Anything Wrong Here?

Do you see anything wrong with this? I called it out because that is the same

brick as on the mantel wall. Thats not fire brick, is it?

Thanks, Steve


Looks good to me.

It appears to be a fire-rated material.

“Fire Brick” is commonly referred to the synthetic liner of fabricated fireplaces and panels on the inside of stoves.

Brick is brick in your case. So long as it is not the “stick on” type you have sufficient fire rating. The Mantel wall is also fire-proof! :slight_smile:

Sorry Guys, I’m not buyin it.Regular brick isn’t the same, it isn’t built to take the heat. Didn’t you ever build a fire ring in the back yard out of some old brick? When the fire got hot, the bricks cracked.(at least mine did) I have and have had fireplaces, woodburning fireplace inserts and woodburning furnaces, and in every one of them are “fire brick” they are heavy, come in varying thicknesses and are kind of a cream color. I am gonna contact a CSIA certified chimney sweep and see what they say.I will let you know, Steve

Looks like a standard masonry fireplace/chimney. I would have walked right on by and not given it a second thought. . .

I have never seen firebirck of that color, brick red. It is always a creamy yellow, even if you scrub the soot off of the brick, it should come up creamy yellow. So, my vote is that it is regular brick and NOT firebrick. I have assembled more than one fireplace with firebrick and from different suppliers - the firebrick was creamy yellow. My vote, not firebrick but regular brick.

George Maher
Home - Safe Home, L.L.C.
Fargo, ND

If we were taking a poll I would vote for regular brick. Have never seen fire brick that color. Let us know what you find out with the CSIA.


No reply to my first email to a sweep. Sent another email tonight, will keep you posted.


Hi steve
Been building fireplaces for 25 years, NO that is not fire brick and it is not the same as fire brick. I’m from Ontario and that would definitely NOT pass inspection. Not only would it not pass building code but it is a fire hazard. I would also assume that it was built with regular mortar in the joints instead of fire cement. Its only a matter of time before the mortar starts to weaken and deteriorate. That brick I’m seeing in the picture looks like a common bark clay brick. Hope this answers your question.

Agreed…firebox must be fire brick, they are made to stand the extreme heat that the fire produces and keep that heat inside the fire box.


How old was that house? Fireplaces were frequently built that way in the 40’s and 50’s. When I used to live in a cold climate, I would see them all of the time.

If it is that old, has it not withstood the test of time?

Always recommend a level II inspection by a CSIA or equivalent anyway.

House was built in 1986.

I did call it out for further inspection.

Here is the reply from a CSIA sweep that looked at the picture.

The NFPA 211 states that if a low duty fireclay brick is used the total thickness of the back and sides shall be 8 inches, with a minimum of 2 inches of firebrick lining the firebox. Where the lining is not provided the thickness of the back and sides shall not be less than 12 inches.–that IS FROM OUR STOVE SHOP MANAGER AND CERTIFIED SWEEP AND IS DIRECTLY FROM NFPA 211 FIRE CODE

I wouldn’t know how to figure that out after its constructed, but thats the professional answer, I’m just glad I called it out and refered it to a pro.

The other reply also came in,

[FONT=NewBaskerville-Bold]When building a fireplace and using NFPA 211 2006 edition or any of the past 6 editions I have seen they all say[/FONT]

[FONT=NewBaskerville-Bold]11.2 Masonry Fireplaces.[/FONT]*
[FONT=NewBaskerville-Bold]11.2.1 Construction.[/FONT]
**[FONT=NewBaskerville-Bold]** [/FONT][FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman]Fireplaces shall be constructed of solid masonry[/FONT]
[FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman]units[/FONT][FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman] or of reinforced [/FONT][FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman]portland[/FONT][FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman] or refractory cement concrete.[/FONT]

[FONT=NewBaskerville-Roman]or[/FONT] Where a lining of low-duty fireclay brick (ASTM C
27, Standard Classification of Fireclay and High-Alumina Refractory
Brick), firebox brick (ASTM C 1261, Standard Specification for
Firebox Brick for Residential Fireplaces), or the equivalent, at least
2 in. (51 mm) thick laid in medium-duty refractory mortar
(ASTM C 199, Standard Test Method for Pier Test for Refractory
Mortars), or the equivalent, or other approved lining is provided,
the total thickness of back and sides, including the lining,
shall be not less than 8 in. (203 mm).

You can get a copy of this at any library to look at