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How to Build an Electric Fireplace Enclosure: Step by Step

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More people choose to buy an electric fireplace because of its benefits. Although a fireplace insert is energy-efficient and functional, you may want to add a fireplace enclosure. This will make it look like a built-in feature that came with your home. Following a step-by-step guide is important to ensure you create a beautiful feature that looks like a professional built it.

This guide will help you build a DIY electric fireplace enclosure from scratch, providing detailed steps, measurements, and materials needed for the project.

In this post, you will learn:

  • What is a Fireplace Enclosure?
  • How to Build an Electric Fireplace Enclosure
  • Benefits of Building the Fireplace Enclosure Yourself
  • Advantages of Fireplace Enclosures
  • How to Decorate an Electric Fireplace Enclosure

What is a Fireplace Enclosure?

A fireplace enclosure is a one-piece frame that mounts the electric fireplace and sits outside the opening against a flat surface, often referred to as the fireplace frame. The feature can enhance your electric fireplace and draw more attention, ensuring it is the main focal point in the room.


There are six different materials you can consider using when building a fireplace surround to ensure it lasts long-term and can work well for mounting the insert. The materials you use depend on the style you want to achieve and how long you want them to last.

Steel – A durable and solid material that can create an industrial and modern design in the home or office. It’s one of the most popular materials for this project and can be painted in different color shades to match the color scheme of your room. You may want it to blend into the wall or even have a pop of color, depending on the look you want to achieve. Steel is also a popular choice for modern fireplaces, offering sleek lines and a contemporary look that can be customized with different color shades.

Wood – A common choice that adds a contemporary touch to the interior setting, whether you have a light and airy setting or want to achieve a farmhouse look. A shiplap fireplace is a popular choice that will allow you to add a rustic feature. This type of fireplace doesn’t need to look perfect because the imperfections add character and charm as you make it look worn.

Concrete – Clean lines and natural finishes. It can heat the space faster because it works well for retaining heat. Concrete is highly resistant and comes in different textures and color shades.

Stone – For extra texture near the fire if you’re looking for an upscale and regal design. There are a variety of styles and designs to ensure it complements your living room or bedroom wall.

Brick – One of the most popular materials to use if you want to achieve a traditional style that doesn’t look outdated. Brick adds a touch of warmth and is also easy to paint.

Tiles  – A decorative feature when you want to incorporate a unique pattern or multiple colors in the room. The style should also work well with different décor items you plan to use.

If you like to keep up with the latest trends, opt for a natural that can blend in with different styles. If you have an interior design style you can enjoy for the next decade, this should influence the type of material you choose Browsing a photo idea gallery can offer inspiration and allow you to settle on a few preferred styles. A video gallery can also allow you to list of different decorative features or elements to include.

The material cost is another factor to consider to ensure it is within your budget for the project. You’ll need to calculate how much material you need to get an idea of how much you’ll spend. Any additional decorative elements also need to be factored into the cost.

Advantages of fireplace enclosures

After you purchase a fireplace insert, there are many reasons you should consider building a fireplace enclosure. For those with children or pets in the home, the feature can keep them a safe distance away from the insert to avoid injuries or accidents.

Fireplace enclosures also create a more upscale look with your insert. When they feature a mantel, they provide you with a spot for displaying your framed photos, accent pieces, and vases. You can also customize the fireplace wall with design details like shiplap and paint to match your interior decor.

If you’re handy with tools, fireplace enclosures aren’t too difficult to construct if you follow the proper steps. With crown molding, it can blend in with the rest of the room to prevent it from looking like a temporary fixture.

Fireplace enclosures are also ideal for renters who want to create a built-in look without cutting into the wall. You can have the freedom of moving the feature to another wall or room to ensure you can change the layout of your interior setting at any time without having to work around the fireplace.

Not only is the enclosure easy to move, but you can also take it with you to another home in the future. You don’t have to leave it behind or worry about building another fireplace in your new home.

Modern freestanding electric fireplaces also add a cozy ambiance and warm touch to the setting, allowing your house to feel like a home. They can add extra character to a bland room and enable you to have the main feature that your other furniture pieces center around for a proper flow. It can make your living room appear more inviting, especially when you have guests over. It can also fill a bare wall in your master bedroom or office.

How to build an electric fireplace enclosure

If you want to learn how to build an enclosure for your electric insert, it’s important to start by having the right materials and tools.

According to H2obungalow, the supplies you’ll need include:

  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • 2 x 4s
  • Woodgrain trim
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • 2-inch pocket screws

The tools you’ll need include:

  • A table saw
  • Compound miter saw
  • A drill
  • Kreg jig
  • Sander
  • Caulk gun
  • Brad nailer
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Builders square

You may be able to rent certain tools at a local home improvement store if you don’t already own them.

One of the best ways to build a fireplace surround is to build a basic frame that you can trim out into any style. You can fit the feature to any size or type of electric fireplace insert. Start by measuring the size of the frame you need, depending on how much wall space you have available in the room. You may also want to build a fireplace enclosure with a space-saving design to ensure you can move it to other rooms of the home in the future.

Consider building the face of the frame first. Do this on a flat surface, facing down, for your plywood to sit on for a straighter placement and frame. Mark each board as you cut them to avoid grabbing the wrong item or miscutting. You can also mark where you plan to place your pocket nail holes. This will make it easier to avoid mistakes or when working with a lot of pieces.

Once you’ve built your base, start by covering the base before attaching the frame for extra stability. You can then attach it to the wall at the studs with your nail gun. Ensure you locate the fireplace studs and attach the frame securely to them for proper support. Attach the plywood to the frame of the fireplace where the seams will be placed under the trim. There should be minor cutouts present to ensure it sits flush against the baseboard on the wall.

The front of the fireplace should be even on both sides. When placing the mantel top piece on the enclosure, add it to the top of the enclosure and use a pencil to where you need to cut off the excess.

You can now use wood filler to fill in the nailhead holes and screw holes on the sides and front of the fireplace where trim won’t cover.

Sand the exterior of the fireplace enclosure where joints meet. Vacuum up every surface of the fireplace to remove any excess sawdust that is present. This is necessary before you plan to add a coat of primer, paint, or shiplap boards. When applying the first layer of mud, make sure to cover all the screw holes, corners, and any dings in the drywall to achieve a smooth finish.

Consider priming everything with a light gray primer because it offers better coverage for your topcoat, especially if you plan to paint the entire enclosure white. Apply a full coat of paint before applying the trim if you plan to use pre-finished trim. You should only have to use one topcoat to match the paint color, which will make it quick and easy to apply the finish.

Benefits of building the DIY Electric Fireplace Enclosure Yourself

Building a fireplace enclosure can give you complete control over the process to ensure it’s specific to your vision. Choose the types of decorative elements you want to add or the size to ensure they accommodate your interior setting.

For those who prefer a non-functional option, you can create a fake fireplace using books, logs, candles, or plants for a cozy look without the cost or heating element.

You can also save a significant amount of money doing it yourself. You don’t have to worry about paying hundreds of dollars for the labor and materials. It will also allow you to stay within your budget

Although you may need to purchase a few tools, the cost is significantly lower than hiring a professional. You can have peace of mind knowing you’ll build it exactly as you prefer instead of risking feeling unsatisfied with the enclosure that the contractor builds.

Building a DIY fireplace enclosure also means owning a more durable and higher quality product than the one you can purchase. The enclosure will have a more solid structure and better character instead of appearing mass-produced.

There are additional features you can add to the DIY faux fireplace to make it specific to your space, whether you prefer to have extra shelves or you want a large fireplace mantel. Consider purchasing two bookcases to add to each side, which can create a uniform look offering additional storage space.

Electric Fireplaces Match Rustic Fireplace Mantel

How to decorate an electric fireplace enclosure

Once you’ve completed your DIY electric fireplace, you can start planning how you want to decorate it to ensure it blends in seamlessly with the surroundings to ensure you love it. The way that you style it also determines how much attention it attracts.

Take advantage of the fireplace mantel when styling the fireplace build. To make it visually appealing, you can add candlestick holders, dried flowers, and an oversized mirror. The attached bookcase or bookshelves will also provide a place to store some of your favorite novels.

You can also add many items in front of the feature on the ground, including a woven basket with a blanket or a pouf. Compared to a gas fireplace, the glass doors on electric fireplaces don’t get hot to the touch, which means you can place more items close to the fireplace. You also don’t have to worry about embers flying out and making items catch on fire. This will give you with more flexibility with how you style the product and make it contribute to your home décor. Watching a tutorial can provide you with more ideas on how to style the item.

You can also add a decorative rug in front of the electric fireplace to add warmth and draw more attention to the feature. The rug will add a cozy touch and can provide your pets or children with a warm place to sit and enjoy the fire.

Adding a wood plank wall behind or around the enclosure can also make the feature to look like it was crafted by a professional. This is a great option for those who want to create a farmhouse style with shiplap materials. The shiplap planks used during your fireplace makeover can be added directly on top of the drywall and will make the fixture look built-in. If you prefer a more classic look, consider styling your enclosure to resemble a traditional fireplace with logs and a characteristic red-orange-yellow glow.

By following a detailed guide on how to build an electric fireplace enclosure, it can allow you to construct a beautiful feature that lasts for many years to come. The item can enhance the look and appeal of your wall-mounted electric fireplace with a mantel and contribute to the design of your interior setting as you get plenty of use out of the fireplace.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to ensure accuracy, there may be errors, omissions, or discrepancies. The author and publisher make no warranties about the accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information contained herein.

Product specifications and features are subject to change without notice and may vary from actual products available. Readers should consult the manufacturer or retailer directly for the most up-to-date information, installation requirements, safety guidelines, and warranty details.

The author and publisher shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or inconvenience caused by reliance on this information. The use of any information provided is at the reader’s own risk.

Please note that some links may be affiliate links, and we may earn a commission from purchases made through these links. This does not impact our editorial content or recommendations.

For questions or concerns, please contact the manufacturer or retailer directly.

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