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Lowering Or Increase The Height Of A Fireplace Fire Surround?

August 04, 2011

In some circumstances it is desirable to have a fireplace made to your fit the specifications of your home. We often get asked to increase the overall height of our fireplaces to retain the current height of customers current fireplaces.

A few points to think about:

1. It is important to note that Marble Fireplaces are always lower in height than timber fireplaces. The average height of a timber fireplace is conventionally 45 to 47 inches high (from the floor to the top of the mantle).

2. Surprisingly wooden fireplaces look better with an overall height of 47 inches whilst marble fireplaces look over imposing if they are that high. Perhaps the difference is down to personal preferences, however hundreds of fireplace showrooms around the country agree that marble fireplaces should not be as tall as timber fire surrounds.

3. The main difference visually between wooden fireplaces and marble is that Timber fireplaces are framed by timber/wood and have a marble hearth (base section of fireplace) and back panel (section where fire is recessed). In comparison marble fireplaces have a matching marble hearth and panel. Since marble fire surrounds are completely made up of the same material, larger heights seem overpowering.

4. The opening in chimneys (often referred to as “the builders opening”) is a standard height of the floor. In most cases the opening in conventional chimneys is 27 inches high and 18 inches wide. The conventional cut out in a marble back panel (section where fire is recessed) is 16.25 inches wide x 22.25 inches high. It is important to fill your chimney opening to the same size as the cut out in the back panel to ensure that all excess fumes are pushed up the chimney and do not form an air pocket behind the back panel.

Lowering the height of a fireplace

We occasionally get asked to lower the height of fire surrounds especially if customers will be fitting a TV above the fireplace. It is relatively straight forward to lower the height of Marble Fireplaces whilst they are being manufactured as you simply make the side columns and back panel lower. Once a fireplace is manufactured it is trickier to lower the height as there are often supports behind the columns, however it is still possible. [caption id="attachment_2880" align="alignnone" width="595" caption="Fireplace overall height"][/caption]