Interior Panorama

Interior Panorama

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireplace Casting

Yesterday saw the finish of casting our concrete fireplace. Let me
tell you a bit about it...

The fireplace will be a mix of concrete (hearth and back wall of the
surround), reclaimed douglas fir boards, and a natural gas firebox.
Early on I realized that our boiler and radiant floor heating system
essentially had the potential to provide heat anywhere I could run
water. When thinking about our fireplace, I decided that having it
cast concrete with and embedded radiant heating loop, I'd be able to
have the fireplace provide heating whether the fireplace was on or
not. So I guess it's a water heated fireplace...or a
waterplace.....or a hot-water-fireplace.....or a water and fireplace.
Really, it's just an experiment.

I wanted the fireplace to serve a few purposes: first, to become the
heart and focal point of the living room and common area, second, to
provide heating to the room, and third, to add another material and
texture to the place. I decided to form the fireplace out of the
reclaimed douglas fir 1x4's and am hoping to get the grain pattern of
the form boards telegraphed into the concrete. After the forms are
removed, I'll use the same fir boards for encasing the firebox.
Essentially, when you look at the fireplace you'll see the grain of
the fir boards start in the concrete, transition into the actual fir,
then back into the concrete as you travel horizontally along the

The photos show the rebar and kitek tubing that is used for the
radiant floor heating system, along with the form just before we
started pouring yesterday. After having done two hand mixed concrete
pours this week (hearth first, then back wall) I've decided not to
pursue a career as a concrete truck.....