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  • FIRST POST
    by_the_fireside
    Caring for Limestone Fireplaces
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 08, 12:25 PM
    Caring for Limestone Fireplaces 20th Mar 08 at 12:25 PM
    Hi there,

    I hope the following is useful to anyone out there..

    I had a lady come to see me this morning, because she had damaged the limestone fireplace I sold her 2 weeks ago, by leaving a hot coffee mug on the mantel.. duh...

    Anyway, keeping it brief, I compiled a list of don't do's for her, for the future, that I thought might help others...
    • Never use wax or spray polishes on a limestone fireplace, as these products can darken the surface of the limestone and create patches.
    • Never use kitchen or bathroom cleaners, as they could react with the limestone surface.
    • Never allow cigarettes to be placed on the stone surface, the heat could cause a brown scar.
    • Never stand vases with flowers directly on the limestone surface, as this could cause a permanent ring mark!
    • Never stand red wine, tea or coffee etc, directly on your limestone fireplace -stains and ring marks could result!
    • Never stand coal or logs directly on the fireplace surface - damage and stains may result!
    • Never plaster on to or down to a limestone fireplace - the stone will take up colour from the plaster.
    The best way to clean off a grubby mark from limestone fireplaces is simply to use a clean cotton cloth dampened with very dilute washing up liquid. Do not soak the stone though and try to do the cleaning as soon as you notice the accident (hopefully immediately) - if you do spill coffee or wine onto the stone surface don’t panic, just clean it off thoroughly with a dampened cloth and everything should be fine...

    If you want any more advice, then chuck me over an email and I will do my best!

    Buck

Page 1
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 20th Mar 08, 12:37 PM
    • 39,565 Posts
    • 163,710 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 08, 12:37 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 08, 12:37 PM
    You've put me off now.

    Is marble easier to maintain?
  • by_the_fireside
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 08, 6:37 PM
    I prefer Limestone to Marble!
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 08, 6:37 PM
    Hi Silvercar, :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the reply, I am sorry to put you off Limestone as a choice for a fireplace!

    I really am, as Limestone is one of my favourites... Especially Agean Limestone.

    To answer your question... Marble is more durable than Limestone, so I suppose it probably is easier to maintain, but it really depends on what you are looking for..

    What I mean is.

    If all you are looking for is a long lasting fireplace and that's it, then you probably wouldn't be looking for the fireplace to be a center piece to your room, so therefore, why bother wasting your money on any fireplace that provides artistic or commercial value..

    It's funny, I design fireplaces, yet my home fireplace is a simple brick one... (But my center piece to my room is the Box)

    Most fireplaces carved from limestone, marble, granite or slate, are in the room as a center piece, there to give some value...

    My point was, that if you are gonna spend all the money and time putting something like that in your house, then respect it for what it is.

    My points for maintaining the stone, really in my opinion, are common sense...

    It's like anything Silvercar, if you take care of it... then it will take care of you!
  • Duck
    • #4
    • 22nd Mar 08, 2:31 PM
    Sound advice
    • #4
    • 22nd Mar 08, 2:31 PM
    Hi Buck,

    I hope you don't mind me asking you a question.

    Ireally wanted a Yorkshire stone fire surround but couldn't really afford it, so I have purchased a cast stone (the ad said cement and sand) one for a fraction of the price. It is in pieces and I just wanted to ask should I seal each section and hearth before fixing to the wall. And what is the best thing to use to fix it to the wall.

    Again, I hope you don't mind me asking you these questions.

    Thanks,
  • by_the_fireside
    • #5
    • 25th Mar 08, 8:38 AM
    Advice for your fireplace
    • #5
    • 25th Mar 08, 8:38 AM
    Hi Duck

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back, it's been a busy easter weekend!

    To answer you:

    Cast stone fireplaces are a great alternative to the real thing, but deffinately should be sealed, as they are usually quite porus...

    You should have a local fireplace shop or tile shop, who sell sealants, suitable for sand stone - Choose a sealant that states it does not alter the colour and simply paint it on with a paint brush! (Don't go for a cheap one.. They can alter the colour)

    As far as attaching it to the wall is concerned... Did it not come with fixing brackets, as most do?

    If you don't have these, then you could bracket it using large mirror brackets or any brackets obtained from a DIY store, or alternatively you could use one of the "no nails" glues in a tube, although you must be very careful (given that I don't the exact construction of your fireplace, I wouldn't like to deffinately advise this course of action)!

    Out of interest what type of fire are you going to have in your fireplace, as this could also be important...

    Speak soon,

    Buck
  • Duck
    • #6
    • 25th Mar 08, 8:52 PM
    Much appreciated
    • #6
    • 25th Mar 08, 8:52 PM
    Hi Buck,

    Really appreciate you taking the time to answer me. It has cleared up quite a few questions I had.

    I have purchased a fire basket to compliment the surround as I had originally saw this in the Stone fireplace / firebasket picture that I had fallen in love with. It is an exact replica.

    The fire surround didn't come with brackets, so I would have to purchase these. In your opinion which option would be better - the 'no nails glue' or the brackets.

    I'm am assuming that the'no nails glue' wouldn't penetrate the surround once it has been sealed as it would be non-porous??

    Thanks for your help so far!
    Em
  • by_the_fireside
    • #7
    • 25th Mar 08, 11:41 PM
    Glad to help!
    • #7
    • 25th Mar 08, 11:41 PM
    Hi again Duck... Em

    I am glad to be of assistance - fireplaces are a passion of mine

    In my opinion the brackets would probably be a better option, although this is only my opinion.. There are probably some people who would disagree with me..

    If you are concerned with the glue penetrating the stone after it has been sealed (although if it has been sealed properly, then this shouldn't happen), then I would say go for the brackets, if not for anything else, just for peace of mind

    If you do need any more help, then please mail me, I would always try to help where I can...

    Good night,

    Buck
  • by_the_fireside
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 08, 5:03 PM
    Fireplace information update
    • #8
    • 26th Mar 08, 5:03 PM
    Hi Em,

    Just a quick update for you. After my last post, I had a quick word with my colleague and he said that no nails glue could be an option, given the size of the area of stone that is against the wall.

    As a guide, if the area of stone is above 50mm along the edges that go against the wall, then you could use a no nails product, whereas if the area if stone is below 50mm, then it is our opinion that you should go for the brackets option... (in this case, I would advise L-Brackets)

    You could even go as far as using silicon to adhere it to the wall, providing that the fireplace is not too heavy... Silicon is an excellent product to use as it normally doesn't get obsorbed by the stone.

    As a word of advice, I would probably use silicon with brackets...

    I hope this is helpful, any more advice, shout me!

    Buck
    • libra10
    • By libra10 26th Mar 08, 5:59 PM
    • 12,417 Posts
    • 299,293 Thanks
    libra10
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 08, 5:59 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Mar 08, 5:59 PM
    Just wondered whether you could offer any advice.

    We have a York stone fireplace and the centre (over the gas fire) has become blackened with soot through the years.

    Have tried most things to clean (including a steam cleaner) but cannot get rid of the blackened area.

    Would appreciate any suggestions.
  • by_the_fireside
    Problem Fix: Soot stain over fireplace
    Hi Libra10

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back, I seem to be a busy bee at the moment

    Can I ask a question... Has the soot already seeped into the stone fireplace, or is it still a surface stain?

    If it is a surface stain, then I can probably recommend some quality stain removers, that normally do a good job at removing stains, whilst not damaging the stone...

    Let me know the details, so I can give you the right advice!!

    Speak soon,

    Buck :rolleyes:
    • libra10
    • By libra10 27th Mar 08, 6:06 PM
    • 12,417 Posts
    • 299,293 Thanks
    libra10
    Hello

    I think the soot has probably seeped into the stone rather than just on the surface. Will it be impossible to clean back to the original stone if this is the case? It looks so unsightly as it is, any improvement would be great.

    I really would appreciate any help and advice you can give.

    Thank you
  • by_the_fireside
    Fireplace problem - could be health problems too!
    Hi Libra10,

    Further to my last post regarding your particular fireplace problem, I took the time to have a chat with another colleague of mine, as I felt there could be another issue..

    We would advise that you immediately get a CO tester!!

    It could be the case, that Carbon Monoxide is spilling into the room and therefore causing a serious health hazard!!!

    Obviously, without seeing your particular fireplace, we wouldn't be able to say for sure, but it could be the case!!

    Another thing... And I really don't wanna sound like a killjoy or anything, but a reason why you are getting a soot build-up and therefore a possible CO leak, could be because your Flue is faulty...

    If your Flue is faulty and possibly not pulling the smoke up correctly, then smoke could spill into the room!!

    Causing:

    a. A stain to your stone

    and more urgently!!

    b. A possible CO leak!


    Now assuming you have either checked that you don't have a CO problem, or an engineer, has checked that you don't have one, or you did have one and now have sorted it...

    How to remove the stain?

    :rolleyes: mmm, :rolleyes:

    This is a tricky one... If the soot is in the stone, then there are some good power cleaners on the market, that would draw some of the soot out, probably without damaging the stone... Ask your local fireplace shop for a good brand!

    Obviously, you may never remove the stain totally, but after a few sessions with the cleaning product, you may get up to 80% out

    More importantly check the health hazards, and get an engineer to look at the reasons why you are getting a soot build up!!!

    Alternatively, get a fireplace shop to remove the stain for you, although they may still only get up to 80% of the soot out and you will have the added financial costs!!!

    Good luck and please tell me the outcome :rolleyes:

    Buck
    • libra10
    • By libra10 28th Mar 08, 6:09 PM
    • 12,417 Posts
    • 299,293 Thanks
    libra10
    Hello Buck
    Thank you very much for your detailed reply, much appreciated.

    Regarding a possible CO leakage, we have had the 'Brilliant' gas fire serviced and checked by a Corgi registered engineer, and no faults were found. At his suggestion we had an extra vent fitted to help air flow. Next time the fire is serviced we will ask for extra attention to be paid to the flu. When we had coal fires we always had problems with smoke flowing back down the chimney, although we didn't have the current fireplace then.

    As you suggested, I will ask at the local DIY shop whether they have any products to remove or decrease the sooty stain and see what they can advise.

    I really appreciate all the time and trouble you've taken to help with my query. Thank you so much.

    Best wishes
  • Duck
    Hi Buck,

    Thank you so much for all your helpful advice. I was dreading installing the fireplace, I just want it to be perfect and was worried I will do something wrong. Especially with the fireplace being the centre point of my room.

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to educate me. Much appreciated

    Em
  • by_the_fireside
    Help!!! Any time...
    Hi Em, Hi Libra, :rolleyes:

    Thankyou both ever so much for your kind replies.. It is my pleasure to help!!

    If you require any further assistance, then please do feel free to message me ok !!!

    Have a good week!

    Buck
    • londoncarl
    • By londoncarl 10th Apr 08, 11:58 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    londoncarl
    Oops
    Hi Buck,

    I read your advice on fireplace care and when I saw
    your comment on not plastering near a limestone fireplace... and I went oops, because not only did our plasterer plaster near the fireplace but he failed to cover it and now there are a lot of plaster blobs on the ‘cream’ limestone fireplace. I have not even attempted to clean it yet. But if you have any tips on a serious cleaning I would much appreciate it.

    Many Thanks

  • agent orange
    Hi Buck, I have recently had a limestone fireplace fitted. Could you tell me, should I seal the fireplace - is there a limestone sealer recommended for this job, such as you might use on limestone tiles.

    thanks for any help
  • by_the_fireside
    Sorry to take a while replying!
    Hi There,

    I will have to make two replies into one, as I have been a bit busy lately

    Err..

    Londoncarl Question

    Hi Buck,

    I read your advice on fireplace care and when I saw your comment on not plastering near a limestone fireplace... and I went oops
    , because not only did our plasterer plaster near the fireplace but he failed to cover it and now there are a lot of plaster blobs on the ‘cream’ limestone fireplace. I have not even attempted to clean it yet. But if you have any tips on a serious cleaning I would much appreciate it.

    Many Thanks
    I hope this is not too late.. :rolleyes:

    With stains like this, you MUST Clean off as soon as you can!

    Steps to take...

    1. Gently ease off any lumps.

    2. Wash and scrub effected areas with clean slighty soapy water until as much as possible of the plastery marks have gone.

    3. Don’t spread it if you can avoid so.

    4. Don’t soak everything - as little water as possible must be used!

    Please let me know the outcome??


    Agent Orange Question

    Hi Buck, I have recently had a limestone fireplace fitted. Could you tell me, should I seal the fireplace - is there a limestone sealer recommended for this job, such as you might use on limestone tiles.

    thanks for any help
    Yes its ok to use a sealer that also seals limestone tiles and says so on the pack!

    Check out your local fireplace show / showroom for their advice on available products!


    Take care all,

    Buck
  • Larvin
    Hi Buck

    I was reading your advice about looking after limestone surrounds. We are just about to get one fitted by a registered installer. Can you tell me what is the best way to fit them as we have been told 2 ways?

    The first is to dig into the wall palster and then make good the plaster around the stone once fitted.
    The second is to use adhesive, screws and wire (and not re plaster).

    I was just wondering if the first way could stain the surround with the new plaster??

    Thanks

    Larvin
    • jasmin10
    • By jasmin10 25th Nov 08, 4:59 PM
    • 895 Posts
    • 1,720 Thanks
    jasmin10
    What a fantastic thread. Does all the advice that you posted in the very first thread apply to resin fireplaces as well?
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