Fireplace Surround Installations
If you are replacing an existing fireplace surround for a working fireplace, check that the new fireplace surround is compatible with the fire type. Some surrounds are designed for ornamental use and may not be heat-resistant. Building regulations state that fireplace surrounds for working fires need a super-imposed, or outer hearth, which is at least two inches thick, and extends at least one foot from the front of the fire. Before purchasing a new fireplace surround, check the dimensions of the opening and make sure new items will fit. Depending on the fireplace type you have, the inner hearth may also need to be built up to bring it to the same level as the outer hearth that you have installed.
If you want a purely ornamental fireplace, you can fit a surround around a blocked opening, or even on a flat wall. A kit designed for a decorative purpose will usually be cheaper than a fireproof surround.