Fireplace clearances

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  #1  
Old 07-18-04, 05:10 PM
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danielt
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Fireplace clearances

I'm thinking about adding a wall in a room with a fireplace. How far does it need to be from the front? It's a wood burning fireplace. There is a blower on it that we sometimes use. The wall will be regular sheetrock and paint. I don't want to scorch the wall or risk a fire! Am I mostly worrying about nothing since most of the heat goes up?
 
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Old 07-20-04, 07:56 AM
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Code and Manufacturer

Fireplace clearances are set by your local building code and/or the manufacturer of the fireplace.

Check with both for the appropriate answer to your question.
 
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Old 07-21-04, 06:14 PM
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danielt
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Is there a national code? A rule of thumb? I can't find a manufacturer on the blower. The fireplace is just masonary.
 
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Old 07-21-04, 06:43 PM
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danielt,

I am assuming that you are talking about making a fireplace or is this a fireplace insert with refaction panels in the rear?

Regardless, this is required to have a Building Permit and most municipalities require it be installed by a licensed fireplace installer. This applies to either a build from scratch or a pre-manufactured unit. Contact you local building authorities for information.

Please concur with authorities on updated requirements.

FIREPLACE HEARTH CLEARANCESS 1/2003

R1003.9.1 Hearth Thickness - The minimum thickness of firepalce hearths shall be 4" thick. (102)

R1003.9.2 Hearth Extension Thickness - The minimum thickness of hearth extension shall be 2" (51 mm)

Exception; When the bottom of the firebox opening is rasised at least 8" (203mm) above the top of the hearth extension, ahearth extension of not less than 3/8" inch thick (9.5mm) brick, concrete,stone, tile,or other approved noncombustible material is provided.

R1003.10 Hearth Extension Dimensions - Hearth extensions shall extend at least 16 inches (406mm) in front of and at least 8 inches (203mm) beyond each side of the fireplace opening. Where the fireplace opening is 6 square feet (0.557m2) or larger, the hearth extension shall extend at least 20 inches (508mm) in front of and at least 12 inches (305mm) beyond each side of fireplace opening.

R1003.12 Fireplace Clearance - All wood beams, joists, studs and other combustible material shall have a clearance of not less than 2 inches (51mm) from the front faces and sides of masonry fireplaces and not less than 4 inches (102mm) from the back of masonry fireplaces. The air space shall not be filled except to provide fireblocking in accordance with Section R 1003.14.

Exceptions:

1. Masonry fireplaces listed and label for use in contact with combustibles in accordance with UL 127 and installed in accordance with the manufactures installation instructions are permitted to have combustible material in contact with their exterior surfaces.

2. When masonry fireplaces are part of masonry or concrete walls, combustible materials shall not be in contact with the masonry or concrete walls less than 12 inches (305mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

3. Exposed combustible trim and edges of sheathing materials such as wood siding, flooring and drywall shall be permitted to abut the masonry fireplace sidewalls and hearth extension provided such combustible trim or sheathing is a minimum of 12 inches (305mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

4. Exposed combustible mantels and trim may be placed directly on the masonry fireplace front surrounding the fireplace opening providing such combustible materials shall not be placed within 6 inches (152mm) of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches (306mm) of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1/8 inch (3.2mm) for each 1-inch (25.4mm) distance from such opening.



2114.3 MASONRY FIREPLACES

2114.36 Fireplace hearth extensions shall be of approved noncombustible materials for all fireplaces. Where the fireplace opening is less than 6 sq.ft. (0.56mē), the hearth extension shall extend at least 16 inches (406mm) in front of the facing material and at least 8 inches (203mm) beyond each side of fireplace opening. Where fireplace opening is 6 sq.ft. (0.56mē) or larger, the hearth extension shall extend at least 20 inches (508mm) in front of the facing materials and at least 12 inches (305mm) beyond each side of the fireplace opening. Where a fireplace is elevated above or overhangs a floor, the hearth extension shall also extend over the area under the

2114.3.7 Fireplaces constructed of masonry or reinforced concrete shall have hearth extensions of brick, concrete, stone, tile, or other approved noncombustible material properly supported and with no combustible material against the underside thereof. Wooden form or centers used during the construction of a hearth and hearth extensions shall be removed when construction is completed. EXCEPTION: A header of combustible material may be used to support the hearth extension provided that it is located more than 12 inches (305mm) from the face of the fireplace.

2114.3.8 All combustible wood beams, joist, and studs shall be maintained a minimum of 2 inches (51mm) from the outside face of the chimney or fireplace masonry. Headers supporting trimmer arches at fireplaces shall be not less than 20 inches (508mm) from the face of the chimney breast. Trimmers shall be not less than 6 inches (152mm) from the inside face of face of the nearest flue lining.

2114.3.9 Woodwork shall not be placed within 4 inches (102mm) of the back of the fireplace, but shall not prevent plastering directly on the masonry or metal lath and metal furring.

2114.3.10 All combustible mantels and similar trim shall be kept at least 6 inches from fireplace opening. Parts of the mantel assembly located along the sides of the fireplace opening, which project more than 1-1/2 inches (38mm) from the face of the fireplace, shall have additional clearance equal to he projection. Parts of the mantel assembly located above and projecting more than 1-1/2 inches (38mm) from the fireplace opening shall not be placed less than 12 inches (305mm) from the top of the fireplace opening.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 07-23-04, 07:06 PM
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danielt
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Thanks for the great reply. Unfortunately, I realize I didn't phrase my question correctly! Sorry, I'm new at this.

I have a 20x20 room, with a fireplace in the center of one wall. I'm thinking of dividing the room into two rooms. Can I, for example, create a 20x12 room and a 20x8 room with a fireplace? The fireplace would then be about 8 feet from the new wall. This is the clearance I'm trying to find out about. Is 8 feet too close to the front of the fireplace?

Again, sorry for the confusion!
 
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Old 07-28-04, 09:43 PM
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you're fine. 8' is far enough away for your new wall. (of course, I would wonder what the heck you'd do with a 20' x 8' room - long and narrow!!!)

Doug's right though - be sure to get a building permit.

best!
 
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Old 07-29-04, 04:23 PM
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danielt
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Thanks for the reply.

The room isn't 20x20, I just pulled numbers to illustrate my question.

My house is a split-level. The "family room" downstairs isn't really used, and I need another bedroom, but I don't really want the fireplace in my son's bedroom. We haven't used the fireplace in years, but if we lose power during the winter I may need it for basic heat. My wife suggested the wall being about 6 feet from the fireplace, but we're still looking at options.
 
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Old 07-29-04, 08:56 PM
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I'm sure others will tell you this...but...

a bedroom requires certain things by code. For example, it has to have two means of egress (ways to exit) which means 1) a door and 2) a window big enough to be an egress window. Your local building dept. can tell you how big this window needs to be in your area - generally it's a combination of the dimensions of the window and the area of the opening.

you'll also probably need a hardwired smoke detector.

and maybe some other things. I know for example, as of 2004, the code here in michigan requires AFCI circuits in all bedroom circuits. etc.

let us know if you have any other questions. if you want to post a drawing of what you're thinking, I can take a look.
 
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