how to install fireplace

How To Install A Fireplace? A Simple DIY Guide

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When you finish reading this article, you would know how to install a fireplace. This article simplifies the fireplace installation process and guides you through every phase.

Start-up Consideration

Whatever may be the type of fuel, there are common design phases for all factory-built fireplaces that must be taken into consideration when planning a DIY installation. Factory-built fireplaces rely on clearances to combustibles to operate safely. For this reason, they are a prefabricated sheet metal system. It has a modular design and offers a cost-effective alternative to a traditional site-built masonry fireplace. All types of units utilize an inner firebox chamber; it is suspended by means of metallic supports from an outer fireplace jacket.

The empty space, actually filled with air, between the inner and outer jackets, and the capability of the unit to dissipate heat allows the prefabricated fireplace to be installed into a combustible enclosure, which is framed from commonly available dimensional lumber.

Frame the Fireplace

We can begin to frame the fireplace opening before the appliance is shipped to you. However, it is better you do it after the appliance arrives.

Your manufacturer has specified the size requirements for the framed opening. Simply follow the instructions supplied with the unit. Dimensional lumber of 2 x 4 and a header of 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 is commonly used. Most of the manufacturers permit the fireplace to sit on a combustible floor directly. You can also build a combustible platform at this time to raise the unit within the wall opening.

The consideration for finishing material thickness should be done carefully right now. Although stone and tile veneers are very popular, many installations will be finished out with standard 1/2 inch drywall up to the edges of the unit. How much be the thickness of the material, you must confirm the unit projects forward from the framed opening sufficient to offset for the thickness of the finishing material if you are looking for a flush installation.

Installation of the Venting Components

Next is the installation of the venting components. Most of the gas vent pipes use a twist lock attachment method. You’ll require to uncover or rotate the venting collar on the appliance for your application depending on how you are venting the appliance.

To vent the appliance vertically, you will require to remove the plate and discard the insulation and pipe plug within. To vent it horizontally, remove the rear cap in the same fashion. Some designs use similar caps or lids for the unused flue collar. A few designs have a dedicated top or rear vent configuration. When you have configured the vent collar properly, the first piece of pipe is ready to install.

 

Passing through the Roof

It all depends on your preference, whether the vent pipe would be exposed above the roof or boxed into a decorative chimney chase. If you leave it exposed, a roof flashing requires to be used to seal the termination. When the pipe installation nears the roof decking, you can use a plumb bob or level to determine the point of penetration. You can use a jig saw or reciprocating saw to cut a large hole in the roof so that the pipe can pass through it.

Connections of the Electrical and Plumbing

After completing the venting installation, now you are ready to connect the electrical and plumbing, which has been previously installed by a local professional. There will be a supplied junction box installed inside the unit if the appliance requires electrical service for the ignition system or circulating fan.  The owner’s manual will have its wiring diagram outlined. Just follow the diagram and connect the wire leads of the new circuit to the wire pigtails supplied with the unit.

Please do not work with any doubt with these tools; hire or consult a licensed professional if you feel unconfident or confused.

There is a similarity between wood-burning appliances installation requirements and a gas appliance. There are only a few differences. Wood burning fireplaces will never be horizontally vented and won’t require the use of any sealant at the flue collar connection. In most cases, the wood-burning fireplaces would also not require an electrical or plumbing connection. However, the exception of this rule would be the installation of a circulating fan or a gas starting aid. It is for the likeliness of extremely high temperature, wood burning chimneys are also much larger in diameter. They would sometimes require additional clearances to combustibles. As for gas burning appliances, please read and fully understand all the installation instructions before you purchase it.

Assembling the Chimney

1st step

Most of the wood-burning fireplaces would use an air cooled chimney system. The inner and outer both walls would, of course, be independent. We framing and mounting are completed as mentioned above, you can begin the assembly of the chimney. Such chimney systems usually use a hem and lance system. A gas appliance, on the other hand, uses the twist lock system.

For each chimney section, a label on the outer wall indicates the orientation of the chimney. After the orientation has been rightly determined, isolate the inner and outer pieces of each section. Start with the inner section. Firmly insert the end of the inner section into the inner collar. After applying sufficient pressure, the section should produce an audible snap. This indicates it has locked into the place rightly. When you pull it upward on the pipe section, this would verify that it’s certainly snapped into position. Do the same way for the outer wall of the pipe section.

2nd Step

After doing this, follow the same procedure as with the gas appliance by installing 3 self-tapping 3/4 sheet metal screws at this and every subsequent connection. It is pertinent that only the outer section be punctured. The internal spacers used between the inner and outer walls will confirm that the inner sections stay in position. Only some highly efficient wood burning fireplaces use a twist lock chimney system that has inner and outer walls made together, just as the same as direct vent gas appliances. The assembly procedure in that case essentially matches that of a direct vent gas appliance. For the gas appliances, you require to apply a firestop at the top of your enclosure and install the proper flashing needed for the chimney system. Serious attention is required to be paid to the necessary vent pipe clearances.

Completion of the Installation

Fireplace enclosure completion matches greatly with any other drywall, tile, or veneer project. In case of a drywall application, it is simply required to affix the drywall sheets to the enclosure with coarse thread drywall screws or nails. Drywall is not able to touch the metal chassis of the fireplace, and trim kits are available to cover the resulting gap. Tile or stone can be used on the wall as well.

For any other installation, a concrete or fiber backer board must be secured to the studs first. As long as the fireplace design has a smooth face with no louvers or grills, it is all right for noncombustible tile and stone to cover the metal chassis of a fireplace. Grill, louvers, and other vents can’t be covered. Any part of the fireplace opening can’t be covered by the finishing material. See the manual carefully, please. Every fireplace manufacturer states the finishing section which varies from one another.

You already know by now, how to install a fireplace. However, we always recommend that you consult with a local professional regarding any suspension, uncertainty regarding the installation.

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