Mantel clearance issues

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quebee

New Member
Mar 30, 2021
11
CT, USA
I posted another thread a few weeks ago and got some nice help selecting a zero clearance fireplace. We are going with the Ambiance Elegance 36. I was looking through the manual and noticed the mantel clearances are minimum 51.5" from the base of the unit.


That seems quite high. Definitely higher than the current mantel above our old Heatilator Mark 123. From some google searching, if I want to mount the mantel closer to the top of the fireplace, it looks like my mantel options are to go with a noncombustible mantel, or to choose a combustible mantel but use a mantel shield. Is that right? Are there other options?

If I choose a combustible mantel, can I just have a thin piece of steel fabricated and screwed into the bottomo the mantel so that it is more or less invisible? I'm thinking my wife is going to want a wood mantel.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
That's correct, for a 3" deep mantel. It goes up depending on the depth. This ZC will produce much more heat than the old unit. The manual says nothing about reducing mantel clearances.

Note that a mantel cannot be installed below the minimum clearance of 51.5 inches (from the bottom of the mantel to the base of the unit). A non-combustible mantle doesn’t require a minimum distance from the fireplace.


Also, the face framing must be non-combustible so consideration for anchoring weight of the mantel needs to be considered.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks. I wonder if I choose a natural wood mantel, could I use a fireproofing spray to make the wood noncombustible?


Otherwise non-combustible mantel it is then.
This is an exterior fire retardant. It does not make the wood non-combustible.
 
Last edited:

quebee

New Member
Mar 30, 2021
11
CT, USA
That product does mention it has a permanent lifespan for interior application. Looks like they also make an interior product.

I’m concerned I won’t be able to make our project work because we also need to put the TV up there.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
I don’t think it would pass inspection with the fire retardant. What design aesthetic are you going for? How will the tv/what kind of tv mount will you use. How far will itE from the top/bottom of the unit? How expensive is the TV.

with an 8” deep stone mantle that’s18” above my stove in my fire place with my tv hanging 24” above the stove and12” away from the wall(no direct radiation from stove), The bottom of the tv can get to 140 degrees easily. It’s not ideal.
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
I don't think those fire-retarding products prevent pyrolysis, which is the concern/issue with a combustible mantel.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
The best solution will be a non-combustible mantel. There are some good products on the market that are quite good looking. As noted, a tv over the fireplace is not ideal due to the heat on the electronics.

 

quebee

New Member
Mar 30, 2021
11
CT, USA
Thanks everyone. We stopped over at our dealer today and went through the measurements carefully. We currently have a raised hearth. If we put the hearth directly on the floor, the clearances should not be an issue. Whew.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Good. It helps to have the whole picture.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,102
07462
I often wonder after seeing many videos of people pouring there own counter tops if it would be wise to make a mold to pour a mantel, seems like that would help by-pass clearance issues
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
Looking at the decorative stamped concrete it seems like this could be neat. I also think the wood grained tiles could make a nice mantle 8”x48” tiles might not even need grout joints in the face. It’s definitely not and organic look but could really fit well with a more modern look.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
I often wonder after seeing many videos of people pouring there own counter tops if it would be wise to make a mold to pour a mantel, seems like that would help by-pass clearance issues
If out of concrete then yes, but if out of a resin-based stone, then no.
 

quebee

New Member
Mar 30, 2021
11
CT, USA
I'm happy to make a new thread for this other quesiton, so mods please let me know if I should do that.

How can I tell if I need the outside air kit for this fireplace? My house was built in 1979 and while it's not drafty, I would bet it's not sealed as tight as some modern homes.