Building a cement fireplace can be an amazingly rewarding job if done right. With some people usually going for fancy materials and finishes, it is the joy of using the most basic ingredients to produce something classy that distinguishes a cement fireplace from fireplaces based on other materials. Turning the most regular ingredients into class can be fun but complicated though. Use this step-by-step guide to learn the basics of making a cement fireplace. The tools and materials required for the job are given below.
Step 1 – Make a Template for the Fireplace
The first and most basic step for even a beginner craftsman should be coming up with a plan. You can do this by first making a template of the fireplace you wish to build with cement. Draw extensive plans with appropriate measurements. Take help from a partner if necessary.
Step 2 - Make the Mold for the Cement
Now, one of the most important steps in this process is to apply the measurements from your template to build a mold for the cement blocks you will need for the fireplace. Cut the melamine wood into appropriate lengths and attach them together with drywall screws. The width of the strips of melamine should be equal to the depth of the cement blocks you wish to make.
Step 3 – Get the Cement Ready
Mix Portland cement into pre-mixed concrete and achieve a clay-like consistency. Combine a color of your choice with water and then gradually pour the water into the cement-concrete mixture. Keep stirring with a shovel. You are aiming for the consistency that resembles bread dough. Keep mixing till that. When you have that consistency, you are ready to put the mixture into the mold.
Step 4 – Add Cement to Mold
After getting the desired consistency, add the mix to the mold in one layer first. Flatten the first layer. Then add another layer on top of it. Make sure the second layer is wetter. It will increase strength of the cement slabs. When the slabs have cured after a day, take them out and spray them with a mixture of water, coloring and cement that has been mixed to the consistency that resembles yogurt.
Step 5 – Install the Fireplace
You have the slabs ready for your fireplace. Follow your template that you drew in step 1 and install the slabs appropriately to the wall in your living room. Use construction adhesive to install the slabs. Screws can add to the strength of the installation too. To get a smooth marble-like finish for the fireplace, spray the cement slabs with pressurized air and then apply latex concrete binder on the slabs. Let this dry overnight. In the morning, use a heavy-grit diamond-coated pad to remove any burs that may be found on the cement fireplace. The end result will be a smooth, classy looking cement fireplace in a natural color that you will have chosen earlier. Your job is done.