enter image description here

I was planning to add an outlet here but came across an unexpected wall setup. Wood walls, with drywall, with stone over it?

Anyone know what this is called? It’s above a fireplace if that gives any additional clues.

  • This is in a single-family dwelling, I take it? Jan 18, 2020 at 22:41
  • Where in the world are you located? Is the fireplace active? What kind of chimney?
    – DaveM
    Jan 19, 2020 at 1:27
  • USA - Chicago. Single family home from around the 1950s. The fireplace is in working order but not in use at the moment (wood burning, traditional masonry chimney on the side of the home).
    – mrstein2
    Jan 19, 2020 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


This is almost certainly an attempt to shield the wall from woodstove heat. It is most definitely not to code. It could be made much safer by adding a metal shield 1-2" spaced from the wall anywhere the wall is less than 36" from the stove. If the outlet has to be exactly there, then good luck cutting thru what might be a stud. If it is not a stud, then mark your hole, cut it, then install a metal shield before lighting your stove again. The outlet itself can't stand the heat from a woodstove, either, so it must be behind the shield also. Spacing the shield farther from the wall is not a problem, tho it may not look like you want it to look. Sometimes moving the outlet a few inches one way or the other makes a big difference on how difficult the project is.


I strongly suspect that the stone used to be the aesthetic outer layer, the wall covering, what you would have seen. Then it was covered for whatever reason, probably because someone didn't like the look of it. If that is true, there is no name for this type of wall construction, it's simply a wall. Like tile, the sheetrock on the studs is the backer that the stone would be attached.

There is no way to tell why the wall stud is flat faced at this location, could be many reasons including as a backer or nailing, or it could be a full sized load bearing post, among others. I don't suggest cutting into it more until you are sure that it is not load bearing

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.