In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to beautify an old, ugly brick fireplace.
Upgrading a mantel, hearth and surround
- Remove the protruding brick corbelling from the face of the fireplace using a masonry hammer and cold chisel.
- Chop out the old hearth and mortar bed using a hammer and cold chisel.
- Mix up a batch of mortar; spread the mortar over hearth using a smooth trowel. Allow mortar bed to cure for two days.
- Install granite hearth and surround to the using masonry adhesive.
- Assemble the knock-down mantle surround using a screwdriver.
- Set assembled mantel into place against the fireplace wall.
- Scribe a line around the mantel and onto the wall; move the mantel out of the way.
- Screw 2x2 cleats to the wall using 3-inch screws. Position cleats ¾ inch inside of the pencil lines.
- Set the mantel in place against the wall, then use a gas-powered or pneumatic nailer to fasten through the top and sides of the mantel and into the cleats.
- Install beaded molding around the inside perimeter of the mantel surround.