Saturday, November 10, 2012

Finishing the Fireplace, Part 4: Mounting the Mantel

I am all over alliteration!

Don’t we just want to see the good stuff first?  Here is the gorgeous new fireplace and surround.

new fireplace mantel and surround

I’ve still got a few finishing touches (of course), but it is basically complete! And I am so happy.

So here’s how we mounted the mantel shelf.

My awesome cousin works for FastenMaster, so he’s totally turned us on to their products and we’re sold! They’re easier to use than lag bolts and just as strong. We use them for mounting everything from our TV to…well, our mantel!


We ended up using these 6” HeadLoks to screw a 2”x4” into the studs above the fireplace. We used some scraps of mantel to keep the 2”x4” the right distance from the surround.

mounting the 2x4

Then I found an old piece of ranch baseboard to make up the 3/8” difference. (The inside of the mantel was 1 7/8” and a 2”x4” is only 1.5”.)

mounting the 2x4
(Here’s Brandon demonstrating the ranch trim.) :)

And here’s a close up of the trim sitting on top of the 2”x4”.

mounting the 2x4

We held that in place with some wood glue and a couple of 18ga nails from our air nailer.

After testing the board’s ridiculous strength, it was time to mount the shelf!

mounting the mantel

I just slipped the mantel over the boards for a nice, snug fit!

Then I remembered that maybe I should center this shelf. So I took some measurements and slid it around accordingly.

centering the mantel

Then I secured the shelf with about 4 – 2” screws on top (they’ll pretty much never be seen, since the shelf is high and will soon have stuff on it) and some brad nails up through the bottom.

And Voila! Let’s look again.

new fireplace mantel and surround

I still need to fill the gap between the tile and the molding, either with some small trim or caulk. And I made add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the top board. But those things are really just tiny compared to this whole project! 

(Oh, and at some point, we do need something fireproof under the fireplace, instead of just the wood floor. But that’s a big decision and a potentially big project for a number of reasons, so for now, I’ll just be careful and/or find a temporary solution!)

Let’s go back to where we began:

our living room and fireplace before

This is how we lived since then:

fireplace in progress

And now:

new fireplace mantel and surround

I can’t wait to start decorating, so we can get some real “before” and “after” shots! I’ve already got a frame and ordered some artwork…  ;)

(Read the rest of the fireplace saga here.)

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