fireplace surround for new gas fireplace

johnc3March 7, 2012

We are building a house in the country in California and installing a Mendota "fullview" fireplace that generates a lot of heat. The instructions for the fireplace require that it be comvered with one inche of fire resistant material, such as stone, 13 inches above the firebox.

According to the instructions it is possible to have trim protruding a quarter to half an inch from the one inch material as close as two inches from the firebox. We are trying to design a mantle and surround with a curve that is perhaps as close as 8 to 10 inches.

Mendota customer service strongly recommended not having any wood in the 13 inch area because of issues with crazing or discoloration of paint, saying the temperature could reach 170-180 degrees above the fireplace. This really constrains what we can do with a nice looking fireplace. Anyone had experiences with this? I am wondering if there is a heat resistant material that can be molded or milled like wood and painted with a heat resistant paint that might work.


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I too have a Mendota so I know about the restrictions and it does get warm above the fireplace itself. I just laid a marble hearth but I am still uncertain as to what I am doing with the surround. I do have a somewhat tradional flammable wooden mantel with a 6' piece left to right (hope that makes sense)with two legs approximently 4' high. Whatever the exact measurements are, it falls within the acceptable guidelines. This of course, leads me to a decision as to what I want to put for the surround - as you said the area from the fireplace and mantel must be covered with a nonflammable material. I have yet to make up my mind but some of the things I have considered are 1)marble like the hearth - boring!, 2)a glass mosaic or possibly a stone mosaic i.e. onyx or soapstone that would compliment and not compete with the marble hearth.

But that's just my personal preference and it may not apply to what you are trying to accomplish. The best advise I can give you is to google fireplace surround images and you will get thousand and thousands of images to consider.

Good luck. Lynn fr CT

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 2:09PM
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John, I am forwarding a link to the decorating site of garden web that shows a few hundred fireplaces. Maybe one will jump out at you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden web fireplaces

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:44AM
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