Fireplace Refacing: A How To Project

There is just something warming, literally and figuratively about having a great fireplace in your home. Even when there isn’t a roaring blaze going or the sound of that unmistakable crackle of burning logs, a great fireplace design can really add to the overall decor and feel of your space. Some older homes have designs that were either in style or innovative at the time, but now suffer from an aged feel. One way to change this is by simply putting a new face on your fireplace area. Fireplace refacing is a similar idea as doing the same thing in your kitchen.

Kitchen cabinet refacing has become a very popular way of freshening up the kitchen again. It is a way of including ‘green’ ideas into your kitchen remodeling plans. It is basically a way of getting an entirely new look without having to go through the cost or hassle of going completely new installation process.

While decent looking, this red brick and oak mantel look could use some updating - a perfect fireplace refacing project.

We’ll be describing the process of using a stone veneer or other type of stone facing for your fireplace, but the techniques would apply to most any type of new stone or tile application.

You can also help your fireplace design to be all that you wish it to be by using a variety of fireplace accessories.  Things like fireplace grates, fireplace screens and tools are all parts of the design of your fireplace and your room.

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Step 1
It is a fairly simple process, really. The first step when refacing your fireplace is to make sure that you clean the area that you will be remodeling thoroughly. Cleaning, in this case, refers mostly to getting rid of obvious debris or dust and even spider webs and the like. If you are going to be refacing an area that was formerly tiled, you may wish to remove the tile entirely. With a brick fireplace, you can just clean it and be ready for the second step.

Step 2
The second step is to prep the fireplace surround using either cement backer-board or your mortar mix. If you’re using mortar mix, you’ll want to make sure that your mix is the consistency of peanut butter. This will give you the perfect consistency for your stone veneer to hold properly.

Step3
With this mortar mix ready, you can ‘back butter’ your stone facing. This is simply what it’s called when you apply the mortar to the stone pieces. Apply enough to allow you to press them into place and have them hold on their own – typically around 3/8” to ½” will do the job.

Make sure you have a level line to begin with from the bottom of the area you are refacing. Then, just stack your stone pieces atop one another. You can put them right on top of one another without the need to space them. These types of stones do not require mortar between them. Make sure you stagger your joint lines to give a more natural look.

If you have a smaller room, you can use smaller stones. In a larger space, you can get by using larger stone pieces. It is often easier and advised to start with your corners, because these are trickier to fit if not the proper size. The inner pieces can be fitted, as they come in a variety of sizes. Have fun with your fireplace refacing project and enjoy your new space!



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