Do you need a beautiful faux stone material to install around your fireplace surround? See how easy AirStone® is to install in part three of our DIY fireplace makeover.
Part Three of the DIY Fireplace Mantel Series
If you’ve been following along with our DIY fireplace makeover, you have seen that we are going places fast! It is looking SO amazing, but the most perfect way to finish the look is happening TODAY! This is the Piece de Resistance for the whole mantel. Today we are installing AirStone® to the surround, and it finishes off the look perfectly. Airstone can be used in many ways, AirStone is great for outdoors projects such as to beautify a home’s exposed foundation, around pools, to create an outdoor kitchen, around decks. It is also great for interior décor such as kitchen backsplashes, as an accent wall in living room, basement or bathroom, up stairways or like we are using it today for a fireplace surround! You can find out more about this product by first reading our post then hop on over to their website to see the other finish options!
I was excited about finishing it, but I didn’t know I would like it THIS much. This is why waiting to know exactly what you want is so important!! If you haven’t seen what has been going on, check out our series. It has been an on going project for the last while and we couldn’t fit it all in one post and have everything make sense.
AirStone® Products Used on the Project
- AirStone® Corner/Finished End Stone
- One carton of Corner/Finished End Stone covers 6 linear feet and 7.5 square feet.
- 4 variations of color and texture in each box
- AirStone® Primary Wall Stone
- One carton of Primary Wall Stone covers 8 square feet.
- 4 variations of color and texture in each box.
- AirStone® interior Wall Adhesive
- One Gallon Bucket of premixed adhesive.
All these AirStone materials are sold at Lowes. If they are not in stock at your local store you can simply order it online.
What Stone Color Options Are There?
There are three collections of colors to choose from.
- Birch Bluff
- Autumn Mountain
- Spring Creek
The color of stone that we chose is the Birch Bluff collection. We liked it for the neutral color palette that it has. AirStone’s large, natural stone sizes are more traditional and classic than the dated-look of stone panels made from scrap stone pieces.
Tools Used for Installation
- Putty Knife
- Blue Painters Tape
- Drop Cloth
- Reciprocating Saw(optional)
- Masonry Blade(optional)
- Tile Saw(optional)
AirStone is easy for a novice to install. Simply apply adhesive and press to the wall. The stone can be cut by hand with a hack saw if you don’t have the power tools. However, power tools will just save time.
How to Install AirStone® to a Fireplace Surround
Video of the Installation Process
You can also check out this installation video that AirStone created.
Step One – Clean the Surface
Clean the surface. Make sure it is dry, free of dirt, dust, grease, oil, loose paint, wallpaper and residue of any existing adhesives. In our case we are installing the stone on top of a cleaned surface of cinder blocks where we removed tile from before.
Step Two – Create a Template
Create a Template. We found it useful to tape off an area the same size as the surface to be covered on a drop cloth, on the floor ,and layout all the stone the way we wanted it to look, before we glued it in place. This ensured that we had a great variety of colors and shapes and that the overall look was natural and not looking patterned in anyway.
Step Three – Layout the Stone
Layout all the stone color variations and sizes over the template. This gives you a good idea of all the pieces and sizes that you have to work with and how you can make sure you joints are staggered.
There are 4 variations of tones in each box. They are labeled with a different color on the packaging to help you keep track. Make sure as you layout your project that you select a good mix of the different colored stones throughout the project. We laid our AirStones® out in colors first and then made sure to select from each pile as we laid out the tile.
Step Four – Support the Stones While Gluing
Normally we would recommend starting from the bottom up. However, we decided to start at the top opening of the fireplace because this was the most level reference line. In order to start here we built a temporary ledge to hold the stones in place while they were gluing. The ledge was easy to construct and was just supported on the floor, so no need to secure it to the wall. Simple take some 2x4s for the legs (we attached some feet to make sure it could balance, and then screw a level board across the top. Then, I glued on every stone above that point and let that dry for over an hour to be sure the stone wouldn’t move or slide down.
The amount of glue needed on each stone was about 1/8″ to 3/16″ thick. It was like frosting a cupcake.
Step Five – Cut the Stones
It was nice on the sides of the fireplace surround to pre-cut all the pieces before gluing. I used a reciprocating saw with a masonry blade to cut through the stone. It was really easy and fast with a power tool. I had to glue on the stones from the top down in order to keep the stone spacing consistent, since I started at the top of the fireplace opening. Which means on the side I had to work fast to keep the tile in place while they dried. So, if at all possible it is easier to start at the bottom and work you way up.
How Long Did it Take To Install?
We were able to install this project in a day. And our total fireplace surround was about 10 square feet of surface. Laying out and cutting the stone was what took up most of the time on this project because we had to work around the opening of the fireplace. The gluing/installation was the fastest part of the project. We really LOVE how the stone turned out! It is amazing how adding the AirStone® to the fireplace surround really finished off the look.
Thank you to AirStone® for supporting our blog! Please go and check this fabulous product out on Facebook and Instagram! We are SO happy with how this project turned out everytime I walk into my living room I am SO pleased with the project!
Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.