Building a stone wall for your fireplace adds a touch of creativity and uniqueness to your home. You can build it several ways, with or without a compacting agent such as mortar. A freestanding stone wall can be a bit intricate, but is more pleasing to the eye. Using mortar will assure it is properly stabilized and minimizing the chance that your wall will fall. Either way you are sure to love this design.
Step 1: Choose Your Materials
You can use any type, shape or color stone that is available. The options are near endless. Granite is a favorite amongst most people and for good reason. It has a smooth finish and varies in color and patterns. Choosing granite will add more personality to your stone wall. If you are going to build a freestanding wall you will likely need to choose a more characteristically shaped stone. The free standing walls require almost fitting pieces. Granite tends to be similar in shape from stone to stone. Mortar can be bought at any home remodeling store; it should be on the same aisle that you would find concrete mix.
Step 2: Organize
Lay out your stones and place the pieces the look like they fit together so you can plan the stacking precisely. Freestanding walls are an art form and is very time consuming. Regardless of the method you choose for your wall, you will need to establish a base to build upon. You should outline the shape you want your stone wall to imitate and outline it on the wall. Once you have done all of that it is time to stack.
Step 3: Stacking Properly
In either case it is best to use mortar the base to set the stacking process. As you stack upwards, try to use rocks that form fit one another, because whether you choose the freestanding method or mortar method, you will want to minimize the look of the mortar on the wall. Use the mortar every time that you come across a situation where you cannot find two pieces of rock that fit against one another. This should be liberal to minimize the mortar view.
Step 4: Recheck
Stack it all the way to the top. You should have made it to the top with minimal use of the mortar and now that you have you are going to need to use a bit of that leftover mortar to set the wall at the top. You are going to want to use mortar around all of the edges to make sure everything is even and that there are not any gaps in your handiwork.
A Few Things to Remember
Before building your stone wall you should make sure your home will safely accommodate the wall. Stone walls are very heavy and your floor should be in sound condition before you begin. If there are any repairs needed to the floors, this should be done before the building of the wall.
For added safety, before stacking the stones, you might consider laying down a layer of mortar all the way to the top of the wall. This can prevent the stones from tumbling while you work.