Renovating Your Old Brick Fireplace: The Cost-Effective Method
Lennox Masonry - Cultured Granite River Rock Overtop of a Brick Fireplace
There comes a time in the life of many homeowners, in which they gaze upon that dated and uninspiring brick fireplace of theirs, only to ponder the cost of renovating it. And if you were hoping to read that it won't "break the bank" and cause you to rupture at the spleen, well, dear reader, you have stumbled across the right article. Your precious spleen and hard-earned savings are going to be just fine... just fine. The total cost of the cultured stone fireplace pictured above, materials and labour included, was just under $2,000(CAN). And, believe it or not, the total cost of the natural stone fireplace pictured below, with a solid, flare-edged, natural stone hearth-slab, was just under $2,300(CAN).
The beautiful and intoxicating truth is you don't have to remove a single brick in order to make that old, drab fireplace the pride and joy of your living space. Not-a-one. There will be no unsightly messes and additional demolition costs here today.
Now, I know, some of you are reading this with a sigh of disappointment after hearing that your fantasies of unveiling a sledgehammer and taking it to the very eye-sore that is your fireplace’s existence will remain just that: a fantasy. My condolences ("There, there" I whisper as I virtually pat you on the back).
But all jokes aside, depending on the state of your brick, there are two foreseeable options that I would suggest to the DIY'er:
1) Clean the surface with a wet cloth and, potentially, a scrub brush. If the brick has an unpainted and porous surface, you can apply cultured stone veneer of your choice directly overtop of it. It would be irresponsible of me to not suggest applying a scratch coat of mortar prior to facing it with stone, but chances are, due to the light weight of cultured veneer, it won’t be necessary. Personally, however, I would recommend natural stone and if you're curious as to why, you will find a detailed explanation here. If you decide to implement natural stone, I would highly recommend applying lath to the surface of your brick (please find the instructions for this procedure below) and then a scratch coat of mortar, before any stone application occurs.
2) Clean the surface with a wet cloth and, potentially, a scrub brush. If it is painted brick, you will most certainly need a box of 1 and a 1/4inch x 1/4inch concrete screws, a 3/16th's masonry drill bit, an accompanying power drill, and some standard lath (mesh). Pre-drill holes that are at least an inch and a half deep into your brick at every 4 inch horizontal and vertical interval. Next, place the lath overtop of your fireplace and proceed to adhere the masonry screws to their allocated holes. Respectively, administer a scratch coat, allow it to dry for a period of 24 hours, and then begin with your stone application.
Lennox Masonry - Natural Pangea Fieldstone Veneer Overtop of a Brick Fireplace
Of course, there are other options which are of the cheaper variety, such as whitewashing (pictured below) and lime washing, but those are articles to be left for another day and for the sake of removing the sight of the brick altogether, applying stone veneer directly overtop of it is by far the most cost-effective solution.
Lennox Masonry - Red Hartford Tundra Brick Veneer Before Whitewashing
Lennox Masonry - Red Hartford Tundra Brick Veneer After Whitewashing
With years of experience in this field, Lennox Masonry is well equipped to assess and address your specific needs.
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Lennox Masonry, Masonry Contractor, Victoria, BC