Fireplace Construction Techniques
- A common design is a metal circulating fireplace enclosed with brick that forms a structure around the fireplace opening. Old House Web recommends a fireplace depth about two-thirds the height of the opening. A correct-size flue -- which channels the exhaust from the fireplace to the outside -- also proves crucial.
- Steel angle iron supports the masonry above the fireplace opening. Using a heat-resistant material such as firebrick for the interior of the hearth reduces the risk of a house fire. The outer hearth should stretch at least 16 inches from the fireplace front, and use a reinforced concrete slab for support.
- Conventional fireplace construction allows about 90 percent of the heat from burning wood to escape through the chimney, reports HandyAmerican.com. An airtight fireplace insert such as a wood stove captures more heat. Airtight stove features include a faceplate and a blower for room heat circulation.