Semi Custom Fireplace Mantle

By Robert Robillard on Finish Carpentry

Below is the original bookcases that I removed prior to building and installing a custom mantle.

Stock Size Mantle vs. Semi-Custom Mantles

Many fireplaces built in today’s homes are of a standard size and easily accept a catalog purchased mantle.  These mantles usually come shipped in a box in three pieces.   The three pieces are easily assembled with twist cam locks and a screwdriver and installed to mounting blocks installed on the wall.

Sometimes  situations dictate a custom mantle.   Existing house configurations such as windows, doors or bookcases may be in the way. such was the case here.

We instead chose to order what’s called a semi-custom mantle.  Semi-custom mantles obviously cost more and take several weeks longer to receive but many  people are not aware that many standard mantles can be purchased with modifications.

Adding A Fireplace Mantle

The Demo Process:

  • The glass door was discarded, and brick floor tile was removed. Hardwood flooring was installed.
  • Bookcases removed.
  • The blue tape was to help the homeowner visualize the mantle location.



Prepping Floor For Granite Hearth

Below the OSB sub floor was removed and replaced with plywood. Later hardwood floor was installed in this room.

This is how the room looked last week. I had previously installed polished black granite around the fireplace wall opening and hearth floor.

Mantle and Granite Installed

I ordered a Somerset mantel from Premiere Mantel. We custom sized this mantle to hide the yellow medallions on the fireplace face.

The goal is to have the mantle hide these medallions and hot have to use a demo hammer to chisel them off.

Nailing Strips for Mantle

I installed nailing strips to the brick using Tapcon screws into the mortar joints.

  • Drilling through the wood nailing strip and into the brick mortar joint ensures that your holes will line up.

  • Once the nailing strips were installed I slipped the mantle over them. I checked for level, cut the legs as needed to fit and for level then secure both legs to the nailer strips with finish nails.
  • The top is nailed with 16d finish nails.
  • This gap is hidden with bead trim.

Small Molding Hides Gap

The inner bead trim is ripped on the tables saw and cut to fit after the mantle is installed. It is designed to hide any gaps between the mantle and the granite wall.

Mantle installed and in place.

Finished – awaiting painter.


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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