Double Sided fireplace: Need advice

brettelam Posted By brettelam, Nov 24, 2008 at 6:02 AM

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  1. brettelam

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Hey guys. I am doing a renovation to my home and need advice. I am considering knocking out the wall between my living room and downstairs bedroom (the goal being to "open up" the downstairs area). I would like to then add a double sided fireplace to the area where the wall once was in an effort to keep the two rooms separate but still open feeling. Here are my concerns:

    1) Is it wise to have the same contractor do the drywall and framing work and also install the fireplace? Or would it be better to have someone who specializes in fireplace installation come in after the wall has been removed?

    2) The master bedroom is directly above the area where I'd like to add the fireplace, so a chimney isn't really an option. Should I go with a ventless gas fireplace or is it possible to install a vented gas fireplace without the huge chimney going through the middle of the master bedroom? The fireplace would be about 10 feet from the outside wall in the middle of a room, so I'm not even sure if venting something like that is possible. Can a vent be run up to the ceiling and then through the ceiling to the outside somewhere?

    3) If I need to go ventless, is that a bad idea? I've found some horror stories online about moisture build up, carbon monoxide and other concerns.

    Any advice is appreciated. This is all new territory for me and I want to do it right the first time so I don't regret my choices. Thanks!
  2. mnowaczyk


    Feb 19, 2009
    I had a ventless in an old house and it was (and still is fine). It give a little funny smell, like something burning (not wood), but heck, it's kicking a lot of heat in a painted metal box which is inside a painted wood/particle board box. Gas and ventless sure are easy to use. Ventless seems like the way to go for me because I've never owned a "tight" new home, nothing younger than 80 years old. Also, you don't loose any heat to the outside.
  3. begreen

    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    moved to the gas forum for more targeted response. fwiw, if it were my house, it would be vented.
  4. jtp10181

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2007
    Madison, WI
    Would have you have your plumber fix your car while he's over? Definitely get a pro out there. Have them look at the space and give you options. You may be able to do a 10' horizontal run and vent out the side of the house.
  5. Firebird

    New Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    I definitelly agree. Vented is the better way to go, and a professional installer will probably be able to design a vent run that will work for you. There is also the possibility of adding a power vent, in which case you could possibly run the vent run down to a basement and out through the wall. I have seen this on other see-through fireplaces, and the result is pretty good. The power vent will add cost though.

    One thing to keep in mind, and this might sound kind of obvious, but if the second room is to remain a bedroom you may want to reconsider the see-through fireplace. I have heard a few complaints from people who put see-throughs from a bedroom to a living space and regretted it later, because that means you can always see into the bedroom from your living room. It can be uncomfortable for guests.
  6. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug
    New Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Clarks Summit,Pa.
    I would definitely heed the advice of JTP in his post and go with a Real Pro,(there are many self proclaimed PROS out there, so do your research and get lots of references), for this project and also go vented over unvented for health and safety reasons,(here comes a war!).
    What company's double side unit are you going with?
    Sounds like it will look great if installed correctly!
    Good Luck and enjoy!
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