Antico Elements Blog

How To Build A Stone Fireplace Without Using A Mason

Posted on July 12, 2013

From a first glimpse at the title you may think: “how is it possible to build a stone fireplace without masonry work?!” but you will be surprised to know that it is attainable and quite easy.

The warmth of a fireplace doesn’t always come from the heat radiated by this centrally-designed piece but often from the visual appeal it creates in a room. Any other alternative to a complete interior design will probably not produce the same result. A stone fireplace placed in a prominent area of room is probably going to positively impact the overall décor and design.

Let’s get to the important part of this article. Looking at this completed fireplace you would not guess that faux materials were used to build it.

There are a few faux choices that can be considered. The main focus of this list is to help you decide which product will not require a mason or masonry work. If you have ever dealt with such process you know why many people try to avoid it.

Finished Jog

Finished Jog Using Mortar-less Stone

Cast Stone is a fairly new material that was introduced about eight decades ago to create a specific stone look without having to harvest particular shapes for real stone. Just cultured stone these materials are made using different types of aggregates like crushed rocks and pebbles with a bonding agent varying from Portland cement to concrete and even gypsum.

Although they adhere to the ASTM international standards, the natural properties of them cannot prevent water absorption. Some tests reveal that they can absorb up to 8.3% or moisture.

This, combined with a freeze and thaw test which produces poor results, doesn’t always make cast stone a viable solution. This too would require some masonry work.

The example in the above image shows how synthetic materials like polyurethane can make the creation of a faux stone fireplace a much easier process.

Preparation:

  1. Although these products do not require a wall preparation, you may need to clean any dirt or oily substances off the existing surface.
  2. Lay out the faux stone around the area where it needs to be installed, as a dry run. This way you can decide where to place the panels and reduce the amount of water.
Preparation

Preparation And Framing

Installation:

  1. If you plan to use corner pieces you should install them with just one nail. You may need to remove them temporarily.
  2. Starting from the left side of the wall, grab the first panel and cut off the interlocking part on the left edge (if you have the products with the zigzag pattern) and install it with adhesive tubes and some nails.
  3. All the next pieces will interlock nicely with each other.
  4. If you have an outlet, window, or door you can easily cut the faux stone with any saw, electric or handheld. Use one of the trim available in the catalogs to trim the openings and cover the exposed edges of the panels.
  5. When arriving to the right end of the wall you will need to cut the last panel, on the right side of it.
  6. If you continue with the stone to the next wall, you will need to add either and inside or outside corner, also available in the catalog.
  7. If not going all the way to the ceiling and creating some sort of a wainscoting you can stop at any height and cap the top edge with a ledger trim. This is easily done with some adhesive and screws as well.

The project at this point should be completed.
You will not use any mortar and not deal with paints, dust or masons.

It’s that easy.