Over the years fireplaces have retained their charm and appeal. A home with a fireplace makes for warm, cozy evenings during the cold winter months. Even people living in warmer regions, often choose to have fireplaces solely for decorative purposes. Stone and brick are the most popular choices when installing fireplaces. Both these materials can be used as a veneer over existing fireplaces or you can have a fireplace built from scratch.
There are building regulations in place when constructing fireplaces and chimneys and these must be adhered to. You may also require a permit when constructing a new fireplace to ensure that it complies with fire safety guidelines. This may not be necessary when renovating or repairing an existing fireplace.
1.Not Too Daunting
Manufactured stone fireplaces are very popular and can be easily installed by non-professionals too. There are some differences in the installation of a traditional stone or brick fireplace and the manufactured ones.
Chimney liners are installed only after obtaining a building permit. All the regulations regarding the permit need to be fulfilled before you can proceed with the installation. There are specifications about the way in which the liner must be installed as well as the space that must be left between the liner and the chimney.
2.Installing a Stone Fireplace
The first thing you will have to do is demolish the existing fireplace with the help of a hammer and chisel or a crowbar. You must ensure that the exposed drywall is in good shape. If it has any damage, then it must first be fixed. The next step is to affix some heavy-grade tar paper to the drywall to prevent any seepage of moisture. It can be secured with the help of a hammer stapler. The next thing you must do is locate and mark the studs and secure the expanded metal lath to these. The right direction of putting up the lath is with the rougher side going down.
The mortar must then be fixed and allowed to set for a few minutes. Then, it can be applied on the lath with the help of a trowel. At this time you can put some newspapers on the fireplace to keep the mortar from damaging it. Upward strokes must be used and before the mortar dries, you can scratch the surface with a trowel to give it a rough appearance. The next thing you must do is install the mantel after first measuring and marking the level at which you want it. Once this is done, you can begin affixing the stones beginning at the corners. After you finish placing all the stones, fill the joints with mortar.
3.Installing a Brick or Stone Veneer for a Fireplace
The mantel and the panels on the wall will have to be first removed. If the wall is uneven you might have to get it evened out before you can begin installing the veneer. Using a tape measure and a pencil, you can make marks in a line to indicate where the veneer must be placed. Then you can apply mortar in small sections on the wall with a trowel and then place the veneer onto it before the mortar dries. The edges can be trimmed with a tile cutter or a wet saw which will complete the task faster.
Then repeat the process on the next section of the wall till the entire space is done. Then you will have to let the bricks dry overnight. After this, you can apply grout between the tiles and wipe off the excess that seeps out from the spaces. You can use a sponge and some water to do this. If you are installing a stone veneer, you will need some different tools. The process involved will be similar to that used in setting up a manufactured stone fireplace.
The materials and tools needed for a stone or brick fireplace installation include a measuring tape, pencil, level, a tile cutter or a wet saw, trowel, mortar, grout, a pan or bucket for mixing the mortar, sponge, water, metal lath, tar paper, grout, and drop cloths. You must also protect your eyes with safety goggles and use gloves on your hand when handling materials such as mortar.