Step 6: Set surround pieces

rebuilding a fireplace
Photo: Brian Wilder
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• With trowel, comb thinset onto backs of side pieces.
• Set each piece in place on top of hearth and press against brick. Make sure inside edges slightly overlap the sides of the firebox.
• Lay straightedge across tops of side pieces. Check that they align. If not, pivot slightly.
• Butter thinset on top piece. Set it on the side pieces (as shown). Press tight to brick. Check that joints are flush.
• Allow thinset to harden overnight.
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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.