Chimneys & Fireplaces Question

As outlined below.

I have a 36 inch opening in chimney breast to accommodate a wood-burning stove. About 2 inches above there is a supporting arch arch built into the brickwork. As the lintel that I intend to use to form my horizontal top is not actually 'load bearing' can I use 4"(100mm) x 2" (50mm) concrete lintel? Should this lintel also have metal plate underneath and, if so, what dimensions (cross-section) should it be?

2 Answers

Installing woodburners are notifiable works, and should be carried out by Hetas registered installer, he will advise you.
You can fit yourself, pay the fees to council and get inspections done by bco, but its a lot less hassle going with Hetas.
There are guide lines for minimum clearances around the stove.

Answered 2nd Dec 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008


The concrete lintel will be fine by itself as it has reinforcing bar built into it (you can normally see this at the end). You need a minimum 4" or 10cm bearing each side of the lintel onto the brick. We would normally allow a 6" (15cm) bearing each side. This is because old fireplaces were normally built with poorer quality bricks. Therefore you would need a 120cm or 4ft lintel for the opening and the bearings each side.


John Briner
Briner & Sons Ltd

Answered 3rd Dec 2011

Briner & Sons Ltd

Member since 2 Mar 2009

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