I want to build a new mantel around a 1950's era fireplace. The bricks are flush with the wall at the base of the fireplace, but protrud out gradually and are even with the existing mantel at the top. Mantel kits don't seem to fit this style fireplace - any suggestions for a fairly inexperienced homeowner? Are there mantel kits for this style fireplace?
You don't say whether you want to see the brick work that tapers from the mantle to flush at the bottom. If you do, you'll have to scribe the mantle to sit on top of the brick face. I'm not familiar with the mantle kits but can imagine. If you can get one that will run outside the bricks, you could slide them up to the bricks and leave the whole brick exposed.
To attach it to the wall, you can just nail or screw some blocking on the wall, to nail the mantle sides onto.
I have never heard about any mantel kits either but while I have never made a mantel from scratch or made any mantel I know they are fairly easy to make. The best instruction I ever saw was on the New Yankee Workshop. Norm made two mantels that were just absolutely great and probably one of his easier projects.
The video for the project is available on the New Yankee Workshops website at [url]www.newyankee.com[/url] and you will be looking for season 9 just click on that and you should be able to make your order.
Before you do order the video though consult your building inspectors office on the spacing of mantels and your firebox in the fireplace. Norm said in his state where he lives they regulate the spacing as to how far away the wood has to be away from the firebox. Once you know that you are all set and ready to make your own mantel. Good luck and if you have time please post some pictures of the completed mantel.