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Building a gas fireplace mantle, raised hearth....floor to ceiling.

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by mgh-pa, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. mgh-pa

    mgh-pa Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Northcentral PA
    So as it stands now (we're in the middle of a remodel), our family room has an exposed 70s style brick chimney with a clay thimble about 6ft off the floor. The brick is ~4ft wide and stretches floor to ceiling. This room originally had a wood stove in it which is why the thimble is there. We ran black iron pipe through the exterior and down through the new walls during the remodel for a hookup to a propane fireplace. Obviously we can't do an insert with a chimney setup, but what we want to know if we can do is this.

    Essentially build out from the existing brick what would be a new floor-to-ceiling hearth with a raised mantle, and room for a direct vent insert to be placed inside to achieve an effect similar to this:

    [​IMG]

    The plan obviously would be to build the structure, concrete/mortar the exterior with a mesh reinforcement, and then stone veneer the outside, but what I'm concerned about is the interior. I'm assuming you would have to have the interior lined with steel or some other heat reflective material, correct? Is this idea even possible? Our only option if not would then simply be a stoner veneer directly on the outside of the brick, and do a freestanding gas fireplace which I really don't want. Any thoughts on this?

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,895
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Ok. With out trying to sound TOO MUCH like a nitpicker,
    let's try to get this into the the proper terms.
    Floor-to-ceiling won't be the hearth, it's the fire place.
    The hearth is what the stove/fire place will sit on.
    The mantel is the wooden surround that's sometimes on the hearth
    around the fire place, and above it.
    If there is wood above the fire place & not around it, it's a mantel shelf.
    The picture of the Regency unit you show is sitting on a raised Hearth
    which is maybe 18" high & could possibly be used as a seat for someone.
    There is a mantel shelf (wood) above the fire place in that pic as well.
    You can build your structure out of framing lumber With DuraRock
    (or some other concrete product) to mount the stone veneer to.
    Your install manual will give you the clearances you have to meet.
    If you plan on venting into the wall thimble, Regency is the only manufacturer -
    THAT I AM FAMILIAR WITH - which will allow you to run hard pipe to the thimble,
    adapt to a flexible liner, & run the flex up to the cap in an existing chimney.
    The correct term for as free-standing unit is a stove, not a fire place.
    Sorry for the picky-picky thing, but if you get the terminology right,
    you might have better dealing with your hearth shop, IMHO...
    YMMV, of course...
  3. mgh-pa

    mgh-pa Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Northcentral PA
    Oh, I know the terminology. :smirk: Long day, and only had a short time to post today. Mixed mantle and hearth up in the description. I know the difference. I'm not asking anyone at a hearth shop...just asking here...our local shops are WAY overpriced, so I will be purchasing online, and as such, most of my research will be done online. I will be building this myself.

    As for them being a freestanding stove, I know what that also is, but I don't consider it that. They're enclosed units that sit back in flush with the surface of the mantle. There are freestanding GAS stoves that are like wood stoves, only with a gas source (you know...four legs, sit SEPARATE from the wall, stove pipe to thimble, etc). That's what I consider freestanding, industry terminology aside. I already know exactly what I want to do, what stove I will need to do it with, I just needed to know if the enclosure has to be lined with anything or if the "insert" or stove's exterior can be surrounded with any material or not.

    As for the flex line, you can't just run the pipe into the existing thimble and chimney? You have to run it to the cap? Why is that? You don't with a woodstove, obviously gas is different, but why?

    Anyways, thanks for the info on the durarock.
  4. mgh-pa

    mgh-pa Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Northcentral PA
    Sorry for the attitude...had a long bad day. Thanks again for the help.
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,895
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    <>As for the flex line, you can't just run the pipe into the existing thimble and chimney? You have to run it to the cap? Why is that? You don't with a woodstove, obviously gas is different, but why?<>

    Because your gas unit requires O2 for combustion.
    If you simply dump the exhaust gases into the chimney they'll
    get sucked back into the firebox & your Air-to-Fuel mixture
    ratio will be wrong.
    The unit will soot up & eventually choke itself out.
    By running the flex all the way to the cap, the exhaust
    gases will exit at a higher point than the O2 intake & being
    hotter than the intake air, they'll rise upon exiting, dissipate
    into the atmosphere & won't be drawn back into the combustion chamber.

    <>Anyways, thanks for the info on the durarock.<>

    Anytime. Here to help.
  6. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,849
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello

    We had no fireplace in our living room so we built an LP Gas fireplace in with a 46" flat screen above it. We also had 2 built-in hutches on each side made to house the Yamaha 7.1 surround sound receiver and network Blu-Ray player. That is the way to go! We got a Heat & Glo SL-550TRSD >> http://www.heatnglo.com/Browse/Fireplaces.aspx with auto ignition. That saves $1.00 per day in gas over a standing pilot!

    We have a double walled flue pipe strait out the back thru the outside wall. this enables us to build-in the TV.
    You do not need brick and morter with the new zero clearance FPs today but it does look pretty. We just added a little granite around the edges and on the raised hearth.

    Don

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