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Can You Insulate a Fireplace?

So the next indoor project on the list is to make the fireplace beautiful! Because now: it’s awful:

We were hopeful that if we just took the paneling off we could frame and tile over this, but I had to have the opportunity to take a peek at the insulation situation. In order to that ….. the wall had to come down…..and I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was. I found bad Insulation!

Looks fine from the exterior, some gaps on the edges, but not too bad. But now that the wall is open?? Why not add insulation behind the fireplace? And an Air Barrier? And what if we closed the “heat-erator” ducts that were installed

And so the search for fireproof insulation & air barrier began. I asked a lot of people and landed on stone wool insulation. I bought it at Parr Lumber.

Here is what their website says about the product:

Roxul Fire-Resistant:

  • Roxul insulation offers a barrier that can delay the spread of fire and provide you and your family with precious extra minutes to escape. Its unique composition won’t burn, or release toxic gases or smoke when exposed to high heat. And it can withstand temperatures of up to 2150˚F (1177˚C) – well above heat levels of typical house fires.

The guy behind the counter also suggested FSK as as an air/vapor barrier. Their website said:

FSK-25 is a flame retardant insulation facing vapor barrier made from lightweight aluminum foil, fiberglass yarn reinforcing, and natural kraft paper laminated together with a flame retardant adhesive. FSK-25 is designed to be used over unfaced fiberglass insulation in applications which require faced insulation to comply with ASTM E-84- Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. . The facing is attached to the wall or ceiling with staples or mechanical fasteners.

FSK-25 facing is supplied in 50” (127 cm) wide X 600’ (183m) long rolls to provide convenient job site application. Other roll sizes are available on request.

FSK-25 when installed foil side exposed

And so with the products in hand – I started the project.

The insulation is really stiff (it’s made from rocks after all) so I measured the size of the pieces I needed, marked a straight line on the batt.

Then used a utility knife to cut accurately and placed it in the bay I cut it for.

In order block this area off – I covered the hole in fire resistant FSK paper.

The FSK paper came in 4ft wide sheets. Parr will cut the sheets to any size you need, I had them cut 6′ sections.

It had to be cut with scissors because of the threads that were crossing through the paper.

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