Fit the Mod Home with a Mod Fireplace

Modern  Fireplaces & Smooth Wall Finishes


In contemporary design, sleek rules.  Smooth surfaces, soft curves and industrial finishes abound.


In the fireplace world this usually means linear formats situated off the floor and elegantly breaking-up the wall enclosure.  The result is dramatic.


Getting to this look while protecting the surfaces from heat is an ongoing challenge.  Sheetrock is in itself susceptible to heat. Household paint finishes can rarely hold-up to high temperatures. Tape joints can crack from heat over time.  Fortunately, a combination of innovative wall products and fireplace design are successfully resolving some of these issues.


Let’s start with the wall/enclosure.  One way to beat the temperature issue around these fireplaces is the use of innovative wall products like Skamotec  Or Promafour board. These products provide a method for constructing the entire wall around the fireplace in a smooth and non-combustible enclosure.  This eliminates the risk of overheated walls or cracked tape joints. There is still the issue of finish coating on the wall and that requires research into the properties of the paint being selected for the project.  In many cases, only high-temperature industrial-type coatings will stand up to the heat generated around the opening of the fireplace. This may limit your color choices.

Expect temperatures around the opening to approach 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more.


Some fireplace manufacturers have developed wall designs that extract the heat around the fireplace and re-route it higher on the wall.  This allows the use of certain types of sheet rock and also permits the safe installation of electronics like TV screens above the fireplace.  Ortal fireplaces are a good example of this design.  More recently, Valor Fireplaces has developed their

Heatshift system to allow similar applications.  These systems provide much better temperature regulation for most household paints.


If you see a fireplace you like and the solutions above won’t work for you, then the best option is to design the fireplace to accommodate a stone, tile or other non-combustible finish around the fireplace opening.  In combination with a non-combustible backing board, this will eliminate the risk of having a wall crack or discolor.




October 01, 2018

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  • Welcome to Sutter Home & Hearth

    Our site is designed to help you discover the warmth and beauty of fire. Not only will you see the range of products and services we offer, but you’ll have an opportunity to learn how these products can fit into your home. Our store in Seattle is full of operating stoves, fireplaces, inserts and barbecues. We are ready to assist you with practical knowledge as well as trained, certified installation and service.
  • Testimonials

    • We have looked other places at logs and we felt that they had the best prices and quality that we had seen.  The salesperson was helpful and informative.  The logs looked great in our living room.
      A. FalkA. Falk
    • They were very nice people to deal with.  They worked great and they were very prompt.
      D. KozieD. Kozie
    • We visited their showroom in Ballard and we decided to order our fireplace through them.  I was confused about their various options but they helped explain things quite well.  In the end, we got a great fireplace that didn't break the bank.  They also had to install it before the remodeling was completed, so they worked with the contractor to explain where the chimney had to go, etc.  After the remodel, they came over to teach us how to use the fireplace and help "break it in".  It really is the heart of the house thanks to them.
      F. ServitoF. Servito
    • We have a really small fireplace and were looking for a way to convert it to gas.  All other companies laughed at us given the size of the fireplace opening, but Sutter was really helpful and gave us some suggestions on where to find one that might fit.  We found one, they ordered it and installed it.  They also gave us great advice on a mason to help adjust some of the masonry work needed before the install.  Our new gas insert looks great, really warms up our living room in the winter and is a great focal point for the house.
      T.  SimpsonT. Simpson
    • Shawn, the office manger, was very helpful.  I went to every single place I could find and the price was comparable.  They have a more local store feel than the huge stores.
      C. BrownC. Brown