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Do you install fireplace door before laying stone veneer or after the fact?

Suppose you do it "BEFORE", then the installation is clear, you just screw that metal frame to the bricks from inside. Here is my confusion though - doors will be almost (~1/4") flush with the bricks with metal frame overlapping like 2" of top and sides. How do you install stone veneer over it? Especially if edge stones angle over inside enter image description here Are you supposed to build a 2x4 frame covered with plywood to add depth over the door?

Now, supposed the answer is "AFTER", how do you hide gaps between uneven stone and metal frame? Do you secure the door frame right through the stone veneer?

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For those who came here from web search, I've done this and I can share my experience.

  1. You install doors before.
  2. There will be gaps between firebox bricks and door frame - cover them with cement.
  3. Remember to raise doors high enough over existing opening to allow for the thickness of the new hearth stones (if you plan to put them) so that these little vents in the bottom of the doors have unobstructed air flow
  4. If you plan to install stone veneer with corners build up a wood frame over bricks deep enough to accommodate these corner returns
  5. Cover all the gaps with cement
  6. If you built the wooden frame, you don't have any metal to put cement on. It's all covered with plywood and wire and cement layers.
  7. If you had a mantle shelf you might need to redo/rethink how you want to secure it after the stone is laid, but before actually laying the stone.
  8. Instructions call for cement type S ($7 per 40lb), but my experience shows that you need much more experience with stonework to use it than I had, so just use polymer modified tile thinset ($25 per 40lb)
  9. Use cement type S + cement colorant for grouting
  10. Forget finding the perfect stone, cut and cut and cut
  11. Get yourself a vac enabled cover for angle grinder and use shop vac

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