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Zero Clearance Fireplace

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Timeline, May 15, 2008.

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  1. Timeline

    Timeline New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
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    Loc:
    Scottsdale AZ
    My wife wants to reface the finished wall above and around our zero clearance fireplace with engineered wood planks (flooring). I want to know if this can be done safely and if there are any code guidelines to follow. Can I pull the Fireplace box out in order to have the wood be under the box edges like the drywall is now? There is currently no mantel and the finished wall is painted drywall. Our plan if this is possible is to mount a lcd tv over the fireplace. I've looked for advice on this also - Looks like it can be done (but not recommended) as the fireplace does not put off to much heat and it isn't used much anyway. Do they make heat deflectors if we decide we need one? A lot of questions, sorry! Any help or guidance will be much appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance!
    Patrick

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    You have to consult the manual on the particular unit - even though we use the name "zero clearance", this is not the official name - and many model require that combustibles be kept a small distance back. The unit should have a tag inside it somewhere stating the manufacturer and model.

    The unit might be nailed or screwed down by sheet metal brackets, although most are simply screwed or nailed to the wood studs (there is often a flange).

    In general, none of the black area on the face of such fireplaces can be covered by combustibles.

    As to the TV, I think that will be OK - as you said, very little heat tends to rise straight up the wall.
  3. Timeline

    Timeline New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
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    Loc:
    Scottsdale AZ
    So the wall surface above the fireplace, even though it would be flush with the fireplace like the drywall is now, would have to be "non-combustible"? Also, do you think pulling the box out 3/4" or so would be possible?

    Thanks for the response!
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    12,267
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    If the drywall is flush, then chances are that any material can be used...BUT, having the manual is important because some units are installed with cement board for the last couple inches around them, and this looks exactly like drywall. Also, even with drywall, a number of the units say that it does not go tight against the unit, but 1/4" or so away and then caulk fills the void.

    As to slightly moving the unit - as mentioned it might be nailed to the studs, but if you can remove those nails, you can probably get 3/4 out of it. But some units have a nailing flange so by moving it out you will expose this and that is not a finished edge. That will become obvious when you start your demolition.
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