How to Build a Fireplace Mantel

A well built fireplace mantel adds to the appearance of the fireplace and the room. This guide will show you how to build a fireplace mantel in a simple manner.

Required Tools and Materials

Putty knife
Wood putty
4-inch wood screws
1 and 1/2-inch wood screws
Power screwdriver
2-inch wood screws
2 L shaped brackets
Stud finder
Circular saw
Carpenter’s square
3 2-by-6 inch by 8-feet boards
Chalk line
Level
Pencil

Step 1

From each side of the fireplace opening, measure six inches. Mark it with a pencil. Stretch a chalk line over the mark. Use the level to straighten the chalk line. Pull the chalk line tight. Pluck the line in the center.

Step 2

Measure a couple of inches from the fireplace’s top corner. Place a small pencil mark on these spots. Stretch the chalk line six inches beyond the marks. Line up the chalk line with the lines. After leveling the chalk line, pluck the rigid line off.

Step 3

To build a fireplace mantel, you have to measure the fireplace top’s opening. Saw wood a foot longer than this opening. Cut the ends into angles of 90 degrees (use the carpenter’s square).

Step 4

Position the cut board. Align the board’s top with the chalk line. This is across the opening of the fireplace. Get someone to keep these pieces in place while you search for the wall studs below the board’s outer six inches.

Step 5

Trace the board’s bottom where the L brackets’ tops will be aligned. Get the board out of the way. Put the L shaped bracket on both the fireplace opening’s sides. Position the bracket on the wall studs. Set it on the pencil line denoting the bottom mantel shelf.

Step 6

Put wood screws in the bracket mounting holes. Put the cut board on the brackets. Have your helper hold the board while you put the screws in place.

Step 7

Saw 2 board pieces the length from the floor to the mantel shelf. Make 90 degree angles on their ends. Put these boards between the shelf and floor vertically.

Step 8

Secure the 4 inch wood screws into the boards. Put some wood filler or putty into the holes. Wipe off any extra putty.

Step 9

Stain or paint the mantel any manner you like. Let the paint dry. The mantel is now finished.

When you build a fireplace mantel, always choose wood filler that resembles the wood color for the mantel. This will make the wood filler less conspicuous.

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