Around our fireplace, we are replacing the ceramic tile and oak mantel/surround with stone veneer. We plan to mount a tv above it and getting rid of the mantel will allow us to lower it quite a bit. I have ordered stone veneer ledgestone and am planning to go floor to ceiling with this in the dry stack manner (little or no mortar in the joints). I'm still flushing out the details and have some questions.
We have a typical gas fireplace (direct vent), mounted flush with the wall and up about 8 or 10" off the floor. Surrounding it was 12" ceramic tiles on the wall and floor and outside that were wood pillars and a mantel. I've ripped all that out so all I have now is the fireplace flush with the sheetrock. See pic below.
1. Should the gas fireplace be flush with the surface or can it be set back a few inches? In other words, if it remained unmoved and I "bump out" the surrounding area that will be covered in stone, the front of the fireplace will end up being set back several inches from the face of the stone veneer. Just wondering if it will trap heat or any other concerns. Would a blower make a difference?
2. I am considering boxing out an area above the fireplace that will be flush with the surface of the finished stone veneer,...this would be where I'd mount the flat screen tv mounting bracket. Is this a bad idea? Just wondering if I should just go stone veneer all the way up and mount the bracket through the veneer?
3. My wife would prefer I just install the veneer on the existing wall while I think it would look better if I bump the whole thing out at least a few inches. She is concerned bumping it out will eat up valuable space while I think install just the flat stones on the wall will look a little a little less appealing.
4. Lastly, just gathering opinions but if I have to move the fireplace out...should I move it down to the floor as well and skip the hearth? I'm undecided on this and so is my wife. Just curious what others think.
Thanks for any and all advice.