Please note: a previous Bio Container model was used in this project. In order to build a fake chimney breast using one of our Ribbon Flame Regulating Bio Containers, please refer to the PDF brochures with required safety distances provided on the Download tabs on respective product pages.
As we were redesigning our Central London showroom, we planned and constructed a fake wall to house the Large Bio Container and Zen-Bio Fire in fireproof openings. We wanted to create a sleek, modern look with an artistic finish that would go well with a ribbon flame in one opening and a stylish built-in firebox for a second fireplace. We imagined that the hole-in-wall on the left would suit our luxury mirrored stainless steel Zen Fire very well, but it also ended up displaying our elegant glass Gravity Flame really beautifully. The whole build took several days for our hired builder with a helper and we are very happy with the final result.
We first planned, measured, and constructed the basic structure made of timber – it was like creating a frame for another wall built on top of the existing wall. The openings were created in places where we would then provide for additional support for the burners and line the openings with fireproof materials.
Before continuing with the work on the fireproof openings, we measured and cut the plasterboard panels for the front to the required sizes and temporarily fixed them against the timber frame. This was done to check the dimensions of the openings and to ensure we would get the desired look.
When creating the opening for your fire, the most important point to consider is that the opening has to be lined with completely heatproof and fireproof material like stone, slate, metal, brick cement, or vermiculite board. In our project, we lined both openings with vermiculite boards to ensure extra protection in the area where the flame produces a lot of heat. The opening was then additionally cladded with fireproof cement.
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring aluminum-magnesium silicate mineral, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It can be worked easily with woodworking tools. It can be sawn, drilled, and sanded.
Vermiculite boards provide fire resistance, insulation, and thermal stability. They are tested to withstand extremely high temperatures and can be used to cover fireplaces, line openings for wood burners, stoves, heaters, and other heat-producing appliances…
If you decide to line your fireplace opening with vermiculite boards, we highly recommend the Vitcas shop as they specialize in providing refractory and heat-resistant products. We have consulted the Vitcas technical team and after inspecting laboratory data sheets for burning and testing our Bio Container, they confirmed that this board is suitable for lining your opening. The vermiculite board can be ordered on their website.
In the next step, we cut the slot in the bottom layer of the vermiculite board to house our Large Bioethanol Container. We made sure that the fit was not too tight to allow for extra airflow and expansion of the metal when the container is hot.
As we were designing a narrow letterbox line of fire to create a sleek look, we planned and constructed extra space at the back for the hot air to flow as the heat would be pushed to the top before entering the room. The wooden frame structure was fully covered with vermiculite boards so that no wood would be exposed in the flame area. We also used a vermiculite board panel to close the opening at the top. The inside of the slot was then cladded with fireproof cement to ensure extra protection.
Please note that if you are planning to put a TV above the fireplace, you must close the top off with another thick layer of insulation (e.g. stone, brick, steel, etc.) to stop the heat from going up.
In the next step, we made sure that the edges of the openings were straight by lining them with metal netting.
The vermiculite board panels were permanently attached to the timber frame with finished and lined openings and then rendered with plaster to create a smooth basis for the final look.
In the last step, we applied polished cement for a stylish look. The left-hand side opening was made to accommodate more fireplaces. In this picture, we checked the final look with the Gravity Bio Fire.
And here is our final look – Display wall with two fireplaces featured!