How to Build a False Wall For An Electric Fireplace
Here at Fireplace Factory, we want you to have the fireplace and media wall of your dreams. The most popular home interior trend is a chimney breast holding your TV and a stunning electric fireplace.
Building a false fireplace and media breast for your home seems like an expensive job, it requires knowledge and trade skills but it doesn’t have to be. We have teamed up with the UK’s favourite DIY expert, Craig Phillips, to show you step-by-step how to build your own false wall for an electric fireplace and TV.
You’ve seen Instagram photos of other people's media walls. They’ve got the tv sunk into the false breast showing the football or one of Netflix’s latest offerings. No wires. The electric fire perfectly sets the mood in a dark room. YOU’RE SOLD. You want it. If they can have it, why can’t you?
DIY Media Wall for your Fire and TV
Let Craig Phillips show you how to build your fake chimney breast to nest your TV and electric fire:
Why build a fake wall for your electric fireplace and TV
- A false wall is an interior designer’s dream, the current trend is a media wall to act as the focal point for your room.
- A fake chimney breast is minimalist, it hides wires to your TV and electric fire that would normally be on show and look unsightly.
- Despite taking up more space than the original wall it gives the illusion of more space as you don’t need TV stands or clutter around your TV and fireplace.
- A fake wall means you can secure the TV and Fireplace on any wall knowing you won’t create any structural damage to a load bearing wall in your home.
Share your success on social media and tag @fireplacefactory on Instagram so we can see your work.
Below is a breakdown of the steps Craig takes to build the false wall:
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to build your own artificial chimney breast so you can have a modern, state-of-the-art bespoke panoramic electric fire in any room of your house. Whether you live in a new build without a chimney breast or an old traditional house that may have had the original chimney breast removed, you can still have an HD flame effect fire installed.
Our electric fire range has various models from standard inset units right through to one, two, and three-sided luxury panoramic models with 10,000 different combinations in one fire.
The Fireplace Structure
The fireplace will consist of two separate sections, all made out of three by two timber. The base section will get made up first. Once that's completed and into position, leveled up, and screwed into the wall, then the fireplace will sit directly on top of that. Then we can get the measurements from the top of the fireplace to the top of your ceiling height, and then construct the second section.
Once this is complete, it'll be firmly fixed to the ceiling and the wall, so it takes the weight, because we don't want any of the weight of the top of the breast sitting directly onto the fire.
First Step: Receiving Your Fire
The first thing to do when my fire is out of the box, is to take some measurements to start constructing my frame. Now, the panoramic version I've chosen is 1500 mm, but they do come in different lengths. I'll take a measurement from the top section of the fires right the way across to here, and the frame that I need to construct for the 1500-millimeter one is 1492 mm in length and 320 mm in width.
Now, I'm going to begin by cutting a kit apart out of the three-by-two timber. Starting with the base section, we want this to be 1492 mm in length to suit the 1500 millimeter.
I'm going to be using a chop saw to do my cuts. Of course, if you haven't got a chop saw, you can always use a hand saw. I'm going to cut four of these in total.
I want to create this frame to be 600 mm wide, because the fire itself is going to stand 600 mm off the floor. But I want to cut four more sections now at 510 mm. So I'll use these off cuts.
I'm going to take a measurement from here around about 480. So I've got these noggins spaced out relatively equally perfect. So now I'm happy with the position where they are. I'm just going to do a quick line across here. This is just so I line up my screws and make sure when I'm screwing through one side of the timber, it grabs the opposite timber right in the center.
Then I get my pilot hole and drill some holes in between here to stop the wood from splitting.
Okay, so now they're drilled in. I can place this back up onto these sections and start fixing them together. Now I'm going to be using four-inch screws. They're 5 mm thick.
Now I'm going to be using four-inch screws. They're 5 mm thick.
So that's now my second frame now complete. I'll bring my first section. That's going to go here. Now I need to cut some fair noggins in between to hold this section together to complete the base.
So the width of these, I want to create it to be 320 mm, which was the bottom.
The fire measurement on here at 320 leaves me a 174 mm noggins in between.
So that's my six sections now cut. I'm going to start to fix these together again using the four-inch screws, drilling some pilot holes so the tin doesn't split, and making sure that's nice and flush and square there.
So that's the last noggin. Now, fitted all six of them, one on each corner and then one in the center that's holding the front and back piece firmly together. This is ready to be put into position, and leveled up. Now fix to the wall, ready for the fire to sit on.
Now, once you've worked out the location where your chimney breast will be, employ a qualified electrician to fit your PowerPoints.
Now, I'm going to fit a single double socket, a 13 amp one to power the fire and also the TV above. But depending on what type of TV you'll use, you may need to consider an aerial or another media point.
Now, I'm going to fix the frame it to the wall by using some small angle brackets.
I've got stud and then actual wooden boards on there before it's plastered, so I can drive my screws directly in them. You at home may have a solid wall with a plaster board on top of it. So
you will need to drill through the brick wick, put the raw plug in, and then screw the bracket into position.
So now the fair section of the frame is firmly fixed to the wall and level. I can place the electric fire in position. Now, you'll find with the instructions, you'll have six of these black angle brackets. We need to fix these on. You'll see silver screws, unscrew them out, don't throw them away because we'll need them to screw this bracket back into position.
There are six screw, you have three of them going along the top, which the other two are already in position now, and three more of them along the bottom. So now the fire is fixed to the base frame. We can take our measurements from the top of the fire right the way up to the ceiling, and start constructing the second frame.
Now, the six of them, you have three of them going along the top, which the other two are already in position now, and three more of them along the bottom. So now the fire is fixed to the base frame. We can take our measurements from the top of the fire right the way up to the ceiling, and start constructing the second frame.
My top frame wants to be 1290 mm high, but double check yours at home. I'm gauging it off a standard eight-foot ceiling height, but measure directly from the top of the fire all the way up to the top of the ceiling. So again, I'm using the same three by two timber. We've got two sections of these to start with, so that's two lengths cut at 1290 mm. I'm going to set them. We want to create these to be 320, same as the base section.
So my noggins in between here are 175. Need to cut four of them so they're more or less equally spaced. I'm now going to fix this together using the four-inch screws, just like we did with the base frame, so that's both sides of the top section now complete. I'm going to offer these up into position and then cut the braces for the center holding them in place. I'll take my first one, place that in between here at the front.
In between there, I'm going to stand up right on top of those brackets, nice and flush there. Likewise, with the rest of the frame, I'm going to drill some pilot holes.
You'll be able to stop the wood from splitting and help it bite into the adjacent piece. So the second section, slip it behind the cable there. It's going to get fitted a little bit higher and it's actually going to standard about 200 mm high. And it's going to be there for a number of reasons. One, it holds the actual frame together, keeps it square, stops these bits from bowing out.
The second reason is we can actually drill through there and fix it to the wall. And the third reason is I can place a piece of MDF on the top of it here for when we build our facial board on the front of it and can meet that position. Now, that's had two screws in both sides.
I'm going to fix the next two pieces of timber at the top, flush up against the ceiling.
Then four pieces are now holding the two side sections in place. All I need to do now is screw and fix these to the wall and to the ceiling so there is no weight resting on top of the fire.
So drill four clearance holes into this back section of timber here. I'm going to screw them firmly into the wall. And remember, I've got wooden boards behind my plasterboard here. But you at home may have a brick wall, so you're going to have to drill it with a masonry drill bit, put in a wall plug, and then drive your screws in.
That's nice and solid. Now into the wall. It's a little bit trickier getting the fixing of the frame into the ceiling. But a great way of doing that is because you need to find the beams above the plaster. Of course, you can't see through the plasterboard.
So if you get yourself a stud detector, I'll do a little example here. When you put it across your ceiling board, it'll find a piece of timber behind it. The alarm will go off and the light will go up. Once you've found the timber, the joist above the ceiling mark with a pencil. Then drill further pilot holes through the wooden frame, driving your screws into the ceiling boards, making sure that your bite firmly to the joist above.
I'm applying six individual fourinch screws now. Then two sections are screwed into the side of the frames, holding them into position. I've set that one at the back upright. That'll allow me to screw through here for extra protection, grabbing onto the wall. And of course, these are flush along here.
Now, depending on what size television you choose to sink into the recess, I'm going to be using a 55-inch television. So the opener between these two buttons is about 830 mm. This will allow me to clad the underside of it with 15 mm MDF and clad the section here with 15 mm MDF. And then I've got enough space to get my fingers around to pull the television in and out if we need access to the plug behind.
Whichever size panoramic fire you choose, you've got an option of one, two or three sides. When you take it out of the packaging, of course, you've got the one side, which is the front.
Then you've got the option to take out one of these metal panels off the side and create a two-sided fire or have the third side open by taking this panel off as well. It's quick and easy to do. You simply screw the seven screws off the side like this.
This panel comes away that way, as you can see. Now you've got the two sides of the glass visible, but you must put the trim back on in the existing position to help as a finished bead for when you clad your board on the sides and above the top. Now I'm going to do the same on the opposite side.
So I've applied three the other screws into these brackets that we put on earlier, just to hold the top of the fire into the bottom of this frame.
And that is my structure now complete. The next stage is the clad it with 15 mm MDF. I'm going to cut the sections to start with the inside section. That's the recess where the TV is going to sit.
Then the second stage is to clad both sides, top and bottom, and then the third stage is to clad the face of it along the bottom and up along the front and right the way around the top.
Now, as well as gluing the MDF panels on the side, I'm also going to screw them in. So I'll drill a clearance hole in. Then I'll use a counter sink tip. This will allow the screw to be sunk in deeper than the actual MDF surface. So now I can apply some filler on that, let it dry, sand it down and you paint over it and it'll be completely invisible.
You may prefer to cover your wooden frame with plasterboard. Then the plasterboards can be skimmed, which of course is also a perfect finish. The wet plaster might take a little bit longer to dry before you can paint it. You may want to put some further thought into the size of your opening for your TV. You may be considering to put further items in there, like a soundbar or a DVD recorder.
Now you can fit your TV bracket in the desired location.
The paint's dry, the skating boards are fitted, and the television has been mounted to the bracket. I'm ready to start now, laying out the fuel vents. But first of all, I've got to remove the front glaze panel. I do that by removing four small screws on the top of the panel just by the vent.
Now the glazing is removed, I can start to display my fuel bed with all the Bespoke ranges. It comes with a variety of different options and items from white pebbles, large ice crystals, HD log set, clear gems and smoked gems. But I'm choosing to use the HD log effect for my fire.
Now, you may be thinking that this kind of units and this structure built around it require ventilation. Well, don't worry.
The unit draws in air from both sides from the front underside, pushing the heat out from the center if required. So you can rest assured that the heat from your fire, if you choose to use it, is blowing downwards away from the unit. There is no direct heat coming up towards the TV.
Once you've installed any of the award-winning Bespoke range HD fires, you can sit back and relax, knowing that all units come with a full manufacturer's warranty. They're adaptable to every customer's requirements with over 100 different combinations of various colors, speeds, flame brightness, fuel beds with hot and cold fan systems.
These can even be controlled by remote control in your hand or the touch panel on the unit. That's how quick and easy it is to build your own artificial chimney breast so you can fit your own bespoke electric fireplace.