People replace fireplace mantles for a number of reasons. Perhaps they want to change the look of their old and weary fireplace or perhaps they have a mantle that is broken and needs to be replaced. No matter what the reason, replacing the mantle on your fireplace will make a huge difference in the appearance.
If you want to replace your existing fireplace, you will need tools such as a drilling hammer, combination square, wrench, chisel, pencil, clawback hammer, bucket, drill and bits, nail gun, prybar, leveler, putty knife, trowel, 5-in-1 painters tool, gloves and goggles, the new mantle, mortar, concrete brick, 2 x 2 board, and two lag bolts and sleeves. Before you get started in putting up your new mantle, always put on your safety goggles.
If you have an existing mantle, use the pry bar and hammer to remove it. Once disassembled, you want to seal the holes where the mounting blocks were with the old mantle. This will help restore a weather tight wall. You then need blocks to fill the openings. Using the chisel, chip out some of the old mortar should the brick be too large for the opening.
Next, spread some of the mortar around the edge of that opening and insert a replacement brick. You then want to mortar around the brick until all of the holes have been plugged. Take the 2 x 2 ledger board and with a leveler and pencil, mark where the two mounting points are. This is where the board crosses the existing mortar joints. Before going on, make sure the board is completely level.
You will then drill two holes through th 2 x 2 board, holding it in position and marking the mounting points on the masonry joints. You then need to change your bit to a masonry bit and drill the appropriate holes for the lag screws. Insert the lag sleeves into those holes and position the ledger board. Once again, you want to make sure everything is level again. Once you are sure that it is, tighten the board into the wall using the lag screws and the wrench.
Now you want to position your new fireplace mantle over the ledger board and nail it to the board. If you have a powerful nail gun as suggested in the list of tools, the job will be extremely easy. Once the mantle is in place, you are ready to start adding accessories to make the appearance what you want it to be.