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Generation Next | How to Reface a Fireplace with Granite

Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough teaches apprentice Krysten how to reface a granite fireplace

Steps:

  1. Handling heavy masonry materials is a two-person minimum job. Do not attempt to do this alone.
  2. Carefully pry away the old granite using a prybar. Start from the top and work your way down.
  3. Protect the floor with a folded drop cloth. A scrap piece of 2x4 can be used as a lever to pry the hearth.
  4. Apply a layer of mortar on the subhearth using the trowel. Add a few blobs in key areas to allow the hearth to be wiggled into place.
  5. Place the hearth on the mortar and check for level. Hit it with the rubber mallet to make adjustments.
  6. Generously apply concrete construction adhesive to the back of the legs and the top granite piece.
  7. Place both legs on each side and check them for level.
  8. Place the top carefully and check for level.

Resources:

Refacing a fireplace is a two-person job. Use caution when handling heavy materials.

It’s challenging to match granite, so it makes more sense to order four new pieces rather than just one or two replacement pieces. A local stone fabricator can template the fireplace and cut and round each piece to the appropriate size. In this case, Mark used granite in the color Black Pearl, fabricated by International Stone, Inc.

To adhere the granite to the fireplace, Mark used a concrete construction adhesive manufactured by Quikrete.

The other materials Mark used for this job, including the chisel, hammers and buckets, can all be found at home centers.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by MJM Masonry.


Tools: