Ugly fireplace, needs total redo.
Pat Roloff
April 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
The front room is small. I would like to totally remove the fireplace but there may be a better idea out there. It is wood burning, gas is close, in fact too close to recommend using the fireplace as is. We bought the house two years ago and I am still trying to decide what to do with this ugly fireplace.
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DAPierceCompany
Is the actual fireplace masonry or is it a prefab unit? If it is masonry, removing it may be quite a job. And, could you clarify the gas issue? What do you mean about it being too close to recommend using the fireplace?
April 22, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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Pat Roloff
It is a masonry fireplace, painted white. The gas line was installed when they put in a gas furnace which is on the other side of the wall in the garage. There is a capped off gas stub that actually sticks out nto the fireplace box about 6". It appears they meant to put in a gas insert.
April 22, 2013 at 1:16pm   
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Pat Roloff
I hate the brass screen but I am afraid it will look even worse on the white brick if I paint it black.
April 22, 2013 at 1:20pm   
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Elizabeth Hayden
Paint out the doors with fire proof paint. The brass is really distracting. Something darker, charcoal or black. The peach colour on the walls is contrasting and making the fireplace stand out more. I would paint the walls similar to the fireplace colour.
April 22, 2013 at 1:23pm     
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Brown Bros. Masonry
Definitely have a professional come out and look at the "gas" stub in fireplace! Maybe even convert it to gas so you can use the fireplace. Agree with E Hayden, ned to change wall color, but pick it after you've adjusted face of fireplace first. update brass to black and maybe veneer over with stone, give your space a completely new look. You can also sheetrock over top half of fireplace and install shelving on either/both sides of fireplace.
April 22, 2013 at 1:34pm     
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DAPierceCompany
Just to make sure we are on the same page, I was referring to the fire box, flues, etc. that make up the interior of the fireplace. If you look inside the fireplace, and look up the chimney with a mirror, if it is a prefab unit, the top of the unit and the flue will be sheetmetal. If it is all masonry, it should be easy to tell. The only reason I asked is because totally removing a masonry fireplace will be a lot of work. It would probably be easier to just cover it with a false wall, if that is what you are wanting. On the other hand, regarding the gas, if it is all installed in accordance with your local building codes, it should not present a problem. It is fairly common to have gas lighters in wood-burning fireplaces. If you decide to keep the fireplace and are concerned about the gas, I would suggest requesting an inspection from the building department or the gas company.

Regarding the design of the space, I recently did a search on Houzz for “fireplace wall” and got over 16,000 pictures. You can narrow it down by picking “traditional”, “modern”, etc., depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Hope this helps.
April 22, 2013 at 1:45pm   
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DAPierceCompany
We did a similar one a few years ago and painted the doors like EH suggested. I posted some "before", "during" and "after" photos on another discussion. I will look it up and post on here shortly.
April 22, 2013 at 1:50pm   
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DAPierceCompany
Here are the pics. On the doors, we lightly sanded the metal and used a high temperature primer and paint.
April 22, 2013 at 1:59pm   
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Pat Roloff
Good ideas. I agree both the brass screen and the orange walls must go.
April 22, 2013 at 4:13pm   
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J & D Interiors
A wood burning fireplace, while cozy, is not vey energy efficient. It tends to draw most of your heated air ourdoors. I'd consider swapping it out for a direct vent fireplace-that's sealed, and then decorating it as others have suggested.
April 22, 2013 at 4:25pm     
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Pat Roloff
I like the looks of those long very skinny fireboxes. What do I type in to search for those?
April 22, 2013 at 4:29pm   
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Pat Roloff
Yes, I don't like the wood burning fireplace. Too dirty. I was thinking about pricing a gas insert. The labor to install may be the determining factor. Maybe too pricey. I don't know what a 'direct vent fireplace' is. Wood or gas or electric?
April 22, 2013 at 4:32pm   
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J & D Interiors
google 'direct vent fireplace or insert'; and be prepared to spend $$$-$$$$ on the long skinny ones!
April 22, 2013 at 4:39pm   
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Pat Roloff
Oh oh, not an option. :-(
April 22, 2013 at 4:49pm   
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J & D Interiors
Don't be put off until you do some investigating. Gather all your options with pricing and then make a decision. I'm in Alaska where energy costs up there. Most clients is choose direct vent to not only save energy but your home is cleaner, too!
April 22, 2013 at 4:54pm   
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April 22, 2013 at 4:58pm   
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stylepig
Consider this really inexpensive makeover -using high black heat paint from Rustoleum ($9 Cdn) See the before & After look. The job only took 2 hours (including preping the glass and cleanup)
April 22, 2013 at 5:28pm     
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Nancy Walton
I had a wood-burning fireplace converted to a gas log for about $1000, without changing anything in the pre-fab firebox. The only thing they did was take out the damper, and tell me to make sure I opened the glass doors whenever I burned the gas log. If they install a gas burning insert into a masonry firebox, it will no doubt be a "sealed" unit, and it will probably cost a lot more--maybe around $3000? Just guessing. Best bet would be to talk to a fireplace and stove shop.
April 22, 2013 at 5:36pm     
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jhperree
Book cases/ tv nook on either side and faux front on fireplace to match.

Cheaper version...bookcases, frame in moulding and full mantel on fireplace. Paint all same color, your choice, or white, making look like custom wall.
April 22, 2013 at 5:40pm   
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jhperree
Ethanol insert or bio fuel insert...no fumes, soot, gas issues.
April 22, 2013 at 5:42pm     
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Pat Roloff
I am soooo glad I found this site. I have already taken out the brass screen to repaint black which will accent the very old fireplace utensiles, removed the painting (I never did like this painting) and replaced with one from another room and it looks so much better already. Already the white brick is not so offensive. This will be an inexpensive redo with help from all you folks who give such great suggestions. I will post an after photo. I hope we can afford a gas insert and everything will be complete. On to the bathroom. LOL
April 22, 2013 at 5:58pm   
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DAPierceCompany
Yes, Houzz is an awesome site! Good luck and please post "after" pics.
April 22, 2013 at 6:05pm     
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Pat Roloff
jhperree, can you give me a link to the ethanol inserts or bio fuel inserts? Thanks.
April 22, 2013 at 8:17pm     
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decoenthusiaste
Links are below the pics. Should take you to the Houzz page where they're featured for more info.
April 22, 2013 at 8:23pm   
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jhperree
Links are everywhere. Just google(or search) ethanol fireplace inserts.

My favorite place is Ebay....do same thing, put ethanol fireplace in search field.
April 23, 2013 at 2:50pm   
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Pat Roloff
The painting is done and already the room looks bigger and lighter. Question, the tv could sit on the stone hearth and cover the firebox opening. It would be kind of low however. What do you think?
May 15, 2013 at 9:04am   
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Soothing Company
We have several bio ethanol fireplace inserts if you are still in the market:
http://www.thesoothingcompany.com/fireplaces/fireplace-inserts/biofuel-inserts.html
June 6, 2013 at 9:29pm   
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