MILESTONE STONE MANTEL SURROUND Installation Instructions
The instructions below are designed to be a guideline for installation, but we suggest reviewing the suggestions by the Cast Stone Institute that can be found at . Milestone products are 50% lighter than heavy cast stone, however you cannot go wrong in following their time tested suggestions.
Note that some Milestone moldings and panels require on-site cutting, similar to most masonry or cast stone projects, and a cut sheet is provided.
You will need the following tools and materials to build your mantel:
Drill, Masonry bit, Level, Tape Measure, Pencil, Pins
Construction adhesive (we recommend PL Premium or Loctite Power Grab)
Grout (We recommend using Maipei's Buttercup color grout with Maipei's Latex Acrylic Additive)
Step 1 - Wall Preparation
The wall needs to be made ready for installation with 3/4" exterior grade plywood and 1/2" cement board such as Durock (see Fig 1). The cement board should be applied using a minimum of 2-3/4" length screws. Screws should be no less than 8" apart when attaching the cement board. You will need to install a header board where the mantel shelf will be, due to the weight of these pieces (see Fig 1). This header board should be flush with the cement board and should be at least 2" wider on each side than the total length of your fireplace mantel shelf.
Step 2 - Mantel Surround Installation
Carefully unpack the stone mantel from the crate and inspect fireplace mantel for damage that may have occurred during shipment. If you find damage to any of the fireplace mantel kits, the breakage must be reported to the delivery company and MantelsDirect within 48 hours of delivery.
After determining and marking the position of each piece of the mantel surround, apply construction adhesive (we recommend PL Premium or Loctite Power Grab found at most home centers) and attach to the wall. All joints need to be spaced at 1/4 inch.
Step 3 - Mantel Shelf Installation
The stone mantel shelf needs to be installed with angel iron or pins. Drill into the mantel shelf and header board at about a 45 degree angle (see Fig 2). Adhere the pins into the back of the mantel shelf and let it set. Fill the header board holes with construction adhesive and slide on the mantel shelf. You will need to support the mantel shelf until the construction adhesive sets. You may use a framed table or 4 x 4's to support the mantel pieces. Spread construction adhesive on the back of the mantel pieces will provide extra support. All joints need to be spaced at 1/4 inch.
Step 4 - Grout The Mantel Joints
We recommend using Maipei's Buttercup grout, since it is close in color to the stone. Along with the grout we recommend Maipei's Latex Acrylic Additive with helps to strengthen the grout and keeps it from cracking.
*MantelsDirect and Milestone are not responsible for any installation procedures, methods, or failures with the installation.
Frequently Asked Milestone Installation Instructions
What grout color works best with your standard limestone pieces?
Many designers prefer to have the grout match the stone, others are looking for contrast. One national brand has a grout called Buttercup which matches Milestone. Many tile dealers carry the Mapei line, if yours does not, take a piece of stone to your local tile dealer and check their grout brands for a close match.
Can I just use a thinset mortar to adhere the lighter weight pieces to the structure?
Yes, utilizing the "masonry to masonry" rule, the pieces which are within code for adhered veneer, under 15 lbs. per sq.ft. can be attached to brick, Durock, Hardy board, or other masonry surfaces with Laticrete 4237. This thinset mortar additive mixed with Laticrete 211 crete filler powder creates a high-strength mortar which is frost, chemical and shock resistant. ASTM C 627 rated for extra heavy service. Go to to find out more about these products or call Laticrete at 1.800.243.4788.
Can you recommend anchoring systems for larger stone elements?
We recommend Hilti, the global leader in products, systems, and expertise for fastening, installation and firestop. Go to for professional information on anchors, clips and adhesive solutions for all types of stone installation requirements.
What type of saw will cut your lightweight stone in the field?
Any saw which has a diamond blade is preferred, and will easily cut Milestone right at the jobsite, however, since our stone is 50% lighter than heavy cast or natural stone, a carbide blade will suffice. Milestone is very easy to drill into for the installation of anchors for hanging.
Will I need a forklift to unload the stone upon site delivery?
The buyer is responsible for all offloading and storage of stone from the delivery trucks. Two to four pallets, or crates may be shipped via covered truck, some of which have lift gates on the back, call us prior to shipment and we will try to arrange that for you if needed.
What if anything gets broken in shipment?
We have so carefully designed our shipping methods that we rarely ever have a broken piece. If this does occur; the breakage must be reported to the delivery company and MantelsDirect within 48 hours of delivery. We will replace any broken element ASAP, after the claim has been filed by you with the shipping firm. Any broken pieces and packing materials must be saved, and generally photographed, so that your claim with the shipper can be easily processed.
Can you customize my Milestone project?
Yes, we can work from already designed blueprints from your architect or design something for you.
Do I need to seal or finish your Milestone?
No. Milestone elements have the look and feel of natural, hand carved limestone and need no finish. The stone is presealed for you with professional sealers in different strengths for different applications. There are even sealers that are anti-graffiti!
Can I age, stain or color Milestone?
Absolutely! Many clients send us a color sample for our test labs to hit for their approval, prior to casting the project so that the custom color is integral within the piece. These samples can be pieces of natural stone, paint or stucco colors, almost anything. There are many ways we have developed to color, age and stain the pieces at the plant, after production. Some masons are asked to color the stone after installation, this is trickier, but can be done, ask us for advice on products and techniques.
What kind of lead times do I need for delivery of my order?
Standard fireplaces may be in our stock inventory when you call; so that we can crate and ship your order within 2 weeks. Large, complicated or highly customized projects should be ordered well in advance of need. We recommend you submit your prints for quotation very early in the job so that all design and manufacturing issues can be resolved as soon as possible.
How do I set Milestone in cold weather?
We recommend the following guideline provided by the Cast Stone
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