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 How to install a marble fireplace mantel.

Guide on how to install your own marble fireplace mantel.

Marble mantel. Fireplace marble mantle.

 

In this article I attempt to give you some insights of how we put together a marble mantel in Coral Gables, Fl.

This case the owner wanted us to install the mantel on her living room wall. The mantel was originally used on a fireplace before but we did not have any firebox installed in the wall. It was basically a "fake" fireplace with an electrical firebox in the middle.

As you see on the picture we even installed black granite tiles with a white trim around them to serve as a fireplace heart.

 

Marble mantel around electric fireplace.

While most marble mantels are mounted directly on the wall and adhered there with either liquid nails or epoxy, this mantel was too thin to accommodate the electric firebox in the middle. The electrical firebox was around 12" in width and the fireplace mantel was only 5 inches. This presented us with a challenge of it's own. We had to make the mantel wider in order to fit the electric firebox and come out flash on the sides.

As you see on the picture on the left we had to put wood that was painted white to match the appearance of the mantel. We even put the side trim on the wood to mach the top trim of the mantel. If you have a firebox and you just purchased a new marble mantel kit you won't have to worry about the width of the mantel. It will just wrap around the firebox nicely.

 

I know many of you wish to have the real fireplace in the living room but this electric firebox gave the mantel a very realistic look, feel and even warmth of a real fireplace.

 

Marble mantel fireplace kit.

The first step is unwrapping the pieces of the mantel.

If you are lucky the previous owner or the contractor who dismantled it marked or numbered the pieces in order.

If the pieces are unmarked you pretty much have to figure out how to put the puzzles back together. Which was the case in our situation. We had sorted out the different pieces and started putting them in the right order.

← As the picture of the disassembled mantel shown here.

If you ordered a new mantel you will receive all mantel components in the crate, such as legs, heart, shelf, screws, etc.

 

 

The installation of the mantel can be broken down to three steps.

Marble mantel piece.

 

Cleaning marble mantel pieces.

Decorative marble fireplace mantel piece.

 

Decorative marble inlay for mantel.

 

First is to clean the residue such as mortar or glue from the previous installation.

(If you have purchased a new marble mantel you can skip this step but you should inspect the new marble mantel at the time of arrival for possible damages due to shipping.) We have used a small angle grinder to clean the epoxy and the gypsum from the marble pieces.

 

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The following three pictures show the steps it took to assemble this marble mantel piece.

While with wooden mantels the installation is done with pieces of lumbers securely fastened to the wall, a marble mantel is adhered simply with construction adhesive. If your marble fireplace mantel come with a heart install that first. Center it on the firebox opening and set tight to the wall. Most likely the legs will have to stand on top of the heart.  Dry-set the legs first. (With some of the marble mantel kits you might need to cut the inside returns to the proper width to fit your installation.) After setting the legs in the right position, mark around it with pencil.

Apply adhesive to the top of each leg and set it to your pencil mark.

 

Hand carved marble mantel.     Installing marble fireplace mantel. Marble mantel for electric fireplace.

Dry-setting the pieces on the floor. Notice the epoxy gun on the picture.

If you are planning to take the marble mantel when you move out of the house it is a good idea to use liquid nails instead. You will have a hard time disassembling the pieces if you use epoxy.

 

The next step after installing the legs is to assemble the middle of the mantel. This part was constructed of 5 hand carved marble pieces with decorative designs.  Shown on picture #5. Instead of gluing it to the wall we simply attached it with drywall screw and tie-wire.

 

The last step is to put the shelf on the top and fill the seams with white caulk. New mantel kits comes with so called facing powder to fill drill holes and seams. The mantel stood on the black granite tiles that situated on  front of the mantel and under the firebox, creating the look and feel of a real fireplace heart.

 

This installation is not complicated if the mantel is mounted directly on the wall. If you need to extend the width of the mantel it is a good idea to call an experienced finish carpenter or someone who knows how to work with wood.

 

Next page: Step by step instructions on how you can install your wooden fireplace mantel.

 


Quick Note;

If you have enough depth to your wall you are attaching the mantel and it will be a permanent piece for many years to come you have the option of installing the firebox recessed into the wall.

If you wish to see pictures of mantels and learn more about fireplace mantels click here.


Not a DIY? Donít feel to install marble fireplace mantel on your own? Fear not, if your project is located in our Florida service area just send us an email or call us and we will give you a free price quote on any sized job.

 

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We also install precast stone fireplaces, marble fireplaces and other stone fireplaces. Fireplace surrounds installation in and around Miami fl. We install all types of Fireplace veneers in Miami Dade and Broward county.

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Our  Construction Company specializes in completing small and medium sized residential constructions such as Fireplace Remodeling, Grout and Tile repair, Marble Installations, Travertine Installation, Cultured Stone Installation, Pressure Washing Brick wall repair, Custom Stone Masonry, Floor Restoration and other residential projects for the Miami Dade and Broward County, Florida, community.

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