In the winter months, nothing marks the holiday season more suitably than cozying up beside a warm fireplace. However, no fireplace is complete without a hearth. Not only do hearths prevent the distribution of messy ash onto the floor, but a stone hearth will protect nearby rugs from catching fire if a stray spark makes its way out of the fireplace. A stone hearth will also add a rustic look to any home.
If you are considering adding a fireplace in your home, you will need to build a hearth. A stone hearth is appropriate to use for hearth material because stone is not flammable. However, it is still important to inspect that the stone hearth has not been finished with any combustible material.
A stone hearth can be unwieldy to install if not done correctly, so it is imperative to understand the correct methods for installing a stone hearth. The following article from eHow outlines the necessary steps for an easy installation of a stone hearth as well as a stone surround.
How to Install a Stone Hearth
You need to break a stone hearth down into sections to install it because of its weight. Assembling a stone hearth involves joining the sections together. When installing a stone hearth, you may need to make modifications according to the particular design you have chosen. Allow yourself an afternoon successfully to complete this do-it-yourself project. You need basic carpentry skills to install a stone hearth. Before replacing an existing surround for a working fire, verify that the new fire surround is designed for ornamental use and is fire resistant.
- Place the hearth on the floor, next to the fireplace, and mark out the position of the hearth using a pencil. Remove the stone hearth.
- Lay a ¾-inch bed of slab mortar according to the manufacturer’s directions. Roughen the surface of the mortar with a trowel.
- Place the stone slabs that make up the hearth on top of the mortar. Adjust the slabs until they are precisely level. Check for levelness using a carpenter’s level. Grout the stone slabs with mortar according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Place the legs in their position according to the manufacturer’s directions. Mark the layout on the corner braces on the wall, and upright for fasteners with a pencil. Remove the legs, and drill pilot holes using a 1-inch drill bit and a drill.
- Spread a thin bed of mortar underneath where the legs go. Place the legs in their position and attach them using the braces, fasteners, screws and a drill.
- Apply a thin layer of mortar to the tops of the stone hearth legs.
- Place the mantel in position with a helper, and verify it is level using a carpenter’s level. Attach the corner braces into the wall using screws and a drill.
- Position the mantel shelf in place with a helper, and mark the position for the bolts using a pencil. Remove the mantel shelf, and drill pilot holes on the marks you made. Fill the holes with mortar, and reposition the shelf. Attach and secure by installing the bolts using ratchet wrench.
- Clean all joints in the stone hearth and surround with a pointing trowel. Place the trowel in the joints and surround and gently scrape away residue. Clean excess mortar from the stone faces with a damp rag.
Remember that if you are planning to lay your stone hearth on carpet, remove the carpet from the designated area so that the stone will lay flat and the mortar will cling to the hard floor beneath it.
If you need more advice on builingd a stone hearth or would like to purchase the necessary materials for stone hearth installation, please contact Camosse Masonry Supply.