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Material surrounding fireplace?

remydNovember 28, 2012
What is the material surrounding the fireplace? Is it a wood-burning fireplace? I was told I couldn't put drywall around the outside of the fireplace--is this plaster or painted plywood or something else? Thanks in advance!
Tarrytown Residence · More Info
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COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
I'm going to jump in ahead of the architect, but I can answer the question generically, not related to this specific project.

Manufactured fireplaces, gas and wood, require a certain clearance to combustible materials, and drywall is combustible. In fact, I've seen the paper burn right off of drywall that was installed incorrectly around a fireplace. Generally speaking, if we have to cover the sheet metal face of the fireplace to create a look as shown in the photo above, we use non-combustible cement board (the one without styrofoam or paper in it) to overlay the face of the fireplace and plaster over that to create a smooth surface.

The same thing goes for masonry fireplaces, except that the masonry is already a good substrate for plaster, so you can three-coat plaster directly over it with expanded metal lath instead of cement board.

Here is an example where the fireplace is finished right up to the opening with non-combustible material:
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:29AM
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Thank you Coastroad! I'm trying to figure out the best way to update the floor-to-ceiling painted brick of my wraparound corner fireplace. For a clueless new homeowner such as myself, this information is very helpful!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:43AM
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COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
Gotcha. There are a number of ways to skin that proverbial cat.

Post a photo or send one to me at tom@coastroadonline.com and I can help with some recommendations.
    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:57AM
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