Mantel Installation

A fireplace is a perfect centerpiece for any room. It’s the perfect spot for gathering friends or family around on cold winter nights or early holiday mornings. And while your fireplace is decorative in and of itself, having a mantel installed above your fireplace can add even more charm to the room.

Fireplace mantels are great for showing off family pictures, placing holiday decorations or displaying little knick-knacks you purchased on your last vacation. But when you’re having someone install the mantel above your fireplace, it’s always good to be informed about the various methods used to hang them. While there are many methods for doing so, here is the most popular one commonly used for hanging a floating fireplace mantel.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Lag screws
  • Drill
  • Construction grade adhesive

The first thing you’ll want to do is measure how high above your fireplace you’d like to hang your mantel. To do this, it’s always best to have a few pairs of helping hands hold the mantel above your fireplace so you can be sure you’ll be satisfied with the finished result. When happy with the height, make markings on the top and bottom of the mantel with a small led pencil so you can accurately measure where your bolts will be installed.

 Now that you know the height of your mantel, you’ll want to find the studs behind the stone, wall, or brick which means you may need a deep-scanning stud finder. Depending on your home, however, you may be able to use a standard electric stud finder. 

When your studs are located, drill ½ inch lag screws into the studs that will be supporting your mantel. Be sure to measure your screws for both height and width to make sure they are placed evenly and not extending beyond the length of your mantelpiece.

When the screws are in place, use your level to make sure they are evenly placed. Adjust as necessary. Then, use your angle grinder to cut the heads off of your lag screws. You are now left with 2-4 (depending on the length of your mantel) headless lag screws that will act as supports for your mantel. 

With a partner, lift the mantel so the back of the wood touches the tip of each headless lag screw. Make a mark indicating where the supporting screws touch the back of the mantel and after you’ve checked twice, drill holes in the corresponding place. 

Slide the mantel over the screws and check that it is level. 

Apply adhesive to the supporting lag screws and insert your mantel. Wait the appropriate amount of time (as indicated by the adhesive you use) before applying any weight or pressure to the newly hung mantel.

Sound tricky?

If this sounds like a complicated job, don’t worry: it is. A fireplace mantel is a piece of furniture that you and your family will look at for years to come, so it’s ok to want it looking perfect. The most common errors made by “do-it-yourselfers” are hanging a mantel that is uneven, not driving their lag screws deep enough, or using the wrong adhesive for the job. Also, this method is just one of the many ways to hang your mantel and may not be the best for your home or taste. You may want something different than a floating mantel which requires more time, effort, and expertise.

For these reasons, we always recommend you look into hiring a professional to ensure that the job is done right and (more importantly) that the job is done once. If you’re located in Nashville, contact Chimney & Masonry Outfitters to schedule your appointment and have this beautiful addition to your fireplace installed today!