Fixing a fire surround to wall?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by SteveMJ, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Active Member


    This is a two part question for a fireplace that will not be used for a fire:

    My son has purchased a wooden fire surround and attached it to the plastered chimey breast by gripfill - is this adequate? It feels pretty tight, but now a bit concerned that a mechanical fixing is also required i.e screws.

    The old fireplace hole and the fire surround infill has been made from MDF and son's fiance is doing something with copper tiles - not clear to me yet. I was thinking that the MDF could be held in place by back filling with expanding foam. This will fix the MDF and fill in gap between the uneven wall and the MDF. Will this be OK?

    Thanks for the advice. Steve
  2. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select

    The common practice is to fix a right angle bracket then plaster over.

    Attach the bracket to the inside of the surround then chase out plaster then fill over.

    Grip fill isn't enough of a fixing for me, kids could swing on it etc.

    See what others say
  3. I agree with Tore.

    There should be metal brackets fitted to the sides, at least two and towards the top. Sunk into the wall and skimmed over.

    Gripfill is very strong, but relies totally on it all having been done properly (dust-free surfaces, for example) and also on the plaster skim being secure (if that comes orf, it all does...).

    I personally wouldn't be happy with chust adhesive, although they will likely 'get away' with it.
  4. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Active Member

    Thanks tore and DA,

    Son was keen to get the job done. No kids involved (yet, LOL) just a cat. I think I'll dril through and put a couple fo fixings into the chimey breast.

    What about the MDF infill and the lining for the fire hole? No strength needed, but plaster work and raw bricks in hole are rough after old back boiler gas fire removed, so the expanding foam will fil all the irregularities. Reasonable?

    Thanks, Steve
  5. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select

    A few options!

    I have never tried your way to be honest.

    1 - I would of probably use bonding 1st coat plaster basically like cement. Doesn't have to be perfect just fill irregularities to get some sort of evenness to stick MDF to.

    2- If you have the room you could Dot dab plasterboard even some fixings on to bricks with adhesive then grip fill/stick mdf on to that.

    Only my suggestions! I think your plan would work too but. Foam can be messy!

    I would go option 2 if you have the room plus can be packed out to what you want.

    See what others say
  6. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    The MDF panel would have been easier to fix to the mantel before it was fixed to the wall, using screws. The inner portion is usually recessed to allow for this.

    On an mantel I installed a while ago, the fixings were located on the front using hammer fixings, these were then covered over with a wooden plug.

  7. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select

    That makes Sense JT.

    What about the gap in the bottom where your fake fire or feature etc goes how do you finish that off. Cause there will just be a hole there.

    On that subject aren't you meant to put a chimney brush, can't remember the name up the chimney to stop drafts etc.
  8. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    I made this up, to cover up a removed gas fire back boiler.

    i left a 9x3" (grill mesh) vent in it for ventilation, purposes.

    There is also a socket as well, if an electric fire is to be used - hard to see as its a black socket.

    The wall was lined, so didn't chisel out the brackets, used picture brackets 38mm.


    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  9. tore81

    tore81 Screwfix Select

    Nice job mate and the brackets look smart.

    Maybe be a good option for the op with picture brackets as it is already glued.

    I'm guessing his MDF piece has a square cut out. That's how I've seen them
    KIAB likes this.
  10. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

  11. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Can't we use Stixall DA?! :oops:;):D
  12. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    The back boiler had a flue liner 5" which was fully removed. Depends whether you have a aluminum gas terminal as the flue or clay chimney pot. I just used a pepper pot cowl, this provide weatherproofing and ventilation.
  13. Jitender

    Jitender Screwfix Select

    Thinking I may get a quote to fit a wood burner, live near to the woods so there is a lot of wood around.
    Plan would be to remove the carpet in lounge and install wood flooring. Going to be autumn and gonna get cold.
  14. SKC

    SKC New Member

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