How to Frame a Fireplace

Achieve the look of dry stacked natural stone with easy-to-install tiles. We show you how to frame a fireplace with this step-by-step guide.

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What You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Fireplace insert
  • 20-gauge metal studs and track
  • Straight-cut tin snips
  • Electric drill
  • Metal stud screws
  • Level
  • Circular saw
  • Treated plywood
  • Screws
  • Cement board
  • Cement board screws
  • Mortar
  • Notched trowel
  • Stone tile (We used Daltile Golden Sun Stacked Natural Stone.)
  • Tile cutter
  • Tile sealer (We used Miracle Sealants Co. 511 H20 Plus Sealer.)
  • Paintbrush
  • Clean white towel
  • Mantel
  • Construction adhesive
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Step 1

Determine the size of your surround, including the height, width, and depth based on your fireplace insert. Using straight-cut tin snips, measure and cut metal studs and tracks to construct the framework for the surround. Use metal stud screws to secure the studs and tracks to the deck and surrounding walls, making sure the structure is level.

Step 2

Cut treated plywood to cover the metal framework. Screw the plywood to the framework.

Step 3

Cut cement board to cover the plywood. Screw the cement board to the plywood using cement board screws. Install fireplace insert according to manufacturer's instructions. Consult a pro to help with the gas or electrical.

Step 4

Cutting tile as needed and working in manageable sections, use a notched trowel to apply mortar to the cement board. Press tile into the mortar. Let set until cured, according to mortar instructions.

Step 5

Using a paintbrush and following manufacturer instructions, brush tile with a water-base penetrating sealer designed for porous surfaces. Let set for 3–5 minutes; wipe excess using a clean white towel before it dries. Let cure for 72 hours.

Step 6

Secure a mantel of your choice to the top of the surround using construction adhesive 

 

 

 

 

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