Airstone Fireplace – Quick, Cheap Upgrade

$75-$100

This method of changing the entire look of your fireplace is very easy. Not only does it transform your fireplace into a beautiful stone look, but it will update your house and potentially increase value. Transform a bland fireplace into an Airstone fireplace – in one weekend.

Please note that I am only speaking about updating a flat marble or flat stone fireplace. I’m not saying that this couldn’t work for other fireplace features and variations, but I have not tested it on them.

Upgrade your fireplace

This post will go over completely renovating (if you will) your fireplace with something called Air Stone. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a stone like material that is thin and lightweight.

As a matter of fact, if you felt it, you would have no idea that it wasn’t actual stone. It’s sold at Lowes and I think they have 3 different patterns to suit your taste. I went with the white/gray pattern since a more timeless look and can adapt to any home style, but the Airstone fireplace choice is yours.

DIY Fireplace with Airstone
This is a side view of the Airstone adhered to the face of the fireplace

This material is much lighter than actual stone, and can be cut with just a hacksaw. You can see that it’s semi porous in the picture above.

I did end up using my jigsaw to cut this, with a concrete blade or metal blade, for the sake of time. It was pretty effective but did require a blade change or two. That said, you’ll also want goggles and a mask. I also used the recommended Airstone adhesive, which seemed a lot like thin set, if you’ve ever used that stuff.

Reface your fireplace
Complete picture of my Airstone fireplace

Step 1: Measuring for your Airstone fireplace

This CAN be important because I started with the top of my fireplace that runs horizontal (right below the mantel) and lined up a couple of stones and whatta ya know? They fit perfectly. The idea was that I didn’t want to have to cut an entire row length wise to have them fit, because it would be more tedious.

I then laid out an entire row and measured them and they basically fit the mantel perfectly as well. It was only off about a half inch which I just filled in with the Air Stone adhesive.

How to build an Airstone Fireplace
A view of the vertical columns

I then measured vertically for the columns that go up the sides and saw that I would definitely need to cut one of the stones length wise on each side. All of these stones would also need to have their ends cut down a few inches to fit so they don’t overlap the fireplace.

Airstone

Step 2: Adhering the Horizontal section

I knew that all the pieces fit perfectly here, but if I just slapped on the adhesive, what would hold it up until it dried? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

So, I had to build some sort of scaffolding to keep it held up until it dried. To do this I had some wood left over (preferably 2×4’s) and just made a basic frame that would support the weight of the stones until they were completely dry. The stones should be able to rest on the top 2×4 so that they won’t fall or sag.

I don’t have pictures of this, but in the image crudely (and terribly) drawn below, you can see how this scaffolding should be built.

Some things to note:

  • When applying the adhesive, as they describe, put it on like you’re icing a cupcake, not just buttering a slice of bread.
  • For aesthetics, you’ll also want to stagger the pattern so that have some shorter pieces, longer pieces, and colors blended.

Step 3: Fitting the Vertical Section

After the top has set and dried, you can begin work on the sides. The obvious choice is to start on the bottom and work your way up, since the stones below will support the ones on top of it.

As I mentioned, I had to cut these to fit since they were too long. You can easily measure them, draw a line with a pencil directly on the stone, and cut it with a hacksaw, or jigsaw in my case. After that, slap the adhesive on the back of them and put them on until it’s complete. It’s that easy and should only take a weekend, including dry time.

There you have it! A brand new look to your fireplace. Coming soon, I’m going to build a fireplace from scratch, using an electric fireplace.

Leave your pictures below, with any questions/comments and let me know how your Airstone fireplace turns out. If you like this post, check out how we saved over $8,000 on DIY projects!

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