Fireplace Facelift

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Old 07-05-16, 07:54 AM
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Fireplace Facelift

Hi all first post here, seems like a great forum with lots of active members so hopefully can get my experience level up and help others down the road.

I have a fairly standard gas fireplace, vented to the outside. I don't have any history on it as I just purchased the house 3 years ago, but would like to remove the mantel and trim, and basically widen the surround and take it all the way to the ceiling.

Basically, I want to create a "box" coming out of the wall that is flush with the face of the fireplace, as well as widening the surround by 5-10" on each side. This is to accommodate a piece of art that's on another wall currently

My thoughts at this point, would be to put some form of stucco to give it a grey concrete finish.

I know below are a ton of questions, if any of you can provide insight on any of it, I'd greatly appreciate it. My skill level is that of an adventurous novice, and don't have any tools yet, but will be buying some form of kit soon.

Questions I have are:

- Is there any trick to removing the mantel/trim? I'm not necessarily trying to salvage it, just trying to make sure I do it as efficiently as possible. I suppose I could simply take the deeper mantel section off, and leave the side trim on.

- To widen the surround and take it to the ceiling, and I essentially just building side walls out of 2x4s and tying it in to whatever framing is currently on the fireplace?

- Flooring is laminate, I live in Toronto but have central air and whole home humidifier, would I be safe putting the bottom plate of the wall on top of the existing finished floor? Or do I really need to cut out the laminate?

- My assumption for safety as well as suitability for the application of concrete would be to use cement board everywhere instead of drywall.

- I may or may not leave the small marble hearth, or change it later. Would it be a disaster if I removed it, and used the existing quarter round trim there as a form to pour concrete to match the rest of the finish?

- The fireplace protrudes quite far off the wall, not sure if this is to accommodate the mantel or it's the actual size of the unit. If there is room in back I'm guessing it will still be challenging to move, since there would be venting and a gas line to consider. (I do not want to blow my family up )

- Just a general fireplace question, is it normal for the glass to get quite hot to the touch with just the pilot on? I have to keep it off all the time unless we want to use it, since we have a 2 year old that would probably hurt himself.

Thanks again for any help you can provide!
 
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Old 07-05-16, 08:07 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Be sure to cut the caulking along the perimeter of the 'mantel' before you pry it loose. That will minimize any damage to the drywall. Once you get the top removed it should be fairly simple to figure out how the rest is attached.

You can't [or shouldn't] build on top of laminate. It needs to be removed exposing the subfloor.

The unit is likely sticks out that far from the wall to get the required distance between the box and combustibles, not sure if it could be moved back any or not. There might be a label on the box somewhere allowing you to get info from the manufacture. I doubt you could remove the marble hearth without first removing the quarter round.
 
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Old 07-05-16, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the reply!

I had been planning on getting the Rigid Gen5x 5 piece toolset but if I have to cut into the laminate as well I guess that's as good an excuse as any to convince the wife to let me get the Jobmax multi tool as well.

I agree I probably try to not move/touch the fireplace unit at all, and will just pull out the quarter round to remove the hearth. Maybe I can repurpose it somewhere else.

Hoping once I cut the caulking on the mantel I can pry it off by hand or at worst use a hammer. Else I will have to cut it out I guess.
 
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Old 07-05-16, 02:06 PM
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Any excuse to buy a multi tool is a good one I have the cheap Harbor Freight model that I bought just for one specific job and was pleasantly surprised at how useful it is for other things.

It will take more than just prying by hand but I don't think it will be too difficult to remove the top.
 
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