Brickwork Fireplace Design can be a very complicated process. We have to take into account the clients preferences and try to embrace the character of the building. Designs can be a very simple fireplace surround with 2 columns and a timber lintel.
This approach can have great visual affect and is often suited to a small room. If you are lucky enough to have a large room and willing to use your imagination, then the possibilities are endless. You may already have a large fireplace and want to replace it. One of the main problems with building a large fireplace is having the support in the floor. Your new fireplace will have a great deal of weight and this will need supporting. There are many different types of floor that maybe present in your property…
- Timber Floor – This will need a correctly designed support, which will involve taking up your floor and building under your joists.
- Concrete Floor – This will still require investigation to discover if the concrete is sufficiently enough to take the weight.
- Block and Beam Floor – This will require further support.
It will be very rare in a building to have a floor that is capable of taking a lot of weight and a professional contractor will be required to survey your property and calculate the works involved.
If you are considering building your own fireplace on a DIY basis and you are removing an existing fireplace. Please Please get the advice of a professional, untold damage can be caused to your buildings integrity and be very dangerous to yourself.
Remember, your fireplace will probably be supporting another fireplace in the room above and certainly be supporting your chimney stack. You have been warned!
Designing Your Fireplace
There are many sources for finding inspiration for your new design. Google images is a great place to start. Interior design magazines can also be a great place to start the braincells working. Once you have a rough idea and have made a few sketches of your design, now is the time to consider the really important things.
Type of Bricks
This probably the most important decision, there are many types available, these range from modern wire cut bricks, to hand made and reclaimed bricks. Wire cut modern bricks will probably be the most cost efficient, but you end up with a very clean cut feel to your design. Quite often the type of brick may reflect the bricks used on the exterior of your building or simply reflect your rooms colour scheme. The choice is yours!
Types of Pointing
This topic is worth a mention as this will affect the look of your finished fireplace. Probably the most common type of pointing technique is called “Raked Out” or “Recessed”. This type is often used because it will catch the light on the edges and can have the affect of softening the brickwork, but is a dust catcher and will need a quick flick over with the hoover every so often. Please do not be tempted to try and clean your fireplace with any type of abrasive brush or cloth. This will cause a very damaging affect to the feel of the fireplace. I have written an article on types of Brickwork Pointing that may help you decide.
Some design Inspiration
Your new fireplace will be an expensive addition to your home and you should do a lot of research. You will be staring at it for many years to come. Family and friends can be very critical. This type of construction can take a lot of experience and is not for the faint hearted.
I have made a few quick designs that may give you some ideas. I have not textured the bricks as the choices are endless, but may help you decide on some features to include.
Hopefully you have taken some inspiration from this article and will help you come to a finished design. Please remember that building a brickwork fireplace is not really for the DIY enthusiast and you should always consult a local building professional for advice. There are many articles on this subject, please take a few hours to browse around the net and come to a clear and concise picture before you start any building works.