Supplement to “DIY Pros”
Dan McFalls’ dramatic cultured stone veneer fireplace adds class to his Mt. Vernon basement. He estimates the entire project took him about 40 hours and $200 to complete.
McFalls constructed the chimney-like frame that surrounds his nonvented propane fireplace insert with 1/4-inch plywood attached to 2×4 studs screwed into the concrete wall. The frame also conceals the propane line running to the fireplace.
McFalls covered the plywood with roofing felt (to serve as a vapor and moisture barrier) and a specially designed wire mesh made for stonework applications.
Once the frame was ready, McFalls prepped for stone installation by first laying out his stones in rows on the floor surrounding the fireplace, selecting ones that fit well together, and keeping an eye out for strong color combinations.
He then mudded the frame with mortar mix designed for stone, careful not to get the mix too thin or too thick.
He mudded the stones as well and placed the stones one at a time, row by row, following his preplanned layout, using a hand grinder with a masonry disk to trim stones on the edges and elsewhere where needed.
To read the Kentucky Living May 2010 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to DIY Pros.