Home is the place where we can kick back and relax. The pandemic saw an increase in the time we spent in the home, and it’s easy to become bored with our surroundings and crave a change.
Of course, no one wants to make as drastic a change as moving house, so getting the tools out and partaking in some DIY is the next best thing.
Certain projects around the home add value to your home and give it some character. Creating a false wall, if done properly, is a good project to undertake.
Fireplaces and TVS are generally a focal point in the home, and having the ability to mount them on the wall give the illusion of space.
It’s an ideal solution for small rooms, as it eliminates the need for bulky furniture to house the TV. It also means you won’t cause any structural damage to your permanent walls.
More and more modern homes are being built without fireplaces. Older Victorian style homes had a fireplace built in and alcoves either side, which provided a handy space to store things and a focal part to the living room.
Most modern houses have four plain walls, so it is down to the homeowner to add changes to suit lifestyle. In addition, adding a fireplace creates a cozy feel, ideal for cold winter nights.
So, where do you start ?
Design & Planning
An extra wall created for a TV and fireplace is often referred to as a media wall and became popular when flat screen TVs made an appearance.
The first step is the design process. The stud wall is usually made from wood and plasterboard. You will need to factor in adding recesses to allow access to the TV and fireplace.
For this reason, it’s vital to measure up before embarking on the building part. You don’t want to have to make alterations once the wall is finished.
If you are buying new, then use the measurements provided with the products to inform your wall design.
In addition, you should factor in where you will run wires and cables within the stud wall. The wall will hide all the messy cables that come with TVs, providing a visually appealing focal point.
Design is down to personal preference and there are many designs to choose from. Search online for ideas and talk to interior professionals for advice.
For example, you may want to add alcoves or shelves for ornaments and books. You can even design the wall to stretch the entire width of the room. In addition, you can paint the wall or add wallpaper for a bold statement.
When choosing a fireplace, it’s important to select one that has a heater in the front and not the back.
You don’t want heat to cook all the electrical wires running through the stud wall. There are a plethora of designs around, so use the internet for inspiration.
Once you've measured up the space and decided where everything will be placed it’s time to work out how much you’ll need in terms of materials.
Firstly, you’ll need to buy enough wood to make the frame. YouTube has some great tutorials on how to make a wall, as well as advice on how much to purchase.
You’ll also need 12.5 mm thick plasterboard for the covering. Be sure to get good quality timber, so the construction will be sturdy and able to handle the weight of a TV and fireplace.
In addition, you’ll need to buy metal studs, plenty of nails, wood glue and a plumb line.
You should also consider adding insulation to the wall, which will reduce electricity bills and provide some sound proofing.
To complete the project you’re going to need a spirit level, hand saw, nail gun and hammer.
These tools are fairly inexpensive and useful to buy if you’re planning on more DIY projects, otherwise you can hire them or borrow from a friend.
Cost is very much dependent on your specification and what you want included in your wall. It’s worth shopping around as prices of materials vary greatly between retailers.
Chat to local specialists who can advise on costs beforehand. As a general rule costs will range from $975- $3000 and more for labor costs if you decide to hire someone to do it.
It’s useful to check the installation process of the fire you wish to install. Some are designed to sit flush on the wall and others sit within a recess, these details will matter if the room you’re adding the wall to is small or a unique shape and it may affect ascetics and size of room.
If possible, try to choose TVs and fires that match color wise and style. If they are starkly different they’ll look mismatched which affects the overall appearance of the room.
If your living room is predominantly traditional, there are loads of fireplaces that will compliment the style and the same with contemporary.
It’s important to remember that a stud wall is not designed to be load bearing. It’s not solid like a structural wall, and as such you’ll need to factor in the weight of what you will be attaching to it.
Thankfully most TVs, even large ones, are fairly light these days and come with appropriate fixings and solid brackets, but it’s worth checking this beforehand.
When fixing the TV, be sure not to hang it too high, as it will be uncomfortable to watch. Don't worry about proximity to the fire as the fire will generate heat frontwards, so the TV won’t be affected.
It’s important not to cut corners during the building project. Ensure all parts of the wall are secure and there are no holes or extra access points.
Occasionally small furry friends are attracted to the dark warm space within a stud wall and decide to reside there. Eliminating holes and keeping the area clean will reduce the risk of attracting vermin.
This handy little guide will help inform your choice of stud wall and give you some idea of how to approach the project. Happy DIYing!