How to Repair a Stone Veneer Fireplace

What You'll Need
Safety Goggles
Wire Brush
Metal Lath

A stone veneer fireplace makes a beautiful addition to your home. Stone veneer is made from molds that duplicate the appearance of natural stone. The element of time or accidents may cause your stone veneer finish to become damaged by breakage or loosened from its place. Repairing the stone veneer damage to your fireplace is not as difficult as the task may look. With the proper instruction and material, your fireplace can look as good as new. Follow the steps below to repair the damage to your fireplace on your own.

Step 1 - Determine Extent of Damage

With your gloves and goggles on, inspect your fireplace. If you have a section or multiple sections of your stone veneer fireplace that have become broken or loosened, it is necessary to remove the stone molding to determine if the underlying metal lath has been ripped or pulled out completely. If the lath is damaged, it will be necessary to do a complete replacement.

Step 2 - Remove Mortar from Damaged Area

To remove mortar from the damaged areas, you will need to use your hammer and chisel. Carefully place the chisel against the mortar and hammer skillfully to loosen the mortar without disturbing neighboring pieces of stone. Dispose of the chunks of mortar to keep area free of debris.

Step 3 -  Expose Metal Lath 

Use the wire brush to brush away excess debris from the chiseled mortar. Carefully examine the lath to determine if it is in good repair. Gently rub your gloved hand across the surface of the lath. If it does not give a rough feeling, the lath will need to be replaced.

Step 4 - Replace Metal Lath 

Remove old lath from the wall and clean the area by brushing away dust and debris with your metal brush. Once the area is clean, you can cut the new lath to the same dimensions as the old lath. Nail the new lath into place and spread mortar 1/2 inch thick with your trowel. Allow the mortar to dry completely. Once the mortar is dry, you can add ridges to it with the edge of your trowel. This will improve adhesiveness of the new stone veneer mold.

Step 5 - Dry Fit Stone Veneer Molding

Before securing the replacement stone veneer molding, it is recommended that you dry fit the molding to ensure that it seats properly in the empty space. If any adjustments are needed to your mold, do it now before moving to next step.

Step 6 - Apply New Mold

After you have dry fitted the new molding, you can now begin the permanent installation. Apply mortar to the back of the stone veneer molding. With the pointed edge of your trowel, make v-shaped pockets to further help the molding bond itself into place. Place the molding into place adjusting it for a perfect fit.

Step 7 - Smooth The Seams

 Once the molding is in place, use the jointer to smooth the seams of around the molding to give it a concave appearance.