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design ideas when removing a raised hearth

Posted by pocahantas (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 26, 11 at 11:11

I need help, advice and ideas please. I got stuck on a remodel. Does anyone have any ideas on how to visually anchor a fireplace when a raised hearth is removed?

I am remodeling my kitchen by removing a load bearing wall. The remodel has moved into my living room since I needed to put a floor where the wall was. I'm removing paneling and will texture and paint instead. Now the contractor is asking about the fireplace. My home was built in the 70s and has a floor to ceiling brick surround fireplace with a raised hearth. The hearth protrudes to the area where the wall was, so it must be modified.

I'd like to drywall above the mantle, pul a synthetic stacked stone surround and demolishing the hearth. The goal is to put down flagstone in front of the hearth so it's level with the floor and doesn't obstruct traffic.

I don't know how to address a "floating" fireplace that's a foot off the floor. I don't want to go to the expense of moving the firebox. Does anyone have any ideas on how address this issue?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: design ideas when removing a raised hearth

Pocahantas, you almost precisely described where I'm headed as well -- I'm very interested in seeing what ideas you come up with.

My next-door neighbor actually lowered the firebox to the floor -- they have a metal or prefab, rather than a masonry firebox. It looks beautiful, but we have opted against that approach. Mostly :).

RE: design ideas when removing a raised hearth

I suppose you could put stacked stone below the firebox so it blends in nicely with the surround. (I assume the synthetic stones you are planning to use are noncombustible and can take the heat abutting the firebox.) The challenge will be to remove the hearth without damaging the firebox or anything else to which it is attached. There is always the possibility of a bad surprise. If you haven't done it yet, have the chimney cleaned by somebody who's "certified" (whatever that means), and pump him for information while he's cleaning.

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