I plan on building a six-foot wide 2x4 (perhaps 2x6) false wall around the burner(Bis Tradition CE) & up to the vaulted ceiling. On one side of the hearth the ceiling is about 11 feet up. On the other side the ceiling is 14 feet up. I'll be tiling (sort of) the bumpout with 4 x 16 inch blocks of dry-stacked slate that’s about 1-1.5 inches thick. When all the tile is in place I’ll have around 1000 pounds of “rock” hanging on the bumpout. The Tile Shop says thinset to a suitable backerboard is all that's needed to hold the material up. While I’ve built many things over the years I haven’t done anything like this. Does anyone have a suggestion on the best way to tie the false wall to the existing, drywalled, finished wall above the mantle? The existing wall is a 2x4 load bearing wall between the great room & the garage. This wall is finsihed with drywall on both sides (I assume there is a vapor barrier in place already). The false wall will just be a bump-out added onto the existing wall. I'm thinking a grid will be needed as the horizontal portions will be used to tie into the existing studs. Without horizontal sections I'm left with tieing vertical stud-edges of the new wall to veritcal stud edges of the existing wall...doesn't sound good as a toenailed butt joint can't be very strong.