Alamo Hardwoods Blog
Mantels, mantels, mantels!!!!
Ready to go Mantel wallWell, the "Holidaze" are already coming at us full speed and hiding under the bed won't keep them away (tried last year and the family still showed up).
One of the fastest ways to spice up that living room is to call attention to that fireplace wall we use twice a year in San Antonio. Many home builders left this detail off realizing that it is a very personal choice and better to leave it up to the homeowner to decide.
Many people are intimidated by the thought of attaching something to an existing brick or stone wall, but really just about anyone can do it, using only a drill and a few accoutrements.
The toughest part of the process will be deciding which style to go with. The eternal struggle between spouses comes to a head when he comes in and wants bark, and she wants fancy carvings. We create all of our mantels here in our own shop from scratch, so hopefully we can come to a design solution that makes everyone in the house happy.
The first choice is what will go on top of the mantel in question, determining the depth required. The usual complaint we hear is that an existing mantel is too shallow, not allowing for enough stuff to be placed on it. (note to husbands, once there is adequate space for stuff, the stuff you have will no longer be good enough for this place of honor and shopping for new stuff will immediately commence)
The next decision is style. Often women come in and say "I want a rustic mantel!". When shown a natural edge slab of Texas mesquite with the bark still attached, they say "I said rustic, not John Wayne!". Next we offer square rough pieces of wood that are perhaps hand sanded to remove splinters but nor remove the saw marks like the planer would. Not quite distressed or salvaged, I have coined a term for this look "Rustique". Past that we offer fancier designs of mantels in knotty (Ponderosa pine), cracked (Mesquite), or reclaimed wood with nail holes(longleaf pine).
Once we have chosen a style, then a wood is selected. All of our mantels are solid wood and are therefore stainable, even the ones we make for painting. Many woods are suitable for a simple, easy to apply Danish oil type rub on finish. This type of finish is easy to apply and pretty much impossible to mess up.
Attaching to the wall can be as simple as putting the brackets on the wall with screws and setting the slab on top.
If you opt for the hollow style, a wood block can be attached to the wall with screws into the framing. If you have rock or brick, you can use a drill with a masonry bit to make holes. Then you use something called a masonry insert from the hardware store. It's a small sleeve with a screw in the center. You take the screw out and slide the sleeve into the hole. Then when you put the screw back in, it tightens the sleeve against the sides of the hole.
The hollow mantel then sits on top off the blocking. Drill down through the top and attach the mantel into the blocking with three or so screws and you're set! If you want to add corbels, you can screw through the bottom of the mantel and hang them from the mantel! (pretty clever!)
We can offer design help with our talented staff of architecture students and graduates. (what we can't help with is Uncle Ed telling that same story for the hundredth time and keeping Aunt June out of the Schnapps. You're on your own there!)
From ultra-modern to semi rustic yet refined Hand Sanded Counter Top in Cypress Solid Texas (bragging rights!) Cedar Mantel with Brackets Reclaimed Longleaf Pine Mantel, Floor Joist Top Showing Nail Holes From Flooring The Secret is Revealed! Where Block Would Sit Inside Mantel Diagram of Attaching a Box Mantel to a Wall
Posted by JR on 19th October, 2013 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks | Permalink
Categories: millwork, mantels, holidays
Tags: custom millwork, holidays decorating, mantels