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Old 06-27-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


I'm finally on the home stretch remodeling the inside of my colonial. I'm working on the larger of the two remaining living rooms and absolutely hate the current fireplace in the room (see picture).

I plan to mount a flat screen (LCD or plasma) above the mantle, but I'm worried about mounting. The fireplace is made of cinder block with a brick finish. I have doubts the brick can support a TV directly mounted to it, since these bricks are for visual appeal.

Anyone have any ideas?

Plan 1.
I will remove the brick above the mantel, revealing the cinder block. 2X6s will be secured flat to the cinder block where the mount would need them to be. 2X6s will be placed on the edges and the entire top (above the mantel) covered in drywall. The TV mount will bolt through the drywall into the 2X6s. The mantel will be replaced with something substantial (not a crappy board like I currently have). The remaining brick on the lower part of the fireplace will be either painted or tiled over.

I am hoping for some guidance as I have never remodeled a fireplace.



BTW: We have no intention of ever using the fireplace, but we are not willing to remove it.
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:33 AM   #2
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


How much can a TV weigh??? I don't think you need to do all that for a TV. I think the brick will support it easily, unless it is as large as the fireplace.

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Old 06-28-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


LCD weight around 70 - 80lbs. I've been reading about mounting options and a lot of sites warn about mounting directly to the brick because there is no way to tell how secure it really is. I'm guessing they are worried about the bricks pulling away and the TV crashing to the floor?
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


Keep in mind, the brick veneer probably weighs over 1000#'s alone. With the thin flat screens today, I would have no fear of any of the veneer moving.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:08 PM   #5
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Keep in mind, the brick veneer probably weighs over 1000#'s alone. With the thin flat screens today, I would have no fear of any of the veneer moving.

x2 for me. With the correct anchors I would feel more comfortable mounting my TV to a brick veneer than a stud wall.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


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Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
any budget?
Any chance of getting rid of that red X ?

I'd drill all the way thru into the concrete block & anchor intop the concrete block if possible
I put a humk of granit down as my hearth
Then I tiled over the brick
Ours is a working fireplace that we use to help heat the house
Above our mantle is finished - old style plaster
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:01 PM   #7
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MW.

I would just frame around the existing brick and secure it to the ceiling joists. I am guessing that you will have sufficient framing available for your new pseudo soffit and that you would be mess ahead and also would keep an added layer of protection between the combustible materials and the heat source for the next person. Make sure also when you build the framing you set some backing at the height the tv brackets will go and then all you have to do is secure right into the backing. Also be sure that you are definitely not going to use that fireplace because if you do the heat source can cook the plasma/ crystals in the new tv's. If you do think about having the ambiance of the tv and the fireplace think about a gas fireplace or an electronic one. You can achieve some phenomenally beautiful results with some creativity and very little materials.

Good luck, be safe and if you want any further details post a follow up and I am sure you will receive a response or two.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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MW.

I would just frame around the existing brick and secure it to the ceiling joists. I am guessing that you will have sufficient framing available for your new pseudo soffit and that you would be mess ahead and also would keep an added layer of protection between the combustible materials and the heat source for the next person. Make sure also when you build the framing you set some backing at the height the tv brackets will go and then all you have to do is secure right into the backing. Also be sure that you are definitely not going to use that fireplace because if you do the heat source can cook the plasma/ crystals in the new tv's. If you do think about having the ambiance of the tv and the fireplace think about a gas fireplace or an electronic one. You can achieve some phenomenally beautiful results with some creativity and very little materials.

Good luck, be safe and if you want any further details post a follow up and I am sure you will receive a response or two.
Why would you want to go through all that framing and sheathing?? The guy wants to anchor his TV and tile or paint (painting brick is a horrible idea IMO) the brick. The framing makes the fireplace less functional in the future if you or future owner wanted to use it again. If you are going to tile then tile the brick and mount your mantle and TV. Tapcons or expansion anchors will hold far more weight than the TV.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:26 PM   #9
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NJ,

I believe MW stated the look they were looking to achieve and so I was going with the desired look that they were seeking not interjecting my design theory but going off of theirs. It would afford them the opportunity to achieve the look they are going for without having to remove the brick. They could achieve this without removing the brick and so I gave them an idea that would forgo removing the brick and went right to framing instead of dealing with the mess of cleaning up the shattered brick and dealing with the ceiling drywall edges which is probably a u channel or some kind of metal edge that is against the brick facade.


Anyone have any ideas?

Plan 1.
I will remove the brick above the mantel, revealing the cinder block. 2X6s will be secured flat to the cinder block where the mount would need them to be. 2X6s will be placed on the edges and the entire top (above the mantel) covered in drywall. The TV mount will bolt through the drywall into the 2X6s. The mantel will be replaced with something substantial (not a crappy board like I currently have). The remaining brick on the lower part of the fireplace will be either painted or tiled over.

I am hoping for some guidance as I have never remodeled a fireplace.


BTW: We have no intention of ever using the fireplace, but we are not willing to remove it.[/quote]


Now going off of your point NJ if they frame around the brick and the future owner wants to bring back the brick they can. They simply remove the framing and the drywall and repair the holes caused by the screws and voilą they have a functional brick fireplace again. Now if they tile over the brick then if the future owner want to bring the brick back they will have to clean all of the thinset or adhesive off right?

So I was just trying to throw out an idea for them to run with that would achieve the aesthetic look they desired with about 2/3 less mess and effort. I agree I would not paint the brick either and believe that this is not the desired aesthetic look they are going for.

I appreciated your input however and just wanted to interject some design options for them.

Good luck and be safe
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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Fireplace remodel -- need advise & suggestions


I understand where you are going with your idea paragon. You are right that if in the future the HO or future HO wanted the brick back with a functional fireplace your way would be easier to convert back. What I was saying was that if you just wanted a functional wood fire place back, tiling right over the brick would be easiest. Just remove the TV and you are done. The main point I wanted to make was that I think that Mwehnes is making this into a much larger project than it needs to be by worrying if the brick will hold a TV.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the replies so far.

Based on your feedback, I'm going to try mounting directly the brick. I figure if it doesn't work I can always remove it and frame the fireplace.

What type of fastener would be best for this?
I assume anchoring into the brick is better than the motor, correct?
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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MW,

I always anchor into the mortar lines because they are receptive to drilling. Also if you drill into the brick face you risk the chance of spalling the brick face and rendering it useless. The bricks are fired and have internal fault lines that can split so if you opt to drill into the brick be aware of this. Also if you want to reclaim the brick and it had holes in it there you have it.

Also someone mentioned drilling into the cinder block and anchoring that way. If you do opt to drill into the cinder PLEASE BE CAREFUL TO NOT PENETRATE THE FULL DEPTH! If you penetrate the full depth you will create a possible serious safety as well as performance issue that could be EXTREMELY expensive to repair in the future.

Also as far as anchors Tapcons ( they are blue and you can purchase them at any big box store are a suitable application. A superior fastener to any other fasteners is the GRK line. You may or may not find them in your location however they in my opinion are the finest available on the market.

I also approve of your method however make sure you apply enough fasteners to those 2x's and you can frame that prior to applying it to the fireplace however I may be opening a new can of worms with this discussion so I will digress and leave you to your own devices.

Good luck and be safe!
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
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MW,

I just wanted to add that when you do a project like this try to think about the choices you make and the implications it will have on the next person to come along. Too many of us just do and pass the problems on to the next guy. If we worked with greater regard for the next guy a lot of problems would be eliminated in this profession.

Thanks and once again good luck

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