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Install Stones around a Fireplace

Updated:2014-03-03 10:27:28

A stone surround gives your fireplace a rustic, natural look. Installing paving stone on a fireplace gives the area a complete makeover. The basic process of applying the stones is the same no matter what type of stone you use. Following the steps carefully is essential for creating a professional-looking fireplace with stones that won’t fall off over time.

                                                           

Materials
The stones you'll use to reface your fireplace are the most obvious materials you need for the project. Veneer mortar is used to attach the rocks to the fireplace face. A trowel is necessary to apply the mortar. You need builder's felt to cover the existing fireplace and metal lath to give the mortar and rocks something to stick to. A grinder tool is necessary to help you cut down stone pieces to fit. To finish the job, you need grout and a large plastic bag to direct the grout into the gaps between the stones.
Preparation
Check the current fireplace material for any loose pieces, especially if it is a brick fireplace. Remove any lose bricks. The builder's felt should then be stapled to the fireplace so that it is flat against the old face. If you need multiple sheets of felt, position the pieces so they overlap by about 2 inches. You then cut and nail the metal lath into position with the small protrusions facing up like small cups to catch and hold the mortar. Like the felt, you want to overlap pieces by 2 inches. You also need to apply the lath to the sides of the fireplace. Apply a scratch coat of mortar, working from the top down to cover the lath and fill the cups. Continue applying mortar until it is about 1/2-inch thick. After 20 minutes, run the notched edge of the trowel horizontally across the mortar to make grooves that will help the sandstones stick better. This scratch coat must cure overnight or longer.

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