HETAS registered installer since 2013
GTD logo

HETAS Installer based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Installing Woodburners in Herts, Beds & Bucks

01462 431910

GTD Installations Ltd

Surround, Hearth or Mantel fitting?

Once you have your wood burner in place you will need to consider what to do with the area around it. You may choose to have a fireplace surround fitted or just have the walls rendered and a mantel shelf fitted above. You may also decide that you would like bespoke slips cut to size to cover any remaining wall and maybe even inside the firebox itself.


Jargon buster

  • Fireplace Surround goes on the wall around the chimney opening

  • Mantel shelf goes above the chimney opening

  • The Hearth is heat-proof and goes under the woodburner

  • Slips fill the area between the surround and the opening

  • Chimney opening or firebox is the inset hole that the stove lives in

  • Chamber sets can be 1,2 or 3 sided and cover the walls inside of the firebox. Available in many different materials

Fireplaces & Surrounds

"thank you for your work. We're very happy with the fireplace surround" - Rick in Herts

Around the fireplace

Fireplace Surrounds

The Surround frames your fire or woodburner, it is a beautiful centrepiece for the room and provides a shelf for displaying your favoutrite items on. It is more traditional known as the mantelpiece. They come in many different materials, such as wood, limestone, marble and plaster and at many different prices.

We can remove the old and fit a new surround for you or you can have the wall rendered, ready for decorating, if removing the old surround causes damage to the wall. 
Sometimes we are able to refurbish the old fireplace/ surround if it comes away nicely.


Slips are used to cover the area between the surround and the chimney opening opening. Slip sets comprise of 3 rectangular pieces that are usually made to measure for the wall area around your stove. They are usually the same colour and made of the same material as the hearth but not always. Suitable materials for slips are granite, stone, limestone and marble. The area could also be rendered or tiled depending on your preference.

does your chimney and fireplace need a clean?
Protect Your Floor

Hearth Area

The hearth is the part of the fireplace underneath the stove and directly in front of it. 
In traditional fireplaces the hearth will be in two pieces.

One to fit in the recess under the stove and a larger one that protrudes into the room. The purpose of a hearth is to catch any hot debris that may fall out of the fire and thus protect any flooring or carpet and potentially stop a house fire.  T-shaped hearths can be made bespoke to order, but are not recommended due to the stress on the material caused by the weight of the woodburner at high temperatures.


A hearth is required by law unless the surface that the stove is sitting on already meets building regulations. More about hearths.


Suitable materials for hearths are granite, marble, stone, tiles, glass and precast concrete. Visit Local Stonemason's website. top

 “The slips look brilliant with the surround! ” – RT in Herts

Contact us for repairs
Mantel Shelf

Keep it simple

For a simple yet contemporary fireplace, you could not have a surround fitted and instead have a floating oak shelf. We can supply rustic dried oak that is cut bespoke to fit, but for an older weatherworn effect we recommend that you take a look in the reclamation yards and source the shelf yourself.

It will provide a handy shelf above your fireplace. Usually made of oak but are available in other types of wood and finishes and even pre-cast stone. They are usually the same length as the hearth is wide and have a rough and rustic texture and float above the fireplace without visible support.

Order wood for your fireplace today
Click here for a local coal merchant

"Thank you the fireplace surround looks amazing"  - Paul in Arlesey


Where the fire lives

The chimney opening sometimes known as the firebox or builders opening is the recessed area underneath the chimney flue. It is the inside of the chimney stack. It's where the fire basket usually lives and where your woodburner will be installed unless you are having a twin-wall system in a different room.


If your firebox has been bricked up or boarded over, you will need to have it excavated as part of the fireplace installation. Once uncovered you might find rustic bricks or a burnt bricked area. You will need to decide how you want it finished. 

It could be left as brick work, rendered, tiled, boarded with fireproof board or if the bricks are of poor quality a 'fake' brick chamber or board fitted.


Cast Fireplaces Approved
Cast Fireplaces Approved