Final-Fireplace

Fireplace Remodel: Wood Burning to Gas Insert

LivingRoom Before

BEFORE

Fireplace Before

DEMO IN PROGRESS

 

One of my favorite projects of all time was a “diamond in the rough” Ranch-style home in Westchester, NY. You could tell right away the potential this home had with the right design and materials. The fireplace redesign is the area that had the most impact in the home and is one of the first areas you see, upon entering. I’ll walk you through the process of the how we went through several designs to get to the finished fireplace as well as the design taking two different directions during the design process.

 

Fireplace Design Sketches

 

We went through several fireplace design options, which were created without the vaulted ceiling in mind.

 

Final Fireplace Sketch

After a discussion with the client about functionality of the room and her vision for the space, we settled on a simpified layout, with decorative artwork flanking the fireplace. (The tv was not shown in this elevation)

DESIGN DIRECTION CHANGE #1

Fireplace 1 Render

Fireplace 2 Render

Following a discussion with the contractor, we realized the unused attic space was an excellent opportunity to vault the living room ceiling  a create this focal fireplace that the client had envisioned. Simple renderings were created to show the basic design of the fireplace with the inclusion of a vaulted ceiling.

Fireplace During Construction

WOOD BURNING TO GAS INSERT

GAS INSERT VS GAS FIREPLACE

What’s the Difference Between a Gas Insert and a Gas Fireplace?

A fireplace is a “place” in which “fire” can be located and it must have a vent for smoke and exhaust to escape. A fireplace insert assumes you have a fireplace already. An insert is inserted into an existing fireplace. You cannot have a fireplace insert without first having a fireplace. For this fireplace, a GAS INSERT was installed in the existing firebox. You will need a plumber or Gas supply technician to run a gas line to the insert.

CAN YOU USE THE EXISTING CHIMNEY FOR THE GAS INSERT VENTILATION?

Because the existing chimney liner used by the wood fireplace is designed to burn only firewood, a gas fireplace insert would require the installation of a collinear gas insert liner in the fireplace flue to the chimney top.

GENERAL STEPS FOR GAS INSERT CONVERSION:

-remove the existing fireplace damper

-run 110 V electricity to the insert and pair a remote control

-install colinear insert inside the flue up to the chimney top

Fireplace Insert

In this image, the fireplace insert is already in place. The fireplace shape had been created with framing and plywood materials. With an industrial fireplace look in mind, we prepared for the stucco to be applied.

Titanium UDL Applied

Titanium UDL

Scratch Coat Applied

First coat (scratch coat)

To prepare for the stucco application, Titanium UDL was applied over the wooden form structure. A first coat of material, also known as a scratch coat, was applied to the UDL. The scratching is done to improve the bond for the next coat = stucco

Stucco Applied

Stucco applied

Sometimes in a design process, what you have in mind for the end result doesn’t happen the way you plan. After the stucco was applied and had time to dry, I felt the stucco didn’t have the impact that this focal fireplace needed. While it had an industrial vibe to it, it just didn’t feel right in the room. Luckily, with the application of stucco, we had a suitable surface to install tile directly to it.

DESIGN DIRECTION CHANGE #2

Dried Stucco

As you can see from the picture, the stucco wasn’t that impressive after it dried.

OFF TO THE TILE STORE:

With a quick trip to the tile store, I began my search for the perfect tile. I wanted a tile that was large enough in size, which would proportional to the scale of the fireplace. The size I narrowed it down to was 12”x 48”. I also wanted a porcelain tile, mainly for the weight of it.

12x48 Porcelain Tile

“12”x48” porcelain tile

At ¼” thick, it was light enough to apply to the fireplace façade. For the look, I knew the tile should be a little rustic with some warmth but also have a contemporary vibe to flow with the rest of the home design. The tile I settled on checked off both of those boxes.

Tile Application 1

Tile Application 2

 

I wanted the tile application to be very random and organic. In order to do this, I need to mark out lines of where the tiles would go. You can see the faint pencil lines on the stucco on the image to the left. The tile application took about 2 days to complete, which included grouting in a coordinating color.

Final Fireplace

Voila! The finished fireplace!