Step 6: Install the mantel

Installing the mantel
Photo: Kolin Smith
«»
Fit the mantel over the cleats, aligning it with the outline marks on the wall. Press all edges flush against the wall before fastening. If the cleats are properly positioned, the mantel should fit over them like a sleeve.

Turn off the drill's hammer action. Use a driver bit to drive 2-inch finish screws every 16 inches along the back of the shelf above the center of the top cleat. Do the same through the outer edges of the legs (not the face) into the side cleats. Set the screwheads just below the surface so they can be concealed later.
Ask TOH users about Fireplaces

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • hammer drill
      Hammer drill with 3/16-inch masonry bit
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • hand saw
      Saw,
      to cut 2v4s
    • four-foot level
      3-foot level
    • torpedo level
      Torpedo level
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • flathead screwdriver
      Screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. MANTEL

    Comes in a kit with legs, a shelf, and interior trim.



    2. SHIMS

    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.



    8. CAULK

    if you're painting the mantel, to fill gaps where it meets the wall.