Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace Build and Install

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Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
I finally completed this project. It's a follow on from a previous thread of last year when I came into the forum asking advice about installing a freestanding stove inside an old zero clearance space.

https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/installing-wood-stove-in-old-zc-space.163487/

It eventually became obvious to me (though obvious to others from the start) that this was not going to work out.

In the end I took some good advice and found a fireplace that could fit the space. A 42 Apex with GreenStart.

Tackling the work myself I needed to learn some new trades, and then some more after I found serious problems having torn out the old 80s FMI factory fireplace and inspected the 'not so much clearance as I thought' firebox.

Had I used a contractor this problem could have turned out very expensive. This is the advantage of doing it yourself. Problems don't become financial headaches, just headaches.

I'll start with just a few pictures of the before and after and a link to a time lapse video which I put together on youtube. The various detailed stages of the build I have too but I'll just start with this and then I'll add them when I have time to edit. Music is optional, my son insisted on it, not my taste but since he put the final rock veneer piece in he now considers this his intellectual property.

Here is a link to the time lapse video on youtube showing an overview of the whole project from start to finish.


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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,777
South Puget Sound, WA
You did well. It looks great!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,777
South Puget Sound, WA
The video is very impressive too, quite professional. I like your wife's comment when the fireplace was removed. She sounded a bit stunned :).

What casting material did you end up using for the mantel and hearth?
 
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Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
The video is very impressive too, quite professional. I like your wife's comment when the fireplace was removed. She sounded a bit stunned :).

What casting material did you end up using for the mantel and hearth?
I used Surecrete Xtreme precast Mix (http://store.concreteexchange.com/surecrete-xtreme-series-precast-mix)
I didn't trust myself to blend my own GFRC Concrete so opted for this off the shelf product. A hopper sprayer and compressor would have made a cleaner face coat but couldn't source one. This product definitely needs to be used with a table vibrator which I didn't have, there's no separate face coat in this mix so it is full of glass fibers which I think may have retained more air bubbles. I plan on doing more concrete casting so I'll be getting a table vibrator, an air compressor and hopper sprayer at some point - and not use a ready made which turned out expensive: I payed $400 for the following:

(A) 4 x 1 Gallon XS Precast Modifier Mix Activator - 1 for every Bag of C

(B) 9 x 0.5 lbs SC Trucolor bag (sun buff) -2 for every Bag of C

(C) 4 x 50Lbs Surecrete Xtreme Precast Mix -white

(D) 1 x 3.5 lbs SureCrete Xtreme Slurry Compound