the sides of the brick chimney wall. Allow the angled bricks to set in and then place more bricks on top until the brick structure reaches the top of the second ceramic tube.

Finishing

  • Pour half a gallon of muriatic acid into a plastic bucket and mix it with two gallons of water. Dip half the acid washing brush into the solution and slowly wipe the brick structure to clean away the mortar scum. Scrape the brick structure with the acid washing brush to get rid of the hardened mortar.

  • Use a water hose to clean the structure with water.

  • Place a grate in the middle and your brick fireplace is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Continue to mix water with your mortar so that it does not harden.
  • Give each row of bricks sufficient time to set.
  • Be very careful when you are using the muriatic acid.
  • Do not put in the water before the muriatic acid in the bucket.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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