Creating a Fake Chimney Breast Around a Log Burner
We bought a 1920s house that sadly was devoid of many of the original features it would have had. We have been on a mission ever since to return some of those features back to the house.
No longer having chimney breasts or chimneys, a log burner was the easiest way for us. However, we wanted a traditional looking fireplace. We decided to create a fake chimney breast to create the look. We had to ensure we met all fire regulations so we took advice to ensure we were doing everything safely.
We had a bare external wall, a floating wooden floor and no concrete hearth.
We cut away the area where we wanted to add a concrete heath. We took guidance for the recommended size we needed for this.
Building the fireproof hearth
We started to fill the sub floor void using concrete blocks to form sleeper walls.
Prep for the fireproof lintels
We used concrete blocks to create a bridge for supporting the lintels.
To save having to pour concrete into the entire void, we laid concrete lintels across the width using the blocks as support.
Prepare for the flue installation
In preparation for professional installation, we cut away the plaster where the chimney breast would be built and where the flue would need to exit the house.
Add the lintels to form base of the hearth
Fireproof concrete lintels were lifted on to the blocks to create a strong, fireproof base for the hearth.
Screed the base of the hearth
We used sand cement screed to seal the base of the hearth ready for tiling on top of.
Installation first fix
We then had the flue fitted by a professional installation company. We had to have scaffolding erected to enable this to happen safely. The flue was fitted but they came back to fit the burner once we had completed the rest of the build for the chimney breast.
Create fireproof side piers.
We used concrete blocks to create the side piers. The flue would eventually come through a fireproof plate across the top of these piers when fitted by the professional fitters.
Fireproof the chimney surround
We used tiles around the inside of the chimney breast and on the hearth floor. Ensure to choose tiles, tile adhesive and grout that is suitable for areas such as a fireplace.
We choose a vintage style tile to add some authenticity to the fake chimney breast.
Log burner installation
We were now ready for the installation company to come back and professionally fit the log burner. A concrete lintel and metal plate were added to "seal the fireplace". Take care to get a reputable fitter and ensure you get all the safety certificates for your records. There are safety regulations regarding distances needed from each surface amongst other things.
Build the chimney breast
We used metal studs to build the chimney breast. These must be fire resistant.
Cover the structure with fire boards
It's important you use fire safe boards when covering up the structure to create the "chimney breast".
We then plastered the entire wall to include the new chimney breast. It was now beginning to look seamless!
Skirting and Coving
New skirting and coving was added around the new chimney breast.
Fire Surround hung on the wall
We then bought a made to measure fire surround which literally screwed on to the wall. These are easily sourced and are available in lots of different designs and colour options. These are treated with fireproof finishes.
The walls were painted with a dark emulsion. We finished around the edge of the tile hearth with some wooden beading and painted it black.
I added an over mantel mirror and some and plants to soften the look of the feature.
We are now left with a lovely original looking fireplace that is functional and safe too. We are looking forward to lighting it in the winter!
Time to light the fire
Time to sit back and relax in front of the fire!
I hope this has helped inspire you with your own home projects, especially if you are looking for an original looking fireplace.
Due to the nature of adding a real fire to your home, please seek advice from log burner installation professionals and building control officers before attempting any work.
- Concrete blocks (Wickes)
- Concrete (Wickes)
- Sand cement screed (Wickes)
- Fire Board (Wickes)
- Metal Studs (Wickes)
- Tiles (Local tile merchant)
- Heat resistant tile adhesive (Local tile merchant)
- Tile grout (Local tile merchant)
- Fire surround (On line store)
- Wood burner (On line store)