Place a 3-foot level across the mantel and check for level. Use a torpedo level to see if the shelf is level front to back. Tap shims under the legs as necessary until it's level both ways.
Lightly trace the mantel's outline on the wall in pencil, as shown. This will give you a reference to help position the cleats.
Tip: Mantels are top-heavy. Allowing the shelf to tilt slightly back toward the wall helps hold it in place during installation. You'll pull the legs flush with the wall as you screw to the cleat.
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Hammer drill with 3/16-inch masonry bit
to cut 2v4s
Comes in a kit with legs, a shelf, and interior trim.
to level the mantel.
3. 2x4 LUMBER
for cleats on which the mantel will hang. Two 8-foot pieces should do it.
4. 2 1/2-INCH-LONG 1/4-INCH CONCRETE SCREWS
for attaching the mantel to a brick chimney. If the wall isn't brick, use 3-inch decking screws to attach the cleats to the studs.
5. 2-INCH FINISH SCERWS
to fasten the mantel to the cleats. Finish screws (aka trim heads) have small heads that sink below the surface without the need to drill a countersink hole first.
6. 4d FINISH NAILS
to attach the edge molding.
7. WOOD PUTTY
to fill screw holes.
if you're painting the mantel, to fill gaps where it meets the wall.