I am tearing off the brick facade of a 60’s era fireplace. My goal is to have simple flat tile or stone surround and then build a wood mantel. Above the lintel of the fireplace I found lots of brick and morter thrown in there in a haphazard fashion apparently just to fill in the space. It seems unstable. Clearly there is nothing there to attach a stone surround to! Eventually I will place a new gas insert into the old firebox area.
Should I punt this problem to a pro? What can be done to provide a firm backing for the surround that I invision?
Thanks all –
The backfill you describe is not uncommon. It acts as a protective heat sink. If there is nothing to attach to, you'll need to brick up ,on edge, to provide a starter course for your brick or tile to attach to.
A job like this is probably in your league, but I'd recommend reading up on masonry and fireboxes. Taunton Press wrote a good one.
Curious, is this a metal firebox faced with brick or a brick fireplace?
Chimney is what?
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This is a brick fireplace and brick chimney. The Lintel appears to be metal.