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Vinny_1 02-13-2011 10:06 PM

New Home Owner, wanting to re-model fireplace. Any suggestions?
Hi All,

My Name is Vinny and my wife and I are new Home Owners, I'm 24 years old in the military and have my mind set on re-modeling the fireplace. The house was built in 1985 the living room is 13 x 13 and I have no other place to put my 52" Flatscreen! I want to mount it above the fireplace but I am guessing its all brick behind the paint? I would consider ripping off the mantel so I could mount the tv a little lower? Maybe try putting up some 2x4's for the tv mount? There's no cable jack above the fireplace, so I have not a clue what I would do there. I would also like to re-do the tile and give it more of a newer look. Any suggestions? Thanks

Here's a pic, this is the previous homeowners picture.

Jackofall1 02-13-2011 10:15 PM

Welcome Vinny, to the best DIY'r site on the web.

If you search fire place you will find a couple of real good project portfolio's, that would be a good place to start.

Have you taken a stud finder to the wall above the FP they are not always all brick, many times it is a studded wall.


Ron6519 02-13-2011 10:17 PM

It isn't necessarily a brick fireplace. open the doors and look at the construction.
Do you have a brick chimney outside?
You don't want the TV too low as it can be damaged from the heat. You can remove the tile and put up anything you want. Different tile, stone, marble, granite, etc..
If the wall behind the sheetrock is masonary, you can furr out the wall and run cable and electric in the space.
Look at pictures of fireplaces on the web to see what you like.

Vinny_1 02-13-2011 11:08 PM

Thanks for the input guys, I havent even moved in yet, I close on the house march 4th and able to move in on the 5th. As soon as I move in I will take a stud finder to that wall. Im just trying to get a head start and layout a blueprint so I have something to work off of.

I did a search and I really like what this guy did with his fireplace. I would like to do something similar but the only thing is I have tall vaulted ceilings. Then on each side of the fireplace it sticks out about half a foot the length of the wall to the ceiling. Next to the firplace there is a little cubby hole I believe would be used to store wood. I was thinking of replacing all of the tile and adding shelves in that cubby hole for maybe the cable box, dvd player, ps3, dvd's and things like that then maybe running cables down there some how?

I've never done anything like this before but I have the drive, open mind, time, tools and the money to do so. Thanks again

troubleseeker 02-14-2011 09:59 AM

The black trim I see in the photo beyond the perimeter of the glass doors, points me to this not being a true masonry fireplace as you suggesst, but a standard prefab metal firebox. The wall above is almost certainly drywall and stud construction. Pretty difficult to offer suggestions for updating the look, as that all depends on what you are after in personal taste. As suggested, view other areas of the site, visit bookstores and browse the magazines and DIY sections for ideas.

Looks like the mantle is pretty much at the mininum clearance to the firebox that is allowed by code, so I would not remove it in order to mount anything closer to the firebox....particularly a large plastic tv surround. I would nix the 2 x 4's for mounting the tv, and definatley go with one of the commercially available mounts. If you have attic above, you will be able to supply power and cable supplies down the wall pretty easily, if not the difficulty is totally depenent on the specific site conditions.

Steeler99 02-14-2011 10:21 AM

Even if it is a true fireplace, you don't have to rip it all out to mount a tv above it. You can go to your hardware store, get a masonry drill bit that can go through brick....or anything else for that matter.

Then, get four masonry screws....3" or so...then you can mount your flatscreen bracket to the wall...ensuring you're screwing into the brick.

Heat may be an issue, but I would have to say that I doubt it. If the mantle above doesn't get warm, then there's definitely not enough heat to damage a tv.

Lastly, I'm assuming you have a fairly modern lcd, and not a plasma....which, they're fairly light these days. I have a 46" flatscreen and it weighs less than forty pounds.

I wouldn't overthink this unless you have you heart set on remodeling a fireplace. Personally I like the look of that fireplace, the wood storage on the right is really cool. I'm assuming that's a traditional fireplace and masonry isn't something I'd feel comfortable taking on myself as I'm not a builder either. The problem with masonry diy'ers is that often the project comes out great in the beginning, but ends up cracking due to poor craftsmanship or lack of professional knowledge. And if finances are an issue, nothing's cheaper than a drill bit and four screws

Steeler99 02-14-2011 10:30 AM

oh, and having thought about your situation a little more has prompted me to chime in one more time.

Being that you're new, young, and this is your first home, I'm assuming you have limited knowledge with remodeling. If I'm wrong, please forgive me.

I have two tips for you....first, if you think it's going to take you two weeks to do this.....plan on six.

If you think this will be a thousand dollars, be sure to have at least 1500 on standby.

Every project I've ever done in my house has taken longer than I envisioned...I finished more in the three weeks before I moved in here than I have in the last two years of moving in here. Projects in rooms you use daily are a pain being that there's something that always seems to interfere...aka, new visitors checkin out the new house, kids, etc....I wish you the best in your remodeling and congrats on the new home!!

Vinny_1 02-14-2011 01:50 PM

Thanks for the input guys, where would you mount the cable box and all the other stuff? In that link I went to (fireplace re model on going) he used an infared repeater or something like that. What exactly is that? I'll google it but im sure you guys have more knowledge on that. Thanks again

troubleseeker 02-14-2011 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by Vinny_1 (Post 591093)
Thanks for the input guys, where would you mount the cable box and all the other stuff? In that link I went to (fireplace re model on going) he used an infared repeater or something like that. What exactly is that? I'll google it but im sure you guys have more knowledge on that. Thanks again

Decide on the particular mount you want and purchase it. Some of them are really open , but there are some where the electrical and cable boxes must be located in a certain area to give you clear access to them.

Infared(often seen referred to as IR) repeater is a remotely mounted sensor for an infared remote control. They are used when you have equipment, typically surround sound , dvd, etc, that is mounted inside a closed cabinet, and you want to be able to operate it without having to keep the doors open. IR is a line of sight technology. It cannot penetrate cabinet doors, walls, or operate equipment that is around a corner as the beam must be pointed in a fairly close proximity of the sensor on the receiving equipment for it to work, so a remotely mounted repeater is used to pick up the signal and transfer it to the hidden devices.
Newer, upper scale technology is radio frequency (RF) and can actually operate equipment inside a cabinet or even on the other side of a typical sheetrock wall. Since it uses radio frequency to communicate it is not sensitive about having to be pointed directly at the equipment.

One more thing to keep in mind is that you don't want the electrical wire and the tv cable running down the wall parallel to each other in close proximity, separate them by at least one foot, to lessen the chances of any electrical interferrence being picked up by the cable.

pyper 02-15-2011 10:56 AM

So is that wall the end of the house, or is there a room beyond?

Regarding cable and power, what you need to do is "fish" the wires through the wall. If you look at books on electrical wiring, they'll show you how to fish wires. You'll likely need to cut a hole or two, and then patch the holes.

I wouldn't mess with the fireplace. I think it looks really nice the way it is, but that's just me. If I was going to make a change, it would probably be to put an insert into it, either gas or wood. But putting in an insert might change the necessary clearances, so you'd want to look into that first. When you have to opportunity, check out the inside of that fireplace. If you look up and there's a round opening, then it's definitely pre-fabricated. Look around for a manufacturer's tag and download the instructions.

Oh, and congrats to you and your wife and thank you for your service. My wife and I just closed on a new house yesterday, and I'm so glad that's behind us!

Vinny_1 03-13-2011 11:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Ended up putting my 52" in the basement. Bought a 40" and mounted it directly above the fire place. So before we mounted it we drilled a hole big enough for the tv plug and hdmi cable and ran the cable to that cubby hole where I mounted the hdr reciever to the top of the cubby hole and ran a surge protector from the outlet outside of it into the top of the cuby hole. It looks clean with no wires. Only thing I have to hide is the aure protector cable

Vinny_1 03-14-2011 12:03 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Heres a better pic. As you can see no wires by the tv. The hdr reciever mounted to the top flush in the cubby hole. And the only wire I have to hide is the surge protector bottom right. We also moved the cable jack from the left wall by the fire place to the cubby hole ;)

TheStoneExpert 11-02-2011 03:03 PM

Fireplaces with TV's A new twist
1 Attachment(s)
The example of the fireplace in issue is common and we have found a way to tie in the TV, firebox and wood box (or now a component box). Since we specialize in stone fireplaces, the example is going to show stone, but doesn't need to have that material.

It has been our experience to center the TV over the center of the wall instead of the firebox creates a nice look. The empty box on the right can be modified for a component area and the wiring brought to that area.

We feel a mantel and TV crowds the space and therefore suggest no mantel. To date we have no reported problems with either heat of smoke when the fireplace is mounted over the firebox.

To see more examples of stone fireplaces and TV look at the following link.

The attached picture shows a great example of another way to install A TV and create more balance

For more information on TV's and fireplaces, look at our blog posting.

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