A corner fireplace is designed to save space and it also has a unique look. The corner fireplace is usually flush against the wall and built on a flat diagonal that intersects the two walls on either side. This allows for some creative development of the mantel. Generally, a corner fireplace mantel is just like a regular mantel, only it has corners mitered to be flush with the adjacent walls.
You have several options when building a corner fireplace mantel. The first is to build your mantel separately and install it like a modular component on the fireplace. This requires a lot of skill, because the mantel must fit flush with two walls. If you are new to building mantels the easiest path to success is to build a frame around the fireplace and then install the mantel hearth onto the frame. There are several ways to go about this project.
Building the Corner Mantel
One option is to install a flat, wood frame on either side of the fireplace made from half inch hard wood. This frame will extend up to the top of the fireplace and the edges of the frame boards will be flush with the bottom edge of the mantel. If the wall is not sturdy enough to support a mantel, you will need to include columns to support it. Alternatively you can install a frame all the way around the fireplace, made from half inch hardwood boards. You can then install the hearth mantel by anchoring through the boards and into the wall studs for added strength. The mantel will cover up the top frame boards.
Making it Unique
A corner mantel can become very elegant if you add columns or rustic post beam supports on either side. You have a lot of freedom here, so get creative. Home improvement stores often have prefabricated columns for mantels. You can also use stair banisters. Another option is granite posts of the kind used in outdoor fences. Still another option is ceramic tile. Lay this onto the flat frame boards with a layer of grout, just like your would tile a bathroom.
Installing the Mantel
Installing the mantel is fairly simple. You will have to measure the angle of the adjoining walls, if you plan to cut the mantel so the ends lay flush against them. It is possible to install a shelf that has 90 degree ends, the ends will simply jut out from the walls. Most mantels are cut at 45 degree angles on the ends so they do lay flush across the walls, however. Mounting the mantel by anchoring wood braces to the frame boards and then laying the mantel on top, is a common choice. It can also be set onto columns and secured in place with bolts through the top of the mantel. You can also bolt it to the wall using long half inch bolts, or very strong adhesive. Remember, measure twice, cut once on this part of the project.
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