Family Room Makeover Part 4: AirStone Fireplace Makeover

Now comes the fun part.  The AirStone fireplace paired with the wood mantel and the white IKEA Billy Bookcase “built-ins) is absolutely stunning and completely changed the whole look and feel of our family room.  Not only do we have more storage than we will ever need – we now have a focal point in the room.  I will say AirStone is very easy to install but it is like a puzzle.  So if you hate puzzles this isn’t for you.  But if puzzles are your jam – read on!

DIY stone fireplace



If you are just joining me here check out these posts to see how we arrived here:

Family Room Makeover Part 1: Installing the IKEA Billy Bookcase Built-Ins

Family Room Makeover Part 2: Framing out the Fireplace

Family Room Makeover Part 3: Building a Hollow Rustic Mantel

Things you Need To Know About AirStone:

  • It is sold exclusively at Lowes (but you may have to special order it)
  • They have two different types of stone flat and corner pieces
  • Right now it only comes in three color collections, I used the Spring Creek
  • It is 75% lighter than regular stone so it can be installed on most flat vertical surfaces
  • It can be use indoors or outdoors
  • While they recommend a masonry blade I just used an old blade on my miter saw and it worked well

installing airstone

  • You definitely want to to cut the pieces outdoors if you can.  The fine dust it emits gets everywhere (see pic above – my garage was a hot mess)
  • Wear hearing protection, eye protection and ear protection when cutting the AirStone
  • No special wall prep needed beforehand

safety first when instaling a stone fireplace

Here is some more FAQ’s about AirStone if you are interested in the product.

You will start with the bottom and work your way up.  There are two different types of stones: flat pieces and corner pieces.  The only time we used corner pieces was on the corner edges of the fireplace surround.  The rest are flat edge pieces.  The weird part about the stone is that it appears that every stone is slightly different.  I don’t know how they fabricate that but even the colors are slightly different.  It is realllllly beautiful and looks like real stacked stone.

built in stone fireplace

There is a whole lot of marking, cutting and fitting.  And then you realize you need a hair more talen off so you have to re-cut.  When you get to inner corners you just butt up two flat stones together making sure to not always end with the same sized piece.

airstone built in fireplace

To adhere the adhesive you just use a putty knife and frost each piece like a cupcake and stick it directly to the wall.  That is one of the nice parts about AirStone is that you don’t need any special mesh or backerboard because it is lightweight.

airstone spring creek

All the stones stack on top of each other so you don’t need to grout in between either.  When you get to a surface where there is no stone underneath it, like the top of the fireplace insert, you will have to build some sort of brace to hold the stones in place while it dries.  We just used some 2 x 4’s cut to fit to brace it in place overnight.

airstone fireplace brace

We adhered the AirStone up until the mantel.  This is where the cuts get tricky.  We had to cut the stones horizontally in order to make them fit.

built in fireplace with stone

spring creek air stone

Next we slid the mantel in place and air nailed it to the 2 x 4 we installed (see yesterday’s post).

stone fireplace with wood mantel

The other tricky part was installing it around our TV mount.  A couple of months back I shared with you about the Mantel Mount for my TV.  It is awesome because we can pull the TV down off the wall and swivel it for perfect viewing anywhere in the room.  However, just like the top of the fireplace, we had to install a bracket to hold the stone in place while it dried.  We decided to add a permanent angle brace above the Mantel Mount to give some stability so the stone wouldn’t slide while drying.  We just stacked the stones night on top of the brace.

angle brace for stone fireplace

mantel mount

mantel mount with stone fireplace

Note: The gray cover comes with the Mantel Mount to cover the brace and look nicer.  All our TV cords are actually behind the wall and ran through PVC piping into our basement, which has a drop ceiling.  We then ran the cords up through the family room floor (in more PVC piping) and our blu-ray player, Direct TV box, etc. sits on an end table.

DIY stone fireplace

Again we had tricky cuts for the very last stones at the top.

cutting-stone-for-a-fireplace

I let all the stones dry for 24 hours and then I removed my temporary brace above the fireplace insert.  And then I stood back and oohed and ahhed for hours. Stunning!

airstone fireplace

DIY stone fireplace with wood mantel

To finish off this wall I need to add baseboards, crown molding, new knobs and then patch the extra holes for the adjustable shelving in the Billy Bookcases.  And then touch up paint.  Stay tuned!

stone fireplace with built in cabinets

So while I did not pay for the product (it was given to me for promotion purposes)  The total cost of the stone and adhesive for this 80” x 9.5’ fireplace (6 boxes of flat stones and 2 boxes or corner stones) would be $420.67 plus tax.  Each box retails for $49.97 and the adhesive is $14.97 a tub (I used 3).

built ins with fireplace

Isn’t it beautiful?  It is going to be so fun to decorate and the perfect classic background for all the pops of color I plan on bringing into the room.  Click here to read about the final touches.

Curtain Source: West Elm Cotton Canvas Ikat Diamond Curtain – Slate (no longer sold)

And here are all the posts in this series for easy reference:

Family Room Makeover Part 1: Installing the IKEA Billy Bookcase Built-Ins

Family Room Makeover Part 2: Framing out the Fireplace

Family Room Makeover Part 3: Building a Hollow Rustic Mantel

Family Room Makeover Part 4: AirStone Fireplace Makeover

Family Room Makeover Part 5: Finishing Touches

Family Room Makeover Part 6: Styling the Built-ins

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Comments

  1. Looks great! You inspired us to tackle the fireplace in our bedroom with Airstone! We were contemplating doing stacked stone ourselves or hiring it done. Your IG post announcing your plans could not have come at a better time. You are right that it is like a puzzle! We’re about 1/3 done, had to stop when it came time to build the mantle. I can’t wait to see your final result too!

    • Angie, I am THRILLED to hear you were inspired and definitely want to see/hear how your fireplace comes out. And a fireplace in your bedroom? Lucky lady! 🙂

  2. Beckie, looks great! Nice job!

  3. Beckie.
    you are my hero!! Wow – great work, it looks beautiful!!

  4. Did you use the finish edge pieces that they sell for the edges around the fire place or did you just cut them to fit?

  5. Did the airstone attach to the wood? The product description says not for use on mdf boards and plywood.

    Thank you,
    Maggie

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  1. […] “The AirStone fireplace paired with the wood mantel and the white IKEA Billy Bookcase built-ins is absolutely stunning and completely changed the whole look and feel of our family room.  Not only do we have more storage than we will ever need – we now have a focal point in the room.”  (read more from the blog infarrantlycreative.net) … […]

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