How to Install a Cast Stone Fireplace Mantel | This Old House

16November 2020

The final piece to the new fireplace at Arlington is the decorative surround. Homeowners Nick and Emily chose a cast stone mantel. Kevin O’Connor finds Mark McCullough putting the finishing touches on what will be a central piece in the new family room.

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Mason Mark McCullough is in the new family room at Arlington where he shows Kevin O’Connor the limestone pieces that have been shaped by molds to create the fireplace surround. They were made in a factory in Dallas, Texas and shipped to the project in a crate. Mark and Kevin start at the base by spreading some mortar and laying down each of the three pieces. For the vertical pieces, Mark uses tape around the bottom and top to prevent them from staining with mortar. The leg piece gets clipped in so it won’t tip forward. Mortar goes in between each piece as they stack up the legs on either side of the opening and then work their way towards the middle. The final piece is the crown mantel ledge that sits across the top. It will need to get anchored and cleaned up, but the new fireplace is looking great already.

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This Old House is America’s first and most trusted home improvement show. Each season, we renovate two different historic homes—one step at a time—featuring quality craftsmanship and the latest in modern technology. We demystify home improvement and provide ideas and information so, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring out contractors, you’ll know the right way to do things or the questions to ask. Our experts including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor give you the tools you need to protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Install a Cast Stone Fireplace Mantel | This Old House

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