We recently received some stunning photos of a fireplace wall design created by a homeowner using our panels and a great attention to detail.
FauxPanels and fireplaces go together like peanut butter and jelly – only if you have small kids, you’ll know the panels look a lot better all over your wall!
This week we’re featuring a project done by customer Jack Millelot that really blew us away – and demonstrated a meticulous attention to detail.
From the after photos you can see our Norwich Colorado Stacked Stone panels in realistic Earth hue creating a floor-to-ceiling accent wall — surrounding a recessed fireplace with a gleaming wood-look mantel in the center.
Jack very kindly sent us step-by-step photos of his installation – but what really surprised and impressed us were some careful steps he took that went beyond the standard installation.
The first step Jack took was to install his wood-look mantel – which is actually the opposite of how we might recommend it! He mounted his mantel in a similar fashion to how you’d install one of the mantels from our sister site, FauxWoodBeams.com. A mounting strip was drilled into the studs beneath the drywall, and the hollow mantel was then slotted over the strip and secured with nails (we generally recommend screws, but Jack’s mantel still looks fantastic.)
In a regular installation, we’d probably recommend mounting the mantel afterward – especially if it’s a hollow or faux wood one – since you can drill right through our panels into the studs beneath, and secure a mounting strip or mounting blocks right on top of the panel surface.
However, Jack’s method worked well too – and gave him an opportunity to impress us with how he then tackled installing a seamless stone surface across the entire wall.
Instead of installing the mantel on top of the panels, he instead decided to trim the panels to fit flush around it – by trimming them to size with regular woodworking tools. Because our panels are made from lightweight and durable polyurethane, this is simple to do – but the quality of the end result is determined by the care and attention you give to measuring the cutout sections meticulously – and as you can see, Jack didn’t cut any corners when it came to this step (well, except the corners he was meant to cut!)
As a result, when he installed the first panel on the wall, it slotted perfectly over the pre-installed mantel; and looked flawless.
The picture of that first panel also demonstrates the careful and accurate measurements Jack took over the rest of the wall – carefully marking the drywall with pencil to ensure that every panel fit perfectly. The old adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ is always valid; but Jack was uncompromising in the accuracy of his measurements.
This was important because, like with the wood-look mantel, he bucked our recommendations slightly be installing the first panel mid-way up the wall; flush with the top edge of the recessed fireplace. We normally recommend starting installation from the bottom, left-hand corner of the surface you’re trying to cover – because our panels are designed to interconnect with each other for a seamless stone pattern. However, once again, the end results prove that Jack knew what he was doing when he took this approach.
Prior to installing the panels, Jack sat down with each panel and carefully touched up and detailed them with a variety of color-matched paints, to make sure the stone texture was flawless. Due to the durable nature of our panels, this isn’t a step most homeowners need to take – but as you can see; Jack is uncompromising about every detail and he wanted his fireplace to look perfect.
Following the touch-up, Jack began to install the panels using construction adhesive and screws; perfectly lining up each interconnecting panel to make sure the stonework pattern was absolutely flawless. The final touch was to use that same painstaking attention to detail in measuring the top and bottom panels and ensuring they fit flush with the wall.
And just like that – Jack was done!
The beautiful clock and candles on the fully-functional mantel really showcased the stone texture; and served to highlight the impact the beautiful fireplace has in the room. It’s a stunning project and we’re thrilled to feature it on our blog – but even more thrilled that Jack shared the step-by-step installation process he went through so you can see just how much care and attention he invested in his work.