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Old 07-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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New Fireplace Insert w/ Stone Veneer


Hello,

I'm planning to update our existing brick fireplace with a wood-burning fireplace insert and stone veneer (Stonecraft, Cultured Stone, etc.) My plan is to first install the hearth, then have the insert installed by a pro, and then install the rest of the stone veneer so that it is flush with the insert's surround.

Our existing fireplace has a brick hearth that is raised about 6" above the floor, and is flush with the bottom of the firebox. I don't want to remove any of this brick, I just want to add new material on top of it (probably 1" thick granite). However, the new hearth will then be higher than the bottom of the firebox. What should I do about this? Can I install the same material I'm using for the hearth inside the firebox to bring it all up to the same level?

Also, we're planning to install a simple wood shelf mantle. Any tips on how to support this, and where to find the wood? I assume the supports should be in place before I install the veneer, but I have not been able to find any useful info on the web.

Thanks,
Mark

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Old 07-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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New Fireplace Insert w/ Stone Veneer


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Originally Posted by cumak View Post
Hello,

I'm planning to update our existing brick fireplace with a wood-burning fireplace insert and stone veneer (Stonecraft, Cultured Stone, etc.) My plan is to first install the hearth, then have the insert installed by a pro, and then install the rest of the stone veneer so that it is flush with the insert's surround.

Our existing fireplace has a brick hearth that is raised about 6" above the floor, and is flush with the bottom of the firebox. I don't want to remove any of this brick, I just want to add new material on top of it (probably 1" thick granite). However, the new hearth will then be higher than the bottom of the firebox. What should I do about this? Can I install the same material I'm using for the hearth inside the firebox to bring it all up to the same level?

No way, granite is probably the last material in the world I would put into an insert like this. I'd be suprised if the new unit wasn't higher than your existing, but don't know what the new unit looks like either. I'd suggest having the unit installed first and then move forward on your elevations once you see what you're left with.

Also, we're planning to install a simple wood shelf mantle. Any tips on how to support this, and where to find the wood? I assume the supports should be in place before I install the veneer, but I have not been able to find any useful info on the web.

Thanks,
Mark

Most FP stores (here at least) will have an assortment of pre-built mantels in stock to choose from. Personally I prefer the mantle to be in place before we show up to install the stone. The mantle should be finished/varnished as well before hand so that the moisture from the mortar doesn't leach into the wood & stain it. Most mantles are toe-screwed into the studs behind, and the screws are covered by the veneer thickness. In your case, with the existing brick, you will probably need to devise a way to use Tapcons to accomplish the same thing.

And, make sure to read the install manual supplied with the unit to get your clearnces to combustables before installing the mantle.

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Old 07-01-2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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New Fireplace Insert w/ Stone Veneer


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No way, granite is probably the last material in the world I would put into an insert like this. I'd be suprised if the new unit wasn't higher than your existing, but don't know what the new unit looks like either. I'd suggest having the unit installed first and then move forward on your elevations once you see what you're left with.
Thanks for your reply, but I'm a bit confused. We don't have an existing insert, just a regular fireplace. When the new insert is installed, doesn't the hearth have to be flush with the firebox floor so that there is a flat surface for the insert to sit on? (The inserts we're looking at "stick out" a few inches onto the hearth.) So, I'd think that any changes to the hearth and firebox floor need to be completed before the insert is installed. I don't see how that could happen after the unit is installed. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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New Fireplace Insert w/ Stone Veneer


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Originally Posted by cumak View Post
Thanks for your reply, but I'm a bit confused. We don't have an existing insert, just a regular fireplace. When the new insert is installed, doesn't the hearth have to be flush with the firebox floor so that there is a flat surface for the insert to sit on? (The inserts we're looking at "stick out" a few inches onto the hearth.) So, I'd think that any changes to the hearth and firebox floor need to be completed before the insert is installed. I don't see how that could happen after the unit is installed. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?

Many existing masonry FP's don't have a level floor & hearth, yet they have inserts. I'm sure this is something that is handled by the installer of the insert, ut of course, it's best ot ask them depending on the model.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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New Fireplace Insert w/ Stone Veneer


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Originally Posted by cumak View Post
Thanks for your reply, but I'm a bit confused. We don't have an existing insert, just a regular fireplace. When the new insert is installed, doesn't the hearth have to be flush with the firebox floor so that there is a flat surface for the insert to sit on? (The inserts we're looking at "stick out" a few inches onto the hearth.) So, I'd think that any changes to the hearth and firebox floor need to be completed before the insert is installed. I don't see how that could happen after the unit is installed. Am I thinking about this the wrong way?
I'm having an insert placed in a manufactured fireplace that is framed out into the room. Not the exact same setup as you because you have a standard fireplace, but I wanted to share my experience with you as I had similar questions. I had installers come out to assess the install last week. I was worried about how they align the box to the hearth. They told me that they can control the elevation of the insert based on the hearth. Ideally, your hearth and fireplace would be level, but most aren't. If your hearth is higher, they would build up the space inside the fireplace for the insert to sit on. The insert box gets attached at the desired height. For my application, they need to install a zero clearance box with the insert. These boxes stick out onto the heart and they are raised up an inch or so to accommodate most hearth heights. I asked them about raising my hearth a few inches. They said it's not a problem, as they can build up the flooring inside the fireplace to ensure a level fit. Best thing to do is to have the installers come out and assess before you buy the device and go for the full install. No surprises.
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