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Mar 28

Making a Great Room- Resurfacing the Fireplace Part 2

Around the Fireplace Good news and bad news the good news is that the fireplace is almost finished the bad news is that it took is a few more days than we thought it was going to.  In my defense, I think I would have been able to get it done a few days faster if KU would not have been on the road to the final four.  So, I guess I can say I was just a little bit distracted while I was trying to finishing putting up the stone veneer this past weekend.
Placing Mortar on the Brick

As previously stated in a past post that you can read by clicking here the bottom half was in place.  Now came the “easy” part of working my way up the fireplace.  Since, I was used to the way the mortar was not going to stick like I was expecting it to, and I was getting much faster at cutting, placing, and moving on to the next piece I figured it was going to be a two day project to get to the top.  I should have doubled it because my two day project ended up taking four.
backbuttering

I knew that I could not knock it all out in one day because as soon as I had the stone veneer placed around the opening of the fireplace I would need to let that section fully set before I started stacking more on top of it.  So, the first day of the weekend I worked on getting all the corner pieces in place around the opening.  Unfortunately, what I quickly learned was that whatever molds the stone veneer company used there was often left over residue that built up along the edges.  Instead of having a clean edge there were a few places where a jagged edge would not allow each stone piece to cleanly stack on the other unless I took a chisel and knocked all of those pointy edges off.  Other than that little inconvenience we could not be happier with the stone veneer, especially with it being one of the most affordable options that we could find.
Hammering in place

The stones went up relatively smooth and since it is just a repetitive pattern it was not that taxing.  The entire pattern consisted of placing thin layers of mortar on the brick, back buttering each piece as thick as the ones before it, placing it on the fireplace, and using a rubber mallet to make it stick securely.  When I placed the last two stones across the middle of the fireplace opening we slid a piece of plywood underneath to help support the stone veneer.  Having the opening completely surrounded by the stone veneer I knew that most of the corner pieces were in place and the rest of it should go smoothly.
Getting There

The next day I got a later start than I wanted because other house needs were calling.  I got started just after lunch time and was thinking that I would be able to finish it before nightfall.  Since I had just two edges to do instead of four (where the fireplace opening was) I figured it would go fast, and for the most part it did.  However I ended up watching just as much of the basketball game as I did working on the fireplace and when the sun started setting around seven I still had about three feet at the top still to go.  I thought about pushing it to the end, but I was already tired and started worrying about not getting my measurements right and cutting corners to get it done faster.  Karen could see that I was getting frustrating and better heads prevailed and she talked me out of finishing it that night.
Almost Finished

So the next day after work I got the last two feet of stone in place and was relieved that it was finally finished.  Being a bit of a perfectionist the flaws in the way the stone veneer is made to be ‘not perfectly set everywhere’ is what draws my eyes, but Karen says that she really likes it.  In the end, having a wife that is honestly proud of my work and is not disappointed in the way that it turned out is all that really matters.  Due to the fact that if she truly hated it I would probably be knocking the stone veneer off and looking for something else to go on there.
Stone Veneer Fireplace

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4 comments

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  1. Freda Phillips

    It looks great. Good job.

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thank you, we really like how it turned out.

  2. Chris

    Cool! We are looking at the mesa grey stack stone, also. Our sample of stone looks almost pure white (like limestone), though. Your fireplace looks much browner. Is there a lot of variation in the manufacture of this stuff? I like the shade of your fireplace, but my sample makes it look like it will be snow white. What was your experience with the sample versus the actual shipment?

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Assuming (which is never a good thing) you are going through a company called Veneerstone which is what we have. I cannot tell you the difference between a sample and the actual shipment because we never got a sample from them. We actually got it from a local store so we got to see it on a wall at their store, liked what we saw, and got it from them. I will say that a few of our pieces are a lighter shade then the others and there is a lot of variety throughout. When we first opened up the boxes our pieces were slightly damp and more of a grey color. We were almost going to take them back but when they dried we got the variety and tone of colors we were looking for. I would say that the stacked stone that you see in my pictures may look a little warmer toned in the photo than they actually are just because of the lighting in the room, but definitely are a darker tone than a limestone white. We really like the results. I hope this helps and good luck finding what you want.

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