Help with mantle

Shannon01August 8, 2007

This is what I had. It is all gone. I have lowered the firebox to ground level and centered it on the wall. This now leaves openings on both sides of fireplace, rather than just the two on the left side.

Here is my question... We plan to put 12x12 tile as the surround and for the hearth on the floor. The mantle will be put back the same length as it was before, just about a foot lower. We want to use the two lower open areas on the sides of firebox as cabinets to hold stereo/tv equipment. So our problem is with the mantle legs. If we put them next to the tile surround, will that look funny with the mantle being so long? Or if we put them on the farthest edge what goes on sides of tile? Or should we do 4 legs, two on each side with the cabinet doors between. So it would be leg, cabinet door, leg, tile, firebox, tile, leg, cabinet door, leg.

We are doing a really simple square wooden mantle with square legs. Just cannot figure out where to put the legs.

Another question now that I have your attention... should the hearth be the entire length of the mantle or just in front of the firebox?

I would really appreciate some input.


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why show what you had & not what you have to work with?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 10:32PM
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Hi Shannon,

We have a similar style of fireplace and also want to remove the hearth and drop the firebox to floor level. Several companies have told me it's impossible to do and one said it's super expensive to do. Can you tell me how you did it or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 1:44PM
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You should only extend the hearth to match the outside of the legs of the mantle. I don't think the legs will look funny so long as they are in a reasonable proportion to the mantel. The best way to decide on size is to "mock it up" using cardboard cutouts until you get the proportions that you find pleasing. I wouldn't use a second set of legs at the end of the cabinets as it will take away from your fireplace and look too busy. I would keep the cabinet fronts recessed somewhat from the front of the mantel legs and use a smaller trim around the cabinets. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 2:47PM
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edsacre- I do not have a pic yet but all that is left is nothing anyway. The wall is blank. The fireplace is in center, lowered to the ground. I think it was important for you to see what I had because I want you to see how the mantle originally was long and we want to keep it that way. If you can imagine the wall with fireplace in the middle and equally sized openings on both sides, that will give you the "after" shot.

In rebuilding this we are really wanting to know where to put the mantel legs. On the original design it looked good to have the three, but now we worry it will look funny. I did a drawing of what we want to do but still am unsure.

ventupete- Yes, the cabinet doors will be flat to the wall and the mantle and legs will stick out. I agree that would be best. I guess as long as the legs are large like the mantle it will look fine. I am leaning towards the hearth only being in front of the actual fireplace myself. That may really be something we have to see when we lay the new flooring. With the raised hearth removed we are able to get a feel for what it would be like it the hearth was the whole length and it does seem a little bit large. I think you are right on this.

We are just trying to make use of all that space back there. But as we go the space keeps getting smaller. We originally planned to house the tv components up top and have shelves or cabinets above the mantel on each side, but the tv is going to be large and will not allow much space on the sides. So we are left with only using the lower holes.

September is near and the work will have to begin soon.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 1:52PM
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This was simple, really it was. We simply used a pneumatic chissel to break off the raised hearth. This was faux rock with solid concrete blocks behind it. Very pain in the arse! Once that was removed we just started tearing out the drywall to explose everything. Tore off the mantle. The firebox was really easy to remove. Sharp edges and awkward but it was not that heavy. We then needed to move the header over to the center. We figured where all the support beams were and put up temporary 2x4s. We then removed the original header and moved it over to the new spot. Framed it in making sure that all support was reestablished before removing the temporary 2x4s. We just then framed around where the new box would be. The fireplace store then brought in the new unit and installed it for us. They were able to use my original vent otherwise we were going to pay an extra $30ish to have then cut a new hole- rather put liablity for damage to my outside. We had an outlet in one of the holes that we were able to move over a little and they hardwired the unit to that box. They charged about 300 for the install. As for the chimney. They were able to use a 30degree angle to go up and over to the chimney space that was already there.

Prior to the install they did come out to make sure all was where it needed to be. It really only involved reframing the existing structure to fit the new location of the fireplace. The fireplace came with clearance dimensions so we knew how big to make the opening and such.

I would not recommend this type of project to someone who does not know about framing. You can mess up your structural integrity if you do not really know about headers and support walls and such. There are times when the experts are needed.

As for the completion of the project. We need to have a plan for the surround sound and tv components. Then we can drywall and build the mantle and cabinets. The hearth will go in then the new flooring.

All should be done by Christmas for sure, Thanksgiving if we bust our hinies and Halloween if we don't argue.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 2:13PM
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