Electric fireplace inserts are a low-cost, energy-efficient, and safe alternative to traditional wood and gas fireplaces. Several electric units are available for you to select from, and they also have special realistic flame effects. They are pretty convenient for individuals with a busy day-to-day schedule. Before we get into the guide on how to build a frame for an electric fireplace insert, check out the most modern and realistic electric fireplaces.
An electric fireplace is an excellent addition to your overall home’s aesthetic, and it also makes your home cozier. Having an electric fireplace is vital, especially during winter, because it ensures that you are warm throughout. You can make your living room even more attractive by framing your fireplace insert. You can either embark on a DIY project or have a professional do it for you.
Electric Fireplace Insert
If you are interested in installing a fireplace in your living room, an electric fireplace insert is a better alternative than a wood fireplace or gas fireplace. Learn more about the benefits of going electric here. Essentially, a fireplace insert is a part you plug into the frame to build heat and give off ambiance. This part is also in charge of giving off the look and feel of natural logs.
The best part about an electric fireplace is that it produces no ashes, and you do not also have to worry about the danger of flames or smoke. This makes it a safer, cleaner, and easier option to use, especially for individuals with busy schedules, kids, and pets. There are three main types of electric fire inserts, built-in firebox, plug-in firebox, and electric log inserts.
The built-in firebox is designed for families who want a permanent solution to put in their home, especially when they are doing a remodel. It can be used as an existing fireplace replacement since it is usually recessed in a wall. Alternatively, it can be plugged into a nearby outlet or hardwired to the electrical grid.
If you have an entertainment center that is vented and you can reach it from the front, then the plug-in firebox is the best option for you. All sides of this unit are sealed, with a glass on the front of the fireplace part allowing for an easy view. You can plug it into a regular wall unit. They come with an infrared heater that allows them to warm about 1000sq.
Electric Log Inserts
Electric log inserts can fit into existing fireplaces and are the easiest and convenient alternative for anyone who would like to replace their wood or gas fireplace. If you are tired of cleaning up the mess from the traditional fireplace, this is the best solution. It also provides you with all the comfort and warmth you need and gives off a realistic flame simulating fire. They are a cheap option to upgrade from a standard wood-burning fireplace and best go with retrofit designs.
Framing an Electric Fireplace Insert
Having a fireplace in your home improves the ambiance significantly and adds to your aesthetic. Listed below are a couple of tips you can use when planning your DIY fireplace.
Select a Location
The first thing you need to do is select the appropriate location to have your faux fireplace since you will need an electric outlet. Selecting a location for your faux fireplace is vital since it has to be situated in a focal point.
Chose an Electric Fireplace Insert
There are several fireplace inserts in the market that you can choose from. While choosing a stylish fireplace insert is practical, you should ensure that the model you choose works effectively. Therefore, ensure that you study all the features and compare the different models to make an informed decision. You also need to select one that will perfectly fit your room, so ensure that you check the size dimensions.
An electric fireplace insert needs an electrical outlet to work, meaning that you should ensure that your electric outlet sits at the center of your fireplace frame.
The above-listed are all you need to guide you in making your decision when purchasing a fireplace insert. Ensure that you choose quality over style. You could also shop around to get the average pricing of how much it will cost you. Listed below are the materials you will need for your DIY project:
- frame cut sizes 2 X 4’
- 2” pocket screws
- 3” wood screws
- woodgrain trim
- ½” plywood
The above-listed materials are vital in ensuring your fireplace is upgraded correctly and looks how you envisioned it. Listed below are a couple of tools you will require to work on this project:
- measuring tape
- builders square
- caulking gun
- Kreg jig
- table saw
- compound miter saw
These materials and tools are all you will require to install the frame. Therefore, ensure that you have everything on the list before starting the project to avoid slowing down your progress. Remember to confirm the exact dimensions and measurements required for your specific set. Listed below is a step-by-step guide on building a frame for an electric fireplace insert.
Step 1: Building Your Fireplace Base
This first step is vital since it determines where everything else will go. Once you install your firebase, you can easily assemble the rest of the structure. When you build an excellent base, you will not have to worry about how the rest of the structure will be supported since it will accommodate and comfortably hold it. For starters, build a base that is 63″ by 17″.
You should ensure that every 18 inches space out center supports and use the 3″ screws while assembling this. Make sure each screw is tightened, so the base is firm enough and not moving around or shaking. A firm base will offer your fireplace frame maximum support.
Step 2: Building the Fireplace Frame
Starting with a flat surface is the easiest way to complete this task. Start your work flat on the ground by assembling the front part of your fireplace. Utilize screws or pocket holes during this step. When you are done with the front part setup, set up the surrounding frame sides. Add the back support to the bottom and the top so that the frame can rest against a wall easily. This can be done while you place a shiplap on the sides of the fireplace. Doing this will help your frame to function correctly and also ensure that it is strong.
Step 3: Using Plywood to Cover the Fireplace Base
You will need to use your table saw to cut down every piece of plywood to its specific size. Connect the plywood to the right and left side, and complete with a piece on the front of the fireplace and the top at the end. Doing this ensures that your baseboard is prepared well, and when you install it, the specifications will be precise. Plywood is an excellent material choice and works best for several DIY projects. You can also get it easily, and it is often delivered to the precise specifications you want.
Step 4: Fixing the Surround Frame to the Plywood Covered Base and Wall
Use pocket holes, screws, and 3” nails during this step. Fix your fireplace frames to the base, and ensure that you also attach the center support. Use the 3” screws to fix your frame to the wall studs. At this point, you will be almost through with your project.
Step 5: Covering the Fireplace Frame with Plywood
Cover your electric fireplace frame using ½” plywood and 1½” nails utilizing a brad nailer. Once you are through with this, add the sides and fronts. At this point, your whole frame should be fully covered and have achieved what you had envisioned. It is worth mentioning that the plywood covering acts as protection to ensure that the frame is not as exposed as it would be before covering. You can adjust the frame’s edges using shims and confirm that it is tightly attached and in the right place.
Step 6: Adding a Fireplace Mantel to the Top
Place a ½” plywood on the top part and mark the point you will cut on every side before you begin cutting the length of the fireplace mantel. Once you have done this, make the necessary trim and use 1 ½” brad nails and the brad nailer to attach it. The mantel is also a vital feature of the frame and completes the look. Essentially, without a mantel, your frame looks incomplete.
Step 7: Filling in the Seams
Fill in the seams and nail holes that trimmings cannot cover using the wood filler. This step is crucial because it ensures that your frame has no rough edges sticking out, and it also appears smooth. It is essential to even out and smoothen out the surface by covering the holes because if you ignore doing this, your structure will break.
Step 8: Sanding and Painting Your Fireplace Frame
Before you start painting the structure you have constructed, you must send the whole surface first. Run a dry or wet vacuum over the fireplace to get rid of the sawdust and wood particles. After doing that, ensure that you wipe the surface thoroughly to prime it then you can paint it in the shade or color you want your frame to be.
It would be best to pick a color that balances and matches the surroundings and structure to avoid making it look off. If you want to save time, start by applying a paint coat to the base before adding the trim. Ensure that you also paint your frame’s top sections and the shiplap.
Step 9: Adding Pre-Primed Woodgrain Trim
There are specific steps you should follow when adding trim to this DIY fireplace. Listed below are the steps you should follow in the listed order.
- 1” x 4” trim on the top
- 1” x 2” trim on the sides
- 1” x 4” trim to the right and left edges of your fireplace front
- 4” x 4” trim blocks at the bottom and top
- 1” x 4” trim on your fireplace front’s outer edge
- 1” x 4” across the front to cover the plywood seam
- 1” x 2” trim on the sides and the top of your fireplace surround
- 1” x 2” trim on the sides where you often slide the fireplace.
It is essential to follow these steps in the listed order to ensure that you add the trim in a specific procedure to cover all the vital parts of the electric fireplace frame. This also makes the process that much more straightforward and also helps you save up on space. The trim is vital, and when you set it up how you are supposed to, you will attain an amazing result.
Step 10: Caulking the Paint
Lastly, it would be best to prepare the caulk then apply it to the trim edges, gaps, and nail holes using a caulking gun. Once it dries up, paint your fireplace and let it dry for at least 24 hours before placing the insert.
These are all the steps you need to follow to build a frame for an electric fireplace insert. Having a fireplace in your home is an excellent addition to the overall appearance, and it also ensures that your home is cozy and warm.
How do you make an electric fireplace frame?
Building an electric fireplace frame is an easy DIY project, provided you have all the suitable materials and tools. Ensure you are working on a flat surface and put together the fireplace’s front part using screws or pocket holes. After assembling the front, attach the surrounding frame’s sides, then add back support to the bottom and top to aid it in resting against the wall.
How do you build a fireplace surround with an electric insert?
Start by building the base, build the fireplace frame, cover the fireplace base with plywood, and fix the surrounding frame to the plywood-covered base and wall. Next, use plywood to cover the fireplace frame, add a fireplace mantle to the top, fill in the seams, then sand and paint the fireplace frame. After you are through, add pre-primed woodgrain and, lastly, caulk and paint.
Can I frame an electric fireplace with wood?
Yes, you can use reclaimed wood to frame your electric fireplace.
How do you frame a recessed electric fireplace?
Framing a recessed electric fireplace is a relatively easy DIY project. After installing your electric fireplace, frame it like you would artwork. You can use several materials for the frame, such as leftover wall trim and reclaimed wood. Simply create a border around your fireplace.