How To Install a Mantel Shelf

How to install a mantel shelf

The method of installation will vary with the individual situation and your personal preference. Instructions follow for several of the approaches that have succeeded for our customers. Mounting hardware depends on the installation method you use and is commonly available at local home centers. No mounting hardware is included with your mantel.

For New Fireplaces

If you install the mantel before the brick or stone face is put on the fireplace, the mantel can often be mounted to the stud wall first, and the brick or stone can then be put on around the mantel.

The easiest way to do this is to first lag a piece of plywood, measuring about 12 high and the length of the mantel, to the backside of the mantel. Next, take the mantel and plywood assembly and lag through the plywood into the wall studs at the location you desire. Please note, if drywall is already up on the wall, you will want to cut out the area where the plywood will go so that the drywall and plywood are even. After lagging, the mantel will be firmly in place and the facing can be put around it.

For Existing Fireplaces

One of the most common installation techniques for an existing masonry fireplace is to fasten the mantel with metal rods or pipes directly onto the facing.

Start by drilling holes 12 to 18 apart into the mortar joints. Then install metal pipes or rods about 1 in diameter into these holes with anchors or pressure cement. These rods should go at least 4 to 6 into the mortar joint and allow another 4 to 8 to stick out depending on the depth of your mantel. Next drill the back of the mantel to line up with the pipes and slide the mantel on. Construction cement or small corner brackets can be used to prevent the mantel from vibrating off if necessary.

Please note, if the stone face of your fireplace is irregular, the back edge of the mantel can be scribed to fit the stone. The fit does not need to be perfect to look good, but it may take a few tries to match the mantel to the stone.

Check out our Fireplace Mantel selection!

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