Hardwood against Fireplace okay?

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Old 02-06-14, 08:18 AM
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Hardwood against Fireplace okay?

Hello everyone!

I need some help, I am currently installing engineered hardwood, and I have removed the tile around my fireplace, and want to install the hardwood there. I heard from my contractor its okay to do that, but then my uncle, who is very handy, said that I should always have tile in front of the fireplace. So now, I don't know what to do. I'm closely approaching the fireplace now, so I'd like to confirm before installing the hardwood: Is it okay to have engineered hardwood in front of the fireplace?

I have maple engineered hardwood. 0.5 inch thickness. I have a gas fireplace with glass doors on them that open. I also have a wood mantle that goes around the fireplace.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 02-06-14, 10:06 AM
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I don't know what the specs [size] are but you are required to have a hearth in front of the firebox. It doesn't have to be tile but it does need to be non combustible.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 10:49 AM
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It may be different with a gas unit. I had one in the loft of my last house...and there was no hearth, mantle or anything. Carpet right up to the wall under the fireplace.

Note...this was a dedicated gas unit, not something that could be converted to wood...and was installed in the wall about 18-24" above the floor.

If yours is a more traditional down near the floor thing...or could ever be converted to wood...I'm sure you need a hearth.

Best way to know is with some pics and notes and go ask yer local codes people.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 11:03 AM
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Local codes may vary, but I think I would not be far off to say that your "contractor" is wrong. See page 2 under fireplaces.

http://www.gov.allconet.org/permits/...Fireplaces.pdf
 
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Old 02-06-14, 08:03 PM
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Here are some pictures of the fireplace.

I called the city inspector today, and he didn't really seem to have any idea. He said if there was a hearst before, you will need one again.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 08:35 PM
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ahhhh, I didn't catch the "gas" fireplace part. You should be fine. No hearth required on a gas only. No hearse either, unless the gas starts to leak and you like to smoke.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 09:26 PM
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But...I still think thats if it's gas only. If the insert could be removed and wood burned, you need a hearth of some sort. I'm no Pro...just going off my last house. The wood burner downstairs was plumbed and gas ready, but set up for wood while I lived there. Seems likely yours was set up for gas from the start. Why would they do the tile though if it wasn't possible to burn wood?
 
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Old 02-07-14, 05:52 AM
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Probably just to make it look like a "real fireplace". Vic makes a good point though. If this is a gas fireplace stuck into a real firebox (i.e. the gas fireplace could possibly be removed and wood could again be burnt inside the firebox) then it's likely that you would still need to treat it as if it WAS a wood burning fireplace.
 
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Old 02-10-14, 07:12 AM
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Here is what I've observed about gas only fireplaces, their chimney's usually aren't the highest point in the house. At least, this is what I've seen at my parents house, both previous and current. My fireplace's chimney is the highest point of my house, it extends all the way to the top. I suspect this was designed as a wood burning fireplace, and maybe the gas line was put in later. The gas line also seems to be put in very amateurishly in the basement. The line is actually in front of the small window in the basement, which looks ridiculous.

In any case, I installed the tiles the same length in front of the fireplace just to be on the safe side. I would hate to install hardwood there, and have them possibly warp or discolor because of the heat of the fireplace. Thank you everyone for the help!

-Amir
 
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