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Unread 01-13-2019, 03:58 PM   #1
llavey
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Fireplace updating

Hello everyone,

I've received some excellent guidance here in the past and am back again.

This project I am looking to resurface over a brick fireplace. When we remodeled our house, we tore it down keeping the original fireplace. The ceilings are higher now so that is the first thing that needs to be addressed. I'd also like to modernize it to fit our more transitional architecture. My first concern is if I stick ledger stone or slate tile to it do I need to worry about the added weight? I've started looking at some veneer products, but have not found any that would provide the finish I'm looking for.

Attached are a few pictures of the fireplace that show what i am working with. The fireplace is 8'6" long, 9' high and 32" wide, a sizable area compared to the small fireplace downstairs, which also used to have the same brick.

Thanks for your comments and ideas.
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Unread 01-13-2019, 06:31 PM   #2
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Usually adding a few hundred pounds of tile to a fireplace isn't a weight problem but with this one being upstairs it's hard to say without knowing how this fireplace is supported.
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Unread 01-13-2019, 07:19 PM   #3
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Davy,

The fireplace passes through the first floor to the basement. I have no idea what kind of footings are under it. The house was built in the early 60’s. The ground under the house is sand. So am I catching the 1 - 2 thousand pounds of additional weight is not a big concern?
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Unread 01-14-2019, 07:19 AM   #4
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Link,

Does the basic foot print of the upstairs FP match that of the downstairs FP? And what is the downstairs FP sitting on, a slab?

Without knowing what is supporting that large column of weight I, too, would be reluctant to add significant weight to it. I think we can reasonably assume that whole column is supported by a proper foundation because, after all, it is still standing, but I'd want to know for certain.
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Unread 01-14-2019, 08:32 AM   #5
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SS3964spd,

Yes. The footprint downstairs matches upstairs. It is sitting on the slab. I don't know if there is additional footing under the slab, or if that is even required. I did forget to mention when we rebuilt the house we raised the roof about 4 ft. That required the the chimney to be raised the same. You can see the old ceiling height by the marks on the brick in the pictures. What you can't see is the external height change which includes a going from a 4 to 6 pitch roof.

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Unread 01-14-2019, 08:52 AM   #6
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Extensive work you've had done on that house, Link, including raising the chimney height. Was a structural engineer was involved?

Given the weight of all that brick, not to mention the flue, fire boxes, and the hearths, the entire column almost has to be sitting on its own foundation. If it isn't, well, I'd probably move.
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Unread 01-14-2019, 09:10 AM   #7
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lol... Thanks.

Back when the remodel was done I didn't have the time for all this type of research. We had a very reputable General Contractor manage all the critical components to include all the engineering. They did all the tear down, rough reconstruction and completely finished the exterior. I did things like the pex heat & plumbing, finish flooring, trim and other non-structural interior work.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 01:07 PM   #8
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Ledger Stone over Brick Fireplace

I'm finally get around to a project I was going to do a year ago.

I will be installing MSI ledger stone panels over brick on a fireplace and have a couple questions that I've not found answers on.

1. Do I need to put a skim coat over the brick prior to setting the panels? In the forums I seen responses to first do a skim coat and answers to just do it all at once.

2. What is a good brand of mortar to use that can be purchased in the big box stores. I have HD, Menards, and Lowes close. HD has ProLite "Premium Large format Tile Mortar for $29 per 30lb bag.


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Unread 03-14-2020, 03:09 PM   #9
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If the brick is fairly smooth, and the brick grout joints are not very deep, I wouldn't bother with the skim coat.

The ProLite will be fine, but read the instructions/warnings on the bag to be certain.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 06:13 PM   #10
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Most of the ledger stone I've seen is irregular and rustic, if that's the case, the brick doesn't need to be perfectly flat. The flatter the finished stone wall needs to be, the flatter the substrate needs to be.

Usually, there's no grout so they have to interlock and the space is tight. The few jobs I've done have never been cut accurate enough to just butt every joint so trimming might be needed here and there to keep them straight. Usually 1/16 or less will make a big difference getting them to fit.

You might want to have some thin wedges or shims in case you need to raise a stone here and there. I've had them not want to interlock together like they should. Depends on how accurate they are cut. I'd also want to keep a level or straight edge handy to make sure they stay inline. Getting a row out of line makes it harder to get the next row straight.

I like using gray thinset for this, less noticeable to see the thinset in the joints. You don't really need a non-sag thinset for this since the stones are stacked on top each other. I don't know if Pro-lite comes in gray, Flexbond does and it's at Home Depot.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 06:27 PM   #11
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Hey Link, what is the name of that MSI ledgerstone product? I really like the look of it and I have a brick fireplace that could use the updating. I would like to check out that product.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 07:21 PM   #12
llavey
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Thanks guys!

I will double check the thickness rating when I select the mortar. The joints are range from 3- 6 mm. The panels are far from flat and do seem to have a bit of range. I expect some sweet words may be spoken during the install. Probably no more than the ungauged slate stairs I put in a few years ago.

As Davy points out I'll look for the grey. I was thinking about the color.

The product I'm using is MSI Sierra Blue. https://www.msisurfaces.com/stacked-stone/sierra-blue/

Thank you
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Unread 03-16-2020, 01:22 PM   #13
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Link, the stone you have below the hearth in the picture you posted of your fireplace is different form the link you shared, correct? I really like the stone on bottom in your picture. Do you know what it is?

I saw something similar at Floor & Decor yesterday you might like. It is a gray quartzite and has a bit of sparkle when you see it in real life that my photo didn't pick up:
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Unread 04-23-2020, 05:07 PM   #14
llavey
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Fireplace update

This was one of my more challenging projects around the house. Here are a few before and after pictures. To complete the project I’ll install glass and mirrors in the cabinets. Unfortunately, I’m waiting for the glass cutters to return to work from COVID-19 closings.

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Unread 04-23-2020, 08:04 PM   #15
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Very nice looking stacked stone.

Do you mind if I attach it to original thread so everyone can see the questions that arose for your project?
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