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Our Fireplace Mantel Installation (before and after)

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Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to add a wooden mantel to a stone fireplace? Well, today I’m going to walk you through the steps to make it a reality. We thought our original stone mantel felt too cold and unwelcoming, so we swapped it out for a reclaimed wood beam. This change adds a cozy warmth and really catches the eye!

Rustic Modern Living Room with Wood beam Mantel + 50 foot ceilings + large white sectional + Cognac Stained trim and stained baseboard
fireplace mantel installation that completely transformed our living room

Upgrading your mantel isn’t just for looks – it’s a smart move to boost the vibe of your living room. I personally love our new wood mantel!

Let’s dive into how to install a heavy wood mantel on a stone fireplace and explore how we chose the perfect mantel type!

How To Install A Mantel On A Stone Fireplace

While stone fireplace mantels do serve a purpose, they tend to lack character and often times blend in with the stone fireplace.

I decided to repurpose an old wooden beam from our property, originally from a city warehouse.

The beam’s authentic character was revealed with simple sanding and staining, transforming it into an impressive mantel.

A friend of mine, Jake McGovern of Paramount Wood Working, applied his magic and cabinetry skills to tailor-make this piece, resulting in a mantel that is both functional and rich in history.

100 year old Southern Pine wood beam mantel restored and stained dark brown, brown custom mantel corbels on green blanket
repurposed wood fireplace mantel from an old beam

You can read how Jake crafted this old beam into an amazing mantel by reading this post, our Southern Pine beam mantel.

Let’s take a look at how to anchor a mantel to a stone fireplace with rebar rods.

Step 1: Drill and Install Fireplace Anchors (rebar rods)

  1. Drill holes in stone fireplace. We drilled 1′ deep holes.
  2. Cut rebar rods to size, fill drill holes in stone with Fuz It liquid nails and install rebar rods into the stone (see image below for steps).
stone fireplace with rebar rod and liquid nail in hole
fireplace mantel installation with rebar rods

Be sure to wipe any liquid nail drips off your fireplace.

stone fireplace, rebar rods, liquid nails, sawzall, how to install a wood mantel with rebar
A stone fireplace with a wood mantel – step by step

The key to attaching your wood mantel is to ensure the rebar rods are drilled in securely (to the stone fireplace) and reinforce with adhesive. Whether you have “uneven stone” or “even stone”, the fireplace mantel installation will be the same.

Step 2: Drill Fireplace Mantel Holes

  1. Drill holes in back of wood mantel to correspond with the rebar rods installed in the stone fireplace
  2. Fill holes in wood mantel with wood glue adhesive. We used Loctite Construction Adhesive inside the holes so the wood would adhere to the rebar rod
100 year old southern pine beam mantel with hole for rebar rod, liquid nails in hole
This fireplace mantel installation required extra reinforcement from wood glue

Step 3: Install Fireplace Wood Mantel

  1. Secure mantel onto the rebar rods and push wood mantel as close to stone as possible
  2. Use a level to ensure the solid wood mantel is straight
  3. We waited 48 hours before placing anything on top of mantel to ensure mantel was secure
stone fireplace, wood pine beam mantel being installed by two men, cherry floors, stained trim
these guys made our fireplace mantel installation look easy!

Securing the wood mantle into the rebar rods was a bit of a challenge as the wood beam was very heavy topping out around 250 pounds.

They made it look really easy in this picture but having a 3rd person to guide the holes in the back is helpful.

This fireplace mantel installation idea will work when installing a floating mantel on a brick fireplace or any type of uneven stone. We do have a small gap behind the mantel but it’s hardly noticeable and let’s face it, when. you are dealing with uneven stone, there is no way around it!

Step 4: Level Fireplace Mantel

We used a laser level to ensure the wood mantel was level. Do not skip this step! The last thing you want is an uneven mantel. 

100 year old Southern Pine beam mantel stained dark brown, stone fireplace, custom brown wood corbel and digital laser beam red line
installing a wood mantel on a stone fireplace requires precise measurements

Step 5: Install Fireplace Corbels (optional)

The last step is to add corbels. This is more of a personal preference. Our corbels do not serve as any type of support for the mantel, just a decorative element.

Jake crafted the custom corbels from the same beam and I absolutely love how they turned out!

100 year old southern yellow pine beam mantel and corbels being screwed to mantel, stone fireplace
The wood mantel corbels were exactly what the mantel needed as a finishing touch

We attached the wood corbels to the bottom of the mantel with 3″ heavy duty wood screws.

100 year old southern yellow pine beam mantel and corbels being screwed to mantel, stone fireplace
I love our stone fireplace with a wood mantel

If you don’t have a laser level, be sure to make sure the corbels are flush and level with the wood mantel with a regular level.

What size fireplace corbels did you use?

Our corbels were custom made and 13″ long x 5.5″ wide, the are 9″ deep at the top (near the mantel) and 2.5″ deep at the bottom.

Step 6: Touchup

We filled the screw holes with a wood filler crayon in a similar color to the mantel.

100 year old southern yellow pine beam mantel and corbels being screwed to mantel, stone fireplace, fill stik crayon by Mohawk

Fireplace Mantel Before and After

As you can see below, the fireplace mantel is stunning and adds so much character to our stone fireplace.

Stone fireplace, dark brown wood mantel, large mirror, greenery in vases on mantel, candles in fireplace, linen curtains
I love our new wood fireplace mantel and how it warms up the stone fireplace

Below is our stone fireplace featuring the stone mantel. There was nothing wrong with it, it just lacked character and warmth.

living room before with granite stone fireplace, granite mantel slab
the stone mantel was cold and lacked character

I recently shared our Christmas holiday home tour and our new mantel looks magical dressed up for the holidays!

Click through this post, our holiday home Christmas tour to see all the details.

christmas living room with stone fireplace and mantel decor
One of my favorite fireplace mantel pictures with red holiday decor

Here is another picture of our stone fireplace mantel from the day we moved into the house.

living room before with granite stone mantel, white sectional, blue rug, stained window trim, white accent chairs

And the same view below with the new fireplace mantel.

Simple Rustic Modern Fall Decor {Our Mediterranean Home Fall Tour} Neutral colored pumpkins, greenery, fall pillows and dried flowers #falldecor #rustic #modern #rusticmodern #livingroom #kitchen #diningroom #openconcept #bhg #gofinding #hgtv #sectional #diningtable #slipcoveredchair

You can see the full stone fireplace makeover by clicking this post, stone fireplace makeover.

What Is The Average Cost To Installing A Fireplace Mantel

The cost to install our fireplace mantel was $2200 but we already owned the wood beam.

The $2200 includes paying someone to remove the old stone mantel and compensating Jake for his work of crafting and installing the wood mantel.

3 Key Cost Factors:

  • The cost will include the price of the wood itself, which can vary, especially if it’s a unique or reclaimed piece with a lot of history
  • Preparing the beam, sanding, staining and for the skilled labor to install it safely and securely on your wall
  • Hardware to mount the beam
Stone fireplace, dark brown wood mantel,
stacked stone fireplace with wood mantel

I personally love wood mantels for stone fireplaces. While the initial price might be higher than that of a pre-made mantel, the custom wood beam offers a one-of-a-kind charm and durability that many find invaluable.

How To Install A Heavy Wood Mantel On Drywall

If you have ever asked yourself, how is a mantel attached to a wall, this installation post not only shows you how to install a mantel on brick or stone, but also to a wall.

To install a heavy mantel on a wall, locate the studs behind drywall and using lag bolts or screws will help you achieve a successful installation.

Whether you are using lag bolts, screws or rebar rods like we did, be sure to verify the weight capacity of whichever anchor system you choose. Rebar comes in a variety of sizes and depending on how deep your stone or brick is, will determine the size of rebar you need.

I never in a million years would have known that rebar rods could be drilled into the stone fireplace and serve as anchors for a very heavy solid wood mantel. 

Replacing a fireplace mantel was stressful as it’s a project we had never tackled before. I am so glad I took a chance as the fireplace beam mantel looks amazing and totally warms up the cold stone.

What do you think? Do you like it better than the stone fireplace mantel?

If you missed any of the fireplace mantel installation posts, start by visiting the links below.

More Fireplace Makeover Posts

Stone fireplace, dark brown wood mantel, large mirror, greenery in vases on mantel, candles in fireplace, linen curtains

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Oh wow, it turned out so nice! It really does look different than it did before. I never knew there was a laser level! That’s a nice touch to color in the holes to match the color of the mantel.

  2. The old mantel looked fine, but the new one is FANTASTIC!

  3. This mantel is so much better! Loved how you styled it too.

  4. Wow it is beautiful! Very stunning, love the look!

  5. Juanita in OH says:


  6. What size of rebar was use?
    How deep was the hole that they drilled into the stone and wall?
    Please respond.

    I love the new look.!!

  7. I love the mantel and corbels in the first picture shown- what size is the Mantel and stain color – and what size corbels? Thank you, Jill jjvick1@me.com

  8. How did you disguise the granite slab?

    1. The new wood mantel covers most of it and a little gray paint mixed with white to paint over the old granite 🙂

  9. Jack Wilson says:

    Very nice work..and a good decision. Does look much ‘warmer’.
    A friend and I cut two 5″ thick Cedar beams from a tree yesterday. They will be 5 ‘ long and about 10″ wide. They are for my two fireplaces.
    The beams are quite heavy and I was thinking about hollowing them out from the back some to reduce their weight. I am also wondering, after seeing your project, whether I should use rebar, or get the pre-made bars with the rods..that screw into the fireplace. Mine are brick and mortar. I hope it turns out as well as yours did!

  10. Mantel looks great , except to me the trim around the fireplace looks like primer to me. At first glance that is what my eye said. Too stark. But you did a beautiful job and you love it and that is what matters.

    Have a great day.

      1. This. Is. AMAZING!!!! I love this so much! It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do to our mantle. We have a teeny tiny mantle on a giant stone wall. I’ve picked up some beams from my grandfather’s 130-year-old barn but have been stuck. I think the corbels are exactly what I’ve been missing. Did you make them? If so, do you have a template/instructions on how to make them? If you purchased them, where did they come from? Thank you so much!!! What a fabulous inspiration!!!

        1. Thank you! We actually had a family friend who is a cabinet maker , design and make the corbels. If you have extra beams, you could look for a local wood crafter to cut them and sand them for you. We had an extra beam so that’s what we did 🙂 You could google custom wood corbels , maybe wayfair?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nope sorry, looks nice but the granite(who would ever remove expensive granite) coordinated with the stone trim. The new wood, only my opinion, would go better on more rustic fireplace.

  12. Danielle Bosse says:

    What are the dimensions of these corbels? I am stuck trying to decide on the dimensions. This looks amazing. Thank you

    1. Hi, the mantel is 70″ long, 11″ deep and 6″ high. The corbels are 12.5″ long and 9″ deep . Thank you 🙂

  13. marilyn hull-parkes says:

    It`s turned out amazing, what a difference it has made, it,s fabulous,,

  14. Anonymous says:

    I love your wood mantel. Can you please provide the height and the depth. Thanks.

    1. Hi, the mantel is 70″ long, 11″ deep and 6″ high. The corbels are 12.5″ long and 9″ deep . Thank you 🙂

  15. Hi! Beautiful work! Can you tell me where you found your corbels? About what size did you go with? Thank you!

    1. thank you! They were custom made and 13″ long x 5.5″ wide, the are 9″ deep at the top (near the mantel) and 2.5″ deep at the bottom.

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