To start with, be selective in your choice of wood as it will be the main focal point of the fireplace when the installation is completed. So, make an interesting choice of wood which is high in quality and has a fine finishing and look. As a thumb rule, get a square and levelled piece of wood. If you are planning to use old wood that should also not be too bad a choice only if you can rework on it a little to bring it back in good shape.
The correct block of wood ideally should have dimensions ranging between 2*6 and 2*8 for a nice top of the mantel. The width and length is fundamentally decided based on the size of your fireplace. Wood is vulnerable to warping and as a preventive measure you must ensure that the curved marks on the wood present in the centre area are always pointing down. This will help your wood top have a longer life.
Next step is to know the place of anchors in the masonry and these holes must be drilled through the wood well before installation. Masonry anchors helping in securing the mantel. The anchor bolt in the anchor sleeve should be left when the bolt is being tapped down the drilled hole. This small exercise will go a long way in saving your wood surface from any undesirable damage.
The mantel wood plank should have counter sink holes on the top to hide the bolt heads. Based on the depth you want to counter sink the holes, you can choose the bolt heads accordingly. The drill shavings will be extremely useful, so they must not be thrown away in a jiffy. Moldings can give your wood plank a more intricate and interesting look. Miter saw is what you need to get detailed and well finished moldings. You can easily cut different complex angles and let loose your creativity. The corners can be worked out well with scrap piece. Air gun staples and molding nails are generally used to fasten the moldings the right way. Lo and behold, your mantel is ready for installation!
Lift your mantel onto the base on which you would want to mount to and a screw drived can help you align the holes for the anchor belt to fit in. A downward pressure on the socket wrench will help you screw the anchor belts under the mantel's surface. Fill in all the nail and bolt holes with those shavings that you saved earlier. Wood glue can be used to make it stick together and then you can move it down the small holes. To make the finishing more refines, remove the excess the stuff and allow it to dry.
Polish and decorate your mantel with your classy taste and touch and let your very own fireplace mantel creation become the talk of the town!