Gas Fireplace Insert Options?

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NEE

New Member
Oct 8, 2021
2
Boston Area
Hi! I have a nice, old (1890s-ish), brick, wood-burning fireplace that I'd really like to convert to gas with an insert. I've got two hurdles that I've come across and I'd love your thoughts on whether either of these are prohibitive:

1. The decorative brick elements (which are really pretty cool!) mean that we do not have anything close to right-angle corners at the top of the fireplace.

2. The fireplace is really quite shallow -- it's less than 14.5" deep at the bottom and less than 13.5" deep at the top. I haven't found any gas inserts that are shallow enough to fit in this space.

Is it possible/reasonable for us to get an insert that sticks out by an inch or two, and then have a custom surround built around it out of metal that would properly close it as needed (recognizing that the surround would need a fair amount of custom work to fit around the masonry at the top)? I've also checked with some local fireplace shops on this but, like everyone, they're totally swamped and I haven't been able to get a definitive answer back from anyone yet.

If anyone has any brilliant ideas on other options for handling this, I'm all ears!

IMG_7516.JPG
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,093
Wherever we're parked
You can install a deep fireplace insert in a shallow firebox, doing what you want. The surround will have to be fabricated with returns to make up the difference in depth. It'll be tricky & take the skills of a good welder/fabricator to make your install aesthetically pleasing, but if you can afford it, I'm sure it'll look great.
 

NEE

New Member
Oct 8, 2021
2
Boston Area
You can install a deep fireplace insert in a shallow firebox, doing what you want. The surround will have to be fabricated with returns to make up the difference in depth. It'll be tricky & take the skills of a good welder/fabricator to make your install aesthetically pleasing, but if you can afford it, I'm sure it'll look great.
Thanks Daksy, that's really helpful and generally good news (I guess I shouldn't be surprised it will be expensive -- all the projects we've done in our old house have ended up that way! :) ) Would a fireplace store that sells gas inserts be the place to start or do you think it would be better to independently seek out a welder/fabricator first?
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,093
Wherever we're parked
You have to pick out the unit you want in the first, before you can decide on the surround modifications.
Go to a hearth shop to start. Take the pix of your fireplace, along with the width, height & depth(s) measurements.