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There are two basic installation methods: Standard Mortar Installation or Dry Placement/Adhesive Installation

Mortar Installation

  1. Place all four stone pieces on top of suitable riser assembly.  Allow approximately 3/8” of spacing between stones and a uniform overhang around the entire perimeter of the riser.  Prior to placement be sure riser assembly is level.
  2. Determine thickness of individual stones.  If there is a measurable difference in thickness, choose the thickest stone to begin stone setting.
  3. Set thickest stone on mortar bed.  While leaving other stones in position, remove the thickest stone.  Place a uniform bed of approximately 1” of mortar on top of the riser structure.  Then place the stone that was removed back into position.
  4. Level the first stone.  Using a rubber mallet or the palm of your hand level the stone both end to end and side to side.  Using a trowel remove the excess mortar that is forced out from the underside of the stone.
  5. Set the remaining stones.  Repeat step 3 and 4 for the remaining three stones.  Use a level of sufficient length to make sure that subsequent stones remain level with the initial stone and that the entire cap set is level once completely installed.
  6. Fill joints between stones.   Once all stones are in place, joints between the stones may be filled with mortar using a mortar (grout) bag.  Allow sufficient time for mortar to cure before striking/cleaning joints.  Once sufficiently cured, mortar may then be “scratched” to desired depth and brushed with a small wisk broom.  (Note: Filling the joints with mortar to within approximately ½” of the stone surface then filling the remaining space with fire/heat resistant caulk results in a more durable installation with less concern for mortar loss or movement due to extreme temperature variations.)

Helpful Tips

  • Mortar may be colored to complement stone color.  Mortar pigments are available at any masonry supply store.
  • Keep stone clean and free of mortar.  Use a damp sponge and water to remove any mortar from the finished stone surfaces immediately.  Do not use acids or other harsh chemicals to clean the stone as this may affect stone finish and color.
  • Use of masking tape on the stone surfaces at the joints during stone placement and joint filling minimizes the risk of getting mortar on the finished surfaces of the stones.  Once mortar is placed in the joints and tooling of mortar is complete tape can then be removed to reveal a clean finished surface.
  • Use of a mortar bonding agent (available at masonry supply stores) mixed into the mortar typically results in better adhesion of the stones to a cement-based riser and to each other.  This step provides greater durability and less concern with stone movement in the future.

Dry Placement/Adhesive Installation

EarthStone Products’ firepit cap for use with a steel ring/insert is designed with ease of installation in mind.  When used in combination with a 30” diameter steel fire ring/insert with a top flange (available at Pioneer Sand Company locations), this four piece cap set (31 1/2” inside diameter, 2” thickness) may be set on a retaining block riser assembly and secured by the steel ring alone or in combination with suitable concrete/landscape block adhesive for added stability.

  1. After constructing the riser and prior to permanent placement of the steel ring, place the four pieces of cap stone directly on top of the retaining blocks with approximately ½” of spacing between the stones (be sure riser assembly is level).
  2. Place the steel ring into position inside the caps with the flange of the ring resting on top of the stones.
  3. Position the stones tightly around the steel ring.  Nudge the stones lightly toward the center until the spacing between the stones is eliminated or minimized.
  4. (Optional) Prior to step 1, place a uniform bead of concrete/landscape block adhesive approximately 1” from the inside of the riser wall and 1” from the outside of the riser wall.  Then proceed with steps 1 – 3. Note:  Once adhesive is applied, avoid delays that allow adhesive to cure/dry prior to completing cap placement.  Allow 24 to 48 hours for adhesive to cure prior to using firepit assembly.