We completed a new interior home in Tiburon early this year. The place had a nice looking fireplace wall with a 15-20 year old gas pireplace. It wasn’t that bad but did not fit our project requirements. Here is what we did.
It took a while to curvey the possiblities of running the fle though the apartment above. Old existing pipes were narrower than the new 8″ required. The permit it and proceed with full demo, and replacement. The new unit is an Ortal
Fireplace-TV combination. Full size closets on both sides, where added as the small apartment was short of storage space. The TV is 70″ class, and the Fireplace is also by Ortal. The use of black as a device to hide both central elements and make the TV and Fireplace disappear, particularly when not in use, works very well. Blog on the apartment to come soon.
Detailed scale drawings are necesarry. Here is what we did for this one.
Fireplace and TV in “Signature Wall” at Walnut Creek home. This signature wall is our longest 33′ length of joined cabinetry. While it also incorporates a slider door and a window. The Ortal Fireplace is almost 6′ long. The Images the client kindly sent had to be spliced, because it is so long.
We believe in sharing “Knowledge”. Ours is a limited knowledge, mainly that of our also limited Architecture and Interior Design practice. As designers we carve fireplaces into our designs interior or exterior, and practice “Composition”. We learn in the process and we wish to share our thoughts, this time on Fireplaces.
We’ll start by sharing and linking to other sites so that a stop at this site becomes more convenient and productive. Make sure to comment and add to our blog; we will edit in the benefit of our visitors.
There are fireplaces everywhere, almost 1 in every home in America (the USA); and lets assume the same amount in all extreme or not tempered places. An example in Mexico a more tempered climate yet in Mexico City, we include them in almost all homes, in Acapulco or Cancun you don’t, but you do in Los Cabos for outdoor. Point is there are millions and millions of fireplaces, which we can’t possibly cover here; our coverage will be spontaneous.
A friend who works in Miami realty (who wants a fireplace there?), asked me recently to cover the issue of preparing homes for Autumn so by now it is going to be Autumn-Winter. Keep in mind the southern Hemisphere is flipped so it is Autumn-Winter somewhere the whole year round.
Fireplaces are “Interior Architecture” not decorating; well done yes they can be both. The benefit of having one in use is that it not for one season, but for many the next and so on. So generally a good investment.
Wood burning fireplaces are no longer as popular and are being replaced. It is like having a vintage car, looks beautiful, but you can’t use it as much, so you need a new fireplace to make it more convenient to use, therefore increasing its use, particularly in this season. Better to have nothing to clean and a button to ignite. As designers, we face clients who are not always willing or interested, and all we can do is encourage.
We don’t do many fireplaces from scratch. Yes when we do a new homes Architecture and it is in a location where winter is cold, we do incorporate them into our plans. More often we remodel, or replace, update the existing ones.
Below we show, Fireplace designs by Jerry Jacobs Design, 8 in the San Francisco Bay area, and 1 Guest from Mexico City. We started a section below to show fireplaces we like and direct you to our Pin Board for more as well for many more.
I met the client on a plane, she liked Country. On “Clean the Bay Day” I came across a driftwood beam in the Tiburon bike path and thought it would do the mantle and that “Salvaged” was country. Rose limestone surround and Meiji Screen around the Salvaged Mantle. Classic wood burning fireplace..
Interior Architecture. Before the fireplace was as well in the corner but…
Decorating. The clients husband had been a Fireman so we incorporated the hose end to put fires out; Art Focal the Meiji Screen. The other side is silver and they are a pair, I have the other. Props on loan for the Photo shoot. 2 flames over mantle, an umbrella or stick holder used for the tool, and a set of antique leather balls.
In this case we just replaced it for a new one, grandfathering the wood use. I do not recommend now, for comfort of use, and cleaning.
This fireplace has no mantle. The point was to reflect the Bay view in the mirror above it. Marble surround and hearth extension to comply with code. This is at the entry home office area marble surround in turn is surrounded by mirror to reflect the Bay view, no mantle, yes Wet Bar
The fireplace and shaft were there, we added the mantle and hood, or overmantle in a Chateau style, as the House’s proportions are such. Leather elliptical ottoman, velvet on drapes and love seat.
At the same Home we called Morgan Hill Taj, we designed 3 fireplaces. The three units where there installed, however with no surround or finish, the owners asked us to do the entire Home. In the Home Library-offfice we choose red, and did the fireplace surround in Black Marble. We designed the library cabinetry to disguise the flu and have flush marble with the contemporary Built-in cabinetry
Black & White, at Paris in San Francisco. A penthouse apartment in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California.
Two fireplaces in Presidio Heights, San Francisco.
Is there a TV manual, telling you how far the unit should be from the fireplace? I don’t think so. Is there a Fireplace guide likewise specifying how far from the TV it should be? I guess not. TV units should specify the temperature they withstand working properly.
In addition to the Fireplace mantle being decorative or a place to put Christmas cards or other parafernalia, they do serve a purpose. The Mantle diverts the heat, therefore protecting the TV from excessive heat. If you can fit a mantle or create a step back, then you are done. If you want a flush clean look like the Larkspur example it is a different story.
Design of the combination of the two is interesting.
Work completed. Seen from family room before furniture. Wall recessed gas fireplace aligned with 60″ TV screen. Venetian Stucco walls.
We Designed the minimalist Casa Lila House and the Interiors with structural Glass and High-Tech details. So it was just natural that we extend the glass to the fireplace surround. This unique glass surrounded fireplace is minimalist and contemporary, while Chimalistac, San Angel is a Colonial part of the city. Wet Bar behind.
Fireplaces we like.
ICC building codes allow builders to install marble building stone for exterior walls and limestone, granite, sandstone and slate in the overall construction. Stone materials must be free of cracks and defects. Firebrick; cement; or grouted, hollow blocks may be used to construct the back and sidewalls of the unit. The mortar permitted depends entirely on the specific construction material used. The ICC enforces strict rules around additives and admixtures in mortar. Liquid antifreeze, chloride salts, and other substances with similar compounds cannot be used in mortar or grout. Approved grout mixtures include fine or coarse aggregate that must be measured and combined with hydrated lime or lime putty, according to ICC recommendations.
A masonry fireplace featuring a firebox — the main chamber — that measures less than 6 square feet requires a hearth extension of at least 16 inches in front of the opening and at least 8 inches to the sides. For a fireplace with a larger opening of more than 6 square feet, the ICC requires a hearth that extends 20 inches or more in front and 12 inches or more along the sides. The hearth design must be at least 2 inches thick.
The lintel, made of noncombustible materials, is located directly over the fireplace and must extend at least 4 inches beyond each corner of the firebox. The lintel supports the masonry above the fireplace. The intersection of the firebox and smoke chamber, called the throat, must start 8 inches above the top of the fireplace. According to the ICC regulations, the damper, constructed of only ferrous metal, must be installed in the fireplace or above the flue that vents the fireplace.
Made of stone, concrete, solid masonry unites, or hollow units that are grouted solid, the smoke chamber walls of a fireplace from the throat to the start of the flue cannot be wider than the inside width of the main chamber. The angle of the interior walls of the smoke chamber cannot exceed a 45-degree incline when the walls are rolled or sloped. A corbel arch uses cantilevered blocks to form the entryway in a wall or fireplace that supports the structure above it. When corbeled masonry forms the interior of the smoke chamber, the walls cannot incline more than 30 degrees from vertical, according to building codes.
Some Designer, manufacturers and distributors.
Please note that equipment must be authorized for your particular locations. As well as permitted and signed off. Be safe!
Ortal Heat. Makes a great product. We are specifying and working with their local rep. on a current project.
Vancouver Gas Fireplaces. They produce a quarterly news letter full of the latest information on Gas, Wood, Electric and ethanol fireplaces. Visit them at link below.
Eco-Feu Bioethanol fireplaces. See link below to their model in YouTube. Includes ventless.
JACOBS DESIGN, INC.©2013-2021