We hired a professional mason to convert the two-sided fireplace into a single-sided fireplace.
We ended up interviewing about 5 people and getting bids from all of them. The guy we picked was by far the most knowledgeable. All of the others wanted to build a flat back wall (firebox). Only the gentleman we chose proposed something different, that being a Rumford Fireplace.
We are happy.
We have a 2-sided fireplace (open on both sides) which divides our living room and sun room.
The fireplace was built in 1925. We recently had the fireplace inspected and the inspector said everything looks good and it's OK to use.
One side had a wall of tempered glass attached to a metal frame. On the other side was nothing. I bought a glass fireplace door and installed it myself.
Last night we were having a fire and the tempered glass exploded (I know).
So I'm now thinking about doing the following project:
- Remove the metal frame that is screwed into the back wall
- Put up a solid brick wall on the back, thereby closing off that side and making it a 1-sided fireplace.
I am asking a question here because
- I have no experience with masonry
- I don't know whether this is a good idea from a safety perspective, although the risk seems pretty low since brick won't burn.
- It seems like double-sided fireplaces are relatively rare, so there I couldn't find a lot of information out there on this topic.
I'm a hacker and pretty confident in my abilities to read and follow instructions. The lack of masonry experience bothers me, but we're probably going to paint over the resulting brick wall, so it doesn't have to look perfect. Anyone think I will be able to do this project successfully? Can you provide me with a masonry howto or any tips?
EDIT: We have had the chimney and fireplace inspected by an off-duty fireman. He says that in its current condition, it is safe to use. My question, narrowed in light of that fact, is
- What kind of materials (brick, stone, etc) and mortar should I use to provide maximum heat and fire resistance?
- Any tips on where to get started as a completely green mason?