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Thread: Another Floating Shelf Bracket Question

  1. #1

    Another Floating Shelf Bracket Question

    Most of the floating shelf brackets I've seen appear to be tailored for fastening to studs. I need a bracket for a 60"L x 8"D x 5 1/2" H cedar fireplace mantle. The bracket will be mounted in a brick mortar bead. The Studlock bracket looks very nice but I can't see how this would work for my application due to the mounting holes being on the top and bottom edge of the bracket rather than centered. I did find this bracket https://www.diyhairpinlegs.com/produ...40695207526587 that looks pretty good but wondered if anyone else has suggestions for mortar mounted brackets.

  2. #2
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    Why use a bracket? Just drill the mortar joint for rods.

  3. #3
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    Note: you need to heed the fireplace manufacturer's distance requirements to a flammable mantle if you are using cedar. Mount to too close and you can have a fire.

    These are the ones I plan to use for a shelf (not a mantle) in a current project: https://www.sheppardbrackets.com

    If you're building a 5" tall mantle, even if it is hollow, you can put extra stock in the right places so that the Sheppard mounts can go into the middle of the 5 1/2" mantle.

    Do you know what the framing looks like behind where you plan to mount the mantle? Often there is a double 2*6 header over the top of the fireplace insert that can be used for mounting a mantle. With a previously installed fireplace you may be able to get into the attic and peek down into the fireplace 'framed box' to see what the framing looks like.

    I'm having a custom steel mantle made so I can get it closer to my firebox. I can't do a combustable (wood) mantle within 18" of our new 41,000 BTU/hr fireplace so I'm going with steel.
    Mark McFarlane

  4. #4
    Steve, my concern with drilling the joint for the rods centers around being able to drill the mantel in exactly the same plane as the rods. My experience with drilling mortar and other types of concrete is that bits tend to wander just a tad making exact alignment difficult.

    Mark, the Sheppard brackets look to be identical to the Studlock ones I linked to. Only the shortest brackets have a single row of notches for mounting.
    Good point about fire code with combustible materials. Most of the references I saw show a 6" separation from the top of the fire box to the bottom of the mantel. One source showed 12" .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Krawford View Post
    ...
    Good point about fire code with combustible materials. Most of the references I saw show a 6" separation from the top of the fire box to the bottom of the mantel. One source showed 12" .
    FWIW, every fireplace has different thermal characteristics in front of and above the firebox. It's safest to check the documentation for your specific make and model. If you are replacing a mantle with similar material at the same location you are probably OK but if its a new install or you want to relocate the mantle,...

    As I said, my fireplace is 18". Granted, it's a 5' wide linear model that can be rigged up to heat multiple rooms with either active or passive venting.

    The Sheppard bracket company sells a drill guide to help you drill square into the shelf/mantle.
    Mark McFarlane

  6. #6
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    Check out the HOVR bracket system
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  7. #7
    The HOVR system looks interesting but would run $110 for the size I need. I believe the Sheppard drill guide is only for drilling the shelves. My alignment concern is accurately drilling the mortar joint.
    While on the subject of drilling mortar joints, what's your favorite type of anchor for this application?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Krawford View Post
    ...
    While on the subject of drilling mortar joints, what's your favorite type of anchor for this application?
    I've had some luck using Tapcon connectors directly into a hole drilled in mortar, but I've also sheared off a few driving them into the mortar. That quickly becomes a real PITA. Make sure you use the exact bit size specified.

    I'm not sure if they make one heavy duty enough for a mantle but they have worked fine for a hose reel, a 15lb wall fountain,...
    Mark McFarlane

  9. #9
    Mark I've had exactly the same experience with Tapcons. Definitely a love/hate relationship.

  10. #10
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    GRK Caliburn concrete screws are about 100x better than tapcons. Try one, I bet you won't go back.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Why use a bracket? Just drill the mortar joint for rods.
    I built my wife a mantle some years ago using a timber from a 100 year-old dam we removed on one of our projects. As Steve has suggested, I drilled into the mortar/rock and installed all thread (epoxied in place) and drilled matching holes in the timber. I didn't epoxy the timber on, just friction fit. I did hide some shelf brackets in corbels near each end. It was plenty stout.

    Picture was when I was in the middle of doing my floors but the mantle is in the background.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Regards,

    Kris

  12. #12
    The GRK Caliburn concrete screws sound interesting but am hesitant to spend $30-35 when I only need 5-6 screws. Wish they came in smaller packs,

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