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-   -   Mounting heavy item to plaster covered brick chimney (https://www.contractortalk.com/f11/mounting-heavy-item-plaster-covered-brick-chimney-420225/)

ChrisSekely 07-08-2019 09:44 PM

Mounting heavy item to plaster covered brick chimney
 
My parents live in an old house with lathe and plaster walls. They have an unused chimney coming up through their living room. This chimney is covered directly with plaster-no convenient studs to work with. Here's my problem: I would like to mount a mantle on this wall. While it's not extremely heavy, I do like to over-engineer/overbuild things to prepare for things (such as maybe my younger niece and nephews deciding to hang from it). Obviously I can't prepare for everything, but I do want it to be mounted as securely as possible. Now, I could try to use longer Tapcons into the brick or even run toggle bolts into the chimney, but what if I drill through I grout line? Note: I can't see where the grout lines are through the plaster. Of course I could deliberately remove some of the plaster to determine the grout pattern, but I *really* don't want to have to do that. Any thoughts??

dielectricunion 07-08-2019 09:53 PM

I would attach some kind of ledger board with tapcons like you said. If it's an old chimney, you should know if you accidentally hit mortar. That old lime mortar gets pretty soft, especially after running gas appliances for decades, eating away at it.


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ChrisSekely 07-08-2019 10:06 PM

Dielectricunion...Thanks for your answer. It seems very sensible. While I don't completely trust myself to be able to feel mortar lines, maybe I should. At any rate, I have no other good option yet. I will see if anyone else responds before I'm ready to start this project, but I'm guessing I will end up going with your suggestion-or something very similar. Thanks again.

dielectricunion 07-08-2019 10:20 PM

Or start drilling your pilot holes with the drill NOT in hammer drill mode. Then it will go relatively easily when hitting mortar but should slow down considerably if youre into clay brick


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sunkist 07-10-2019 01:53 PM

Is there lathe on the brick ?, a sleeved anchor of some sort ?, Tapcons would not be my choice I would be concerned about cracking old plaster when sucking up the mantle.

SmallTownGuy 07-10-2019 02:47 PM

lathe "lath"

sunkist 07-10-2019 04:32 PM

Now I know cramming that 4 year degree into 6 was a mistake I should have taken the spelling part for another 50k :jester:

dielectricunion 07-10-2019 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunkist (Post 7576511)
Is there lathe on the brick ?, a sleeved anchor of some sort ?, Tapcons would not be my choice I would be concerned about cracking old plaster when sucking up the mantle.



The plaster laid over brick chimneys has always been the most sound, in my experience- even when most of the rest of the walls are failing


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ChrisSekely 07-12-2019 11:11 PM

Thanks guys. I will try to respond better soon. But I am reading these and do appreciate the help.

fjn 07-14-2019 07:06 PM

This week,I had a conversation with the managing engineer for the parent company that makes Spax lag screws. He said even though they are not listed in product info.,their screws can be driven into masonry with a pilot hole. Also,they make them up to 1/2" diameter,more than stout enough for a mantel.


https://spax.us/products/powerlags/h...-hcr-powerlags

Easy Gibson 07-15-2019 10:13 PM

Figure out where you're putting the mantel and draw a light pencil line around in. You are now allowed to make as much of a mess as you want within that boundary.
Get your hammer drill and start making a couple test holes to find brick and not mortar. You know how you'll be able to tell? The roto hammer will start shooting red dust everywhere.
Once you've got a good line to work off of, set your bracket of choice up there, mark the holes, then go to town. I've had great success with sleeve anchors into brick.

What kind of bracket are you using?


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