Step 4: Spread thinset for hearth

rebuilding a fireplace
Photo: Brian Wilder
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• Stick suction cups to new hearth slab and test fit on the hearth base.
• Mix enough thinset mortar to cover hearth base.
• Pour thinset onto base.
• Comb the toothed trowel through the thinset to raise evenly spaced furrows across entire surface (as shown).
• Save leftover thinset for next step.
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    Tools List

    • Demolition hammer
      Demolition hammer
    • suction cups
      Suction cups
      for moving heavy slabs of stone
    • notched trowel
      1/2-inch notched trowel
    • brick trowel
      Brick trowel
      for smoothing topping mix in corners of hearth base
    • flat finishing trowel
      Flat finishing trowel
      for smoothing topping mix on hearth base
    • brick hammer
      Brick hammer
    • mallet
      Mallet
    • mason's brush
      Mason's brush
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw

    Shopping List

    1. STONE SLABS
    Make cardboard templates of the pieces you'll need and take them to a fabricator that specializes in stone countertops.

    2. TILE
    Make cardboard templates as you would with stone, and then plot the layout of the tiles on these. This will give you an exact count, but order extra.