Ideas for custom surround to flush mount Pacific Energy Neo 1.6 insert

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New Member
Oct 2, 2019
Southern Vancouver Island
We have settled on the PE Neo 1.6 insert. Our plan is to have a custom surround made so the neo can sit flush inside the existing masonry fireplace. Our hearth has the required 18" extension, and mounting the neo flush means that we don't have to put down tile for the additional 7/8" clearance needed, which we feel wont look great with our hearth.

The Neo's surround is composed of two parts, the inner and outer surround. We will buy the inner surround, and have the outer custom made.

I've attached an image of our hearth, with the current propane insert. I've also attached some examples I've found of flush/inset insert installs.

I'm trying to decide how to design the outer surround. Should it just be a flat sheet of steel? Or would it look better if the edges were bent back like a typical surround so you wouldn't see the sharp edge? Our should it be scribed to match the stone?

I assume I should leave a slight gap between the surround and the stone, a reveal? To compensate for the fact that the stone isn't straight?



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Mech e

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2019
If I understand correctly, you want the outer shield to fit inside the fireplace opening. That is a bit tricky to implement and make look good. I assume the opening is not square and even irregular along all three sides. If you leave tolerance gaps along the three edges, it might not give you a clean look. You will most likely have varying gaps between the sheet metal and opening.

It would be more costly, but I would fabricate the surround using 3 pieces and put an offset flange (offset into the room) on the three edges to overlap the fireplace opening. I would have the three pieces welded and grinded so they look like a single part after painting. This would eliminate trying to get a clean looking fit into the opening and I think it would yield a better result. It you want, I could do a quick CAD model to show you what I mean.


New Member
Oct 2, 2019
Southern Vancouver Island
If I understand correctly, you want the outer shield to fit inside the fireplace opening.
That is right, as per the drawing below we are required to have 18 7/8" from the face of the stone to the end of the hearth, we have 18".
We are planning pushing the insert 7/8" further back to reduce this distance.

I think I understand what your idea is, but a drawing (even if crude) would be much appreciated! Thanks !
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Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
Wildwood MO
I am considering doing the same thing. My wife doesn't want any brick covered. so when I install my Lopi freedom I am planning on bolting steel angle to the sides and top where the surround would bolt on then cut sheet metal to fit between the insert and the brick. I am considering using decorative perforated steel. I will attach the screws through the face into the steel angle.