Fireplace surround ideas?

edited 10 May at 10:34AM in In My Home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
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greensaladgreensalad Forumite
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Onto my next project, I'd like to replace our unused faux-Victorian fireplace with something more to my taste. I prefer Mid Century style, but 60s fireplaces aren't exactly known for their attractiveness so I'm thinking to go for a more modern and minimalist look!

I have selected a stove with the correct KW output and it's also very petite which is what I want, as I'd like a fireplace which is lower than the current one, in order to mount a TV instead. I have checked the suggestions on the model for having a TV mounted above fireplace and I understand I need a particular distance and also a mantel of sorts to block the heat from rising directly onto the base of the TV.

What I have currently is something like this:

How Victorian Fireplaces Work  Antique Fireplace Restoration

But with hearth tiles set into the floor rather than a heartstone that sits on top (and no, it's not original, or attractive, it was installed in 2005 and I suspect it's from B&Q as it's the same look as my Mum's bought around the same time!)

What I want is something like this in terms of surround:

10 Examples of Contemporary Minimalist Fireplaces from the Remodelista  Archives

With this stove:

Jotul F105 Wood Burning Stove with Short Legs - Black

I'm just not sure what's feasible or how the example is built. I would guess it's framed out and plasterboarded over then skim-plastered to make it match the wall? But surely that can't be firesafe? Or maybe it can be done so. I'd like to use matching tiles for the inset hearth + inside the fireplace cavity. Just something simple and neutral. Perhaps these tiles need to come out and round the reveal like in the stove example picture in order to protect the plaster on the edges?

Any ideas about creating something like this?
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  • edited 10 May at 12:51PM
    FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    edited 10 May at 12:51PM
    greensalad said: What I want is something like this in terms of surround:

    10 Examples of Contemporary Minimalist Fireplaces from the Remodelista  Archives

    I'm just not sure what's feasible or how the example is built. I would guess it's framed out and plasterboarded over then skim-plastered to make it match the wall? But surely that can't be firesafe? Or maybe it can be done so. I'd like to use matching tiles for the inset hearth + inside the fireplace cavity. Just something simple and neutral. Perhaps these tiles need to come out and round the reveal like in the stove example picture in order to protect the plaster on the edges?

    Any ideas about creating something like this?

    You are correct. Plasterboard and timber framework is not fire proof - The example you are looking at has a firebrick back, possibly set in to a steel box and then built up with breeze block. A steel box may not be necessary, so just guesswork on my part. The surround could even be cast off-site with a cement/vermiculite mix, given a smooth coat of render/heat resistant plaster, and then fixed in place - Plenty of ways to do the job.

    If you are going to build out your fireplace, stick with aerated cement blocks (breeze blocks), cement board, heat resistant plaster (Vitcas does one). Lime plaster is also pretty good at resisting heat - Just do not use Gypsum (e.g. Thistle Multifinish) as it will crack & flake off due to the heat.
    Also do not underestimate just how hot your chimney breast will get - I have a sensor embedded in the wall above my stove and regularly see temperatures in excess of 120°C (top is 195°C to date). This will ruin any gypsum plaster and kill any TV you stick on the wall (mounting a TV above a fireplace puts it too high for comfortable viewing anyway).
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  • edited 10 May at 1:16PM
    greensaladgreensalad Forumite
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    edited 10 May at 1:16PM
    I'm very much set on having the TV mounted on the chimney breast. That's why I'm looking to have a lower fireplace installed so it's not such a huge tilt for the head. To be honest though, this is a second TV and we have a 77" in a properly set up dark "theatre-style" room, so this TV is purely for me to watch garbage television which my partner doesn't want to be subjected to (Bridgerton while I knit, basically). 

    I'm not planning to self-build but work with my current builder to do the surround and then get a qualified fitter to put the stove in. 

    So essentially it'd be breeze blocks rendered with cement board and heat resistant plaster. That's really helpful for me to get an idea of what I should expect when I speak to him! I guess an alternative I was looking at was just getting a limestone or similar pale stone surround made that is basically the same square shape. Seems a lot more expensive though is probably nicer.
  • stuart45stuart45 Forumite
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    You can buy brick or stone effect chambers for your fireplace.
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    It looks like a chimney breast you are setting this into.
    Is it a real stove? Will the flue go up there? Thinking heat behind and above.
    Also the sound travelling next door and into your bedrooms..
    Love the stove and surround together :)

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  • Rosa_DamascenaRosa_Damascena Forumite
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    What I have currently is something like this:

    How Victorian Fireplaces Work  Antique Fireplace Restoration

    But with hearth tiles set into the floor rather than a heartstone that sits on top (and no, it's not original, or attractive, it was installed in 2005 and I suspect it's from B&Q as it's the same look as my Mum's bought around the same time!)

    What I want is something like this in terms of surround:

    10 Examples of Contemporary Minimalist Fireplaces from the Remodelista  Archives



    I don't understand why you would want to swap what you have for one of MDF construction? Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
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  • edited 11 May at 10:23AM
    greensaladgreensalad Forumite
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    edited 11 May at 10:23AM

    What I have currently is something like this:



    But with hearth tiles set into the floor rather than a heartstone that sits on top (and no, it's not original, or attractive, it was installed in 2005 and I suspect it's from B&Q as it's the same look as my Mum's bought around the same time!)

    What I want is something like this in terms of surround:





    I don't understand why you would want to swap what you have for one of MDF construction? Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
    After experiencing the 90s with my Laura-Ashley-loving mother I have had enough faux Victoriana in my life to last me. 

    I'd probably like to put something in made from nicer quality materials but what I have is not remotely a quality piece at all. It's bargain-basement mass produced Victoriana so I don't feel bad pulling it out. If I had a Victorian house with original fireplaces (which I did when I rented previously) the fireplace would 100% be staying. The house is a 1965 converted bungalow, so the fireplace is completely out of character with the rest of the house (and I'm a big lover of 70s design, so the Victoriana fireplace currently sits next to a G-Plan unit. It looks wrong!)
  • greensaladgreensalad Forumite
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    twopenny said:
    It looks like a chimney breast you are setting this into.
    Is it a real stove? Will the flue go up there? Thinking heat behind and above.
    Also the sound travelling next door and into your bedrooms..
    Love the stove and surround together :)
    Yes real stove. Yes real chimney. Yes the chimney breast passes behind my bedroom wall. Sounds great! No need to heat the bedroom either! 
  • greensaladgreensalad Forumite
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    stuart45 said:
    You can buy brick or stone effect chambers for your fireplace.
    Thanks, I will have a look! So one of these set into a plastered construction could work?
  • stuart45stuart45 Forumite
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    Fireplaces with Chambers for Stoves | Direct Stoves
    Have at look at some of these. They go into your builders opening.
  • WoolseryWoolsery Forumite
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    I had a galvanised box fabricated to take my wood burner and painted it with emulsion. When I change the room scheme or fancy a change I can just re-paint. The walls surrounding it were done with cement board, not plasterboard, just in case.
    Of course any kind of frontage may be added. I have a slate hearth and limestone surround + mantle, but it's equally easy to go minimalist with just a mantle to throw the rising hot air away from the wall.
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