If you have been sitting around looking at your old fireplace for half the season you may be contemplating upgrading or remodeling the outside of your fireplace and mantel to give it a new look. In this how to will look at some of the ways you can upgrade your fireplace and what precautions you need to take when remodeling your fireplace.
The first thing you should understand is the materials chosen to build your fireplace where used because they’re both attractive and fire safe. Whatever upgrades you have in mind must take into account all the necessary fireplace requirements for safety. Normally materials used within a few feet of a fireplace opening are made out of natural stone or man-made brick. Within the fireplace you may only use fire rated bricks and tiles. You should never consider using wall or floor tile within the fireplace unless you’re closing it down and will not be using it as a functioning fireplace.
When selecting stone material you will have a variety of options you can choose from highly finished granite marble or or natural stone. Some people they also want to choose a man made tile product however you must account for fluctuations in heat normal tile is not rated for dramatic differences in heat changing. Also if youk intend to apply tile or stone tile to the face of a fireplace should not attached directly you should use a wire mesh which you can then coat with mortar if you attach stone or tile directly to brick the fluctuation in heat is likely to cause the tile to fail.
Many fireplaces include wood mantels. These wood mantels are applied in such a way that they will not cause problems with fire ratings. You should not extend them any closer to the firebox additionally you should probably not build them out in such a way that the heat coming from the fireplace would be trapped drying the wood and possibly causing a fire.
If the fireplace your are remodeling is a gas insert model that has a vent chimney exiting a side wall rather than the ceiling of the room or if out are working on a custom fireplace with an exposed chimney you must be very careful if you are attempting to enclose the area. I would suggest you get professional advice from a fireplace company even if you will do the work yourself.
Getting Professional advice before you start
Since you you are working around an area where there may be electrical, gas and surfaces that can reach a thousand degrees and more the cost and time needed to sit down with a professional to review your plans is well worth it. You should take pictures of the area both close and wide shots to show near by structures, windows and furniture. Include measurements and distances. If you have model numbers and manufacturer information also remember to bring that.
Describe any upgrades you would like to have and bring product information. This is especially important if the materials are to be used within a fire rated range.
It is easy to make simple mistakes such as applying fire rated tile with a mastic or glue that isn’t fire rated.
Upgrading your fireplace can increase your enjoyment of your living space and it doesn’t need to cost too much. You can do all the work yourself or you can contract a company like a counter top supply company to measure, cut and install product that is hard to get on your own.
Look at the options from every angle and get advice when you need it.