A fireplace brings a comforting ambience to a room. It also provides supplementary heating that can cut the cost to keep a house warm. For the best results, you must install the fireplace properly, including measures to radiate the heat throughout the room. Fire brick is a widely sold material that surrounds the fire box and reflects the heat into the room where it is needed. Instead of being separate bricks, the material is a panel of composite bricks, making installation quite straightforward.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Wet sponge
- Mortar mix
- Masonry trowel
- Board or other heavy object
- Rubber hammer
- Mortar bag
Mark the fire brick panels with a pencil to indicate which pieces go on the bottom, back and sides of the fireplace. If your fire brick panels came in a kit, the instructions should indicate which pieces go where. If not, use measurements as your guide.
Lay the bottom fire brick panel. Wet the back of the panel and the bottom of the fireplace box with the sponge. Spread a thin layer of the mortar mix on the entire back surface of the fire brick panel with the masonry trowel. Press the fire brick panel in place with the bricks facing upward so they are visible to you and so the panel is evenly in the fireplace frame.
Install the fire brick panel that goes on the back of the fireplace box. Wet the top and bottom edge of the back fire brick panel. Spread mortar in a horizontal line at the top and bottom edge with the trowel. Press the panel in place at the back of the fireplace box. The fire brick panel will not sit flat against the wall; there will be a gap to account for the shape of the downdraft component of the fireplace system. Place a board against the panel to hold it in place while the mortar sets.
Install the side fire brick panel. Wet the back of the panel and the side of the fireplace box with the sponge. Spread a thin layer of mortar on the back of the side panel with the trowel. Set the bottom edge of the fire brick panel against the bottom edge of the side wall at an angle. Swing the fire brick panel inward until it sits flat against the wall. Tap the panel with a rubber hammer to secure. Place a board against the panel to hold it in place while the mortar sets.
Install the opposite side fire brick panel. Repeat Step 4, but work from the opposite direction.
Seal the seams between all the fire brick panels. Fill the mortar bag with mortar mix. Pipe the mortar mix along each of the seams, creating a tight seal.
Tips and warnings
- If your fireplace has an inside air kit, drill the hole in the fire brick panel before installation.
- If your fire brick is sold individually and not in panels, install the bricks one-by-one, spreading mortar on the back and between each brick. Pipe mortar in all cracks to complete the process.
- Hit the fire brick panels gently with the rubber hammer to avoid breaking or damaging the pieces.
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