How to Install a Fireplace Mantle?

Thoughts before you proceed:

  • What type of mantle do you want? (Materials, design & size)
  • What type of substrate do you have? (Drywall, stone, wood)
  • What type of framing is in your wall? (Metal studs, wood studs, concrete)
  • What size do you want the mantle to be?
  • What height do you want the mantle to be?

It is a good idea before you start to use “Painters tape” to layout your mantle shape on the wall to decide what will look the best for you. Make sure you also layout the supports too as they will take up space between the fireplace top and the bottom of the mantle

Since most mantles are fairly heavy you may need help with this project, and you need to ensure that your anchors or fasteners will support the mantle and the items you want to display on them, Pictures would not be very heavy but a full display of books would be.

Typically framing in most older houses and some newer ones are wood framing or studs. And usually they are on 16” centers, meaning each upright stud is exactly 16” from the center of one to the next stud. But keep in mind they may be on 24” center or 12” center. And there may be more between them for additional support or wall connections.

You can use an electronic stud finder or tap on the wall to determine the estimated location of all studs near your fireplace. Once you think you have one located drive a small nail into the wall in that location, then use a tape measure and mark 16” and drive another small nail in that location and see if you hit another stud. If you are only going through drywall you can tell because the nail will have more resistance when taping it in.

Below is a sample of wall studs: Note the 1’ 4” mark on the wall. This is on 16” centers; Now that you have located the wall studs it is time to install the shelf/mantle supports to the studs.

Step 1
Step 1

The picture below would be your wall if you could see through the fireplace into the wall. Notice I put two shelf brackets on the wall in line with the wood studs. This will provide enough support for a basic mantle

Step 2
Step 2

Now we will change the view to better show the brackets:

Step 3
Step 3

After securing the brackets or supports to the wall it will look like the following:

Step 4
Step 4

Now we are ready to install the shelf or mantle. The sample I am using is a “Rough sawn cedar board”

Step 5
Step 5

Make sure that you secure all support blocks, shelf brackets etc. Firmly to the wall/studs before proceeding. Next we will cover up the exposed shelf brackets with matching wood.

Step 6
Step 6

Now we will install the trim to the main mantle shelf, which will also help to hide the metal shelf brackets and provide a ledge that will prevent smaller display items from falling off the mantle.

The front trim piece can be store bought and cut to size if you want a very ornate face without having to do all the detail work with a saw.
Below is what my sample mantle looks like alone:

Mantle
Mantle
Side Angle
Side Angle
Completed Fireplace Mantle
Completed Fireplace Mantle

How to Build a Dog House?

Before you get started you will need to think of the following:

  • Size of animal you wish to build the house for
  • The house should be large enough for two of the same size animals to lay in
  • The height and width of the door way should be 4” taller and wider than the expected size of the dog when fully grown
  • Make sure that if you are in a extreme cold weather that you also install insulation in the floor, walls and ceiling but still provide ventilation.
  • A material list will not be provided for this project since there are many sizes of dog houses

You will first need to layout the concrete blocks to support the dog house and elevate it off the ground to reduce rot and help keep the animal dry.

Step 1
Step 1

Next you will need to start laying out the wood floor framing:

Step 2
Step 2

The floor is the next item to install (3/4” Plywood works well for this)

Step 3
Step 3

Next you will install the bottom plate to fabricate the walls

Step 4
Step 4

You are now ready to start building the walls

Step 5
Step 5

The upright studs will attach to the base plate and should be laid out like the above picture

Step 6
Step 6

As shown above the studs are standing up and are 3’4” tall (Large breed dog)

Step 7
Step 7

The above picture shows the roof framing from the side view, the next several images will be different views of the roof layout so you can relate them to your project

Step 8
Step 8
Step 9
Step 9

You are now ready to install the roof decking

Step 10
Step 10
Step 11
Step 11

By this point you have the concrete blocks in place, floor main framing, floor sheathing, wall studs, roof rafters and roof decking, Now all you will need to do is install sheathing on walls and create the entry then finally install the roofing, trim and paint the dog house (The following pictures are examples of what it will look like through the project and the completed project

Step 12
Step 12
Step 13
Step 13
Step 14
Step 14
Step 15
Step 15

How to Install Tile Backsplash?

Adding a tile backsplash to your kitchen adds value and beauty to your kitchen, And is a very easy project which can be done over a weekend, and is not very expensive to do.

  • 1st Measure the area that you want to install the backsplash, be sure to include the area behind the stove.
  • 2nd pick up a few samples at a local hardware store of the materials and patterns you are interested in. (Most stores will allow you to borrow samples or purchase them and give you a refund if you decide that you don’t like them.)
  • 3rd Set aside at least 2 days that you will have several hours each day to work on this project.

You will need the following materials:

  • Tile
  • Adhesive (Tile adhesive or liquid nails)
  • Tile Spacers
  • Grout (You will need to select a color)
  • Sealer (Clear)
  • Tile install kit (Usually comes with sponge, bucket, trowel, glue spreader)
  • Tile saw or cutter
Step 1
Step 1
  • Never apply more adhesive that you will be able to install tile to before the glue dries, you may want to pre-cut small tiles or around plug outlets prior to applying glue
  • Always line up your first set of tiles ¼” inside the cabinet line as shown below:
Step 2
Step 2

This will allow room for grout at end of tiles so that the edge will not be seen.

  • Apply adhesive or liquid nails to the wall in area that you will be able to cover
  • You can use the small tile spacers to hold the tile ¼” above the existing countertop
  • And then install them between each tile to ensure that the gaps are the same size
  • See below for a sample
Step 3
Step 3

Now that you have the first couple of tile in place, press them firmly and evenly against the adhesive

  • Continue to install the tile with the ¼” spacer installed between each tile and work your way across and up the area to be covered. Leave all tile that needs to be cut to a smaller size until last.
  • The tile spacers will only stay in place until the glue sets (The next day)
  • Then remove the tile spacers and discard them
  • You are now ready to mix the grout (Pre-Colored) Read the mixing and application directions on the package
  • Install the grout using the flexible trowel pressing the grout into every gap with pressure
  • After covering all grout gaps wipe of excess grout with damp cloth or sponge
  • Do not attempt to clean the haze off of the tile until it has set for 24 hours
  • Then use grout haze remover or a coarse sponge to remove the grout and clean the tile
  • This step may require multiple cleanings as the tile grout dries completely
  • You are now ready to seal your tile grout to prevent discoloration and staining
  • Wait 24 hours between sealer coats or applications so that it will dry completely
Step 4
Step 4

How To Build A Dining Table?

Dining Table
Dining Table

Constructing The Top Of The Table

Step 1. The first thing that you will need to do when you want to make your own dining room table is to decide what shape you want the top to be. The possibilities are truly endless. You can opt for a rectangular, square, oval or round shaped table or you can select a shape that is special and unique.

Step 2. You will need to purchase a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood that is ¾’’ thick. This can be purchases in pine, oak, cherry wood, mahogany or any other type of wood material you wish to construct your table in. Keep in mind however, that the more exotic the wood style that you select the more expensive this can be. You should also know that in order to get the best results and to make sure that your table lasts for many years to come you will need to know about any special maintenance certain wood varieties will require.

Step 3. You will need to draw your desired pattern onto the 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood. Using a saw cut out your pattern. If you have someone who can help hold the wood for you it is possible to use a table saw. If you are going to be doing this project alone it is probably going to be easier to use a handheld jigsaw style saw to cut out your wooden pattern that will be used for the top of the table.

Step 4. Use an electric sander or router to round out the side edges for your table top. This will help to produce a more desired finished look when your table is completely constructed.

Step 5. Sand the entire surface of your table top with a fine grit sandpaper. This will remove any rough edges and even out the surface for a more appealing finished table top.

Step 6. On the underside of your table you will need to determine where you want to place the legs for your table. Use a measuring tape to mark them accordingly and to make sure you can maintain stability and uniform structure for your table.

Step 7. Use a round cutting bit that is approximately 1” in diameter to cut down into the wood on the underside of your table. You will only want to cut down ½” to provide the proper support area for the legs of your table. You will need to chisel out the rounded area and make sure that it is as flush as possible. Do this for all 4 leg positioning locations that you have marked out.

Alternative Table Top Method

An alternative method for constructing your dining room table is to use a door as your table top. Solid core doors provide the best results and give you the ability to cut and shape your table top to your style. Make sure that the door has a flat surface and is not patterned.

Constructing The Leg Supports For Your Dining Room Table

Step 1. To construct the leg supports for your dining room table there are various ways to do this. You can either purchase spindles that are sold in a home improvement store and most commonly used for decorative staircases or you can opt to make them out of 2” x 2” pieces of lumber. Determine how high you want your table to stand from the floor. This is the length of the spindles you will need to purchase. If making your legs from 2” x 2” lumber you will need to purchase enough to make four legs for your table.

Step 2. When you have four spindles or 2” x 2” pieces of lumber in your desired length you will need to use your round 1” diameter cutting bit to drill around the top of the leg. Only cut down ½”. This will be the rounded area inserted into the underside of the table top. You will need to remove all of the excess wood are the circular cut you made to make sure that it will fit into your rounded out hole on the bottom side of the table top.

Step 3. Use a medium grit sandpaper to make the rounded out support as smooth as possible but do not take away from the diameter of the circular area as this will cause an improper fitting when put in place with the table top.

Step 4. Apply a generous amount of wood glue into the hole located on the bottom of your table top. Place the leg into the hole and clamp it together with a vice grip or c-clamp making sure that there is pressure placed on the area but not enough to damage the pieces.

Step 5. Allow this to dry for 24 to 48 hours before removing the vice grips or c-clamps.

Step 6. Apply your desired stain, paint or finish.

How To Wall Mount a Flat Screen TV?

Wall Mount Flat Screen TV
Wall Mount Flat Screen TV

One of the most unique aspects of a flat screen television is the fact that the design allows the entire unit to be mounted flush against a wall, but few consumers take advantage simply because they believe the process to be much more complex than it actually is. It is important for individuals to realize that the flat screen televisions are designed to be viewed from directly ahead, and the optimal picture will only be achieved if it is positioned at the proper height. The easiest way to accomplish this task is to wall mount the unit, and the following guide can help a consumer determine where to begin.

Select an Appropriate Location

When looking for a place to wall mount a flat screen TV, it is necessary to consider several different factors. The mounting location is going to obviously need to be in the room that the television belongs in, and the specific place must work with the furniture arrangement. However, a consumer also must think about where the television will be plugged in for power. Various inputs from a satellite, cable, or DVD source may be required, and a person should at least consider how they are going to run the wires. Some flat screen televisions can support wireless sources, but others will require some type of external wiring. If external wiring is required, there is an additional paragraph below to provide more information.

Gather Necessary Materials / Equipment

– Stud Finder
– Level
– Hammer
– Drill
– Screwdriver
– Pencil
– Tape Measure
– Extra Pair of Hands

The necessary materials must be gathered prior to attempting to wall mount a flat screen TV, or serious damage or injury can occur. Televisions are often fairly heavy and an extra person should always be on hand before any lifting or installation is attempted.

Install Wall Mount for Flat Screen TV

The wall mount must be fastened securely, and the actual process will vary somewhat based on the type of mounting surface and the weight of the television. While it is a good idea to fix a wall mount directly to a stud or support beam, there are going to be installations in which this is simply impossible. A consumer can also utilize a wall mount that is designed to be used with drywall hangers, but it is important to note that this is only acceptable for smaller and lighter units. The installation instructions that come with the mount should be followed, but all mounts will require the same prep work. Installers should ensure that the wall mount is completely level before firmly fastening the final bracket or screw. After the mount is properly installed and securely fastened, the flat screen television is relatively easy to secure provided that additional help is handy.

Complete Wiring and Hook Up

Many of the modern flat screen televisions that are available will support wireless components, but there are still some that do not. Individuals that are going to have to deal with external wires can either run them down the wall and face looking at them constantly, or they can run the wires through the drywall. Drilling two holes in the drywall to allow the wires to run behind the wall is the most acceptable method, and it certainly isn’t difficult. However, a consumer that doesn’t feel comfortable with the wire running process should probably enlist the help of a qualified professional.

A flat screen television is designed to be displayed flush on a wall, and the above guide will help an individual learn how to properly complete the installation.