Subject: When the client says jump...
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008
First, let me thank you for your fine website, and the treasure-trove of information found there. We have been sold on the merits of Count Rumford's design for many years, but have recently confronted a growing malaise: clients who insist upon stacking a flat screen television above the fireplace. It's problematic to resolve the setbacks for this particular application with any fireplace design, but seemingly more so with a Rumford. Do you have any suggestions or advice?
It's rather curious. The fireplace or hearth, was once solely considered the center of the home; now it seems that it's competing with the glow of another fire.
Keep up the good work, and I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.
Our modern life does seem to be on speed. I find myself sometimes going to turn on the radio even though it's already on. Maybe it's all the coffee.
Anyway, to the problem you raise - how to make room for a TV over a Rumford....
Let's begin with code which gives our Rumford with a manufactured smoke chamber a slight advantage in that we can enclose it with 4" of solid masonry instead of 8". And we can shove the smoke chamber as far back as possible so long as the damper works and we can lean the smoke chamber up to 30 degrees from vertical. Combustibles (the TV) must be kept 2" clear of the outside of the masonry enclosing the smoke chamber.
So, let's assume a 36" Rumford in the plan at http://www.rumford.com/plans/R3636exterior.gif The flat screen TV could be within the 2x6 frame wall above the fireplace and still have a narrow mantel shelf. Or it could be a little lower and little farther out.
Larger Rumfords will have a greater distance between the face of the fireplace and the wall in front of the smoke chamber but larger fireplaces are also taller putting the TV pretty high. You could build the Rumford a little lower.
We often promote the idea of a double return - to frame a small fireplace to make it appear bigger or to avoid blocking the line of radiant heat if the customer wants a deeper fireplace. See http://www.rumford.com/doublereturn.html A double return can also allow us to move the actual firebox back a few inches to give us a few more inches for the TV.
A 48" Rumford within a 60" wide by 56" tall recessed panel - double return - could accommodate the TV about 12" above the top of the fireplace opening or starting about five feet off the floor.
How about locating the TV to one side? Or a projected TV?
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