I need fireplace advice

What would you do with these slat- covered deep, dark holes in the fireplace stone? I can tell you want the spiders do with them…ick!

I am thinking of staining the stone with cement stain a graphite gray. And I definitely want a mantle. We are removing the insert. But, that’s all I got.


11 Responses

  1. Could you fill them with stone? It would probably look a little odd, but definitely better than it does now! Do they have any function?

  2. The vents in the fireplace face indicate that you have a Heatilator firebox installed. This type of fireplace was invented in the 1930s and was popular in various shapes through the 1980s. It consists of a metal firebox with air cavities around it and generally 2 fans that blow air from the bottom vents around the firebox and out the top vents. The idea was to get more heat from the fireplace than a typical fireplace will put out.

    Several problems to be aware of: The insert is likely installed improperly. You’ll know when thou pull the stove out. It should have an 8″ stainless steel pipe attached to the top of it and running to the top of the chimney to be installed properly. It probably doesn’t have a proper liner, so is considered a fire hazard. Wood inserts without proper liners condense a tremendous amount of creosote in the chimney flue, making the risk of flue fires very high.

    If the stove has been used regularly in the past, there’s a high probability that the chimney has experienced a flue fire. A flue fire will damage clay liners in the chimney, making them unsuitable for use.

    Heatilator Fireplaces have a tendency to rust out over time, particularly if there is not a cap covering the chimney flue. 30 years of rain coming down the flue will rust out the smoke shelf behind the damper. This opens up the vent behind the fireplace so that building a fire in the fireplace blows smoke all over the room.

    The best solution to an old Heatilator fireplace is to cut it out and build a masonry Rumford or Priorfire firebox. My website has some pictures of this process if you’re interested. http://www.chimcheree.com/?page_id=2

    Before you do anything to the fireplace, please call your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep out to inspect it. He’ll be able to explain any problems and recommend solutions to them all. Find your local certified sweep at CSIA.org

  3. If you are taking the stove out, I would redo the whole surround. Do some calling around…maybe you could fine an original wood fireplace surround and mantel. Ventless gas logs are my favorite heat source.

    • Yes, I really like the idea of finding an old mantle with lots of character. I’m wondering if something with pillars that go from the top of the mantle to the bottom along the sides would hide whatever fix I do to the stone.

  4. you could morter and tile in the areas / find some stone and morter it in – color wont matter if your painting it / and you could put a wood surround too – see pic http://www.custommade.com/fireplace-surround/by/finelineWoodworking

    • Yeah, I bet I could find something to hide the sides like that. Haha about a fixer-upper in heaven. That DOES sound like heaven! šŸ™‚

  5. btw i’m lovin following your remodel – i love to see people breathing new life into places like this. Unfortuately i didnt marry a carpenter who loves this sort of thing, – maybe in heaven my mansion will be a shambles and i will get to remodel it šŸ™‚

  6. oh and i told jeff about the fireplace and he said it would be a great place to put your spent chewing gum

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