Preparing for Your Cast Stone Mantel Installation

Installation should be done by a professional mason. Cast stone mantels are heavy and often require two or more people to lift certain pieces. Safety is paramount; handle with care to avoid personal injury or damage. Ensure you check the packing information for the weight of each stone. Handle edges delicately to prevent damage. Note that while we suggest one method of installation, there are several acceptable techniques. Old World Stoneworks is not responsible for installation outcomes.

Unpacking Your Mantel

Unpacking is crucial. Carefully unpack each stone, avoiding damage to edges and corners. Lay out all pieces on a protective surface like styrofoam, cardboard, or plywood. This helps verify that all pieces are undamaged and measurements are accurate. Ensure there is a ¼” space between each stone during layout.

How to Install a Mantel on a Stone Fireplace

This full-length installation video can be used by homeowners, masons and other installers.

For installations similar to any exterior cast-stone work, we recommend using brick ties or “L” brackets for secure anchoring. Attach these to the wall using masonry screws. If mounting on drywall, ensure anchors go into the wall studs. Apply mortar between the stones and the wall. Use 1/4 inch wood or plastic shims between stones to ensure even joints. Level each piece as you install upwards. For mantels with heavy upper parts, allow lower sections to set before adding weighty top elements.

Grouting Techniques for Cast Stone Mantels

Before grouting, protect the joint edges with masking tape or consider using water as an alternative method. Since stone is porous, unprotected edges can allow lime to leach from the joints, resulting in a fuzzy appearance. We recommend using blue painter’s tape for best results. Ensure the stone surface is dry and clean for optimal tape adherence. The tape should not remain on for more than 24-48 hours.

Final Steps in Mantel Installation

Use a standard mortar mix for installation, keeping the mortar 1″ away from the surface, then finish with pointing up using the sand and white mortar mix type N provided. If white mortar mix type N is unavailable, a mixture of 3 parts sand, one part lime, and one part white Portland cement can be used. After the grout begins to set, complete any final pointing up, then remove the masking tape. Enhance the finish by burnishing the joints with a piece of short nap carpet or burlap, making them appear more natural and integrated with the stone.

conrad cast stone fireplace mantel

Cleaning Your Cast Stone Mantel

After installation, clean your cast stone mantel using a mixture of muriatic acid and water (1 part acid to 7 parts water). Ensure the grout is dry and protect nearby surfaces with plastic drop cloths. Start by misting the mantel with water, then spray the acid solution from top to bottom. Lightly scrub with a nylon brush for even cleaning, and rinse thoroughly with water after 30 seconds to a minute to avoid etching. Repeat as necessary for stubborn stains, and allow the mantel to dry completely before sealing.

Request a free quote for your fireplace mantel today! We deliver to all 50 states.