How do you create a fireplace mantel? There are many ways to do this. The Mantel can be built as part of the surround or attached to it, much like you would attach a shelf. If you are planning on a really ornate mantle made of nice rich wood, or such, you might want to hire a professional carpenter or contractor.
There are really affordable ways to create a fireplace mantle with prefabricated mantles offered on the modern market of today. You can find a prefabricated mantle to fit almost any taste and decor. These mantle kits can simulate almost any material from wood to stone and marble. Keep your eyes peeled for the local sections of “Buy, Sale, and Trade” in your area. On occasion you will see very nice fireplace mantles for sale.
Create a Fireplace Mantel
Creating a standard fireplace mantle from wood and crown molding of your choice can be a very worthy project. Lets walk, step by step, in the creation of your new fireplace mantle.
Mark the Height for Your Mantle
To mark the positioning of your new mantle you will need to measure the width and the height from the floor. If you have a raised hearth, do not measure from there, measure from the actual floor of the room. Mantles are normally 60 inches from the floor.
The reason you measure the width is because you want to mark the center so you can “center” your mantle and mantle brace. If there are any metal or doors on the fireplace you might have to remove these to fit the mantle if they are in the way. It is up to your discretion.
Cut and Attach Mantle Brace
You will need to cut a 2×4 as wide as the top of your fireplace. Attach this to your surround with 10 inch masonry screws. The mantle brace is what you will be attaching the bulk of your mantle to. Always use a level as you work to make sure your mantel will be even.
Attach a Wooden Breastplate
The “breastplate” is part of the mantle bracing. What you do is cut the breastplate from 1×12 board to fit around the brace. You cut out an opening on the breastplate to accept the mantel brace. Attach the breastplate to the surround with 2-inch masonry screws.
Attach Mantel to Brace and Breastplate
Put 45 degree miter cuts on the corners of your mantle made from crown molding. After you do this attach the crown molding mantel to your breastplate and brace using 1 inch finishing nails.
Cut a bottom cap and attach it to the bottom of your crown molding mantle with the same 1 inch finishing nails. A bottom cap is a decorative molding of your choice you can get at the building supply store. In this case you are attaching it to give the mantle the appearance of being solid.
Finish Mantel and Attach Trim
You might want to add your own special decorative qualities at this point with prefabricated trim (such as carved look corner molds). Putty the nail holes. After your putty is dry. sand the whole mantle. Dust and you are ready to apply the primer.
Apply the primer and let it dry before putting the final coat of paint on. If you want you can give your mantle an aged look after you paint it with antique glaze.
Successful “How To” In Creating a Fireplace Mantel
As mentioned earlier in the opening of this article, there are many ways to create a fireplace mantle. Prefabricated mantle kits come in numerous styles to match any fireplace and compliment most any decor.
It is exciting shopping around and looking at all of the options and choosing the mantle best suited for you. Instructions will be included from the manufacturer on how to install or attach your new mantle.
You can even get a prefabricated surround for your entire fireplace which includes the mantle. The ones that simulate marble are very beautiful, and even have edges on the surround that look like Greek columns. Be creative and explore all of the options for “How To’s” and other good advice for creating the perfect mantel addition for your fireplace.