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Old 07-23-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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Fireplace rebuilding in 1930s house


Our new house has a multitude of fireplaces but the lounge one is the worst in terms of hidden construction 'issues'.

So I'm now rebuilding it to try and meet current regs as close as the property will allow.

The fireplace will eventually have a stove in there so it wont be an open naked flame fireplace.

Im at the point where I need to replace the bricks that were once removed to allow the original tiled concrete surround to fit. But I need to know what bricks to use. The ones that make up the walls don't appear to be firebricks as they are normal brick size. Attached is a photo. Also how do I cope with the cavity. Make brick same levels then face it with stone?

The photo is a bit old now as the hearths have been removed (there was three superimposed hearths? and a not very think constructional)

Thanks in advance

Mark
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Fireplace rebuilding in 1930s house-2012-07-10-20.25.11.jpg   Fireplace rebuilding in 1930s house-2012-07-22-17.32.34.jpg  
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Last edited by MarkBeharrell; 07-23-2012 at 10:46 AM. Reason: More photos (different stages)
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Fireplace rebuilding in 1930s house


Mark,
I am not a mason, but here is a good place to start, the International Residential Codes (IRC).

R1003.5 Firebox walls. Masonry fireboxes shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. When a lining of firebrick at least 2 inches (51 mm) in thickness or other approved lining is provided, the minimum thickness of back and side walls shall each be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry, including the lining. The width of joints between firebricks shall not be greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). When no lining is provided, the total minimum thickness of back and side walls shall be 10 inches (254 mm) of solid masonry. Firebrick shall conform to ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and shall be laid with medium-duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199.


Firebrick, if used, must meet ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and refractory mortar must comply with to ASTM C 199. Note, however, that firebrick (and presumably refractory mortar) are not required. The language is "When a lining of firebrick ... is provided..." That means you can use red brick or stone to line a firebox. The firebox walls just have to be 10" thick instead of 8" thick.
Firebrick and refractory mortar are refractory products that can stand the high temperature and thermal shock they are subjected to in a firebox. Some stone, like soapstone, perform well but most face brick and most natural stone will crack or spall due to thermal shock in a firebox. Ordinary Portland cement mortar will not withstand the high temperatures either. After several cycles through 600 degrees F the Portland cement will disintegrate. So the code specifies refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199 - not "fireclay mortar" which is often nothing more that ordinary Portland cement mortar with some fireclay added.

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Old 07-24-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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Fireplace rebuilding in 1930s house


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Originally Posted by Rockford View Post
Mark,
I am not a mason, but here is a good place to start, the International Residential Codes (IRC).

R1003.5 Firebox walls. Masonry fireboxes shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. When a lining of firebrick at least 2 inches (51 mm) in thickness or other approved lining is provided, the minimum thickness of back and side walls shall each be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry, including the lining. The width of joints between firebricks shall not be greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). When no lining is provided, the total minimum thickness of back and side walls shall be 10 inches (254 mm) of solid masonry. Firebrick shall conform to ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and shall be laid with medium-duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199.


Firebrick, if used, must meet ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and refractory mortar must comply with to ASTM C 199. Note, however, that firebrick (and presumably refractory mortar) are not required. The language is "When a lining of firebrick ... is provided..." That means you can use red brick or stone to line a firebox. The firebox walls just have to be 10" thick instead of 8" thick.
Firebrick and refractory mortar are refractory products that can stand the high temperature and thermal shock they are subjected to in a firebox. Some stone, like soapstone, perform well but most face brick and most natural stone will crack or spall due to thermal shock in a firebox. Ordinary Portland cement mortar will not withstand the high temperatures either. After several cycles through 600 degrees F the Portland cement will disintegrate. So the code specifies refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199 - not "fireclay mortar" which is often nothing more that ordinary Portland cement mortar with some fireclay added.
Thats very interesting. So if its not built originally from firebrick then use redbrick and refractory mortar.
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