How wide surround for wood mantle?

hollie_z9December 10, 2011

I've torn out my heat emitting gas insert and am rebuilding firebox to take either wood or gas (like it used to be). It will be mainly for decorative purposes since there will be a TV above, but I plan to burn wood in it at least once to get a used look to the gorgeous sand herringbone I'm putting in.

My contractor thinks 8" is enough space between wood mantle and firebox. I just got back from shopping for wood mantels (surrounds) where they said 12" is needed.

Anyone know?

From this photo it looks like the surround doesn't have to be big...small in fact. I will mostly burn gas

http://www.houzz.com/photos/368902/Ben-Herzog-eclectic-living-room-new-york

I had to take the old firebox out since it had so many heatilator vents that would heat up the TV mounted above. So the only heat will come out the front. I do have a chimnney.

Thanks

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