I recently moved into a home with a fireplace. Everything is fine
except that the perimeter around the fireplace (on the floor) is not
sufficient. The law here is that the fireplace needs to be surrounded
by 18 inches of fireproof material on the floor. Mine only has 12
Currently my fireplace is surrounded by fireproof tile.
A friend mention that one can buy a fireproof sheet that can be placed
on the floor and thereby satisfy the legal requirement.
Does anyone know of a product that can do this and where I can buy it?
I went to the local home hardware store and came up empty. They are
definately not the brightest people working there.
Thanks for your help!
Cement board will work and it available at tile stores. You may want to
consider using some tile or slate flooring if you want to be more
decorative. You can also find a place that specializes in woodstoves and
First, check your yellow pages under "Fireplaces". There may be a specialty
store in your town that you haven't found yet. Home Despot or Lowe's may
carry these things, but like the hardware store, you may get a blank stare
when you ask.
Finally, a google search using the appropriate words should give you some
answers. I won't give a hint about those words because if you can't think of
them yourself, you probably shouldn't be operating a fireplace or handling
anything trickier than a spoon.
Since you're concerned about meeting the code requirement, I'd check
with the local building dept first. I'd be surprised if any
temporary sheet material would meet the code. Why can't you remove
the tile that is there and replace it with a slate hearth, etc which
will be permanent and look good?
so it wasnt built to code? I would have a fireplace specialist come
inspect everything including camera inspection of flue, and go from
there may be more than one code issue in that fireplace, better to
know whats up, and a perodic flue inspection is always a good idea
Your situation involves three questions:
1. Practical safety from fire: guaranteed if you
never use the fireplace.
2. Fire Safety Code. Where I live this is the only part
of the Building Code that is retroactive (i.e. when the
FSC changes you may be ordered to remodel your house
so that it conforms. This does not happen for BC clauses
about stairs, doorway widths, electrical code.)
3. Fire insurance. This can be the most difficult question
when (as is common) insurance agents do not know much
about either fire safety or the FSC. If in doubt, some may
simply cancel your insurance.
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