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Topic by MarkTheFiddler posted 08-06-2012 08:37 PM 14525 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-06-2012 08:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: living room question floors remodeling planning

Howdy,

I don’t even know how to begin working with my fireplace. I have been thinking about it for 6 months and I keep on going in circles. I have avoided doing the living room for 2 reasons. 1) Price of flooring 2) What do I do about the fireplace!

The fireplace is made out of 35 year old Brick. The wall it totally dominates is also covered with the brick. I know these will be open ended questions but let me toss out a few. How complicated is it to replace or veneer with a stone face? Is that a dated look? Any other suggestions?

The next concern I have is about running engineered flooring up to the fireplace. I have heard that wood floors need to run against the longest wall in the room. That wall runs parallel to the fireplace. I don’t think that would make sense. Is it cool If I run the floor perpendicular to the fireplace?

The final question that’s really messing with me is; What is the best way to finish the floor next to the fireplace?

Any help would be so appreciated! Quite frankly, I can’t do it without you all!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.



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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-06-2012 10:27 PM

Hey Mark – I am wrapping up a stone veneer fireplace as we speak. I’ll post some pictures a little later.
Stone veneer is a good way to go, it goes down a lot like tile, there are some minor differences in the application, but if you can tile then you can learn to do brick veneer.

Can you post a picture so we can see where your floor meets the fireplace?

An option for the floor at the fireplace is to use granite tile, a decorative poured piece of concrete, hearth stones, field stones, or any other flat stone like surface that you can think of. Put your laminate flooring down and then put your hearth stones over the surface (or you can fit the laminate around the base using a trim piece for expansion purposes) from there work your brick veneer up over your existing chimney.

When it comes to the direction I run floors: if there is a t&g ceiling then I run the floor the same direction as the ceiling. In 99% of other cases I make sure the direction of the floor runs in the direction of the longest wall. Think about putting flooring down in a hallway, if you ran it perpendicular to the long sides of the hallway it would look terrible. In a big room that is square or nearly square I would evaluate the direction I lay the floor by where else the floor needs to run through out the house and how I would be able to transition through doorways with the least amount of problems.

I have seen a brick fireplace that took up a 10 feet wide section of wall that went floor to ceiling. The homeowner wanted to update it on the cheap so I faced it with drywall, put a stucco texture on it, painted it an off white and put a big live edge maple 6×12 beam across the top. The homeowner put a fireplace insert into the opening and I have to say I was surprised how well it turned out.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-06-2012 10:43 PM

So the brick work covers the whole wall? You could also drywall part of the wall, and veneer a smaller section of fireplace to save on the cost of the veneer (which runs about $7 sq/ft around here)

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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GaryL

206 posts in 2847 days

08-07-2012 01:38 AM

I don’t know if these will give you some ideas….....

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 02:31 AM

J – You are a treasure!

I included a couple of shots. My disclaimer – we haven’t been using the living room during the renovations. It’s time to reclaim. If you can imagine without the junk everywhere. ;)

Good Lord Gary! Those are fantastic!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-07-2012 02:51 AM

Mark – this is what I have been working on for the last 3 days. The framing and scratch coat took one day. The stone work took one day. The fireplace did not have a built in fan so (on the first day) I installed a couple of 500cfm booster fans inside of the cavity where this 40,000btu fireplace is housed. They intake their air at the top of the brick work and blow it out on the other side of the wall. Most of the time was figuring out the wiring and making the fans turn on at the switch inside the fireplace or the remote control. I have yet to add crown moulding to finish the top of the fireplace, or I would have posted in projects, maybe when I finish hahaha! And the jet black grout lines between the hearth stones are wet, they will dry into a lighter grey and hopefully match my grey hearth stones. The 2x’s, lath, fasteners, stones and mortar ran about $350.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 03:18 AM

Now that you have moved the junk away in your minds. Do you suppose I can rereduce the foot print? That hunk of brick sticks way out there.

We want to go with something that lends itself to south western style but without being over the edge. That’s probably why we are thinking of a stone veneer. After seeing those images, I’m pretty convinced that the stone side should be replaced with shelving.

The 2 beams across the ceiling run the long way across the room. I suppose that dictates that the flooring will run parallel to the fireplace?

Every threshhold leaving the living room is tiled. As a matter of fact, the tile in the hall is the first time I changed colors. The entry, kitchen, den and what used to be the bar are tiled. I don’t have to worry about having awkward runs of wood floor in narrow areas.

In the case where the floor meets the fireplace, it looks like Gary did a really neat job of fitting it. It also tells me that I can’t take the stone veneer all the way to the floor. I’ll need something that will create a straighter edge, preferably to lay on top of the wood floor. I’ll keep looking to see if I can narrow down my preferences. I have some really great ideas now and I’ll try to be more educated with my next questions.

J,

The stucco – Is it a highly textured finish. The thing that keeps going throumy head at the moment is an abobe like finish. Do you have a picture of that inexpensive job?

Ok – enough. I go surfing for more ideas.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 03:23 AM

Oh wow J – we were posting at the same time. Is that slate? That’s not a bad idea. Is the stone already sealed? There I go bugging you again. I promise to hunt around.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 03:26 AM

How very funny, We talk about something and up comes an ad on the page. Something like this.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 03:59 AM

Here is what I would like to have.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-07-2012 05:08 AM

Mark -

I am using Boral European Buckskin Castle Stone. It is an engineered product so it doesn’t add thousands of pounds of weight(requiring an extra deep pour on the foundation). I think you could easily demo the hearth, the bottom part of the fire place that sticks out, and change it to get the size you want. I am not recommending Boral, but they do carry all of the products you would need to make all of the stone parts in the picture you like. I think what you are looking for is “Southern Ledgestone”, or “blended textures”, plus a keystone, and other accessory stones. The mantle looks like beams cased in western red cedar.

The recessed side walls of your fireplace… you could just glue/construction adhesive drywall board over the brick work, mud it in and texture match your existing drywall. The stucco look only worked in my case because my mud guy (at the time) could do anything almost anything cheap and he did it with plaster. It looked somewhere between a skip trowel finish and a knockdown finish. I am terribly slow with anything except smooth-wall, that and living in the north west US we had our first day over 80 all year so things dry slower than slow, so I let my mud guy give finish choices the customer. This was almost 10 years ago and I don’t have pictures, sorry. here is a picture that I found that very closely resembles the finish, but several coats of semi-gloss followed by a top coat of satin paint gave it the finished look that made the texture depth look right and made all of the difference.

http://dogbreedzphotographyresources.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/366-17stucco.jpg

you can take your hearth stones to the floor if you cut a channel so they can expand. The bottom row of stone veneer should be on top of the laminate to allow for floor movement. I am at the point of the evening where I can only hope what I have written makes sense. It’s all about planning Mark, the willingness to build your fireplace (maybe a day laborer) will make this part of the build a lot of fun.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 01:02 PM

J, you stayed up really late to post a reply. I don’t know what to say about that except that I am very grateful! Talk about going above and beyond for this DIY rookie. Everything you said makes sense. I am beginning to believe that I can do this!

Thank you for the stucco image. I actually thought it looked like that but I honestly would rather be sure when I’m speaking with you guys. I have a simple philosophy, don’t pretend to be a know it all. In the end, someone who is willing to set their ‘self promotion’ aside will learn very quickly. Took me years and years to understand that. I can honestly say that you guys have been a huge blessing to my family and I. Since I met you guys and started learning from you, my wife and son have noticed a huge improvement in my workmanship.

I wasn’t even thinking about about sheet rocking over the brick sides. I think I’ll do that. Sheetrock, mud and primer at a whole lot cheaper than the stone veneer. I can add shelves later.

I’ve got to get to work so I’ll finish this post up later. I’m going to step through how I think I need to do it. I’d be thrilled if you guys would shoot holes in my plan.

I can’t thank you all enough!

Mark

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 06:26 PM

Planning,

That’s always the best advice! I am going to attempt to think of everything before I start. I don’t want to come back and do a redo like I had to do with the hall. I also have a little time on my hands because I collect the materials slowly as I find outstanding bargains. For instance, I’m considering some engineered teak flooring from lumber liquidators at $2.29 a foot. (Close out)

I have only casually investigated the stone facing for the fireplace. I’ll have to search hard to find awesome materials at an inexpensive price. I might be able to score some reclaimed materials.

Terminology:

Interior – I don’t know what the actual name is for the inside of the fireplace. I’m just going to call it the interior for now and I’ll use the correct wording when one of you corrects me.
Mantle – The shelf.
Hearthstone – The part in front of the interior (Thanks J)
Face – I’ll use that to refer to the stone work.
Walls – The brick work to the side of the fireplace that are not a part of the fireplace.
Keystone and Arch – I suppose that’s right.

Storage:

I’m going to have to clear out space in the garage and living room if I have a hope of maintaining any chance of using the rest of the house while this project is going on.

Demo:

Right now I’m thinking of removing the walls, hearthstone, and possibly the existing arch.

The walls because despite jays excellent recommendation that I can get by with a lot less fuss by covering them with sheetrock, I’ll always have that bulge there. It would make me crazy. So far as I can tell, It’s a matter of back breaking labor, safety, and dust control and adjacent room protection.

That brings up an issue. The brick goes up about 11 feet. I don’t have the slightest idea about how to pull it down safely. I have this vision of carefully removing the top bricks only to have the whole structure pull loose and kill someone.

The hearthstone will go because it juts way too far out and the family can’t get over the fact that the hearthstone is not a place to put their junk. In addition, I need to illusion of more room in the living room. That room is cursed as being more of a huge hallway and junk storage.

The existing arch may have to go. I think it would be a lot easier to build a new arch if I’m not constrained by the old arch. Then again, I’m totally sure about how to approach some things.

Other demo. Crown molding in the entire room – unless I can match the style and finish of the existing crown molding. The door trim, baseboards and carpet are also going.

Before I finish off this post, (lunch break is over) I want to say that I think I can apply my changes directly to the existing fireplace without building a 2 by 4 structure around it. I’ll once again ask you pros for your guidance. However, you guys have been totally awesome and I don’t want to wear out my welcome.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 07:19 PM

The next items I’m thinking about are transitions.

The sides of the fireplace will be sheet rock to stone veneer. I’m guessing the sheetrock goes first. Do I leave a ¼ inch gap between veneer and sheetrock.

I’m taking the hearthstone all the way to the floor. I’ll check the floor level before I start and use the self leveling compound if needed. If I understand this correctly, the hearthstone will need a lip to cover the flooring. I’m thinking that I need to build up underneath the hearth stone to the exact height of the flooring with some kind of concrete fiber board or hardy backer.

Hearthstone to fireplace interior. It’s not so much of a transition concern as it is a height concern. I imagine there will be a 1 foot drop off from the interior (Hearth?) to the hearth stone. Is that the wrong thing to do? If it’s wrong, how about adding a hearth stone that juts out 4 inches at the height of the interior and sides, then I still using a hearthstone on the floor. I’ll tell you why I ask. Everything seems accomplishable to me except for dropping the fire place down to ground level.

Fireplace to ceiling. I have some basic crown molding around the chimney top. If I use stone veneer, the crown molding won’t fit well against it. I’m guessing I need to top off the fireplace then add the crown to the topper. Is there a better way? If I have the right idea, should I just create a flat area at the top with wood then cover over that with grout? (I don’t think grout is the right thing but I’ll ask later.)

Last question for the moment: How much are you all charging me in consultation fees?

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-07-2012 07:32 PM

The interior is called the ‘inner hearth,’ I have also heard it called the firebox as well.

If I were you I would be very hesitant to remove your existing arch, as it does provide stability for the stone work above. I suspect you could cut the opening more square with a diamond blade saw. I cant be sure without looking inside at the structure. It is generally more trouble to change the opening by removing brick.

So you are worried about a bulge in the wall, then frame a 2x wall over the bricks, build your wall flat and hold it off the bricks. The loss of 3” of floor space versus the demolition and the time… It is your project, and maybe you really like scooping up piles of brick. But if you do want to remove the brick a 2 pound hammer and a masons chisel work well to bust the mortar joints apart.

I don’t see any need to build a new frame around your fireplace. I would skin yours with concrete board and simply veneer to that. You could use lath and a scratch coat and stucco with a dyed type S mortar inside of the arch where the bricks wrap in to the inner hearth so there is a nice transition.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 08:04 PM

I see that J has already posted some good advice. He caught me when I was typing in word and he predicted a few of my questions. The man is Good I tell you!

I’ll just paste what I had. Then I’ll respond to J separately. Sorry for the continuity mix up. *

The Fireplace redo.

Back to something I said previously. I think I will attach the new stone veneer flush to the old fireplace Instead of building a new frame. If that’s just a bad idea – let me know please. Still, I think I’m supposed to attach the new surface to hardy backer or something of the sort. Can I attach the hardy backer directly to the old fireplace bricks? Adhesive? Screws?

I’m hoping I can find some stone veneer that have outside corner pieces. The point behind a veneer is to make it look like the real thing. If everything is just a flat surface, it will defeat the appearance I’m looking for. Realistically, the cost might defeat any desired appearance.

How do I attach the stone face to the fireplace? Is there a product other than thin set I should use? Should I attempt a few feet at a time then allow to dry completely? What do I fill the gaps with? It doesn’t seem that grout is the right thing.

Electronics.

Having a nice flat screen above the mantle has risen in popularity lately. With the expansion of WIFI technology, I don’t see a future in hard wires. Unless we rework the entire electrical system in the US, I don’t see us getting away from plugging the TV into a power outlet.

Here’s is a big if: If I can mount the new face flush to the old fireplace surface, should I just run cables through it and up to the attic. (Like that will be easy ;) ) If I have to build a new frame, the solution will be easy. Either way, In order to hide the cables completely, I’ll have to have an outlet coming out of the face of the fireplace. I could do a partial hide by having the outlets hidden by the mantel.

I just don’t know the best way. I’ll be wrestling with all those thoughts and more as I begin to solve my problems. Any additional steps in the right direction would be a life saver. (Could literally be a life saver) If you’re still following this series of posts. Thanks for just hanging in there.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-07-2012 08:31 PM

You can fur out the front (and sides if needed) with 2×2’s of the entire front facade of the fireplace and that would give you room to run power and your low-voltage connections. If you use flexible plastic conduit for your low voltage then you always have the option to add something like CAT5 internet wire that stops that pesky buffering caused by poor signal or interference, or an HDMI cable that would run from the BlueRay player or game consoles up to the TV without having to use something like surface mounted raceway.

Whether you build a frame over the facade of the bricks. or attach backerboard directly to the fireplace I would both glue and screw just because bricks and mortar are heavy.

The stone veneers have special corner pieces that look like thick stones when attached, some of the cultured stones are about 3” deep and don’t require special corners, only that you weave the corners into a random pattern.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 08:39 PM

J,

Nope I don’t like the bulge but I sure like your option a lot better than pulling down a ton of bricks. Thank you so much for that! Honestly, I was already getting myself worked up over solving the safety issues, the cleanup, disposal and the work. I believe I can do a pretty decent job with the sheet rock even though I will be building out 2 thresholds. On the side, I think I might be able to finally do a decent job with the crow’s foot texture. My previous attempts were so bad I didn’t even try after a while, I just took what I got.

I hadn’t even thought of the transition to the inner hearth. You saved me again!

I’ll get the concrete board instead of the hardy backer. I am so glad you pointed that out.

After reading your comment – I will NOT be removing the arch. I can always add a little concrete board to the backside if I feel like altering the existing shape.

My concerns are melting away and the project is getting closer to completion without me even lifting a finger.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 08:46 PM

J,

You are fast! You got in front of me again.

Check on all that! Dinner is on me. I hope you like Mexican food.

Mark

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-07-2012 08:51 PM

Concrete board and Hardi-backer—I was using the terms interchangeably, I don’t think it really matters which product you use as long as you get good contact with your mortar.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-07-2012 09:33 PM

Yet another fine lesson. I used concrete board in my restroom many years ago when my shower started to collapse. I have never used hardy backer but it appears to be easier to work with, lighter and thinner than the stuff I used about 10 years ago. Glad to know I can pick and choose.

I don’t remember the name of those special screws with the unusual thread that prevents accidental back outs but I’m planning on using those. I was also thinking that I should use the regular liquid nails as the adhesive. I tried the liquid nails project adhesive before without knowing exactly what I was getting into. It seems to provide a flexible bond but not a real strong one.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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GaryL

206 posts in 2847 days

08-08-2012 02:22 AM

I know I have jumped into the party a little late but one suggestion. There really is know need for a backer (cement board or HardiBoard) on the brick. Clean the brick and apply your scratch coat directly to your brick. This is much stronger than adding additional layers.
It funny that J and I are working on similar projects. I just stoned a fireplace over brick with crown at the top and a limestone cap on the hearth. Sorry, no pics right now. I’ll be back on that job in a few weeks and I can get some then but that may be to late as fast as your moving along.
I’ll second the recommendation on not removing any brick. They are more than likely supporting more than what you can see. Besides the work involved and the repairing of anything damaged may require a pro mason.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-08-2012 04:52 AM

Thanks for chiming in Gary. As far as covering the brick sides goes. The only thing I’ll have to do other than build out the wall is move a few light switches on either side. I believe I can handle that without getting electrocuted. It’s the pretty basic stuff. Worst case, I put in a new junction box and install a couple of remodel outlet switch boxes

I also have a little time. I don’t have the cash for all the materials yet so I’m going to do some less expensive jobs in the meantime. I can finish the door trim in the hall, finish the door painting project, replace the base boards in the kitchen with the stuff I used in the hall, do the same thing to the den, caulk the entry way and dining room and perhaps re-upholster a love seat.

Out of all the jobs I just mentioned, would you believe the upholstery job is the easiest by far? I actually grew up in the business and owned a shop during my errant youth.

Anyhow – back on task. I’m pretty sure I won’t get started on the construction in the next two weeks although my wife might let me get to the demo. Plus, I believe I can build out the side walls to cover the brick without dropping the big change immediately. If I leave the concrete floor exposed for long enough, she will likely come up with some of the coin from her mad money stash ;)

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-08-2012 05:50 AM

Again Gary offers spot on knowledge regarding not needing backer board. The reasons I suggested it were: if your fireplace has any oils on the brick new work wont stick, if your bricks are sealed (Mark you asked if my new fireplace was sealed, no I dont seal indoor fireplaces) then sealer will reduce adhesion of mortar significantly. But yes, again I agree with Gary, assuming the brickwork is clean and free of contaminents you do not need backer board (or even a scratch coat if the surface is rough enough).

Something I did not address in any earlier posts is that you can demo your hearth to reduce its depth, when you rebuild it you need to have the finished height the same as the original fireplace (see Gary’s before and after pictures-note how there is no change in the shape or location of the opening) anything stacked vertically tends to bear weight—don’t mess with it.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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GaryL

206 posts in 2847 days

08-08-2012 11:25 PM

I had also thought about any sealer contamination after I posted. Easy way to check is just spray some water on it. If it soaks in you’re good to go, if it looks like it beading up it probably has been sealed. If you can, without ruining anything on the floor, is give it a wash with a mild muriatic acid solution. But wear chemical gloves and a face shield. Put it in a pump up sprayer and soak the brick, watch it fizz, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse. Pretty simple, but can get messy.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-09-2012 02:28 AM

J,

Thanks again! Another question answered. It’s beginning to look like the only demo I do is to knock a layer of
bricks off the hearth stone so I can accomodate a slab of some sort. I’ll bring it back up to it’s original height.

Gary,

Good news for me! I spot checked about 10 different places. The water soaks into the brick like the desert soaks up a drop of rain during a drought. The cement is just as thirsty. I don’t believe I’ll have to remove any sealer. Thanks for the tip!

Here is what the brick looks like up close.

Guy’s,

There is one thing. The arch protrudes from the face by 1/2 inch. I think I need the whole face to be one uniform plane before I begin. I may be using the hardiboard anyway for that task.

And now I quit bugging you guys about this for a while. The ideas have started to come to my head, especially for the brick on the side. Call it my creative side if you feel like being generous. I need to let an idea rise to the top before I start wasting your time by asking questions that won’t even apply to my project. I’m bound to waffle a lot in the next few weeks.

Thanks a million! I can think about my preparations the right way now that I a bit of knowledge. If you don’t mind too much, I’ll hit you up again in the near future for those nitty gritty details. This past Sunday, I flat out decided not to mess with the fireplace. Now, I’m pretty sure I can handle it with a bit more information and the wealth of information you have already shared!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-09-2012 02:40 AM

You can always use a diamond blade/masonry blade in a skill saw or grinder to cut channels a little deeper than that 1/2” that they protrude and chip the ridges after you are done scoring. Or you could just go with the scratch coat to float things out a bit.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-09-2012 07:57 PM

Hmmm, The scratch coat is not a perfect idea for floating out the 1/2 inch archway protrusion but I think it’s workable. If I did it right, I would know it’s there but I don’t think I’d ever care or notice it. If I don’t notice it, only someone like yourselves would have a chance of noticing but probably wouldn’t object to it. That’s especially true since my stone will all vary pretty dramatically in thickness. I also believe it will be the easiest method.

Here is what I’m thinking, The sides of the arch are about 8 inches from the side edge of the fireplace. I might as well make those parts flush. I also believe it would be a good idea to make the the top of the arch out to the side edges flush. I think I want to reduce the portion above the arch down to nothing over a two foot span. I suppose I can eyeball it or I can use a scree. The scree doesn’t seem to be the best idea unless I screw a couple of 2X4’s to the outside of the fireplace.

Do you know what? I’m overthinking this. I’ll just eyeball it unless you all tell me different.

Since I have never applied a scratch coat before, or for that mater I have never seen one in person, I’d like to beg your indulgence again with a few questions.

Is type S mortar correct?

Should I build up to the half inch or just lay it down in one pass.

Should the scratch coat be smooth of V notched?

Thanks guys! I’m off to a meeting.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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J

70 posts in 2256 days

08-09-2012 11:11 PM

Here is a link to applying a scratch coat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUAwUdRUwKo

Yes use Type S mortar, you can even use an acrylic additive for strength and workability.
I have some people put down smooth scratch coats for stucco applications, but it is usually grooved when applying stone, and I have always grooved my scratch coats with the thinking that texture provides more surface area for bonding and adhesion.

You should be able to put your scratch coat on one pass, put it on thicker around the arch and float it thinner on the rest of the fireplace. By the time you back-butter your stone veneer and squish it on to the scratch coat the texture of the stone will make it imposible to tell what was there originally. By the time you have put a scratch coat down and back-buttered your veneer you have already added nearly an inch of mud to the wall, so it should be very easy to make that half inch protrusion disappear by using less mud over the high stuff and more mud in the deep stuff. From there just float it out smooth then come back and put your scratches across the wet mortar.

In the video the guy is working one trowel at a time from his wheel barrow, I personally use a hawk and a trowel so I can place the hawk against the wall and push the mortar right on, whatever falls off lands right back on the hawk and I just trowel it right back up. You can work out of a mud pan with a mud knife in a very similar manner if you don’t have a hawk.

Forget about the 2×4’s, that would be like trying to blow a car tire up with your mouth.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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MarkTheFiddler

447 posts in 2283 days

08-10-2012 03:04 AM

Thank you very much J! I was kind of thinking about handling the differences with a little bit of back buttering. It’s a done deal. I feel very good about the scratch coat.

Now I may have given the impression that I don’t know much about scratching. This video is about 4 years old when there was more of me for my wife to love.

Evidence that Mark Scratches

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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Remon

3 posts in 890 days

04-13-2016 10:46 AM

Thank you for all your good advice. I’m in the process of designing my fire place.
I get some idea what is the best way to rebuild my fireplace?

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Remon

3 posts in 890 days

04-24-2016 07:55 PM

My fireplace makes winter a pleasure – I love it. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed so many pleasant winter evenings in front of a fire.
Now is time to redo it. A carved-wood fireplace beautifully offsets the dining room’s old furniture.
Thank you for all your sugestions. I will read through.
I will do it with help of a local builder.

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