Fire surround advice needed

29 Jun 2008
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United Kingdom
I have just finished removing a brick fireplace and intend to replace it with a Victorian style tiled cast iron surround and gas fire. I had the old gas fire capped and removed before knocking the bricks out. I am now left with a large hole in the wall with a gas pipe and have no idea what to do next!! I would appreciate any advice on fitting the surround. Thank you.
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I would close hole using cement board as you would with any drywall.
Check with any fireplace installers and fire dept. for any fire code requirements.
Deb - as the new gas fire WILL have to be connected by a Corgi Registered fitter why not get his advice.

I would guess that you have a small-bore fire tube (chrome/brass/bronze finish) hanging loose from a restrictor elbow fixed to the floorboards. What usually happens for neatness is that a new connection is made below the floorboards (dispensing with the old restrictor), a new pipe is then buried in the hearth or wall to emerge below/behind the new fire position. Arrangements have to be made for isolating the supply to the appliance (usually a valve below the fire grate). The Corgi guy will advise for your situation. Closing of the hole isn't just about fixing a board over the hole if you intend to have a functioning gas appliance - all of this is covered by BS 5871 : Part 1. You also need to consider the flue arrangements & room ventilation .... Corgi man again!

If the supply has been isolated at the restrictor you may be able to just remove the fire tube till the new tackle is installed.
Thanks very much for the advice - I'll follow your advice and contact a Corgi person to connect the fire but would like to fit the fireplace myself to save money and because I enjoy DIY! My local builders merchants suggested I board the space up at the depth of the fire with plasterboard and plaster any gaps left by the brick fire surround - sounds too simple. Is it?
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Deb, use a kosher cement board rather than a plaster type - it can deal with any radiated heat much better. Its also best to seal up gaps with sand and cement rather than plaster. Seek advice regarding flue liner requirements before bashing on. Cheers John :)
it really is advisable to get the corgi man in upfront. he should not mind u doing the prep work. if he does find another. by getting him in upfront will remove all potential problems before they become expensive.

the steps then are
1) make sure the chimney flue is suitable (most brick chimneys are - the corgi man will test using a smoke pellet) and check for no leaks. u need to make sure an expensive liner and flue box is not needed as this affects the installation
2) identify which fire surround your going to install "the dimensions"
3) make sure the gas supply pipe is run to the required position to mate with the fire when it is fitted later. Nb the gas pipe must be sleeved with plastic tube if it passes through any brickwork. plastic tape wrap the gas pipe in the chimney area
4) make the brickwork suit the surround (or use alternatives to brick/block as Burnerman says)- the surround backplate needs to have a face to seal against ie the front of the chimney breast
5) use Plasterboard adhesive to level hearth and fix back panel.
6) check any critical dimensions before the adhesive sets. trial fit the mantel
7) use plasterboard adhesive to "air seal" - around both hearth and back panel to the brickwork then fit the mantel

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