Mantel question

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 11-04-2013 11:46 PM 1667 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 2537 days

11-04-2013 11:46 PM

We have a fire place plugged with a pellet insert. It is in the middle of a large expanse of gray tile with the ugliest hearth in the world. I am not going to rip out the hearth because that will be a MUCH bigger job than I want to do right now, plus I would then have to replace it with something.

My wife and I were wanting to put up a mantel. I like the floating mantel look. How are these hung? I have read that some are hung with french cleats, others lags, or toggle bolts (I think that is the name). Would folks who have done this mind offering up some advice?

6 replies so far

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2935 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 12:04 AM

‘Floating’ shelves and the like can be done several ways but they’re frequently done with a ‘cleat’ anchored into the wall and it’s ‘opposite’ on the back of the piece to be hung. Hope that helps some…

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442 posts in 2537 days

#2 posted 11-05-2013 12:17 AM

It helps somewhat. Are these cleats put high on the mantle or in the middle? I was hoping to find a reclaimed beam to make it out of.

Also, would I have to ‘hollow’ out the back?

View patron's profile


13702 posts in 4081 days

#3 posted 11-05-2013 12:20 AM

another way is to anchor say a 2×4 or 2×6 to the face
with lags and expanding shields
or toggle bolts (if it is hollow back there
and make the mantle like a 5 sided box
(it can be done with stepped molding look
or however you like)
to slide over the 2×4 and attach to it with finnish nails
or screws and plugs

it will keep the weight down on the mantel
unlike a solid slab of wood
it can be fitted first (if surface is uneven some)
then taken and finished in the shop
till you get the look you like
without doing it in place

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 3177 days

#4 posted 11-05-2013 12:54 AM

Steve Ramsey did a floating shelf made from a split log. His video shows how to make the cleat to hang it. This is same type of system ScrubPlane is describing. It will work fine for your mantle.

Here’s a link to Steve’s video.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2467 days

#5 posted 11-05-2013 12:58 AM

Everything depends on the specifics, but, I have pre-drill holes into the studs and then screwed LONG 1/2” lag bolts into the studs, then cut off the heads and drill matching holes into the mantle, fill up the holes with epoxy, put liquid nail on the back of the mantle and press it into position. Might have to prop the mantle up until everything drys, again, depending on the specifics.
That’s how I did this one.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2989 days

#6 posted 11-05-2013 03:05 AM

Google french cleats and you will find several suppliers of metal cleats that are relatively inexpensive. You will have to route out the back of the mantel to make it sit flush to the wall.

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