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How Far Will a Fireplace/Chimney Protrude into a Room???

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rlfarmer, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    Hello everybody!

    I'm considering adding a fireplace to my living room and was wondering how far the chimney, fireplace, and hearth will stick out into the room. The location that I'm considering would include an internal chimney and the chimney will have to protrude into the room as well. It will be wood burning, if that matters, and I've also considered a wood burning insert. I'm concerned about the amount of space that the fireplace will require. Thanks for your help!

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  2. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Welcome.

    To help answer your question, we would need to know a little more about what kind of fireplace you are considering. Are you talking about a masonry-built open fireplace, or a wood stove, or do you have something else in mind? What are your goals for wood burning? Would it be for looks and ambiance or for serious heating? Generally, a conventional masonry open fireplace, is terribly inefficient and a poor choice for generating heat. And expensive.

    You mentioned an insert, but there would be little reason to build a fireplace just to put an insert into it. A freestanding wood stove would be a better solution for heating.

    Let us know a little more about what you have in mind and what your needs are.
  3. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    If you are thinking of adding a masonry fireplace then you pretty much have to build it on a slab if you are talking about putting it inside an existing room. Masonry fireplaces are way to heavy to place on floor that is supported by conventional floor joists. Our inside fireplace and chimney take up 8' x 4' and it is located in the center of our home. Our chimney supports three flues, so a one flue chimney would obviously be smaller in both dimensions.
  4. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Some find a corner install is the least intrusive on overall space.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It depends on the unit, but if we are talking a good quality EPA zero-clearance fireplace like the BIS Traditions then figure the chase (indoor or out) to be around 26 to 28" deep. Here is a dimensions diagram from their manual. If you can post a picture of the proposed install location(s) we may have some ideas to help plan.
    BIS Traditions.JPG
  6. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I should have been more clear in my initial post. I'm in the planning/design stage of building a house. I found a stock house plan and I'm having a local designer make some modifications. The original plan calls for a fireplace, but the designer said he didn't think the room was big enough for one (it's about 15'x19' - the fireplace will reduce the 15' dimension, which is really more like 13' when allowing for traffic flow through the room). I'm trying to avoid making the room any bigger unless it's necessary. I don't know anything about fireplaces and I wanted to get an idea of how much floor space I'll lose if I keep the fireplace as is.

    I'll mostly use the fireplace for looks and supplemental heating during the winter. I've considered a wood stove, but I prefer the traditional fireplace look.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This is not an uncommon situation. If you want the fireplace on the narrow dimension of the room consider having it installed in an insulated exterior chase. That way it will be flush with the inside wall.
    eclecticcottage likes this.
  8. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    My brother's zero clearance is in an exterior chase. We put stone veneers all the way up the chase and around the fireplace up to the mantle on the inside and it looks great.
  9. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice! What exactly is a zero clearance fireplace? Is it different from a wood burning insert? From what I've read, a masonry fireplace is the least efficient type of fireplace, so I've been considering an insert. Are there advantages to using a zero clearance over the insert?
  10. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it can be confusing because both are rather similar. A fireplace insert goes into a preexisting masonry fireplace. A zero clearance fireplace goes into a wall cavity and exhausts through an approved chimney pipe. A modern, EPA-approved ZC fireplace gets efficiencies similar to woodstoves in the 80% range. Here is an example how it would be constructed: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/introduction-and-zero-clearance-install.91592/#post-1198786
    Here is an example how that could look at the end: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/pics-new-install-and-thanks-hearth-com-contributors.117056/
    Here is a thread about a complete DIY-install by a member: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/building-the-hearth-for-my-napoleon-nz3000-what-a-quest.74273/

    For examples of modern ZC fireplaces look at the KozyHeat 42, the Osburn Stratford, Napoleon NZ3000 or RSF: http://www.icc-rsf.com/en/rsf-woodburning-fireplaces
    There are more. We can help with the selection if we know how many sqft you want to heat, level of insulation, climate, wood species to burn etc. Posting the floorplan would help, too.
    Dave A. likes this.
  11. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    Thanks Grisu! The links you posted will really help. I'm located in Northeast North Carolina and our temps here usually don't get any lower than the mid 20's during the winter. I've attached a copy of a floor plan that is very similar to the one I'll be building. Total square footage is about 1,922.


    [​IMG]
  12. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    The location of that fireplace will be ideal if you plan on heating the house with it. Really central and it may well become the focal point of your living room. I assume your house will be fairly well insulated and your climate is not that cold. Maybe a fireplace in the 2.5 cu ft firebox size will be appropriate. The Napoleon NZ3000, RSF Focus 320, maybe RSF Onyx 2, Osburn Stratford, Kozyheat Z42 would be options.
    Lennox has a wide array of choices: http://www.lennoxhearthproducts.com/products/fireplaces/wood/
    The FireplaceXtrordinair Elita 36 is a bit large but catalytic meaning you will get extra long burn times and more even heat output: http://www.fireplacex.com/ProductGuide/ProductDetail.aspx?modelsku=98500104
    Then there is the HeatnGlo Northstar: http://www.heatnglo.com/Products/North-Star-Wood-Fireplace.aspx

    Check which units look best to you. Take also in consideration the depth of the fireplace and clearance requirements. You will probably want one that does not protrude as much into the room. If you have reduced it to a few models you can try asking here for opinions/personal experiences. If your contractor is unsure about the installation requirements check with a local dealer and/or a certified chimney sweep.

    Please make also sure you have dry, seasoned wood available once you want to start burning. It may not hurt to stack up a few cords in a corner of your building site and let it dry over the coming summer.
  13. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Not too many examples here on hearth, but stove mfrs do show them in ads, i.e. freestanding stoves sitting in a living room almost like a piece of furniture. If clearances are followed (usually by using double wall stove pipe you can locate them pretty close to walls even in front of windows, and if you have a non-combustable floor (tile/stone/concrete) you don't even need a separate hearth area with certain stoves.

    In the floorplan you posted, e.g. you could put a freestanding stove in the corner partially in front of the window in the LR. Much better than taking up the middle of that main free wall with a fireplace, imo. Though the traditional look of fireplace is certainly nice, you would get just as effective heating at lower cost and less noise with a freestanding stove, and with the right stove could still be attractive.

    Just something else to consider.
  14. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    I've decided to move the fireplace to the back wall and place the chimney on the porch. It will just fit better with the room I think. I've been looking at the Heat & Glo Rutherford or the Exclaim, but I have a few questions.

    Could I have a traditional chimney installed instead of the pipe that is normally used? I like the look of a traditional chimney.

    Could I build an ash dump into the chimney to make cleaning easier? Or does the design of a zero clearance prohibit this?

    I know it depends on the number of fires that are burned, among other factors, but how long does an average zero clearance fireplace last before it has to be replaced?
  15. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Sure, just make sure you are sitting when you get that quote. ;) It will probably be way cheaper to build a chase around the chimney and cover it with stone veneer. You will hardly notice the difference.

    As far as I know, a ZC fireplace has an enclosed firebox. You will not have access to an ash dump that sits below it.

    Yep, lots of variables in there. However, when treated properly a woodstove has usually a lifespan of 25+ years. I don't expect it to be much different for a ZC fireplace.
  16. rlfarmer

    rlfarmer New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Best choice seems to be a zero clearance with an insulated chase. I'm new to fireplaces and I'm still learning. It just seems to me that a masonry chimney would be safer and last longer than a pipe.

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