Is a hearth mandatory on a fireplace remodel?

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by havasu, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Sep 27, 2013 #1

    havasu

    havasu

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    I'm preparing to reface the brick on my old fireplace with a natural stack-stone product. I would also like to remove the brick hearth, and just continue my ceramic wood (look alike) plank across the base of it.

    I've now been told that the removal of the hearth is possibly prohibited by code, since a wood log could roll onto the floor and catch fire.

    Just to add, the ceramic plank tile is thinsetted on a 4" concrete slab, which is obviously fireproof, and the fireplace has been converted to natural gas with fake fireplace logs.

    Could anyone shed some light on whether I will have problems with this upgrade?

    Fireplace project (3).jpg

    Fireplace project (5).jpg
     
  2. Sep 27, 2013 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    The tile would still give you fire proofing and you should not need it for a gas fireplace, hopefully the concrete is lever with the floor, it is part of the fireplace with rebar and all.
    You could ask the city inspection department or a store that sells gas fireplace inserts.
     
  3. Sep 29, 2013 #3

    BridgeMan

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    Could be an expensive mistake, if you remove the hearth without having the blessings of your local AHJ. Code people like to think of the worst case scenario, which for your situation would be the next owner of your house converting it back to wood-burning. A sharp home inspector would probably raise a red flag as well, telling his client (your buyer) that a hearth is required to keep from burning the house down.

    If you can afford to spend $1000 for your buyer's new masonry hearth, go for it. I'd just cover the existing brick hearth with a complementary ceramic tile surface, with bullnose on the front edge to overlap the faux stone.
     
  4. Sep 29, 2013 #4

    havasu

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    I appreciate the reply BridgeMan. This is exactly my concern, but I just hate those faux stone hearths.
     
  5. Sep 29, 2013 #5

    BridgeMan

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    I don't quite understand your reasoning: you love the faux stone on the wall, but you hate it on a hearth adjacent to the wall?
     
  6. Sep 30, 2013 #6

    havasu

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    I guess I should have been clearer. We've chosen the real stone so there won't be any faux stone in the build. I could pick up a solid slab for the hearth, but concerned about chiseling it correctly without cracking it, since I feel only a one-piece slab will look the best.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2013 #7

    BridgeMan

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    Count me as still being confused, as the photo you included in your first post sure looks like faux stone to me. Natural stone can rarely be dry-stacked so uniformly, nor does it all have the relative same thickness as the pieces shown.

    There shouldn't be any chiseling required if you decide on a one-piece stone hearth top. Measure up exactly what you need (making a full-size pattern, if it's complicated), and take it to your local stone place. They will happily do all the cutting and chipping necessary to furnish what you want, after you pick out the type and color of rock that you want them to draw from. For a small fee, they'll even deliver it and set it in place for you.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2013 #8

    oldognewtrick

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    There are several companies that have real brick and thin stone products available. We've used some with a water containment system replacing vinyl siding, wood siding, stucco. Check out this link and look at products-thin brick/thin stone.

    http://www.generalshale.com/home.php
     
  9. Jun 3, 2014 #9

    havasu

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    Well, I've pulled the trigger on this project, and I have a sore back to prove it.

    6-2-14a.jpg

    6-2-14b.jpg

    6-2-14c.jpg

    6-2-14d.jpg
     
  10. Jun 3, 2014 #10

    oldognewtrick

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    Looking better already, now what's the game plan from here?
     
  11. Jun 3, 2014 #11

    havasu

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    Today I fill in the flooring and hopefully purchase the stackstone. I also need to start fishing all the cable, HDMI, and power into the wall above the fireplace for the flatscreen TV.
     
  12. Jun 3, 2014 #12

    Chris

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    Sweet job! You could be like me and get rid of the whole fireplace.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  13. Jun 4, 2014 #13

    havasu

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    I considered removing it like you, but it doesn't take up much space. Here is today's work.

    6-3-14a.jpg

    6-3-14b.jpg
     
  14. Jun 4, 2014 #14

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    I like it a lot better without the brick columns and mirrow...just my:2cents: Looking good!
     
  15. Jun 4, 2014 #15

    Chris

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    Looks great. I did that originally with one side of my fireplace for more floor space.


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  16. Jun 4, 2014 #16

    Chris

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    Looks great


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  17. Jun 4, 2014 #17

    havasu

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    I'm probably going to be arrested by the hearth police for eliminating mine, but I don't care. My floor is fireproof, just like the hearth, and it is no longer a tripping hazard for kids. Also, there are numerous homes sold now that have this exact firebox with no hearth. I also consulted with 3 realtors who said they sell them just like this and were never called out for not having a hearth.
     
  18. Jun 4, 2014 #18

    Chris

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    If you ever get called on it just glue some large pavers down and tell them to F off.


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    havasu likes this.
  19. Jun 4, 2014 #19

    nealtw

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    You won't get called on it, I have owned a couple houses that had the hearth pored concrete attached to the chimney at floor level with tile on it. You just have a much larger chunk of concrete.
     
  20. Jun 5, 2014 #20

    havasu

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    I grouted the floor, added 4 can lights in the living room, replaced a bad wax ring on a toilet, and finally hung the TV. Now ready to hide cables, add power over the TV, and face the fireplace with stack stone, then add a mantle.

    06-04014.jpg
     
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