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billthecat 10-03-2008 06:42 PM

Framing, insulating around fireplace rough-in
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Hi everyone,

I'm finally getting around to finishing my basement and I have a couple of questions about the fireplace rough-in. The attached photo will show you what I'm working with.

The builder insulated about 3' down from the ceiling. I glued 2" foamboard insulation to the walls below that, including the fireplace rough-in. I still have to tape the seams. I'm wondering if I should have done that if I'm eventually going to install a gas fireplace. Any thoughts?

Also, when it comes to framing the wall, does anyone know a reason why I shouldn't extend the frame right to the edge of the rough-in?


Termite 10-03-2008 08:20 PM

The foamboard insulation really scares me. Even a drop-in gas unit creates a lot of heat and requires a certain clearance to anything combustible (see manufacturer's installation instructions). Foamboard is highly combustible and ignites easily.

Behind the fireplace, I'd recommend unfaced fiberglass batts or rock wool batts instead. If the poly faced fiberglass at the top is close to the fireplace, I'd consider covering or replacing it as well. Another option might be to install an ignition barrier between the foam/poly and the fireplace...Sheetrock or sheet metal are commonly used. An ignition barrier does not reduce your required clearances however.

Have you purchased or decided on the fireplace you're getting? The manufacturer's installation instructions will let you know exactly how to frame for it, and the required clearances. Be sure that you follow their instructions to the letter.

Marvin Gardens 10-04-2008 07:15 AM

Many stoves today are zero clearance. The venting is built into the stove.

The way to do this is to get the stove you want and then build to the specs of that stove.

I install lots of gas stoves and have never really had a problem with clearances to combustibles. One home I did last year had a stove that got really hot and was put in right next to the wood. Being a retired Paramedic I am always thinking of safety and thought this was not right.

Both the architect and the inspector said that was the way they designed the stove and it was code. Knowing that code is written for the worst case scenario I figured it was okay with me.

Some things need to be done perfect and this is one of them. Do your homework well before you do this project. And remember that going the extra distance by being over cautious and making it more fire safe is not a bad thing.

billthecat 10-08-2008 06:34 PM

That's sound advice. Thanks very much to both. I'll see what my instructions say (once I get the framing, subfloor, etc done, and am ready for a fireplace).

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