05:39AM | 11/11/02
Member Since: 11/09/02
9 lifetime posts
We have purchased a home that has a huge floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The hearth is about 12" high, then it's stone to the ceiling, and it's 6 feet wide. The fireplace opening is 29" high and 36" wide. The stone is only about an inch thick, and I'm guessing it's cinder block behind them (my guess is because I've seen new housing developments putting up their stone wall entrances using this technique).

There are vents/cirulation fans to blow hot air into the room, but they don't work (we've checked and there's no electricity running to the on/off switch on the wall, but that could be a whole other post in the electrical area!). These vents are located 16" above the fireplace opening, but to the outside edges of the opening (so they are not directly over the opening).

Now the question part....Can I add a wood mantle over the fireplace opening by drilling into the stone, or will the stone crack? All I want is a big chunk of wood, very rustic looking, nothing fancy. Any suggestions on what size wood and how to attach it? (Think it would look funny to use column/supports on the sides due to the 12" high hearth...would make everything feel miniature size.)

Also,I would imagine there are some sort of recommendations for space between top of opening and the wood? Any ideas on what those are or where to find out?

Thanks for your help.


04:45PM | 11/12/02
There are requirements for the size of the mantel and distance from the top of the firebox opening. They are as follows:

· 18” above the opening…..mantel can project 2 ½” from the face of the wall
· 20” above the opening…..mantel can project 6” from the face of the wall
· 22” above the opening…..mantel can project 8” from the face of the wall
· 24” above the opening…..mantel can project 10” from the face of the wall

Mounting will depend on what you find behind the 1” stone veneer. The stone veneer can be drilled but care must be taken not to crack it. Start with a smaller drill bit and work your way up to the size you need without using excessive pressure. Whatever method of mounting you choose to use it should go all the way through the stone veneer into the support structure behind. Care must also be taken not to hit the flu.

If there is masonry behind the stone veneer you might use #5 rebar set into the masonry and anchored with a heat resistant epoxy cement. Allow the rebar to protrude at least 2/3 of the width of your mantel. Then drill into the back of your mantel and slide it over the rebar using the same epoxy cement to secure it to the bars.

Another way would be to use 5/8" all thread rods screwed into expansion shields. Be sure to use shields that match the threads on the rods. Then mount the mantel similar to above using construction adhesive to secure the mantel to the rods.

Without knowing more about the actual construction you are dealing with I can not give you a definite method that will work for you. These are only suggestions or guidelines of possible mounting methods. The actual method you use may be different.


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