We are tiling our floors and I would like to remove the fireplace hearth to make the fireplace "float" on the wall (and gain a bit more floorspace). My husband is hesitating for fear of rebar or other obstacles. Has anyone done this who could give us some advise.....or send me pictures, so that he can see how gret this will look.
i had a hearth operation a few years ago when i replaced my living room carpet with limestone tiles. in my case, the hearth was a single layer of brick laid on top of the slab. i had a mason remove it for a couple hundred bucks (easy, no rebar). but if you have the time and tools, you could do it yourself (IMHO). i'm really glad i did it as the hearth kind of stuck out like a sore thumb and was a tripping hazard. i think it looks better and gives me a little more space in my long and narrow living room. if you want pictures, send me your address (kevin at hplwkw dot hpl dot hp dot com).
I'm curious--when you say "float" do you mean simply that you removed the piece of the hearth extening out in front of the firebox or do you mean you somehow removed the entire bottom layer of brick or ???
I haven't looked in to this in CA but where I grew up, you were required to have a certain minimum size hearth extending out in front to ensure embers did not land on the floor/carpet and create a hazard. Are there no requirements here re: hearth size for fireplaces?
I have seen this done with gas fireplaces but not wood-burning. It would look really cool if you did gas and the "fire on ice" look with glass in a bowl instead of the fake log look. There were some really cool looks in Dwell Magazine recently as well as the web-sites for where you can purchase them. I have some great links if you want to e-mail me...you do not have any contact info in your profile and I can't give the links on this site.
This will affect the resale of your house and like Jake said, it's code.
Codes are based on too rich of a history of things going wrong, so they placed in to law/code metrics/rules to avoid or manage the potential for those problems.
Like fire proof/resistant materials between a free standing wood burning stove and anything within a certain distance. Usually a wall and the approved materials listed, which are usually stone/tile/etc.
Maybe if you enclosed the fireplace openig with a glass door or something like that, but I'm not a license contractor who would know the codes.
Suggest you hire a licensed contractor to give you an opinion or look it up yourself.
It should not be hard to remove the blocks that make up the hearth, just rent an electric jackhammer and be prepared for a cleanup afterwards. If your flooring surface is not flammable, i.e. stone tiles, ceramic tiles, etc., you don't need the hearth. If your flooring is carpeting or wood or linoleum, you do.
When we had our entire house tiled several years ago, we had them cover the hearth with the same tiles. The brick had already been painted flat Navaho White, and our tiles are 13x13 light beige with very subtle veining. IMHO, we love the look as from a distance it looks like one continuous floor. I don't know how high your hearth is, but ours was only a few inches off the floor.
We are still stuck about what to do about that ugly black square hole in the wall, as we have never used the fireplace and do not intend to. Too unhealthy for our lungs and those of our neighbors. Yes, some kind of nice brushed nickel or SS facing on it would be nice.
Anyway, just another thought.
When I looked into this, I came across this website who has a very contemporary and sleek looking fireplace. Check EUROPEANHOME DOT COM.
Thanks for posting that website. That is the look we are thinking of going with, a clean modern look. Our fireplace was painted over before we bought the house and after all of these years even with a better color of paint on it, it's still looking old and outdated now. I know the "proper"way of redoing your fireplace in Eichlers is whatever you do on the inside you should do on the outside but the fireplace is just looking old now and would bring down the look we want in the living room.
When I bought my home, the fireplace was painted white. What I did was had the fireplace Venetian Glazed a salmon color. And, wow, what a difference. The color the really pops and still stays true to the post-modern design.
If only painter has fauxed the fireplace itself clean.........