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Old 12-09-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
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Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP


I am in the process of closing on a 1959 ranch home, and the fireplace needs an overhaul. The plan is to rip off the mantle and existing shelves, remove the gas insert to bring it back to the original wood-burning state, and to put in a sheet or so of drywall to bump out the left side, which is currently recessed a great deal.

Here is a photo showing the current state of the room. Don't worry - the curtains are going, and there are gorgeous wood floors under the hideous carpet! The trim is all going to be painted as well.





We are going to decorate the entire house in a mid-century modern style, and I would like to also extend the fireplace brick to the ceiling - the height is a little under 8 feet. My question is how best to do this. I am not new to DIY work, but the idea is a little daunting. I have zero experience with brick. The fireplace is going to be painted a dark gray, so we don't have to match colors here. It was suggested to me that there is a product that is sold in sheets, that is like, half-thickness bricks? I have tried googling, but I can't seem to find much help on extending fireplaces up.

Since we are a fostering sort of family (I currently have 11 cats in our house), we want to build a cat highway that will cross over this fireplace further up. Here is an inspiration photo - think of these shelves as ledges for cats to travel across the room.




Obviously, the shelves won't have a bunch of knickknacks or collectibles on them.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks bunches.

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Old 03-08-2017, 02:23 AM   #2
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Re: Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP


I would google brick cladding. There are bricks you can buy that stick on.

http://www.norstone.co.uk/fireplace.html

I am sure there is a company in your area.

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Old 03-08-2017, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP


Before you start your conversion check with your insurance company as in recent years they have not been happy with any form of wood burning heaters. I suspect they would want the chimney inspected and any of the conversion completed by a professional who has insurance.

Also, a gas fireplace may have a smaller diameter chimney, often an insert that might not work well with a conventional wood fireplace.

From an energy point of view a traditional fireplace exhausts more heat than it produces. They look good but are not good for heating. Consider a sealed combustion insert unit, safer and more efficient.

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Old 03-08-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP


100% sure that fireplace was built to burn wood in?
Ever had a real wood burning fireplace before?
They put out very little heat and need a lot of makeup air that they get by sucking air from the rest of the house which causes them to get colder.
A wood burning insert with a blower would put out real heat and use about 1/3 the amount of wood.
For the brick, use "faux brick" for your search.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:59 AM   #5
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Re: Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP


Thanks for the responses!

Yes, I have had woodburning fireplaces before - almost every single house I have lived in, actually.

The info on the house actually has it listed as a wood-burning fireplace, and not as gas, as it was that way originally. The gas line was added later, and the insurance company has that information. They didn't require us to do anything extra when I called to tell them that it was actually gas right now, but we were having that removed and changed back to wood. So, it wasn't a hassle on that end. We are going to be putting in a liner, more than likely, later this summer. The fireplace has a double flue and it is definitely deteriorating, because the chimney never had a cap on it. We purchased a cap, had it installed, and we are now just waiting for warmer weather so we can fix the cracks in the crown. That all has cost less than $500, so those changes were something we could handle immediately. Once things settle down with the move, we will have a chimney expert come out, but I figure the liner is what we'll end up doing. Whatever the decision, we won't actually be using the fireplace this year.

To be clear, the main heating in the house is natural gas. The fireplace would only be as a backup if the power failed, and even then, we'll have a generator. Mostly it will be used to roast marshmallows from time to time in the winter!

That said, I had a really difficult time matching the texture on the bricks. I looked at the link, visited every big box store in the area, and stone places. In the end, everything looked off and not right. So I had it tiled over.

It still has to be grouted and cleaned up. The drywall has been mudded, but that's as far as we have gotten with this project. It should be finished this weekend. We move in next Thursday! Overall, I am very happy how this has progressed. The carpet was tacked down around the hearth, so we purchased some molding to put over the nail holes and the hardwood that was unfinished in that area.

Last edited by adoptolder; 03-08-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Extending Fireplace to the Ceiling - HELP



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