Fireplaces are a beautiful part of the house that everybody loves. Often times, our “new home owner” clients express how unpleased they are with their fireplace how its visual appearance is outdated, needs repairs or has painted bricks. We offer many different options and solutions in creating a functional, long-lasting and gorgeous fireplace to satify the clients expectations.
The best method to updating a fireplace is to remove the masonry surrounding the fireplace and then replace it with new brick, stone, tile, marble, or whatever the customer prefers. If the masonry surrounding the fireplace is in good condition and the customer wants to cut back on cost, removing the old masonry can be avoided. In that instance, wire lath is installed over the surrounding masonry with concrete screws or nails. A scratch bonding cement coat is then applied over the lath making the cement actually able to go in between the steel lath. The steel in the cement acts as a reinforcement, and makes the cement stronger. In addition, it creates a permanent bond by being sandwiched between the cement mixes, and screwed or nailed into the surrounding masonry of the fireplace. After drying, the new facing material is then adhered over the scratch coat with mortar. Since the fireplace is now being built out, we usually use a thin material for these instances like brick veneer; which are ½” thick. Culture stone varies but it is usually 1½” thick, or a stamped vertical cement mix to mimic any of those products that are typically ½” thick. After all the new facing has been installed, they are pointed with a cement mix. We usually tint out cements because plain cement dries to a bright white. We try to make the installation fit in, to feel like it has been there for quite some time and not brand new. Tinting our mortar creates a weathered warm feeling. Moreover, it helps to keep the focus on the stone, tile, or brick, instead of bright white mortar.