Fireplace surround facing kits, whether they be granite, marble or slate are relatively simple to install. There are 3 steps to following in order to successfully complete your job. Prior to starting, you will need the following items: a pencil, Micore Board (available at MantelsDirect.com), 2-3 10.3 Fl. Oz. Leech F-26 Waterproof Construction Adhesive (available at MantelsDirect.com) and a tape measure.
Step 1: Installing The Hearth
Using the Micore board or a similar product to create a buffer between the hearth and floor, carefully place the hearth on the Micore with the marble, granite or slate facing the firebox, polished side up. Position it in the center it on the Micore so no additional movement is needed. Apply the waterproof construction adhesive around the perimeter of the hearth; leaving two places for handholds, then a few “zig-zag” lines down the center. Ensure that you are not allowing any voids around the perimeter that would cause a corner to break if someone stepped on it. Quickly but gently lower the hearth; this is the most critical time of the installation, as the weight of the marble can cause it to crack if held flat for any length of time.
Step 2: Adding The Facing Legs
Measure the firebox for the legs, and check both sides to ensure you are fitting them correctly. There is always a possibility you may have to cut the legs differently. Once you have the accurate measurements, cut the legs as needed. MantelsDirect.com recommends using a PY 007 dry cut marble blade because it will give you the best cut. Tape the marble with several strips of quality masking tape to protect the marble from scratches. Make sure to start your cut at the polished edge, if there is a chip caused by the blade it will be on the unfinished edge, which is normally hidden by the mantle leg. Cut with the polished side of the marble up.
Step 3: Install your facing header and optional riser
Apply the recommended adhesive on the back of the header and place into position. It is usually acceptable if your header extends beyond the outside of each leg. MantelsDirect.com’s fireplace mantels are intended to overlap facing material and can hold up to 5" on each side in most situations.
Fireplace surround facing kits do vary from one another, so make sure to always read the instructions carefully that come with your kit. MantelsDirect.com has many kits to choose from and their customer service representatives are experts on helping out customers pick out the right kit for their job.