September 26, 2009

The New Hearth - Finishing The Brickwork

Well, finished for now anyway. Dan has built it up from the first course of bricks, to as high as we are going to go to create our woodstove alcove.

While Dan did the mortaring, I helped prepare the bricks.

Soaking the bricks in preparation for the mortarFirst they are soaked in water for 45 minutes.

Allowing surface water to evaporateThen they are allowed to dry, but just until the surface moisture evaporated off. After that they were ready for the mortar.

Continuing laying the brickDan found it a real challenge to keep everything squared and level, especially considering the irregularities of our old bricks.

Another course of bricks
Wire mesh wall tieWire mesh is used as wall ties every three courses of bricks.

This is itThis is almost the same height that the living room fire place was.

Here's what it looks like from the backside, from the bedroom fireplace...

The back, from the bedroom fireplace.The brick still needs to be cleaned off after the mortar has had a chance to cure.

The next step will be finishing off the upper part of the alcove (continue on to that post here.) After that the stove can go in! Hopefully just before our first frost!

The New Hearth - Finishing The Brickwork text & photos copyright 


  1. What an enormous work, and the result is so professional. i'm really impressed.

  2. Lovely work Leigh, kudos to you both for a job well
    done. I bet the first firing up of that stove will be cause for celebration. Keep champagne on hand to christen it. :-0

  3. it's shaping up - you made a lot of progress! I hated having to remove the concrete mess on our bricks and tiles - it's a yucky and boring work of endless wiping and water changing:(( I hope you'll make it before it gets really cold!

  4. Great job!!!!!! You two have worked so hard and looks like it's paying off.

  5. Wow! Your DH did an awesome job! I really like he for hire when you get your place done? ;o)

    I hope you're able to get the stove in before your first frost too! We've already switched over to the furnace and lit the pilot light on the gas fireplace. Course I should have cleaned the fireplace first! LOL

  6. That looks really good. Burning your first fire, after rushing to get everything in on time, is such a sweet feeling.

  7. Charlotte, thank you! My DH will be pleased that you said so.

    Theresa, I hadn't thought about christening it! Great idea!

    Bettina, isn't it a job though! Hopefully finishing off the top of the alcove won't be so messy. But then, there's the floor, which we messed up a bit. :(

    Barb, thanks!

    Renee, well, maybe after we finish everything. Considering our project list, that should be somewhere around 2039. :)

    Razzberry Corner, thanks!

    Robin, I think you are 100% correct on that. I look forward to it.

  8. I can't believe the bricks look almost like new! He has done such a wonderful job.

  9. Cool! I love seeing the bricks go up. But why do you have to wet them first?

  10. Thank you Julie!

    Benita, good question. For one thing it cleans them. But more importantly, if they aren't wet, they will absorb moisture from the mortar, which will cause problems with the drying and curing process.


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