Usually someone will become unhappy with the current look or function of the existing fireplace. For this you will either have to remove all the old material (such as stone or bricks), go directly over the brick (as long as it’s flat) or you’ll want to build a wood frame around it to attach your drywall to it. This is one of the more expensive ways to remodel a fireplace, but it’s also one of the best if you wish to totally transform it. Drywall also allows you to then create your own style and decorative touch.
Well, fire-codes vary across the country but most require six or more inches of non-combustible Facing between a wood-burning firebox and the leg of a wood mantel and usually call for ten to twelve inches of non-combustible facing between the top of the opening of a wood-burning fireplace and the bottom of a wood mantel header.
We actually built cabinets all the way to the floor flanking the hearth which house the electronics and the hearth was also brought to the floor with a slab of stone sunk into the hardwood to lower it. We did this so we could build the mantel low enough to place the flat screen above it. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures that show that detail, wish I did!
We’ll just stucco over it. Above the fireplace, where the lava rock extends to the ceiling, we’ll remove the rock, because the room just isn’t big enough to carry the enormity of that floor-to-ceiling stone, and a regular wall above the fireplace makes it easier to hang a picture, big TV, or whatever.
If you have a fireplace made of stone that’s not even and flat, your renovation will be best done by either chiseling all the rock out and preparing your surface from the base wall behind it, or by creating a frame that goes around the stone that you can then attach the drywall to. In many cases, using furring strips attached along the top, sides and bottom will be enough of a frame as long as you anchor the strips to the stone.