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Chimneys & Fireplaces Questions

Our chimney and fireplace specialists have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as removing chimney stacks, constructing a chimney, ventilation, chimney breast brickwork, liners and flues, chimney restoration, fireplace styles and much more.

722 Chimneys & Fireplaces questions

Replacing ugly tiled fireplace surround

We want to replace the small lime green tiles surrounding our two solid fuel fireplaces with nicer back panels. Any advice on the best way of going about it and what to look out for, please?

blocked chimney flue

In the property I have just bought, I have found that the chimney flue has been completely blocked at the bottom for 8 years while the top has remained open. Can I expect significant problems with damp or damage to the brickwork of the chimney?

I have since added an air brick at the bottom of the chimney and intend to cap the top to prevent rain getting through to the fireplace. Is this the right course of action?

DPM under hearth?

I removed the old hearth and need to put a new one as somebody is fitting a wood burning stove soon. So two questions
1 there is damp on the chimney floor, do I ignore and put the slate on top or do I put some sort of dpm and then new hearth over? (would liquid dpm be ok?)
2 somebody said that to put down the slate I need a loose sand and cement mix... could anybody clarify on proportions?
many thanks

Flue or flueless fireplace?

I want to replace my old council fireplace with a more modern one but i have no idea whether I am looking for a flueless one or the opposite... There is a hole in the wall where i have taken my fire out, I'm so confused.. please help :)

How do I make a decorative hole in the wall fireplace?

I have recently had a combi boiler and all new pipe work put throughout my house, in the downstairs living room we have a chimney breast and have had the pipework put in should we want a gas fire. At the moment there is a large square hole in the wall where the fire can be connected, currently this is hidden by a fake electric fireplace.

Since having the central heating installed, our house is too warm for a fire so I'd like to plaster the current square hole in the wall, and just make it a decorative feature with a surround, where I could maybe put flowers etc.

How do I go about doing this?

I realise I've probably not explained that very well so please see the link below for what I'd ulitimately like to do!



White misty patches on old blocked chimney breast walls?

I'm really hoping someone can help me!
I live in a 100 year old house, and in my bedroom I have an old chimney breast, which just looks like normal walls now. I've only lived here for 2.5 years, but since I've been here a large, white misty patch has appeared at the top of the walls. I wiped it over with some tissue around a year ago to see what it was, and the tissue was wet, so it seems to be tiny water droplets. It's since come back again, worse than before.
I'm concerned because I'm having a sore throat and bad chest when I'm in my room at night, and I'm wandering if this could be the cause?
Could anyone tell me what these white patches could be? I can supply photos by email if needed. :o)

Reply to mdp gas services..........

Thanks for your answer! Yes, it is fully bricked up and plastered over. It goes down into my living room too, and it's bricked up in there as well.
I live in a rented property, it's Bournville village trust in Birmingham, so they have to fix it don't they? What sort of work will need to be done? I don't want to contact them until I'm armed with all the info I need, as i think they'll try to fob me off with just painting something on the wall.

We have patches of damp on joining walls of 2 rooms upstairs by the ceiling, and rather than go in the loft to see if there's a problem, they just painted stuff over it. I'm sure this house is full of some sort of damp or mould!!!

how do I make sure my chimney is safe to use as a coal/wood fireplace? what else do I need to do other than fit the fireplace?

A chimney sweep already took a look and said no need to sweep it yet, no need for liner unless we go for a wood burning stove (which we are not doing). What about ventilation and checking the state of the flue higher up?

Fireplace and chimney removal - do I need planning permission

I had a fireplace removed from downstairs plus the breast which went to the room above (no fireplace) and the chimney removed. Would I have had to get planning permission for this and any special joists put in?

Shared chimney stack help

I live in the upstairs flat of a house conversion. My lounge fireplace was bricked up flush and completely hidden. I have had a tradesman to knock it out but he has discovered that the chimney is shared with downstairs. To knock out my section would only give me a small hole which is off centre within the chimney breast and and obviously would not look right at all! The people downstairs do not use their chimney. Can I block their part of the flue up or make it smaller to expand my fireplace or will this cause problems??

Any advice appreciated.



Hi, thank you for the comments. I think the removal of the stack below will be too much hassle and cost to be honest. As you say -I could expand breast out to make it even. It seems so silly that when the house was built the fireplace was not centre in the chimney breast but logical that the downstairs flu needs to go somewhere too. Are all first floor fireplaces like this then?!

Using pepper pot chimney cowls on a gas fire?

Is it ever possible to use a pepper pot style chimney cowl on a gas fire that is in use and would it be dangerous to do so? i don't want to have to get another chimney cowl if the pepper pot will suffice.

Thanks for the response.

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