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What do we need to do to build a smooth, non-cracking surface for our new gas fireplace insert?

We have inserted a gas fireplace into our old woodburning fireplace and have covered the old brick with a steel stud 2x4 structure, insulated with unbacked fiberglass, and covered with durock. We used mesh on the durock joints and smoothed the surface with joint compound, primed and painted. It looks beautiful! But with the very first use the surface has begun to crack. We suspect the duroc is expanding/contracting as it heats and cools. What do we need to do differently to create a smooth (i.e. drywall appearance) front that can withstand the high temperatures from the gas insert?

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Posted 2013-11-04T20:34:04+0000  by steens1 steens1
 

Howdy steens1,

 

Your question is a very important one because whenever your dealing with; gas, electrical, plumbing, or code questions it's best to find out what your local code calls for. Knowing what your local code calls for is for safety. When you find out, you can get a bid and get it done right with a service like; Redbeacon.com can be a great place to get started.

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Since there is more than one way to build a smooth, non-cracking surface, and without knowing your type of gas fireplace (pre-fab, kit, or hybrid custom?) anyone claiming they know what would be best for you, could cause you BIG problems.

 

As for what caused the cracking?...It could be anything from the joint compound, primer/paint, or the durock as you guessed. I would like to give you more advice, however your safety and the safety of your family should always come first.

 

 

Have a Happy and Safe heating experience,

 

 

 

 

Posted 2013-12-13T01:19:02+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
 
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