Hearth Renovation

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
Looking for help/input on a hearth renovation. My wife and I are planning on replacing the wood paneling that surrounds our insert with stacked stone.

The paneling exceeds (barely) the maximum facing thickness requirements in some places (the thickness varies a little). The requirement is that it protrude less than 075". It is as thick as 0.875". For now, I am shielding the wood where it exceeds the facing requirement with some leftover liner insulation. I have monitored the wood temp with an IR gun, and it seems to stay below 130 (usually well below). However, I want to get my installation up to code. Also, my wife and I really like the stacked stone look.

I have a hearth extender in front of the stone hearth. I would like to tear out the current stone hearth and replace with one of adequate dimensions.

I am looking for recommendations on stacked stone, as well as general advice on this project. I haven't done anything like this before... but the youtube videos make it look so easy :) Is it really as easy as the videos make it seem?

For those of you who have done a project like this, what stone did you use? Are you happy with how it turned out? Is there anything you would do differently the second time around? If you have a picture of your hearth ready, I'd love to see it!
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Burning Hunk
Sep 16, 2015
229
Massachusetts
Can’t really help with how to do anything, but I fully support getting rid of any wood anywhere close.

Right now I’m running mine with the fan off. The first bricks above the surround are 250F and the underside of the mantle about 24 inches up is 135F. If my bricks were wood I would always be running the fan. Shouldn’t have to rely on the fan for safety.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
Looking for help/input on a hearth renovation. My wife and I are planning on replacing the wood paneling that surrounds our insert with stacked stone.

The paneling exceeds (barely) the maximum facing thickness requirements in some places (the thickness varies a little). The requirement is that it protrude less than 075". It is as thick as 0.875". For now, I am shielding the wood where it exceeds the facing requirement with some leftover liner insulation. I have monitored the wood temp with an IR gun, and it seems to stay below 130 (usually well below). However, I want to get my installation up to code. Also, my wife and I really like the stacked stone look.

I have a hearth extender in front of the stone hearth. I would like to tear out the current stone hearth and replace with one of adequate dimensions.

I am looking for recommendations on stacked stone, as well as general advice on this project. I haven't done anything like this before... but the youtube videos make it look so easy :) Is it really as easy as the videos make it seem?

For those of you who have done a project like this, what stone did you use? Are you happy with how it turned out? Is there anything you would do differently the second time around? If you have a picture of your hearth ready, I'd love to see it!
I use a manufactured stone from a company called Appleridge Stone. I don't know if it's available in your area or not.

I can't really see your fireplace insert design as I can't zoom in on the picture but it looks to be an insert in a masonry fireplace and from what I can see you're in for a heck of an involved job. It may look simple on the internet but those guys making look easy do it on a regular basis. Not knowing what exactly you have and what the clearances need to be, I'd say you'd be a lot better off having a nice "small" heat deflector designed to go around the stove, paint it to match either the stove or the paneling and use that for a heat shield. If it's a masonry fireplace with an insert you likely are not going to be able to raise the hearth extension of the floor and those built in cabinets you have may have the paneling you want to remove running behind them too. Maybe a closer pic and better description of what you have would help
 
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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
I use a manufactured stone from a company called Appleridge Stone. I don't know if it's available in your area or not.

I can't really see your fireplace insert design as I can't zoom in on the picture but it looks to be an insert in a masonry fireplace and from what I can see you're in for a heck of an involved job. It may look simple on the internet but those guys making look easy do it on a regular basis. Not knowing what exactly you have and what the clearances need to be, I'd say you'd be a lot better off having a nice "small" heat deflector designed to go around the stove, paint it to match either the stove or the paneling and use that for a heat shield. If it's a masonry fireplace with an insert you likely are not going to be able to raise the hearth extension of the floor and those built in cabinets you have may have the paneling you want to remove running behind them too. Maybe a closer pic and better description of what you have would help
It is an insert (Enviro Boston) in a masonry fireplace. Can you help me to understand why you think this is too big of a job? Not saying you're wrong, I just want to understand. I will get a better pic when I get home from work.

The pictures I posted of what we're looking to do are probably misleading - I couldn't find a picture that showed exactly what we want to do. We do not want to raise the hearth. We want to do the following:

1. Tear down the wood paneling from floor to ceiling behind the stove, but not behind the bookshelves (why would I have to remove this?). Replace the wood paneling with stacked stone

2. Tear out the current stone hearth, because it is not deep enough (hence the current hearth extender). Remove some of the wood floor to make room for a deeper, but still flush with the floor, hearth
 

shortys7777

Member
Nov 15, 2017
140
Smithfield, RI
I have a enviro kodiak and I did new brick veneer on mine. I installed the entire thing myself. My hearth is not long enough but I have yet to make a hearth pad yet. I'll do that in the summer time and may it to the size that fits the fence I will be installing for the baby. I do landscape construction in the summer and I will tell you veneer work is not easy and take a lot of time. I'll upload some photos when I get home from work. If I forget send me a message. I have some photos of my rebuild.
 
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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
I have a enviro kodiak and I did new brick veneer on mine. I installed the entire thing myself. My hearth is not long enough but I have yet to make a hearth pad yet. I'll do that in the summer time and may it to the size that fits the fence I will be installing for the baby. I do landscape construction in the summer and I will tell you veneer work is not easy and take a lot of time. I'll upload some photos when I get home from work. If I forget send me a message. I have some photos of my rebuild.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Pics would be great! Would you mind sharing what you found to be hard about the job?
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Burning Hunk
Sep 16, 2015
229
Massachusetts
Do you know what’s behind the paneling now? It’s probably just more brick? If so cleaning those up might look good too.

Either way, knowing whether you’re veneering over brick or a wall board would change the installation I imagine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

shortys7777

Member
Nov 15, 2017
140
Smithfield, RI
Assuming it is an exterior chimney? Looks similar to what mine looked like. There should be brick behind it. If you haven't done brick work or stone veneer you wont know how much time is involved. It's not rocket science but you want it to be level and straight. The spaces for the mortar need to be even or itll look ugly as work up. I wanted to go to the ceiling with stone veneer but that would've been out of my price range. I got my brick free from my shop so all it cost me was mortar and my time. I also used a demo saw to cut everything.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
Do you know what’s behind the paneling now? It’s probably just more brick? If so cleaning those up might look good too.

Either way, knowing whether you’re veneering over brick or a wall board would change the installation I imagine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Unfortunately I don't know. And I'm not sure how to check without removing the paneling.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
Assuming it is an exterior chimney? Looks similar to what mine looked like. There should be brick behind it. If you haven't done brick work or stone veneer you wont know how much time is involved. It's not rocket science but you want it to be level and straight. The spaces for the mortar need to be even or itll look ugly as work up. I wanted to go to the ceiling with stone veneer but that would've been out of my price range. I got my brick free from my shop so all it cost me was mortar and my time. I also used a demo saw to cut everything.
I'm going to be taking 2 weeks off of work in about a month, and would have a good chunk of time to devote to this. I will also have help (family in town) for a week of that time.
 

shortys7777

Member
Nov 15, 2017
140
Smithfield, RI
This is a few of my build. I had to repair the chimney area of the roof when I bought the house. When I ripped down the paneling I had damage to the frame. As you can see I ripped off the face bricks that were painted white. There was brick behind it. I built a veneer exactly where the old painted brick was.
IMG_4335.JPG IMG_4384.JPG 20180103_185748.jpg 20180109_195958.jpg 20180121_141305.jpg 20180213_203917.jpg 20181014_201239.jpg
 

HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
It is an insert (Enviro Boston) in a masonry fireplace. Can you help me to understand why you think this is too big of a job? Not saying you're wrong, I just want to understand. I will get a better pic when I get home from work.

The pictures I posted of what we're looking to do are probably misleading - I couldn't find a picture that showed exactly what we want to do. We do not want to raise the hearth. We want to do the following:

1. Tear down the wood paneling from floor to ceiling behind the stove, but not behind the bookshelves (why would I have to remove this?). Replace the wood paneling with stacked stone

2. Tear out the current stone hearth, because it is not deep enough (hence the current hearth extender). Remove some of the wood floor to make room for a deeper, but still flush with the floor, hearth
As long as the paneling isn't one piece running behind the bookshelves it won't be as complicated. It depends on how the carpenter built them in there. If you have plenty of time and patience as well as all the right tools you'll have a grand time.

The hearth extension may be a challenge depending on how big you need to make it. You may have to make it wider as well as deeper. I'd go the full width between the 2 bookcases. At minimum you'll cut the finish hardwood and remove it down to the subfloor. Then put down a sheet metal plate over the subfloor sealed along the edges with high temp silicone, cement board over that and then tile or something you prefer on top of all of it. You may want to check and see if your stove requires a certain insulation value for ember/hearth protection.

These are 2 that I have pics of. Both done with dry stacked ledge stone with some field stone mixed in.
 

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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
This is a few of my build. I had to repair the chimney area of the roof when I bought the house. When I ripped down the paneling I had damage to the frame. As you can see I ripped off the face bricks that were painted white. There was brick behind it. I built a veneer exactly where the old painted brick was.
View attachment 240803 View attachment 240804 View attachment 240805 View attachment 240806 View attachment 240807 View attachment 240808 View attachment 240809
Looks beautiful, thanks for sharing the pics. What do you mean by "I had damage to the frame?"
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
As long as the paneling isn't one piece running behind the bookshelves it won't be as complicated. It depends on how the carpenter built them in there. If you have plenty of time and patience as well as all the right tools you'll have a grand time.

The hearth extension may be a challenge depending on how big you need to make it. You may have to make it wider as well as deeper. I'd go the full width between the 2 bookcases. At minimum you'll cut the finish hardwood and remove it down to the subfloor. Then put down a sheet metal plate over the subfloor sealed along the edges with high temp silicone, cement board over that and then tile or something you prefer on top of all of it. You may want to check and see if your stove requires a certain insulation value for ember/hearth protection.

These are 2 that I have pics of. Both done with dry stacked ledge stone with some field stone mixed in.
Those look great! I especially love the one with the curve.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
As long as the paneling isn't one piece running behind the bookshelves it won't be as complicated. It depends on how the carpenter built them in there.
Unfortunately it looks as though the paneling does run behind the bookshelves. Is there any type of saw I could rent that would allow me to cut along the edge of the bookshelf?

If you have plenty of time and patience as well as all the right tools you'll have a grand time.
Do you think it is doable in a week, if I devote a full week to it (I won't be going into work)? I will have at least one other adult to help me, who has some masonry experience. I know it's hard to answer this without knowing my DIY skill level... but I'm just looking for a rough understanding on whether it is achievable in a full week of hard work, or if I'm not going to come close to getting it done, and should expect it to drag on for a while?


The hearth extension may be a challenge depending on how big you need to make it. You may have to make it wider as well as deeper. I'd go the full width between the 2 bookcases. At minimum you'll cut the finish hardwood and remove it down to the subfloor. Then put down a sheet metal plate over the subfloor sealed along the edges with high temp silicone, cement board over that and then tile or something you prefer on top of all of it. You may want to check and see if your stove requires a certain insulation value for ember/hearth protection.
Agree that the hearth extension should go the width of the bookcases. I will definitely ensure (with the help of hearth.com :) ) that my installation meets the requirements of my stove and code in general.

Thanks for the help!
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,478
SEPA
Unfortunately it looks as though the paneling does run behind the bookshelves. Is there any type of saw I could rent that would allow me to cut along the edge of the bookshelf?



Do you think it is doable in a week, if I devote a full week to it (I won't be going into work)? I will have at least one other adult to help me, who has some masonry experience. I know it's hard to answer this without knowing my DIY skill level... but I'm just looking for a rough understanding on whether it is achievable in a full week of hard work, or if I'm not going to come close to getting it done, and should expect it to drag on for a while?




Agree that the hearth extension should go the width of the bookcases. I will definitely ensure (with the help of hearth.com :) ) that my installation meets the requirements of my stove and code in general.

Thanks for the help!
I'd try one of those vibrating multi-tools for the cut. Just get a few extra blades. My cheap harbor freight one works just fine.

Can't tell you whether you can get it done in a week, don't know what unexpected circumstances you'll run into. I personally find everything takes me 3-5 times as long as I expect it to, when doing something the first time. Once I know what I'm doing, everything goes much faster. Just dive in and get started.

If you've never stacked stones, it'll be tough to get great results. I think stone veneer would be the best option. As the mortar has an expiration date (it'll set up on you), you have to keep moving with it.

We're you planning to raise the hearth or just extend it? Extending mine is a complicated affair because I can't get the r value I need without reframing the floor joists below.
 
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HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
Unfortunately it looks as though the paneling does run behind the bookshelves. Is there any type of saw I could rent that would allow me to cut along the edge of the bookshelf?



Do you think it is doable in a week, if I devote a full week to it (I won't be going into work)? I will have at least one other adult to help me, who has some masonry experience. I know it's hard to answer this without knowing my DIY skill level... but I'm just looking for a rough understanding on whether it is achievable in a full week of hard work, or if I'm not going to come close to getting it done, and should expect it to drag on for a while?




Agree that the hearth extension should go the width of the bookcases. I will definitely ensure (with the help of hearth.com :) ) that my installation meets the requirements of my stove and code in general.

Thanks for the help!
The vibrating multi-tool suggested above would be the tool to use. Again, patience is key. Once you remove the paneling you'll know what you have behind there and what you're up against.

Time wise - IF you have all your materials in place AND everything is what you expect it to be AND everything goes like it's supposed to......yeah, maybe a week. But like ED 3000 says, if you think it'll take 3 days, figure 5. When I do this stuff I tell people it could take 2 days or it could take a week. We don't know until we open things up and see what we have to work with.
 
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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
I'd try one of those vibrating multi-tools for the cut. Just get a few extra blades. My cheap harbor freight one works just fine.
Thanks for the tip.

Can't tell you whether you can get it done in a week, don't know what unexpected circumstances you'll run into. I personally find everything takes me 3-5 times as long as I expect it to, when doing something the first time. Once I know what I'm doing, everything goes much faster. Just dive in and get started.
Yeah, that's pretty much my experience as well. I really want to get this done (was planning on doing it last summer). And I feel like I will never do it unless I just jump in.

If you've never stacked stones, it'll be tough to get great results. I think stone veneer would be the best option. As the mortar has an expiration date (it'll set up on you), you have to keep moving with it.
What is the difference between stacked stone and stone veneer? I thought stone veneer does involve mortar?

We're you planning to raise the hearth or just extend it? Extending mine is a complicated affair because I can't get the r value I need without reframing the floor joists below.
I am just planning on extending. If I need to raise slightly (an inch or three) to get the r-value, I do have the vertical room. I'd prefer flush though. I guess I will have to start researching what r-value I need and how to get there.
 
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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
The vibrating multi-tool suggested above would be the tool to use. Again, patience is key. Once you remove the paneling you'll know what you have behind there and what you're up against.

Time wise - IF you have all your materials in place AND everything is what you expect it to be AND everything goes like it's supposed to......yeah, maybe a week. But like ED 3000 says, if you think it'll take 3 days, figure 5. When I do this stuff I tell people it could take 2 days or it could take a week. We don't know until we open things up and see what we have to work with.
Thanks. Since you've done this before, if any tips (no matter how simple) pop into your head, please share them! Usually when I attempt a project I've never done before, I get snagged on one or two stupid things. I'm sure it will happen this time too, no matter how much research and planning I do... but maybe I can avoid a few of the snags.

For example - I hadn't even thought about the paneling running behind the bookshelf being an issue...
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
Another question - just looking for your preference/suggestions. If we do stone from floor to ceiling, which is what we are planning to do, we will go with some sort of wood mantle. However we're unsure whether the mantle should extend from bookshelf to bookshelf like the current mantle does, or whether it should be not quite as wide. I am afraid that if it extends from side to side, it may look too big (it will likely be quite a bit thicker than the current mantle). But if it does not extend fully from side to side, it may look strange... this is totally a preference question... so just looking for input
 

HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
Another question - just looking for your preference/suggestions. If we do stone from floor to ceiling, which is what we are planning to do, we will go with some sort of wood mantle. However we're unsure whether the mantle should extend from bookshelf to bookshelf like the current mantle does, or whether it should be not quite as wide. I am afraid that if it extends from side to side, it may look too big (it will likely be quite a bit thicker than the current mantle). But if it does not extend fully from side to side, it may look strange... this is totally a preference question... so just looking for input
If you make it a partial mantle then you're going to have to cut a bunch of little pieces to fit along the edges between the mantle and bookshelf. I'd go side to side. Are you going to paint it or stain it? The one in my picture was made to look like a beam from rough cut oak but it's actually just the boards nailed and glued together to look like a beam. Appleridge makes the special stones that support the mantle. They have brackets that screw into the wall and the stone has the locking piece that slides into the bracket.

When you have to cut a stone to make it fit you will expose the unfinished concrete on the ends. I am pretty anal about making sure that is hidden behind the stones beside it and if needed I'll also cut the back off the stone to make it not project as far. I'll also cut a couple grooves in the back then to make the surface "textured". It helps it adhere to the mortar. Try to work from the fireplace towards the bookcase so all your cut edges are against the bookcase.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,478
SEPA
Thanks for the tip.



Yeah, that's pretty much my experience as well. I really want to get this done (was planning on doing it last summer). And I feel like I will never do it unless I just jump in.



What is the difference between stacked stone and stone veneer? I thought stone veneer does involve mortar?



I am just planning on extending. If I need to raise slightly (an inch or three) to get the r-value, I do have the vertical room. I'd prefer flush though. I guess I will have to start researching what r-value I need and how to get there.
Stacked stone is the full rock, veneer is just the face, normally, but not always, man made.

I think you've already decided on veneer, which has a flat side, and is applied almost like tile, you just "glue" them up, then fill in the spaces with mortar out of a bag.

Veneer is way easier, and if you are methodical, you can get great results. I think a lot of folks lay them out on the horizontal (floor), using a template cut to the size of the vertical, before they even start to mix the adhesive. Then they just go right up.

Do you have a notched trowel?
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
If you make it a partial mantle then you're going to have to cut a bunch of little pieces to fit along the edges between the mantle and bookshelf. I'd go side to side. Are you going to paint it or stain it? The one in my picture was made to look like a beam from rough cut oak but it's actually just the boards nailed and glued together to look like a beam. Appleridge makes the special stones that support the mantle. They have brackets that screw into the wall and the stone has the locking piece that slides into the bracket.

When you have to cut a stone to make it fit you will expose the unfinished concrete on the ends. I am pretty anal about making sure that is hidden behind the stones beside it and if needed I'll also cut the back off the stone to make it not project as far. I'll also cut a couple grooves in the back then to make the surface "textured". It helps it adhere to the mortar. Try to work from the fireplace towards the bookcase so all your cut edges are against the bookcase.
Awesome. Thanks for the tips, exactly what I'm looking for.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
Stacked stone is the full rock, veneer is just the face, normally, but not always, man made.

I think you've already decided on veneer, which has a flat side, and is applied almost like tile, you just "glue" them up, then fill in the spaces with mortar out of a bag.

Veneer is way easier, and if you are methodical, you can get great results. I think a lot of folks lay them out on the horizontal (floor), using a template cut to the size of the vertical, before they even start to mix the adhesive. Then they just go right up.

Do you have a notched trowel?
Thanks for clarifying the terminology. Yes, we've decided on veneer. The process does seem "easy", although I'm sure it will have challenges.

I like the idea of laying it out beforehand. We have an adjoining sunroom that would have enough floor space if we temporarily moved some furniture to lay out the full thing. I could do this well in advance over the next few weeks, to save us time on putting it together.

I don't have a notched trowel. I'll add that to my list of needed tools!