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My Marble Back Panel or hearth has cracked what could have caused this & I have a inset gas fire is in the cut out?

February 24, 2011

Marble back panels can crack for many reason, even after installation. This is a uncommon problem but very difficult to deal with as it is difficult if not impossible to find an exact colour match.

What could have caused the back panel to crack?

If the heat catches a natural flaw or pocket within the marble back panel then it will expose the flaw and lead extensive expansion and contraction which would eventually lead to a crack. This is like leaving a glass bottle in a freezer.

Could faulty installation have caused my back panel to crack?

It is possible that your installer did not seal it the back of the back panel properly and this may have caused the issue. For example:
  • Assume your builders opening in your chimney is 18 inches wide and the marble back panel is 16.25 inches (as standard)
  • If the opening in your chimney is not sealed to the cut out size in the back panel (hence not sealed to 16.25 inches), then the heat could be trapped in that concentrated area and eventually crack the back panel.

Solid fuel fires can crack your hearth or back panel

Marble or granite hearths will crack if they are used for solid fuel fires and not modified correctly. Both the marble hearth and back panel need to be cut in sections to create purpose built expansion and contraction joints. This allows the heat to disperse and eliminates the risk of the hearth or back panel cracking due to the intense heat created by solid fuel fires.