You can create your own custom homemade fireplace mantel all from scratch. The legs refer to the two columns on either side of the mantel that travel vertically to support the mantel shelf. As you begin to design the mantel that you feel will fit best your tastes and the style of your home, keep in mind that there are two primary ways to construct a mantel. When Ashley deconstructed her original fireplace surround, rock cladding mounting to a backing board was the first step in getting everything ready for the new fireplace surround and mantel shelf.
Whether you paint, stain, or varnish, make sure you use a high quality product, as the heat from your fireplace can be very hard on the wood. Build components from stock lumber and molding using a table saw and circular saw. If you are in need of instructions don’t count on this book, unless you have brand new construction… and need to know how to build a mantle box. Small, ogee crown molding (like what’s used on cabinetry) for the main crown detail that supports the mantel top.
So even though the MDF sat right against the brick at the top, it floated a couple of inches away from the brick (and tile) at the bottom. After a long and hard day’s work, Sheena had her dream mantel and I built a mantel for the first time. If you use Strap Hinges rather than Tee Hinges, the back two screws on the side hinge will hit the 4″ 2×4 pieces on the brace, giving you 2 secured points on either end of the shelf. In these cases the mantel shelf is mounted to the wall using concealed supports, and the exposed brackets are simply decorative. If you plan on placing larger items atop your mantel shelf, try a 6” mantel so you have ample space for décor.
Our solution to this was to install some hidden, recessed lighting in the mantel prior to installation; to balance out the light and eliminate any weird shadows or dark spots. Determine the size of your boxes by measuring the distance from the brick to the edge of the mantel and then from the mantel to the floor. It might have been easier to fasten some of the trim directly to the brick, but we love to ability to remove and reinstall the mantel at will.
Since you are doing a remodel job, you have an opportunity to extend electricity to the mantel area. If you have a woodcarvers guild in your area, you may be able to get a one-of-a-kind custom fireplace mantel built for you. Now, if you’re not as confident as Scott with your woodworking skills, you can buy an entire fireplace manual kit either online or at the home center. Place the mantel over the cleat and secure the mantel to the cleat using wood screws.
We laid down one more plywood piece on the top and mimicked the end molding of the mantel shelf. I recommend looking at your local lumber store selections of whiteboard, keeping in mind that the width of the wood needs to correlate with the depth you have planned for your diy fireplace mantel. Here in America into the 1800’s a fireplace was purely practical and the mantel was just the beam or lintel over the opening. I’ve always enjoyed sharing my knowledge with homeowners and I believe the more an owner is educated about the building process, the better the entire project flows. I added crown to the room this year, and I had to end it by the molding over the fireplace.
Note, Rockler also sells Blind Shelf Supports , although I do not think that their method is as strong. So’¦..the next time you need to build a mantel and you’re looking for a functional design without spending a lot of time or money, consider using paving stones or retaining wall caps! For the reveal under the mantel top I used 1/4″ poplar lacquered black (I think this is what you refer to).
Then it happened – my brain went in to decorating / building mode and I could visualize what kind of mantel I wanted for the fireplace. After considering a variety of different materials we decided to use cement Tranquil Chiselwall Retaining Wall Caps instead of building one out of wood. To build that columns on each side of the fireplace I started with small cut pieces right against the wall, so I’d have something to attach each of the sides to.
In a nutshell, you just drill holes into the surface where you’re mounting the mantle, screw in heavy duty bolts, cut the heads off the bolts and cover them in liquid nails, and then slide on the mantle. We also added another piece of decorative trim right where the vertical posts” of the fireplace frame seemed to support the middle span” that stretched across the whole fireplace.