How to lay a brick fireplace surround

Updated April 17, 2017

Brick fireplaces are a traditional element in many American homes. They offer a peaceful and warm feeling that cannot be replicated by other heat sources. Brick is also the safest surround material for fireplaces. Not only are brick fireplaces found inside homes, but an increase in outdoor liveable space has created a desire to build them outside the home as well. Laying a brick fireplace surround is a moderately easy task that most do-it-yourselfers can achieve.

Measure the area you will be surrounding with bricks. Determine the desired width and height. Calculate the measurements to figure out the square footage. Do this by multiplying the width by the height. Use square footage to determine how many bricks you'll need.

Buy the bricks from a home improvement store. Keep in mind that brick colour will look different indoors than it does outdoors. Choose bricks wisely to match the interior or exterior decor of your home.

Lay and level a concrete slab against the base of the fireplace. Place the forms into a rectangular shape, creating a base around the fireplace. Place mesh wire inside the forms. Pour the concrete into two sections to lessen the possibility of cracking. Allow the slab to cure completely for two days before removing the forms.

Add a layer of mortar to the concrete slab using a trowel. Begin applying bricks using mortar in between each layer of brick. Use a hammer to tap bricks into place in a straight line. Use a level to make sure the bricks are even. Continue upwards until you reach the desired height of your fireplace.

Things You'll Need

  • Bricks
  • Trowel
  • Concrete
  • Tape measure
  • Mortar
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Mesh wire
  • Slab forms
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About the Author

Residing in Morgantown, W.Va., Heather Preston began writing professionally in 2010. Her work has been published on Web sites such as eHow and She holds a Bachelor of Science in design and advertising from West Virginia University and is currently attending Fairmont State University as a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program.