Below is my fireplace with the old stones removed. Now it's "bare bone" and up to me to redesign it.

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I am planning to put drywall on top and mantel on the bottom with tiles around like this

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But then I have several questions due to the current "situations" with the bricks.

You can see that the bricks are not vertically straight:

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1. Should I just run a 2x4 or some lumber and nail in the existing studs (red rectangles below) to make it the frame? I rather not make the top of the firewall "thicker" that it should be, meaning it should be flat with the side surfaces.

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2. How do I frame the bottom to install tiles? I am thinking either (a) fix the platform and make it nice and square first or (b) remove more concrete and build a new block around it. Rather than framing it on the new wood floor.

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3. In the first picture, there is a little gap and you can see through outside the house on both side of the fireplace. Which materials do I use to seal around fireplace?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Just as a mention, in traditional wood burning fireplaces, there is to be a 2" air space between the masonry and any wood or combustibles. Anything you add to this fireplace should be metal, unless there is enough space for a 2X flat, so it will lessen the length of the metal framing. This metal framing should be placed horizontally to frame the front down to within 12" of the top of the firebox. The rest must be masonry, stone or tile. The area around the firebox should be "gauged" so the face of the finished "rough" wall that will receive the tile or stone is flat and in plane with the other surfaces that will receive tile or stone. Running the metal framing horizontal is just a simple way to get a flat wall between the two corners. If you have 1 5/8" of room or more to the blockwork, metal studs will work. enter image description hereIf you have places that are only 7/8" behind the face of the wood framing, "hat track" will be the framing to use. If you only have 1/2" in places, RC2 channel will work in those cases.

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The rough hearth you have now could be formed to have concrete poured around what you have there, using the original as filler. Make sure you have at least 2" of room from the forms to allow the pea gravel mix concrete to get to all the places it needs to. You could remove all of it and use masonry blocks to build a all new base fore the hearth.

DO NOT use wood framing for the hearth on this type of woodburning fireplace!! Metal fireplaces, yes, there is a metal barrier install in the gap for fire resistance. Over time if a gap forms your type of fireplace, and hot coals get down in the gap, bad things could happen.

In your spaces you have around the masonry mass, if there is anything that needs filling to the masonry a fireproof insulation like rock wool or Roxul(r) will do the trick. The space to the outside you refer to in the write up is not visible to me, but between the insulation, siding and caulk usually seals the outside from the elements. I have gone as far as adding flashing in new construction to isolate the ends of the siding from the stone or brick so the siding does not soak up moisture from that material

10-16-2018 EDIT enter image description here enter image description here

  • Thanks for the response although I am a bit vague on the use of metal and exactly where. I was reading this diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/walls-and-ceilings/… and many other link. There seems to be a clearance around the opening of the fireplace and beyond that, it is possible to use just wood. Am I wrong?
    – HP.
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 5:26
  • 1
    Please note that wood wall is spaced away from the stone wall. I believe what you are planning to do is place wood framing tight to the masonry wall that is there, with no air space. I will try to locate the IRC code regarding wood framing and fireplaces and get it added to the answer. FWIW, you can add wood framing over the masonry if you have room to leave the 2" air space from the masonry. You will still need to keep away from the firebox opening the recommended amount totally...
    – Jack
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 4:31
  • My project is moving along well and I have one more question at diy.stackexchange.com/questions/149300/… if you don't mind to take a look. Thanks.
    – HP.
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 4:39

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