Reply by Torr

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Posted on MDF or Plywood for fireplace mantel and surround

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19 posts in 2673 days

#1 posted 03-19-2011 04:56 AM

I used MDF for the legs and facing, but ply for the mantel shelf, using the theory the shelf would get more wear and tear. The legs were 3-sided boxes with lock miters, nailed from the sides into cleats mounted to the wall. The shelf and facing were similar, then trimmed with molding and painted. Surround and hearth were tiled first, then mantel built in place. Here is the result….

P.S. The manual for my gas fireplace had clearly defined clearances to combustibles including the allowable projection of the shelf at varying heights. You’d behoove yourself to check this for your application. For wood burning fireplaces I believe this is addressed in the various building codes. I definitely noticed the shelf getting warm when the blower was not turned on when the fireplace was running. I personally would absolutely respect any clearance requirements….


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