Blog Cabin DIYs: How to Clad a Fireplace With Recycled Granite

Recycled granite installed on Blog Cabin 2014 fireplace

Recycled granite installed on Blog Cabin 2014 fireplace

At DIY’s Blog Cabin, we love upcycling and recycling. Part of the challenge of renovating such old homes is that you inevitably have to rebuild parts due to water and insect damage or simply because the original construction techniques are so far below current constructions requirements. This often gives us the ability to recraft old studs, floor, roofing, and furniture into a respin of new projects.

In previous years, we’ve not been able to save the fireplaces. Last year’s fireplace had been built in the mid 1800′s with beach sand and the salt in the sand slowly degraded the mortar over the years. However, this year our chimney appeared to be in fairly good condition. Never backing down from a challenge, we decided to move the house with the fireplace. It made it! OK, well, it was a precarious path getting it there. After sitting for weeks during the renovation, cracks began to form from the way the original base had been built. We did our best to resupport it but it began to be a lost cause. So — we rebuilt it.

Because the interior of the fireplace had to be rebuilt as well, I took it as an opportunity to match the interior cladding with the style of the new family room. Thankfully, my friend Tal Shuford had recently teamed up with Julie Rizzo of RecycledGranite.com. Tal and Julie take remnant granite pieces and break them into 1-inch pieces. This creates a stacked stone type look while being entirely recycled. The installation is very easy and imperfections only add to the look.

If you’re DIYing, follow these 7 steps below to get the look at home, or share the idea with your contractor.

And in case you haven’t heard, you can enter for the chance to win Blog Cabin 2014. If you win, you’ll get the very same fireplace shown here!

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Step 1

 Open GallerySelect a color mixSelect a color mix by working with your supplier. We chose a variation on their Shades of Grey which would provide a cool tone against bolder colors in the room without clashing with any.

Step 2

 Open GalleryCement board sheathingStart by covering the rough framing with a non-combustible sheathing such as cement board. Be sure to use the recommended screws and check any fireplace requirements for clearances before starting.

Step 3

 Open GalleryNew wood mantleNext, install the mantle if new. If you have an existing mantle, plan how the new stone will start and stop around it.

Step 4

 Open GalleryMix mortar and butter the back of the stonesMix up thinset mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a trowel, butter the back of each piece before installation. Because the shape of each piece is unique and varied, there must be enough mortar to conform to the shape of the piece and adhere to the backer.

Step 5

 Open GalleryFirst rowStarting at the wall, tile out to the corner on the first row.

Step 6

 Open GalleryUse a tile saw to trim pieces as required.Once at the corner, trim the next piece to size using a wet tile saw.

Step 7

 Open GalleryPeriodically check levelContinue working up the wall and periodically chalk a horizontal line to ensure level.

Step 8

 Open GalleryUse tile shims as needed to level individual piecesBy nature of being a recycled product, the granite will not all be the same size. Use tile wedge shims to straighten out any pieces as required.

Step 9

 Open GalleryMix colors to keep a random variationBe sure to continuously mix colors to keep a random variation.

Step 10

 Open GalleryWhen complete, remove the tile shims and vacuum up any granite dust.When complete, allow the mortar to fully dry before removing the tile shims. Then clean up any excess mortar and vacuum out any granite dust.

Materials

  • 50 SF of recycled granite in a color mix
  • (2) bags of tile mortar

Tools

  • Tile saw
  • Mortar trowel
  • Small level
  • Tile shims
  • Vacuum
About Dylan Eastman 

8Posts

At a young age, I learned how things worked by taking them apart and (successfully) putting them back together. I've always approached life as an opportunity to learn new skills, ...

More About Dylan Eastman

4 Responses

  1. John says:

    Thanks for those nice tips. Its a great change that I can see there. I would also like to share you a place where you can find fire pits/fireplace with some nice designs. If you feel like checking out some nice designs than do visit – Starfire Direct.com

  2. Paige says:

    What a great transformation! I love how you took a seemingly complex task and broke it down into simple-looking step-by-step photos.

    Paige http://www.dorkingstoves.com/

  3. filanddell says:

    This is how we do it!

  4. Minnow + Co says:

    I love that you were able to salvage a custom component of the house and transform it into something new and modern. Perfect!

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