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How do I build a cultured stone wall as a fireback for my stove

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by michaelthomas, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. michaelthomas

    michaelthomas New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    I have NO masonry skills or knowledge and am looking to have a hearth and fireback wall built for my new install. I have 2 quotes from masons and the materials cost about $800 and the labor has been from $2000-$3000. One guy told me that he would be in my house working for 96 hours! I just can't believe that this project could take that long? It will be a 54x54 hearth and a 54 " fireback that will be going to the peak at 116" and going down to 91 inches along the 5/12 pitch ceiling. I am definately a guy who has more time than money and want this install to be done right, last a long time, and look right. Is this a DIY project for someone with my skillset. I am pretty handy or at least willing to try and learn how to do projects. Recommend any good books on the subject?

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  2. nshif

    nshif New Member

    Oct 7, 2006
    Pioneer, Ca (near Lake Tahoe)
    I built this with a limeted amount of previous experiance. its not as tall as yours only about 8' up from the floor but about the same Sq feet as yours. it took me and a helper about 3 full days so 96 hours sounds a bit fat to me. The other thing is if you dont have the tools you need to do that will add to the cost.

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  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Nov 19, 2005
    I'm looking to take on a similar project this summer. I can only say that the cost and time will probably vary some with the type of stone and details of the set-up you have.

    For instance, nshif looks to have used some type of river rock. This goes up in fairly big pieces, and it looks to be recessed nicely into the framing at the sides. I was looking at a thinner, rectangular 'stacked' stone - so it has lots of little pieces that fit together - probably a slower process to install. Also, since my set-up will stand out from the wall, I have to use precious 'corner pieces' which wind up costing almost as much as the field pieces. So there are little details that can cost more and slow a mason - or you down.
  4. bruce

    bruce Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    long pond pa
    price sounds good it would take me 3 days tops to complete with a labor
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Nov 20, 2006
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    You might try the JohnBridge "Tile Your World" website. As the name suggests, they mostly do tile and slate type stuff, but I've also seen some discussion of cultured stone there - depending on the type, it seems to me like the cultured stone is more like tile in a lot of ways than it is like masonry. I built a hearth extension using slate tiles, and would say the flat stuff is no problem, but I'm not sure just what's involved with doing the vertical stuff where you have to worry about gravity, etc.

  6. Wolves-Lower

    Wolves-Lower New Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Northeastern Iowa
    Well first let me say good job nshif! Looks like a fine Hearth.

    It depends on what you want. Like cozy said, those corner pieces are $$$$

    I still need to do mine so I have no real advice. My plan is to build a chase and then follow these guidlines.


    I have had the materials forever, just need to stop fishing and get to work....living on a lake is a distraction.
  7. Elliot

    Elliot New Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    We have an old fireplace downstairs in the basement, was covered with old brick, which had been painted, of course the paint was peeling off and had become a real eye sore. Last summer my wife and i decided to do something about it. We covered the face with 1/4 inch concrete backerboard with screws that went into the mortor and brick. We then selectively covered with strips of wire mesh. I think it was the stuff that covers gutters. We cut into 5 inch lengths, drilled the end into the concrete board then bent them out to fit between the bricks, every other row. We then went to Depot and purchesed "ledgestone" (i think). Covered the whole thing up in a weekend and actually looks great. The mantle was an old piece of fir (4 by 8 by 7) that Depot was getting rid of for $10. Sanded it then varathaned. I think the whole project cost me around $650. The fireplace is 6ft by 4.5ft high.

    Here is an idea i have been toying with for a future home. One can purchase rubber molds for stone veneer on ebay for a couple hundred dollars, or much more through a casting company. From what I have read, you can make your own veneer for between .35 cents to a $1 per sq. foot versus $4 to $7 for the stuff you buy at Depot or other locations. I understand there is a specific formula for the cement (adding ash or something to keep weight down). Has anyone had any experience with this? And is so, where is the best place to get inexpensive molds?

    Good luck,

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