fireplace mantel

Hey There,

Just thought I’d share a couple pictures of my fireplace renovation.

Originally it had a brick hearth and surrounded with a nondescript, pine mantel.

Inspired by a couple of different mantels on your site, I more or less designed my own. I eyeballed most of it, just hoping I’d get the proportions right — column width to depth, frieze height, etc.

All considered, I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am aware of a couple of flaws, but they are minor and no one notices them.

fireplace befor

Matthew’s original mantel.

I had a wood floor installed to replace old, Berber carpet. And then I tore off the old mantel and original brick hearth.

I installed a form inside the wood floor over the concrete pad and poured enough cement to raise the pad about 1/2″ over the wood floor. This put the new bluestone hearth level with the firebox.

I installed 12″ X 2″ MDF around the form and cemented the hearth stone to the elected pad.

I then installed 1/2″ oak quarter-round against the MDF, just under the edge of the stone hearth, and it worked out very nicely.

fireplace slip

Matthew used Luck Stone to make the fireplace slip.

I then installed stone veneer from Luck Stone over the brick surround. The corner pieces do a good job of providing the illusion of depth.

diy home moldings

diy moldings home

white fireplace mantel

fireplace ornaments

Thanks for your website. I couldn’t have done it without the inspiration and design ideas it provided me.

— Matthew Barton

Improvisational Finish Carpentry

Hi Matthew,

What I love most about Matthew’s description of his project is how he “more or less designed my own” fireplace mantel.

And what he designed and built is absolutely fantastic! Matthew used design elements from both FIREPLACE-102 and FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 and is proof that you don’t need every single measurement in a plan to build a spectacular mantel. There are just too many variations in locations and materials for it to be worthwhile for me to give exact measurements on every single piece of molding or flat-stock that goes into a pattern.

That’s why I call it improvisational finish carpentry. Matthew excels at it and so can you!