Here’s a new way to create a radiant fireplace for your home. Using standard bricks and mortar, it’s easy to start building the raised brick hearth and surround that you see here. The finished firebox features natural stone from area quarries, which adds a rustic look to the design without sacrificing safety or safety.
Building a brick hearth is a simple and attractive feature that adds charm and function to your home. Raised brick hearths are often seen in traditional Irish homes, as well as in historic English, Scottish and Welsh farmhouses. The idea of building a raised brick firebox dates back centuries.
In order to build a raised brick hearth, you will need some experience with brick-laying and general construction. However, if you have the patience to take things one step at a time, this project can definitely be tackled by homeowners or anyone who is willing to read up on bricklaying techniques. In this article we’ll discuss the necessary materials and steps for building a raised brick hearth.
Before you build a raised brick hearth, you need the following tools and supplies.
Before you build a raised brick hearth, you need the following tools and supplies:
- brick hammer
- rubber mallet (optional)
- wire mesh (can be purchased at hardware stores and home centers) * Wire cutters or snips are needed to cut through the mesh. Safety glasses will keep your eyes safe from flying debris during this process. You’ll also need safety gloves as well as concrete slab base material to ensure that your hearth won’t sink into the ground.
Mix mortar in approximate 2- to 3-gallon batches.
Mix mortar in the wheelbarrow using a hoe. To ensure an even consistency, mix in batches of 2 to 3 gallons and level the bed before each batch. Use a trowel to apply the mortar over the brick hearth, working it into every nook and cranny.
Make sure that your concrete slab base is clean, level, and free of grease or oil stains.
Make sure that your concrete slab base is clean, level, and free of grease or oil stains. If you are using a treated wood frame to support the fireplace, make sure it is level before laying the bricks.
Apply sections of wire mesh or fabric over the slab.
Apply sections of wire mesh or fabric over the slab.
This step is crucial to protecting your concrete slab from mortar. You can place sections of wire mesh or fabric over your concrete slab, but make sure to cover it entirely and keep the mortar from seeping through.
Prepare to lay your first layer of brick.
- Clean the slab: Use a garden hose to wash the slab clean of dirt, debris and any old mortar that may be present. Don’t use a pressure washer or similar high-pressure water source as it can damage the brick.
- Level the slab: Using a 4-foot level (available at most home improvement stores), check for level across the entire surface of your firepit’s hearth area by placing one end of your level against a bare spot on one side of your firepit and then rolling it across its length until you reach another bare section on another side—if that side is higher than where you began, adjust by digging up soil from under that particular area until it matches its neighbors’ height; repeat this process until all four sides are within 0.5 inches of being perfectly level with one another:
- Check for plumb: Make sure that none of your completed layers have been built out at an angle from either side; if they’ve been built out more than 3 degrees in either direction (approximately 1/8 inch per foot), remove some soil from beneath those specific areas until they’re back in line with their counterparts around them; repeat this process until each layer is perfectly vertical after you’ve laid down enough bricks to cover them completely
Lay the first brick for your raised hearth.
- You’ll want to level the first brick with a level. A small bubble on the surface of your mortar means it’s not level, so you can adjust as needed.
- Use a plumb bob to make sure that the first brick is plumb (straight up and down). If it’s not, use some water and mortar to fill in gaps in your hearth where necessary.
- Once you have the first brick set up correctly, spread out some nice thick mortar on top of it using a trowel (you can find one at most hardware stores).
Continue laying bricks, checking level and plumb with each new course.
With each new course, check the level and plumb of the brick. Even bricks can be laid out in a staggered pattern for visual interest, as long as they are aligned to the same plane on both sides of the wall. A brick wall can also be built with mortar and grout, but this method is more expensive than simply laying bricks directly onto a concrete base or footing.
Continue adding mortar as needed until all bricks are laid.
Continue adding mortar as needed until all bricks are laid. When you have finished laying the last brick, fill in all joints with grout. Grout is a mixture of sand, cement and water that is troweled into the joints and smoothed over the surface of the hearth to create a solid surface.
After last brick is laid, fill in all joints with grout.
Take a look at the last brick you laid. Use a trowel to go over the joints where it meets with its brothers and sisters. You are looking for any gaps that were created as you laid out your bricks, as well as any spots where mortar has dropped down into the joints. Fill these areas with grout—a mixture of sand and cement that’s used to fill in those spaces between your bricks. Grout will also hold them together tightly, ensuring that no mortar drips onto a finished fireplace hearth below it.
Building a raised brick hearth is not terribly difficult
Building a raised brick hearth is not terribly difficult, but there are some important things to keep in mind when doing so. The most important thing is to make sure that you have a level base on which to build the hearth. This will ensure that your brick structure is straight and level, making it look more professional and pleasing to the eye.
Next, it’s important to get the mortar mixed well before applying it. If you don’t mix it well enough, air bubbles will form in your mortar joints which can lead them to crack over time. And finally, as long as everything else is done correctly and according with good building practices (such as not using mortar on wet surfaces), then any mistakes made during construction should be negligible enough not matter much once it has been complete.
This guide should have given you the basics on how to build a raised brick hearth. If you follow these instructions and proceed carefully, you should be able to complete your project with minimal difficulty. However, if you would like more information, we recommend contacting a professional in your area.