Fireplace Installation

Installation Standards

(Applicable for Fireplace and most customized entry installations)
Part I: Hearth Installation

The installation of the hearth is the first step in bringing together your fireplace assembly. (Please note: if your fireplace does not include a hearth continue on to Part II)  Each of the hearth pieces must be firmly secured to the sub floor.  The hearth sections can be set by applying a layer of thinset mortar (commonly used for standard tile adhesion) to the concrete subfloor and to the bottom of each hearth piece.  Carefully position the pieces in the same manner that tile would be set.  The space between each hearth piece must be ¼” to ensure the proper size of the grout joint.  If desired use ¼” shims to ensure this joint spacing.  To ensure that the hearth items are level and plumb, a layer of brick mortar may be required to correct any imperfections of the floor.  If the subfloor is anything other than concrete, we recommend that a layer of tile backerboard be attached to the subfloor. (without mortar)  Once the backer has been installed the hearth can be installed in the same manor as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Raised Hearth Applications:
North American Stone normally provides special blocks that act as supports for the raised hearth above. These are installed to the subfloor in the same manor as standard hearth pieces. If so desired the void created by these special blocks can be filled with mortar or other masonry waste (i.e. bricks, or CMU block). After the void has been filled and leveled the hearth pieces can simply be installed on top in the same manor as regular hearth installation. (Note: to ensure that the joint space between the special blocks and heart above maintains ¼” use shims if necessary)

Part II: Mantel Leg Installation

After the hearth has been properly secured, the legs can be installed. ¼” shims must be placed under the footprint of each leg.
Apply thinset mortar to the back of each leg piece and set them into proper position, as shown in your layout drawing (provided). Shim the legs as necessary to insure that they are plumb and level.
The legs must then be secured to the 2×4 studs imbedded in the wall. There are two methods to achieve this requirement.
Option 1: The leg piece can be tied to the stud behind the wall by using a masonry tie or L-bracket. Attach the tie or bracket to the wall using a regular wood screw of appropriate thickness. Making sure that the leg is level and plumb, attach the bracket or tie to the stone using Tapcon masonry screws.
Option 2: you can attach the legs by using the “toe in” method. Simply attach the stone to the wall by using Tapcon masonry screws. The screws are drilled into the stone at a 45-degree angle, and then into the wall. This method will require longer screws, make sure that the screws used are long enough to grab the 2×4 embedded in the wall. Take care in keeping the screw hole at least two inches from any edge. Any closer and the stone will run the risk of breaking.
If the legs of your fireplace consist of more than one piece, simply follow the same instructions for the installation of each piece.

Part III: Installation of Mantel Header

After the legs have been properly secured, the legs can be installed. ¼” shims must be placed on top of each leg.
Apply thinset mortar to the wall and back of the header. Carefully lift and set the mantel header on the spacers. Due to the weight of some headers, mechanical lifting equipment may be needed.

***Caution***

Do not use crowbars or similar tools to position the header. This method will chip and possibly break the stone.
Shim as necessary to insure that the header is plumb and level. Next, locate the studs behind the header and mechanically tie it to the wall.
Alternate Header Installation:
Some Fireplace Headers are a complete shelf/header combination. If this is the case the standard masonry tie or “toe in” methods cannot be used. For these instances, a special installation method must be used.
Locate two or more studs behind where the header will be placed. Drill lag bolts into the studs, leaving approximately 1½” of the lag bolt exposed.
Place ¼” shims on top of each leg (as mentioned before). Locate the corresponding position on the back of the header and drill oversized holes or cut slots with a saw and masonry blade to receive 1½” of exposed lag bolt the lag screws. Fill the holes with thinset mortar or epoxy, apply thinset mortar to the wall and back of the header, and carefully set the header on the ¼” spacers that were placed on top of the legs.
Due to the weight of some headers, mechanical lifting equipment may be needed. (See cautions listed above.)

Part IV: Installation of Mantel Shelf

Some Fireplaces have mantle shelves that go on top of the header itself. After the header has been properly secured, the mantelshelf can be installed. ¼” shims must be placed on top of the header. Use thinset mortar to attach the shelf to the top of the header and the wall. For most styles, it is not necessary to mechanically tie the shelf to the wall. (Note: Ensure that the joint spacing is maintained at ¼”)

Part V: Installation of Filler Panels

Some fireplace assemblies require filler panels to finish out the area between the legs, header, hearth, and the firebox itself. Filler panels are installed in the same fashion as regular ceramic tile using only thinset mortar. Use ¼” shims to ensure proper spacing at all joints. With Filler panels take care that their installation will not prevent the proper use of the firebox, do not cover any vents, louvers, or any moving or mechanical items.
Thinset does not hold well when applied to metal. If the filler panels are to be applied to metal only, use a construction adhesive (such as “Liquid Nails”) instead of thinset mortar.
Caution:
Be careful not to attach any stone to metal that will heat up when a fire is started. Thermal expansion of the metal may break the joint and possibly the stone. Nor should the stone ever be directly in contact with the flame itself.

Part VI: Grouting

Grout and point all the joints. (Caulk is often used in the joints between the mantel and the wall to prevent cracking caused by wall movement.) It is best to soak the stone with water prior to installing grout; this will help prevent the stone from absorbing any mortar and staining. Use a sponge and water to clean all exposed surfaces during the grouting process to ensure that mortar does not dry on the mantel face.
The sand and white cement that has been provided should be mixed with water until it is the consistency of potting soil. The Sand / Cement grout mixture provided will match the color of stone ordered for each particular fireplace.

Part VII: Sealing

After the installation, and if so desired, the stone can be sealed. Ask our customer service or your sales representative for further information.
If you have any other questions you can contact customer service during normal business hours at (972) 562-9992.