False chimney breast advice needed

i_york

Standard Member
Planning to build a false chimney breast to house a large bio-ethanol fire (about 160 x 50cm), my 50" plasma, a ceiling-recessed projector screen and Sky box, PS4, etc. I'm then planning on cladding it in stacked-stone tiles.

I want to conceal the Sky box and PS4 inside the chimney breast so they're not visible from outside. I then plan to use a Harmony Ultimate system to take care of the remote control side of things (uses RF, so can go through solid material). Has anyone done the same thing? I'm planning on using a removable panel in the front of the chimney breast that is mounted using magnets. The idea is I can pop it off to access the boxes when needed and, when it's mounted, it's invisible.
 

johndon

Well-known Member
If the panel is going to be solid, have you considered ventilation to keep the equipment from overheating...

John
 

i_york

Standard Member
Actually, I think I've just had a brain wave... might be better to put the Sky box, etc, on shelves in the side of the chimney breast, rather than on the front behind a panel. Being on the side means they're not so visible and they'll also be open for ventilation.

What about boarding material? I'm thinking Vermiculite boards around the immediate area of the fire (and above it inside the chimney breast to contain the rising heat). I'm thinking other areas not subject to high levels of heat can use fire board. I'm also thinking timber studwork should be sufficient? Possible wrap any studs around the fireplace with heat resistant material?
 

Marty Moose

Active Member
I used concrete lintels and breezeblock to build my opening for my bio fire, lined with slate tiles on the base, and splitface tiles on the inner sides. Had some vermiculite board but I found it a nightmare to use and sacked it off.
 

i_york

Standard Member
I used concrete lintels and breezeblock to build my opening for my bio fire, lined with slate tiles on the base, and splitface tiles on the inner sides. Had some vermiculite board but I found it a nightmare to use and sacked it off.

What was it about the vermiculite board that was a nightmare?
 

Marty Moose

Active Member
What was it about the vermiculite board that was a nightmare?
Probably just me, but cutting it perfectly to size was an absolute ball ache and took forever, the finish on it looked naff to me, i was concerned about how i would get it to blend seamlessly with the plaster finish on the front wall, and the worst thing was getting it to stick to anything, tried two sealants where it just peeled straight off after being left to set for a good 20 hours. In the end I got the plasterer to render a flat finish to the wonky brickwork where I had smashed out a larger hole size for the fire, and then tiled it up. It was a plan B as I originally wanted a seamless smooth look, but in reflection I'm glad I went for the tiles. My experiences could be taken with a pinch of salt as I'm a DIYer and not much of a tradesman however.
 

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