Elevated Fireplace Insert? Possible?

snowdog650 Posted By snowdog650, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:36 AM

  1. snowdog650

    snowdog650
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    Dec 3, 2012
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    Good day, all. This is my first post, but I have been reading your wisdom for the last year or so ...

    Next spring, I am hoping to replace my useless gas/wood convertible fireplace with a quality woodburning insert. My issue is that the current configuration sees the fireplace raised about 7" from the base of the hearth. In the literally thousands of photos I have seen of modern fireplace inserts, I have yet to see one installed in a manner in which it "hangs" above the hearth.

    Does anyone have any experience with an install like this? Are there any brands/models you would recommend solely for this particular install? Photos below in subsequent posts ... in the last photo, a roll of standard duct tape is in there for perspective and scale. Thanks for the help!

    House sq ft: ~2200, single story
    Room size: ~450 sq. ft (15x30), vaulted ceilings from 9 feet up to 18 feet.
    Climate: Temperate (Sacramento Valley, California)
    Chimney: Existing; outside wall, separate from attic space, straight up from existing fireplace (will install insulated sleeve with new stove)
     
  2. begreen

    begreen
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Welcome. We see all sorts of fireplaces here. most sit down on the hearth, but many contemporary units float in the wall.

    Tell us more about your setup. What is the gas/wood nature of this fireplace?
     
  3. RSNovi

    RSNovi
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    May 12, 2010
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    Mine is the same as yours in terms of having an elevated firebox. For me I have found a few flush faced inserts that will work. Flush will limit your firebox size. Some that stick out in the front still can be mounted elevated. The Enviro Boston specifically discusses this in their manual. I am going with a Jotul C350.
     
  4. brian89gp

    brian89gp
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    Mar 15, 2008
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    If you have asthetic problems with the look you could probably have a metal shop make up a panel to go under the stove to fill this elevated gap.
     
  5. firebroad

    firebroad
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    Nov 18, 2011
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    I don't know if my situation is of any help, but here goes:
    When I had my Alderlea T5 installed, the bright boys didn't measure properly for the surround, so there was a gap at the top. Rather than wait a few more weeks with everything torn out for the larger surround, I had some red brick outside, so we lined the floor of the fireplace with those and propped it up about three inches, then made a plate to go across the bottom. Worked for me.
     
  6. mellow

    mellow
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    Jan 19, 2008
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    It is a prefab, it will all have to get ripped out to do a proper install anyway, you can make it flush or not when you do the install.
     
  7. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq
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    The first question is: Is that a ZC or factory built fireplace or a full masonry one? That will be the controlling factor on your choices. There are some inserts that are totally flush mounts that will fit nicely. Others protrude a little and, if the leverler legs are on the front edge will need some support there. We did two instals with similar overhangs. On one the hearth was bluestone so we had a matching piece of stone cut to fit below the insert for appearance and to give the leveler legs something to lean on. In another case the owner had some matching tiles so we build out the bottom edge to match the insert. I've seen some people have a steel shop fabricate a shelf like piece to fit and match the insert.

    Many possibilities, first determine the type of fireplace , then look at which inserts can fit. Finally decide how to address the overhang if necessary.

    KaptJaq
     
  8. Badgers96

    Badgers96
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    Oct 25, 2012
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  9. KB007

    KB007
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    I'd want to find out what the construction of the surround is, if it's all wood stud type construction, you may want to look at a good ZC fireplace. An insert is going to need minimum clearances etc...
     
  10. DAKSY

    DAKSY
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    Measure the opening & then shop around. Find one that fits what you have & can be installed safely. Most inserts are going to extend somewhat from the fire place they're installed in, so where you have the raised section of tile below the opening can be covered by a riser. Some manufacturers offer factory built risers, but they only come in one or two different heights. You can always have one fabricated from plate steel. We used to send our welder to the local steel distributor where he would delve thru their scrap bin & grab pieces of 1/4" or 5/16" plate. He made risers of different heights, widths & depths as needed. They're rigid & look good once the spatter is benched off & they're painted to match the insert color.
     
  11. snowdog650

    snowdog650
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    Dec 3, 2012
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    Fantastic advice, folks. Lots of good ideas here. I am not really concerned much about the asthetics of an insert floating there ... just wasn't sure if it could be done (i.e., weight, etc.). If it needs to be ripped out, as Mellow suggested, then that is most likely a deal-breaker ... the wife will most likely not go for a sledgehammer to her hearth. Have all the measurements and will head out to some dealers in the short-term to get some in-home estimates done. Currently looking at VC, Enviro, Jotul, Napoleon, and Fireplace Xtrordinair.

    Will be sure to keep the community informed of the progress.
     
  12. KB007

    KB007
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    Oct 21, 2009
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    Again, depending on what's in there for a floor/bottom of your opening, you could even look at a piece of granite / stone of some kind that extends out to provide an extension for the front part of an insert to sit on. I'm sure the weight of an insert would hold it in place, but it could probably be cemented in place (wth the appropriate cement etc...) That could look quite cool imho.
     

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