How to Replace a Fireplace Mantel. Putting a new, updated fireplace mantle in place adds a custom look and a unique focal point to the room. Don't put this project off if you have a sagging, faded or terribly outdated mantel. The update will do wonders for your home.
Remove the old fireplace by prying at the front edge to determine how it's connected. Most mantels are glued on or use wooden pegs to hold it to the bricks underneath them.
Measure the depth and width of the mantel with a metal measuring tape. This gives you the minimum dimensions of the mantel. If you prefer a wrap around or extended side mantel, adjust the measurements accordingly before purchasing the new mantel.
Place the new mantel over the brick supports if your fireplace has them and secure the mantel in place per the manufacturer's instructions. Paint or stain to match the room decor.
Cut a 2 x 2-inch ledger board to the width of the fireplace if you have a flat- faced fireplace. Level the ledger board at the height desired and drill through the wood into the brick with a mortar bit. Press lag sleeves into the brick and screw the ledger into place.
Set the new mantle into place and secure it directly to the ledger board with nails. Assemble any additional molding to the mantle and secure it in place. Verify the mantle is level and adjust the ledger board if necessary.