How to Float Concrete Over a Brick Fireplace

Not only does it provide a fresh and contemporary look, but it also adds durability and strength to your fireplace. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of covering a brick fireplace with concrete. From demolition to adding the final finishing touches, we've got you covered. So let's get started with the first step – demolition.

Can I Cover My Brick Fireplace With Concrete?

When it comes to covering a brick fireplace with concrete, youll find that it’s indeed a viable option. Concrete offers a contemporary and sleek finish that can drastically transform the look of your fireplace. Plus, it’s a sustainable and affordable choice for those who want to update their brick fireplace without breaking the bank.

If youve decided to take on the project yourself, there are a few key steps to follow. Firstly, it’s important to properly prepare the surface by covering up the brick with cement boards. These boards will act as a base for the concrete and ensure a smooth and even application. Take the time to measure and cut the boards to fit the dimensions of your fireplace, securing them securely in place.

Next, youll want to mix your concrete according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This typically involves combining water with the dry concrete mix and stirring until a thick, paste-like consistency is achieved. Use a trowel or a similar tool to carefully apply the concrete mixture onto the cement boards, making sure to spread it evenly across the surface. If desired, you can also experiment with different textures or patterns to add a touch of uniqueness to your fireplace.

Once the initial layer of concrete is in place, allow it to dry and cure according to the recommended timeframe provided by the manufacturer. This usually involves waiting for the concrete to harden overnight or for a specified number of days. During this curing process, it’s vital to protect the concrete from excessive moisture, extreme temperatures, and any other potential damage.

After the concrete has fully cured, you can further enhance the appearance of your fireplace by applying a protective sealer. This sealer will help to prevent staining and make the surface more resistant to wear and tear. Follow the instructions on the sealer carefully, making sure to apply it evenly and allow it to dry completely.

Remember to take your time, exercise caution, and seek professional assistance if needed.

Pros and Cons of Covering a Brick Fireplace With Concrete

  • Pros
  • Enhanced safety by covering exposed brick surfaces
  • Improved insulation and energy efficiency
  • Modern and sleek aesthetic appeal
  • Customizable design options
  • Easier maintenance and cleaning
  • Increased longevity and durability
  • Reduced risk of cracks or deterioration in the long run
  • Cons
  • Loss of traditional and rustic charm
  • Potential difficulty in reverting back to the original brick finish
  • Requires professional skills for proper installation
  • Initial cost may be higher compared to other fireplace makeover options
  • Limits the possibility of using the fireplace as a heat source
  • Concrete is prone to stains and may require regular upkeep
  • May not suit all interior styles and design preferences

When it comes to building or repairing a fireplace, choosing the right type of cement is crucial. The ideal choice is a combination of high alumina cement and refractory aggregates such as crushed brick, limestone, or slag. This unique blend of materials ensures that the concrete can withstand the intense heat of a fireplace while maintaining it’s strength and durability.

What Kind of Cement Do You Use for a Fireplace?

When it comes to constructing or resurfacing a fireplace, using the right type of cement is crucial. The best concrete for a fireplace is one that can withstand the high heat generated by the flames without losing it’s strength or durability. This requires a special type of cement that’s specially formulated for such high-temperature applications.

This type of cement is known for it’s exceptional heat resistance properties, making it a popular choice for fireplaces. High alumina cement is able to withstand temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit without compromising it’s structural integrity.

In addition to high alumina cement, it’s also important to include refractory aggregates in the concrete mixture. These aggregates, such as crushed brick, limestone, or slag, further enhance the heat resistance of the concrete. They act as insulation, preventing the heat from penetrating and damaging the concrete structure.

The inclusion of these refractory aggregates also helps to improve the overall strength and durability of the concrete, making it more resistant to cracking and crumbling. This is particularly important for a fireplace, as it’s constantly exposed to extreme heat fluctuations.

When mixing the concrete for a fireplace, it’s important to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.

This combination of materials provides the necessary heat resistance and durability to withstand the extreme temperatures generated by a fireplace.

Different Types of Cement for Fireplaces: In Addition to High Alumina Cement, There Are Other Types of Cement That Can Be Used for Fireplaces, Such as Calcium Aluminate Cement or Silica-Based Cement. These Different Types of Cement May Have Different Properties and Advantages for Fireplace Applications.

When it comes to floating concrete over a brick fireplace, there are various options for choosing the right type of cement. One popular choice is high alumina cement, which is known for it’s excellent heat resistance. However, there are other types of cement that can also be used for fireplaces, such as calcium aluminate cement or silica-based cement. These alternatives can offer different properties and advantages for fireplace applications. It’s important to consider the specific needs and requirements of your project before deciding on the type of cement to use. Consulting with a professional or local experts can help ensure you choose the most suitable cement for floating concrete over a brick fireplace.

Additionally, hydraulic-setting refractory mortar has excellent heat resistance properties, making it ideal for use in a firebox. It’s ability to withstand high temperatures without cracking or crumbling ensures the longevity and durability of the fireplace. Whether constructing a new firebox or repairing an existing one, hydraulic-setting refractory mortar proves to be the top choice.

What Is the Best Mortar for a Firebox?

When it comes to finding the best mortar for a firebox, hydraulic-setting refractory mortar is the top choice. This type of mortar offers an all-around solution for various applications within a firebox. Whether youre laying firebrick, setting or parge-ing the throat and smoke chamber, or setting clay flue liners, hydraulic-setting refractory mortar is highly recommended.

One of the key benefits of this type of mortar is it’s workability, which is similar to that of ordinary portland-based mortar. This makes it easy to use, ensuring a smooth and efficient installation process. Additionally, it can be made in almost any shade using ordinary mortar color, allowing you to match it seamlessly with your fireplace design.

Furthermore, this type of mortar is known for it’s excellent adhesion properties, which is crucial for creating a strong and secure bond between the firebrick and other components of the firebox.

It’s versatility, workability, ability to withstand high temperatures, and strong adhesion qualities make it the ideal choice for any fireplace project.

In addition to it’s safety features, concrete fireplace surrounds also offer a unique and modern aesthetic that can enhance the overall look of your living space. With it’s versatility, concrete can be molded and customized to match any style or design preference. Whether you prefer a sleek and minimalist look or a more rustic and textured finish, concrete can be adapted to meet your specific fireplace surround needs.

Can You Use Concrete for Fireplace Surround?

Concrete fireplace surrounds are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their safety and durability. Concrete is naturally non-combustible, which means that it doesn’t catch fire and doesn’t release toxic fumes when exposed to high temperatures. This makes it an excellent choice for protecting your fireplace and surrounding area from accidental fires.

In addition to it’s safety and aesthetics, concrete also offers great versatility in terms of design options. Whether you prefer a smooth, polished finish or a more textured and rustic look, concrete can be customized to suit your preferences. It can be stained or colored to match your existing color scheme or can be left in it’s natural grey state for a more industrial appeal.

It’s made from natural materials such as cement, water, and aggregates, which makes it a sustainable option. Unlike other materials that require frequent replacements and repairs, concrete is extremely durable and long-lasting, reducing waste and the need for constant maintenance.

Lastly, DIY enthusiasts will appreciate the ease of working with concrete. With proper preparation and the right tools, you can easily float concrete over a brick fireplace to create a stunning and unique surround. Floating concrete involves applying a thin layer of concrete mixture onto the surface and then using a trowel to smooth it out and achieve the desired texture. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to update the look of your fireplace and add a touch of modernity to your home.

Whether you choose to hire a professional or embark on a DIY project, concrete can transform your fireplace into a stylish and timeless centerpiece in your living space.


Starting with the demolition of any existing materials, such as tiles or mantels, the process progresses to measuring and applying cement boards, ensuring a sturdy foundation for the concrete. Attention to detail is important, as the seams between the cement boards must be properly taped to prevent any cracking or water damage. Mixing and applying the concrete is a task that requires precision and patience, as it will determine the final look and texture of the finished product. Lastly, sealing the concrete and adding a mantel provides the finishing touches and enhances the overall aesthetic.

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