We moved into a flat built in the 1940s and have been busy renovating since a month.

In the living-room is a nice fireplace which was covered up. We got rid of that, filled the holes and repainted it white (mostly due to not being able to get the paint off). I took a look inside the offtake and it's blocked.

It looks like this now enter image description here

My question: What would you do with it?

  • Put tiles on top (it's just plastered now)? Or wood, or nothing?
  • Try to reactivate it (if that's possible)?
  • Put a panel in front of it?

EDIT: Thanks for the suggestions. We definitely got some ideas now :). We have to wait for the renters association guy to come by and tell us what we can do with it, anyway. So still enough time to make up our minds.


Our house was built in the 1970s and we had a similar dilemma. We covered the brick added a new mantle added black granite tiles as well as covering the opening with a cover we bought at a home improvement store. We also widened the area a little as well to offset the mantel. With the doors shut it looks very modern and clean and hides the internals.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas.



enter image description here


  • Nice transformation. – BMitch Sep 16 '11 at 1:20
  • Well Done. I'd aim for a gas fireplace and new mantle in that location. Taking the brick down isn't as hard as it looks. – Chris Cudmore Sep 20 '11 at 18:31

Given the choices, I would go with a panel that's removable and has space to breath. If any moisture manages to get down the existing flue space, you don't want it trapped in your wall.


I'd consider a freestanding EPA rated stove, and run new double wall chimney. The stove would be completely independent of the existing chimney, yet integrate visually.

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