I'd like to install an outlet above my wood burning fireplace so that I can mount a tv. Problem is the entire wall is a 70's era stone wall. I thought I had a slick solution. There is a smaller rock (circled in red) that I could remove and put an outlet in its place. From what I could tell looking up the vent above the fireplace (circled in blue) there seems to be a 2x4 wall and insulation between the chimney and rock wall. So I figured as long as I have the romex between the insulation and rock wall it should be fine.

Problem is I finally chiseled out the rock and was not prepared for what I found. It was rock, like 3 inches of mortar, wire mesh, then drywall which was all expected. Directly behind the drywall is a metal plate or something. I dont know how thick it is. It doesn't seem like it is the chimney. My question is is it ok to drill through it to run the electrical? What is it for? I suspect it might be some kind of radiant barrier, but like I said it seems like there is insulation between the rock wall and the chimney so it seems odd a radiant barrier would be between insulation and drywall. If I do drill through it and dont like what I find is there a way to patch that hole?Stone wall fireplace

removed stone

  • is this a gas fire place or a wood burning? Apr 6, 2021 at 6:48
  • That metal could be a nailer plate to protect a stud behind it that has wiring or plumbing running too close to the surface. Ergo, it's never a good idea to drill through metal in your wall. Whatever's back there probably shouldn't have a hole in it.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 6, 2021 at 13:46
  • I don't think it is a good idea to set electrical and electronic devices on top of a fireplace. They don't mix well with the heat.
    – r13
    Apr 6, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


To me that looks like the exterior wall. Notice the expanded metal and the stucco pressed through. I don’t think that I would be drilling through that. Have someone go outside and you tap on the wall I bet they can find the spot proving it is the exterior. That is some what unusual but I would at least check that before going further.


If that was my project, I would replace the removed stone since you do not know what you have accessed. That metal thing may be the flue or something that you shouldn't touch. I would rather install a receptacle in the ceiling if you have access from above. Another item would be the amount of heat that flows up the stone front. It could overcome the electronics in a TV. My 2 cents

  • Thanks for the input. I've done multiple fires to try and gauge how much heat comes up the face of the rock wall. It is very minimal. Hardly noticeable at all. The fireplace is a wood burning heatform fireplace. Even when the blower is going to collect heat around the box and blowing out that top vent it is barely warm so I suspect the TV will be fine with the heat.
    – mck
    Apr 6, 2021 at 14:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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