Wood insert for an unusual fireplace

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soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Hi all, we have been shopping for a wood insert for our home and it's proven to be way trickier than we expected. Our fireplace is pictured below with all the relevant dimensions. I'm having a bit of trouble finding a solution that works with our combustible clearances. We would prefer to not remove some or all of this wood. Our goal is to find a wood burning insert with blower -- this would give us the aesthetic we're looking for (wood burning in the fireplace) and also provide supplemental heat in the winter.

We were looking at the Lopi Flush Wood NexGen-Fyre Arch (large or medium) or the Osburn Matrix 2700, but those seem to require larger combustible clearances. Does anyone here have any advice or ideas?

fireplace measurements.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, that's going to be challenging due to the shadowbox nature of the mantel. The other question is whether there is adequate hearth protection 16-18" out, under the hearth floor tile.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,704
SE North Carolina

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,238
NE Ohio
Probably not what you want to hear, but personally, I would remove the wood, or at the very least rework it enough to open up my choices of stoves...the FP itself looks to be a good size for ample choices in make/model
 

soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Yes, that's going to be challenging due to the shadowbox nature of the mantel. The other question is whether there is adequate hearth protection 16-18" out, under the hearth floor tile.
Thanks, I didn't realize that the tile itself might not be sufficient floor protection. Do you know if there's a similar thickness product we could install in place of the tile?

The Lopi Flush Wood NexGen-Fyre Arch (medium) facing measurements are close -- the inside of the facing is 30.875" and the outside of the facing is 46.875" ... so there's 8" of facing on the left and right. The required clearance is 9" on either side, so basically the width of the facing plus an inch on either side (48.875"). So we'd need to remove ~5" total to fit the width, splitting the difference that's about the width of the trim removed on either side.

The facing height is 39" and the required clearance is 41.5" ... our current clearance is 33", maybe more because I measured from the tile which is a good inch+ higher than the bottom of the firebox. We'd have to remove several inches from the top, but it might work.

I've attached a mockup with the required removal for the medium Lopi, as well as the specs. I guess we're willing to modify the wood surrounding the fireplace, but we don't want to remove it completely. Although I am somewhat handy with wood, so a rebuild of the wood surround isn't completely out of the question either.

medium lopi marked.png lopi medium specs.png lopi medium.png
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,704
SE North Carolina
Accepting the trim modifications is necessary to move forward. I’d pick an appliance then rebuild the trim to its clearances once you have extra sure it will be delivered. Supply is tight right now. Worst thing is to redo it then have to change inserts and redo it all over. So will the surround got the edge of the trim or will there be exposed brick?

I will throw out some thoughts to consider.

have you consider a pellet insert?
Where will you get your firewood? Where will your store it. it’s getting too late to get any hardwood dry enough to burn this winter.
How much will you need.
 

soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Probably not what you want to hear, but personally, I would remove the wood, or at the very least rework it enough to open up my choices of stoves...the FP itself looks to be a good size for ample choices in make/model
Are clearances measured from the outside of the unit, or the outside edge of the facing, or the outside edge of the insert firebox itself? The Matrix 2700 requires 9.5" on either side and 12" of top clearance, but the face itself seems to cover those clearances (if measured from the edges of the insert firebox). If that's correct, the Matrix 2700 should fit almost perfectly as-is.

matrix2700 dimensions plus clearance.png
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
Clearances typically are measured from the stove body itself, not the surround's trim. However, the Osburn Matrix 2700 insert manual shows it from the top of the surround to the mantel shelf, min, 12". This is confused due to the conflicting illustration for all clearances which shows the insert without trim. It's a poor illustration also because the brick pattern behind obscures the dimension line arrowheads. Long story short, the clearance to the shadow box trim needs to be 9.5" from the insert body on the sides and 12" from the insert body top, assuming that the mantel SB trim is less than 5" deep.

The floor tiling is new and extends well beyond the original hearth. Is there a basement or crawlspace under the hearth? You may be able to see where the original hearth ended. If that is 16" in front of the fireplace and a flush insert is installed, then it may comply with the insert requirements. This is TBD.
 
Last edited:

soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Clearances typically are measured from the stove body itself, not the surround's trim. However, the Osburn Matrix 2700 insert manual shows it from the top of the surround to the mantel shelf, min, 12". This is confused due to the conflicting illustration for all clearances which shows the insert without trim. It's a poor illustration also because the brick pattern behind obscures the dimension line arrowheads. Long story short, the clearance to the shadow box trim needs to be 9.5" from the insert body on the sides and 12" from the insert body top, assuming that the mantel SB trim is less than 5" deep.

The floor tiling is new and extends well beyond the original hearth. Is there a basement or crawlspace under the hearth? You may be able to see where the original hearth ended. If that is 16" in front of the fireplace and a flush insert is installed, then it may comply with the insert requirements. This is TBD.
Thank you, this is helpful. The Matrix 2700 manual is confusing. See attached. The certification plate (blue) says to measure clearances from door opening, but page 34 shows the measurements from the outside of the unit (not from the outside of the face plate.

Which is correct determines whether I need to remove the wood on the sides -- and how much of the wood above the unit I'll need to remove.

There is a crawlspace, so I'll see if I can figure out where the hearth ends beneath the tile. I'm actually headed out of town for a week tomorrow morning, so I'll update when I return.

matrix2700 clearances page 34.png matrix2700 clearances.png
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,704
SE North Carolina
Does the matrix require R value for the hearth extension?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
Does the matrix require R value for the hearth extension?
Yes, if the hearth is not raised above floor level.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
Thank you, this is helpful. The Matrix 2700 manual is confusing. See attached. The certification plate (blue) says to measure clearances from door opening, but page 34 shows the measurements from the outside of the unit (not from the outside of the face plate.

Which is correct determines whether I need to remove the wood on the sides -- and how much of the wood above the unit I'll need to remove.

There is a crawlspace, so I'll see if I can figure out where the hearth ends beneath the tile. I'm actually headed out of town for a week tomorrow morning, so I'll update when I return.
Yes, and then there is the picture on page 30 that shows the mantel shelf being measured from the top of the surround. The manual needs proofreading which is a bit unusual for SBI.
 
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soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Accepting the trim modifications is necessary to move forward. I’d pick an appliance then rebuild the trim to its clearances once you have extra sure it will be delivered. Supply is tight right now. Worst thing is to redo it then have to change inserts and redo it all over. So will the surround got the edge of the trim or will there be exposed brick?

I will throw out some thoughts to consider.

have you consider a pellet insert?
Where will you get your firewood? Where will your store it. it’s getting too late to get any hardwood dry enough to burn this winter.
How much will you need.
Thanks, I meant to reply to you earlier. I think we're leaning toward the Matrix 2700, which I believe will fit with minimal removal of the surrounding wood.

We are in the western suburbs of Chicago, I know I can get wood in bulk locally, but I'll probably end up looking around and if it makes sense to get it from further out I will. I realize supply may be limited for this coming season. I have a separate 3-car garage and figured I'd build a woodshed behind to store a large quantity of wood. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my wood ash, so still have to figure that out.

We have a furnace that's sufficient for our ranch-style (1.5 story) home. Our primary aim is aesthetic, we want a fire in our fireplace -- we also like the efficiency of an insert with the added supplimental heat it provides.

I've not really looked into pellet inserts. I have a pellet grill, so I assume it's a similar concept. I'm partial to cut wood, but I could be convinced to look at pellet inserts. I'm not really sure what the advantage is over a wood insert.
 
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Reactions: EbS-P

soundofsilence

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
25
Chicagoland
Yes, and then there is the picture on page 30 that shows the mantel shelf being measured from the top of the surround. The manual needs proofreading which is a bit unusual for SBI.
Right, our actual mantel shelf is high enough per the specs on page 30. It doesn't really make sense to me that combustible material beneath the mantel shelf would be measured differently, especially since both sponts in the manual specify 12" ... I'll be sure to mention this to the shop before we commit.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
Right, our actual mantel shelf is high enough per the specs on page 30. It doesn't really make sense to me that combustible material beneath the mantel shelf would be measured differently, especially since both sponts in the manual specify 12" ... I'll be sure to mention this to the shop before we commit.
Yes, I noted that. But in this case, the projection of the trim is large enough to need that clearance.
 
Dec 2, 2018
54
Maine
Thanks, I meant to reply to you earlier. I think we're leaning toward the Matrix 2700, which I believe will fit with minimal removal of the surrounding wood.

We are in the western suburbs of Chicago, I know I can get wood in bulk locally, but I'll probably end up looking around and if it makes sense to get it from further out I will. I realize supply may be limited for this coming season. I have a separate 3-car garage and figured I'd build a woodshed behind to store a large quantity of wood. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my wood ash, so still have to figure that out.

We have a furnace that's sufficient for our ranch-style (1.5 story) home. Our primary aim is aesthetic, we want a fire in our fireplace -- we also like the efficiency of an insert with the added supplimental heat it provides.

I've not really looked into pellet inserts. I have a pellet grill, so I assume it's a similar concept. I'm partial to cut wood, but I could be convinced to look at pellet inserts. I'm not really sure what the advantage is over a wood insert.
Lots of options for getting rid of wood ash. Our public works has free organic waste permits to drop, leaves, branches, logs(can find firewood here sometimes) and they have a small dumpster that is strictly for wood ash I have started taking advantage of.