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Posted: 2/1/2011 11:09:40 PM EDT
So, this all started about a week ago, we finally got a big sectional to replace the single sofa in a 19'x19' room, which meant it was time to wall-mount the 50" Plasma. Off to Amazon and a shiny new Cheetah mount arrives.

I head off to Lowes to grab a studfinder, and of course it's not finding shit, at least not in any way that makes sense. I figured the 2 sheets of 1/4" plywood paneling over the drywall were fucking with it, but test holes weren't revealing any studs above the fireplace. I don't trust a $1k+ TV to anchors, so I started peeling back the paneling, and found that whoever framed out the wall after the masons were done with the fireplace was a fucking idiot. Studs are 19" on center, and one of the 2x4s is a hair under 1.25" wide. Welp. Time to rip out that section of wall and put studs in the right place to actually hang a mount.

This got the gears turning on the fireplace reno we were planning on doing this summer. We had originally planned on just doing a stackstone/ledgerstone overlay on the existing brick and dropping the mantle to a reasonable height. Having to gut the wall anyway got us thinking about doing it floor-to-ceiling, as it would look much better with the 11' ceilings and save me from having to replace the damned paneling I need to tear out.

Stone veeners are fucking expensive. We're looking at ~100sqft total, and this stuff is all $10-15/sqft. I'm a cheap bastard, and while $1k may be cheap to refinish a fireplace floor-to-ceiling if you're paying someone, I'm a DIY guy and that money can be better spent elsewhere - like the kitchen and master bath remodel that have to be done. Hours of google/froogle looking for cheaper alternatives led me to a site selling urethane molds for casting your own veneer in concrete. $100 for the mold, *maybe* $50 in concrete, and then a bit in stain/sealer.

So, before I pull the trigger on this, has anyone ever actually done it? My biggest worry is getting a pitted/shitty surface. Plan is to rig up a vibrating table by screwing my jigsaw into it without a blade and give it a good 5-10minute shake after the pour to make sure the air bubbles aren't at the bottom of the mold (which is the textured part/face that you'll see), and use more of a mortar mix than a concrete with chunky aggregate. Each finished piece is 16"x4" and .7" thick (.5sqft).

Biggest downside I can see so far is that it's going to take about a month to get all of the stones made. The $100 buys 5 .5sqft molds, and the concrete needs to set for about 24 hours after pouring. That means 2.5sqft/day, or about 40 days to get enough stones to do the job.

Link to mold:
Finished product (ignore the color)

Any help here would be appreciated, heres some pics of the room, and a really, really shitty photoshop of what it might look like afterwards (forgot to add a mantle, whoops)
Scale of the stones is off on the photoshop, and the pattern won't repeat that much. I just repeated a 1/4 stone chunk or so to get around the watermark and to correct the angle the sample picture was taken at.



Link Posted: 2/2/2011 12:31:46 AM EDT
Looks good. Be interesting to see when you're done.

That being said, I know NOTHING about casting anything larger than small model parts...
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 12:39:26 AM EDT
LOL, I'm in the process of stoning up 5' X11' with M-Rock.
It's available at Lowes, etc, but I bought a full pallet direct from them (in WVa) for WAY cheaper, and it is much better stuff than what they sell in the prepackaged, little boxes. (much more varied, much larger stones, etc.

Pretty easy to do, but slow going.

I cut out the drywall, installed 1/2"Durock, then metal lath, then a scratch coat of mortar, now stoning it up.

Looks GREAT!
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