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How To: Building a Surround For an Electric Fireplace

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Surroundings help an electric fireplace function well. It protects the electric fireplace in your home from damaging elements.

In short, DIY electric fireplace surrounds ideas to make your fireplace last longer and function better. Furthermore, a DIY fireplace surround also improves the aesthetic of your room. Your living room or bedroom with an electric fireplace will have more style and character.

Since a good-quality DIY fireplace surround for an electric fireplace acts as a mantel, it can become the main focal point of the room.

However, the main question is: how to build an electric fireplace surround? Fortunately, this post is all about that!

In this post, you will primarily learn two things:

  • How to build a fireplace surround for an electric fireplace
  • What type of materials work best for DIY projects like these

DIY: Building an Electric Fireplace Surround

Electric Fireplace Environment

A lot of electric fireplaces come with mantels, and that provides them with a likable appearance. But if you don’t have one, the addition of a surround/mantelpiece in front of the fireplace can give the room a noticeable style and appealing character.

Besides, installing a fireplace surround will further diversify your DIY skill set. On the other hand, a fireplace surround is cost-effective, profitable (as it may potentially improve your home’s value due to interior décor), and effective in the long run.

Adding a surround to the fireplace involves a few steps. It involves taking room measurements, jotting down fireplace dimensions, purchasing the right tools, and getting the right surround material from a reputable brand.

Some of the main things that you will have to learn about your fireplace before installing the surround include:

  • Heating source
  • Hearth size (dimensions)
  • Room dimensions, size detail, and other configuration
  • Room furniture and its size
  • Building code clearance and necessary permits

A fireplace insert surround comprises multiple components, with the first one being a header and then two columns. You may also call it a mantel or a breastplate. Above all of this is the crown molding covering the surround to offer an enhanced appearance.

Tools You Need to Build an Electric Fireplace Surround

Here’s the list of possible materials that you may need to build a DIY fireplace surround by an electric insert:

  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Screws
  • Grout
  • Long Nails
  • Short Nails
  • Ultraset SF
  • Rope Caulk
  • Knobs

Apart from those items, here’re some minor to major tools that you will require when trying to build a surround around an electric fireplace insert:

  • Tape measure
  • Grout sponge
  • Hammer
  • Rubber mallet
  • Level
  • 1/8 in tile spacers
  • Rubber grout float
  • Bora guide
  • Bessey clamp
  • Kreg R3 pocket hole
  • Bucket (5 gallons)
  • Square notch

Best Materials for DIY Fireplace Surrounds

Putting on a fireplace surround isn’t about inserting studs on the wall through nail holes.

Of course, you will make nail holes; use a stud finder when placing studs on the wall. Moreover, you will have to choose the perfect fireplace frame and attach the frame to the wall appropriately. But before that, you will have to choose the right material for the job.

The type of material you choose should depend on your interior décor, personal preferences, overall house style, weather conditions, and the quality of the electric fireplace.

Regardless of other factors such as price, complicated installation, sophisticated maintenance, and so on, the previously mentioned factors are the most important. The most popular materials to build a DIY fireplace surround for an electric insert are:

  • Marble
  • Caesarstone
  • Terracotta
  • Ledgestone
  • Cast Iron
  • Concrete
  • Crackle Brick
  • Wood-Look Porcelain

Marble or Limestone Fireplace-Surround

You will find out that learning about fireplace surround installation usually brings two of the most favorite materials of homeowners and interior decorators: marble and limestone. And after learning about the benefits of each, you may fall into confusion. So, here’s what to know!

A single marble surround comprises multiple marble units, so you have more control over the final appearance of it following installation. It’s easier to install, much like limestone, but it’s highly conducive when it comes to heat management.

Also, marble doesn’t soak water due to its physical properties and non-absorbent nature. Hence, your electric fireplace will have increased protection against water damage and weather conditions.

On the other hand, a limestone surround is a great choice for an electric fireplace. It’s highly versatile, and the proof of its versatility is in the way it blends with an extraordinary range of colors, themes, styles, and designs. It pairs with wood furniture and offers a range of physical properties that are quite dissimilar to surrounding marble material. Here’s a look at each of their pros and cons!

Pros of Marble

  • Durable
  • Wider color range
  • Eye-catching/ focal point

Cons of Marble

  • Requires additional sealing
  • Expensive than limestone

Pros of Limestone

  • Extremely versatile
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Low-maintenance

Cons of Limestone

  • Limited color variety
  • Low protection against water damage

Fireplace Surround Requirements

Electric Fireplace Surround

When installing a surround, you can include many additional components such as light for greater visual appeal. Adding lights will give you a little bit more control over how the surround blends with the nearby furniture and other interior décor options.

Some of the requirements that you must follow when installing a fireplace surround include:

  • Choose a fireplace surround color that will blend with the color accents/range of the room
  • Place heat-conserving materials such as coating and so on
  • Measurements and dimensions of the hearth
  • High-quality material-composed electric fireplace from a reputable brand

Benefits of DIY Fireplace Surround

There are numerous benefits to installing a surround on your electric fireplace insert that you may otherwise also know as a mantel or breastplate. Some of the main benefits include extended lifespan, better aesthetics, and increased protection for your electric fireplace. Check out those benefits in detail below:

Fireplace Protection against Damaging Elements

You may already know that there are certain elements that can interfere with the functioning, quality, and appearance of an electric fireplace.

However, do you know of any ways to prevent that from happening to your fireplace? Well, a surround protects your fireplace from water damage, moisture exposure, and several weather elements.

Improved Electricity/Utility Bills

You may see a noticeable reduction in your electricity bills after the installation of a surround in front of the fireplace. That’s because a surround will add several layers of protection to prevent excessive heat loss. In turn, you will preserve heat and have the electric fireplace operate for a shorter time period than before. Hence, a lower electricity bill.

Aesthetical Appeal/ Interior Décor Improvement

While an electric fireplace of quality is already an improvement to the interior décor, the addition of a surround will further improve the aesthetic appeal. This electric fireplace will become a focal point in the living room and improve the style with the provision of decoration space on top of it where you can place some of your favorite pictures, showpieces, and so on.

Convenient Home Interior Décor Option

There are a lot of reputable brands, manufacturers, and retailers of electric fireplaces and surrounding materials in the market.

Some of the reliable brands offer unique payment plans with a lot of flexibility, including interest-free payments spread over several months.

DIY Electric Fireplace Surround Ideas for Inspiration

So did you learn how to build a surround for an electric fireplace? It’s a relatively simple process that you can complete without much professional support or help. While it’s easy, installing surrounds and fireplace mantels is a fun and cheap practice. Though, it’s necessary that you learn how to use the tools perfectly. Otherwise, the whole activity can be a mess.

If you require any form of help or products relating to electric fireplaces, gas fireplaces, or surrounds, Magik Flame is the perfect brand to serve you.

From a stone fireplace to a faux fireplace, we offer a diverse variety of products that we know will appeal to you. Check out the fireplaces and things that go with them because we’re here to make your interior décor dreams come true!

Traditional White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
Stand-Alone Electric Fireplace Insert with Sound and Heater
Modern White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
European Style White Electric Fireplace Mantel & Insert with Sound and Heater
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