I've just removed a cast iron reproduction fireplace from our lounge
and would like to place a fire basket in the open fireplace. The
opening appears to be in good order and I've had a sweep come and
check the chimney. Couple of questions,
1) The brickwork inside the opening is exposed in places and needs to
be made good again - is there a certain cement mix I should use for
2) The floor of the fireplace is now some distance from the opening
of the chimney - the sweep suggested this needed building up (probably
to the height of a couple of bricks, to make a shelf on which the
basket will sit. Again, is there a certain cement I could use for
this? (e.g. fill the space with the rubble that was left behind from
the cast iron fireplace and cement over making a 'step' on which the
The tiled hearth in front of the fire is in perfect nick and there is
a bit of plastering that needs doing to fill in the rebate left by the
fireplace but otherwise all looks good. Any help or suggestions
appreciated I can find very little information on the web. Also, is
it safe to lining paper over the plaster up to the edge of the
Depends. Above the actual combustion area the fire will get hot enough
to degrade brick..unless you intend putting in a cast iron fireback you
will need to do something.
There are high temp renders around buit don;rt ask me what they are...
Under basket temperatures are not nearly as high as immediately above.
The hot gases go upwards and in use the stuff that falls down generally
does so into a bed of ash. You should be able to get away with standard
stuff. My hearth is quarry tiles over concrete done with a 6:1:1 mix of
sand, white cement and lime, AFAICR. (Moirtar for tiles: NOT the concrete)
You should raise the basket until the aperture (the area of the opening
above the burning area) is less than 7 times the area of the flue
immediately above the aperture, and a bit less is better for avoiding
smoke in the room.
Or lower the flue towards the fire with a smoke hood. If I have your
fireplace pictured aright that might be mo more than a sheet of copper
coming down to lower the lintel (?) of the fire as it were.
Should be. My experience is that the most intense heat is in the basket
itself (these eventually sag and break) and immediately above this
towards the flue entrance. Brick is not an especially good conductor of
heat, and you find the rest of the fireplace gradually gets warm, as
does the wall, but not hot.
The part under the firebasket will be xposed to hot ashes, but thi sis
well within brick/mortar comfirt zones.
I cannot emphsises enough that there are three extremely dangerous parts
to an open fire - smoke inhalation apart.
First is the absolutely intense heat in the basket itself and
immediately above it. This is enough to distort cast iron and erode
brickwork fast. White hot is pretty much possible, with good materials
and a good draught.
The second is the possibility of a chimney fire - in itself spectacular
but not too dangerous, but combined with a leaking flue anywhere near
timber structures, enough to set a roof alight etc.
The third is burning material ejected from te fire..logs spit and crack
and can propel stuff a long way. Logs can roll out of a fire too.
Combustible materials nearby can also catch fire.
So regard buidling regulations for hearth sizeds and so ion as an
absolute miniu7mum, bugger is better, and a ridged edge to sotop buring
stuff riolling out is a damned good idae, and DO NOT hacve nice carpet
up close. Get a cheap rug to put in friont, that will get scorched if a
small tarcer round pops out, that you can replace without heratbreajk.
And NEVER leave an open fire unattended without a mesh guard.
In laws came back after lunch at the pub..and there wasn't a house at
all. Just a couple of fire engines. Banked up with logs, more logs
either side, newspapers for starting just in front..you can work out
what probably happened.