to install a marble fireplace
Guide on how to install your own
marble fireplace mantel.
In this article I attempt to give
you some insights of how we put
together a marble mantel in Coral
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
As you see on the picture we even
installed black granite tiles with a
white trim around them to serve as a
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.
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
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,
The installation of the mantel can
be broken down to three steps.
Cleaning marble mantel
Decorative marble inlay
First is to clean the residue such
as mortar or glue from the previous
(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.
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.
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
Apply adhesive to the top of each
leg and set it to your pencil mark.
Dry-setting the pieces
on the floor. Notice the
epoxy gun on the
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
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
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
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.
Step by step instructions
on how you can install your wooden
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
fireplace mantels click here.
Related articles and pages:
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