Many homeowners decide to replace wood fireplace surrounds with stone due to the aesthetics and customization that stone provides. Do-it-yourselfers can create truly custom looks by designing their own surrounds, choosing the materials and ascertaining the design. Whether the desired effect is cozy and rustic or sleek and contemporary, the project can be complete within three days when the proper procedures are followed.

Remove the Wood Surround

Start with the removal of the wood surround. Pry the wood surround off the wall. Insert a pry bar between the wood and the wall along one side near the top of the mantle. Work your way toward the Landscaping design Redding, prying the mantle off as you move. Similarly pry off the top piece of the surround.

Prepare the Wall

Attach builder’s felt to the area around the fireplace that’ll be dealt with in stone. Starting in the Landscaping design Fresno, staple strips of felt to the wall, overlapping strips by a minimum of two inches. The contractor felt prevents moisture from the brick from damaging the wall behind it. It should, therefore, create a nonpermeable layer with no seams which aren’t overlapped. Once the felt is in place, nail metal lath to the wall above the felt. Make sure that the cuplike side of this lath faces forward.

Apply Scratch Coat

Apply a coat of mortar above the lath. Mix mortar with water until it’s the consistency of peanut butter. Use a trowel, first to fill the “cups” from the lath with mortar by pulling the trowel in a downward movement. After that, build the mortar coat up to approximately a half-inch across the whole surface by transferring the trowel in a side-to-side movement. Wait about 20 minutes, until the mortar has started to set but is still moist, then create grooves from the surface by running a notched trowel horizontally across the mortar. Permit the mortar to set overnight.

Create a Layout

Produce a template to your design by taping a drop cloth to the Landscaping materials Littleton and drawing or taping the dimensions onto the cloth. Lay out stones beginning with the corner pieces which will wrap the fireplace opening up and the surfaces of the surround. Moving onto the area pieces, lay stones out as you envision them on the wall. Leave about a finger width between stones to get the grout. When stones will need to be cut, score them along their backs using a grinder. Then hold the waste end over the edge of your work bench and attack it with a brick hammer.

Install the Stones

Starting with the corner pieces, butter the back of the stones with mortar mixed to the consistency of pudding. Push the pieces into position, wiggling them back and forth until the stone touches the scratch coat. Mortar will ooze out from all sides of this stone. Once you’ve placed each of the corner pieces, move onto the area pieces. Start at the top and work your way down. Make certain to leave a finger’s width between each stone.

Grout that the Joints

Apply grout to the joints between the stones with a grout bag. Fill half of the bag using mortar and cut the tip off the bag, creating a hole equal in width to that of the joints between stones. Squeeze esophagus to the vertical joints and then move on to the flat joints. The grout ought to be flush with or slightly protrude from the surface of the stone.

Strike the Grout

Once the grout has cured for approximately 1 hour, form it to the shape you want with a striking tool. You can buy a striking tool in a house store or create a single by sanding the end of a 1-by-1-inch piece of lumber until it’s curved.