How To Build A Fireplace Mantel

You can create your own custom homemade fireplace mantel all from scratch. Now you will have a box, minus one side slip this directly over the existing mantel and secure it in an inconspicuous place ( like the top) with masonry/cement screws). Once the pieces have thoroughly dried install the surround – first the columns, then the header, and finally the mantel. Specify the materials that you want to be used, and the position of the fireplace.

So a few masonry screws through the top and along the sides (as well as a line of construction adhesive where the MDF met the brick at the top) made sure this thing wasn’t going anywhere. Because there’s no flue or chimney, it’s easy to install TVs or other electronic gear directly above an electric fireplace. You can easily create the look and feel of a fireplace in your home (this is great for renters – just lean it up against the wall) by finding a great vintage or antique mantel online. I just recently removed the old brass fireplace doors and have the ” now what” thought.

National codes require at least 6 inches of clearance all around the firebox and an additional 1 inch for every ⅛ inch a mantel protrudes from the surface; local codes might be stricter. We’ve included this Instructional Video that will go along with the Homemade Mantel Guide we’ve provided above. With great inspiration from The Lettered Cottage ‘s fireplace re-do and pic from ( see photos respectively, below) We decided to go with a beam style mantel. I love to change out my fireplace mantel for spring, summer, fall and Christmas.

Since painter’s tape doesn’t stick well to brick, I slipped a piece of the Velcro packaging (not quite cardboard, but sturdier than computer paper) between the mantel and brick and painted against it. On-the-spot paint shield, for the win! Because we did not want to cover up the surrounding tile, we knew the mantel would be crazy huge (finished height is 66 1/2 inches, by 74 3/4 wide)! I printed out the plans (excellent, by the way) and H and I wrote down the measurements needed to fit a mantel around our fireplace. It’s actually pretty easy to do since we were building this thing from scratch.

But more than creating mantels for fireplaces, we can also craft stunning mantel cabinets and mantel shelves to serve as perfect companions to your fireplace. We slowly brought the assembled mantel into place and attached it to the nailers from each side of each leg. First thing we did was find the center of the wall and decide on the measurements based on the existing mantel front. BONUS: This DIY Wood Mantel fit over the brick mantel so snugly, it required no anchoring or gluing. I just love the tile that she chose for this fireplace and how it plays so well with the oak mantel.

There are many fruit bearing trees like cherry trees that can be used for a fireplace mantel shelfl On the positive side, they are more likely to last longer than softwoods. The English chimneypieces of the early seventeenth century, when the purer Italian style was introduced by Inigo Jones , were extremely simple in design, sometimes consisting only of the ordinary mantel piece, with classic architraves and shelf, the upper part of the chimney breast being paneled like the rest of the room.

I’m in the home of a buddy of mine, Scott, who’s a fairly avid woodworker and he created this whole fireplace mantel for less than $75.00 in materials. Here in the Ozarks, traditional styles are very popular,” says Charlie Wormek, owner of HMI Fireplace Shops in Nixa. Keep this detailing toward the lower part of the front panel to allow room for the crown molding to be installed later. Make sure your cleat is wide enough for the mantel to be fastened to the cleat with screws. I gave myself an out” by making the legs and header a few inches longer than what I needed, then I trimmed them to size in the field.

Having the mantel already made helped a lot, and there are plenty out there if you take the time to look. With the firebox molding finished, and an easy way to remove the mantel, I decide to start with a first coat of stain. If you are looking for something that will really set your room and home apart, you can only achieve this by choosing the best woods for a mantel shelf to ensure that you get something that does not require a lot of maintenance and will look good for a long time.


I made an arbitrary mark on the floor at each end of the bump out, just beyond the projected face of the mantel. General contractor overhead and markup for organizing and supervising the Fireplace Mantel Installation. Elements such as capitals , moldings , brackets , figurines , animals , fruits and vegetation are commonly used to decorate a mantel. To make sure the door wouldn’t cause any bowing or movement in the surround, we made a door frame on the back of the mantel.

With a portable unit, that’s the total cost since the fireplace is ready to use once you remove the packaging. Redware pottery displayed on either side of the mantel complements the room’s country decor and leaves the view of the screen unobstructed. But we thought this flat-fronted look was a bit too modern for the rest of our kitchen (our cabinets on the other side of the room have more of a traditional shape), so adding baseboard and some framing/details to the wood surround was next on the agenda.

What he did is he went out to the home center and bought some stock crown molding and some MDF, which is a medium density fiberboard, a very commonly use material in cabinetry and mantels, and he used it to create a shelf part of the mantel. I realized that the old mantel would be fine as far as the width went, since it was only two inches smaller than I wanted and I could cut down the top. We only have about 4 inches between the wood and the fireplace opening on the sides. Building your own mantel is cheaper than having one professionally installed, however, if you’re going to DIY, be prepared to do some heavy lifting. Remove ornaments before using the fireplace and rehang them when you’re finished.

I wasn’t thrilled about the bevel on the underside of the mantel top, or the curved front of the frieze board—what I call the four square panel.” I thought it was too busy for this house. And if you are looking for fireplace mantels with these characteristics, call us at Fire Finesse. Before I painted the surround I had to caulk the cracks and fill any holes with wood putty. If starting from scratch is more than you want to tackle, consider buying a premade mantel shelf or kit. Fabric doilies shaped into trees and spray-painted red stand next to a lime green homemade wreath on this cheery holiday mantel.

There is an exception: If the mantel or trim directly above opening the shelf projects more than 1 2 inches beyond the fireplace face, the top clearance increases to 12 inches. If you have a masonry fireplace, there should have been blocks of wood mortared into the stone work at an appropriate height for a mantel. We added a small piece of MDF in the middle and attached the crown underneath the mantel top.

If you do not like the shape or style of your old wood-burning fireplace, or it is seriously damaged (many fireplaces and chimneys in California are damaged in earthquakes, for instance), consider removing the old fireplace entirely and putting in a new one. The breast plate is the middle piece that is located above the firebox, in between the legs, and beneath the mantel shelf. After finally losing that battle, I was scratching my head as to how to build another layer on the side, as I was completely out of room. H even got out the paint sprayer and painted the mantel (yes, he scored lots of points with this project).

If you’re adding a lot of decorative trim and crown molding, see the detailed trim installation steps on This Old House Putty all nail holes and allow to dry. But we didn’t take houses off our list because they didn’t have a built-in fireplace just yet. Coordinated colors of vases, glasses and candleholders create a simple but elegant mantel display. The Auguste Louis XVI Marble Mantel in Beige Perlato has been a favorite of one of our repeat customers in Michigan as they work on various high-end projects. Just remember, that traditional fireplace mantels’ styling calls for symmetry and balance.

With any wood- or paper-based screen, please be sure to remove this before you use your fireplace. I started scouring the Internet for helpful how-to’s on how to build your own mantel. If you do not want to measure the two pieces together, measure the length of the mantel and the length of the cleat. And the experts that work there are here to help transform your bland, outdated fireplace into something visually warm and inviting. Magrahearth mantles are non combustible cement mantles so that you may place it as low to the fireplace as possible. You could see how this floor-to-ceiling fireplace completely dominated the room.

A square edge on the mantel doesn’t look all that great; minimally round over the edges, or better, rout a decorative edge on it. Some baseboard and shoe moulding on the bottom of the columns will give it a more finished look. If you want to have a mantel to go with your fireplace and you don’t want to wait for a customized one, then we suggest going for one of our pre-built fireplace mantels. My building components of the mantel before you install it will drastically improve the quality of the joints and finished appearance. Cost saver tip: Switch to a simpler surround and mantle, and get a direct-vent fireplace so you don’t need a chimney.

Click on the play button on the video player above to watch the video on how to build a fireplace mantel. When building your own fireplace mantel, make sure that strength and durability are a priority. Finally the top of the mantel is a piece of 5/4 which gives it a nice balance with all the stacked moldings below. Although brick is beautiful and classic in lots of homes, sometimes it doesn’t exactly fit your style. Measure the open center of the mantel where the firebox would be to see if will rest at least 2 feet above the top of your mattress.