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How To Build A frame For An Electric Fireplace Insert

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Building your frame for an electric fireplace insert means that you can choose the style and make the perfect fireplace for your space.

It can be tricky to do so it’s important to make sure that you have a range of DIY projects under your belt before attempting this one due to the size and intricacy of the construction.

Taking around two days to build, you can make the fireplace of your dreams which is ideal as you can build it to the perfect measurements so you can be assured that it fits and will also definitely fit your electric fireplace insert properly.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about building your frame for an electric fireplace insert from the materials and tools that you need as well as detailed guidance. 

Materials

Here are the materials that you will need to build the perfect fireplace:

  • Electric fireplace insert
  • Woodgrain trim
  • ½ inch plywood
  • 2-inch pocket screws
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Variety of 2x4s with 1 at 30 inches, 2 at 48 inches, 2 at 53 inches, 4 at 8 inches, 4 at 51.5 inches, and 6 at 11 inches

Tools

Here are the tools that you will need:

  • Brad nailer
  • Builders square
  • Caulking gun
  • Compound miter saw
  • Drill
  • Kreg jig size K3 or K4
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Sander
  • Table saw

Instructions

Here are the step by step instructions to build your fireplace:

Building the base

The first thing you need to do is build your fireplace base. It’s important to make sure that you have taken accurate measurements so you know how big it needs to be.

No matter how long your base is, always add in central supports consistently throughout the structure to give it extra security and sturdiness. 

Assembling the front

Once you have made your base, assemble the front portion of your fireplace on a flat surface to ensure that all the pieces are level and symmetrical. 

Attaching the sides

Now you need to attach the sides by providing back support at the bottom and top so the sides will slot in perfectly without coming apart. This will mean that the fireplace can sit comfortably against the wall. 

Covering the base with plywood

Using a table saw, cover your base with plywood and make sure that each piece is a perfect size.

Cutting and attaching the sides

Once you have cut each side, attach the left and right sides first and make sure that they look symmetrical and even when resting against the wall. 

Adding the front of the base

Now you have to add the front of your base with the top portion of the front last.

The front piece is important as this will cover the cut edges of the side pieces meaning that the top piece will cover any imperfections of the cutting and should make the fireplace look level and even. 

Attaching the outer frame

Using your 3-inch nails, attach the outer frame to your covered base making sure that you evenly distribute the nails so it looks consistent and is thoroughly supported throughout the structure. 

Attaching the frame to the wall

Once you have attached the outer frame, you need to attach the entire frame to the wall using 3-inch screws. 

Covering the frame in plywood

Now you need to cover the frame with ½ inch of plywood as well as 1.5-inch nails in a brad nailer to ensure that it looks sleek and secure. The best way to do this is by adding the sides first before moving on to the front. 

Laying out your plywood

Once you have covered your frame in plywood, you need to make sure that the plywood is laid out correctly and marked with the relevant cut lines on all sides.

When you have done this, trim the cut lines before attaching them properly using your brad nailer and the 1.5-inch brad nails. 

Filling in the seams and nail holes

Fill in the seams and nail holes using the wood filler to ensure that it won’t be covered by the trim. 

Finishing the fireplace

The fireplace is ready to be sanded, primed, and painted according to your style. Make sure that the surface is as even and level while also ensuring that your paint job is consistent throughout. 

Adding the primed woodgrain trim

Your woodgrain trim should already be primed before building your frame which will make this stage much easier and quicker.

Making sure that you add the trim in the right order is going to ensure that you have the best-looking results. Start by adding your 1x4 inch trim across the sides and top which will help to cover any raw edges.

Now you need to add a 1x2 inch trim on each side which will make the frame ready for the next piece of trim to be perfectly placed on top.

Now you need to add a 1x4 inch piece to the edges of the front and align it with the corners so it has perfect edges.

Once you have done this, add your 4x4 inch piece to both the top and the bottom before adding a 1x4 inch piece to the outer edges of the front.

Once you have done this, add another 1x4 inch piece to cover the seams and then a 1x2 inch trim along the top and sides meaning that all of the edges are flush and the fireplace is level. 

Caulking and painting the surface

The fireplace is ready to be caulked and painted so you can ensure it has the finish that you want and it will fit into your space. Make sure that the paint has been left to cure for 24 hours before inserting your electric fireplace. 


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