Table of contents:

Do-it-yourself Electric Fireplace With The Effect Of Live Fire - A Device, Step-by-step Instructions, Etc. With Photos And Videos
Do-it-yourself Electric Fireplace With The Effect Of Live Fire - A Device, Step-by-step Instructions, Etc. With Photos And Videos

Video: Do-it-yourself Electric Fireplace With The Effect Of Live Fire - A Device, Step-by-step Instructions, Etc. With Photos And Videos

Video: DIY Fireplace Remodel | NetZero Fire | Lifestyle with Melonie Graves 2022, December

Making an electric fireplace with your own hands

Electric fireplace
Electric fireplace

Today, a fireplace is not so much a heating system as a refined interior decoration. But what about those who, for purely technical reasons, cannot build such a structure in their houses, for example, residents of urban high-rise buildings? At their service is an electric fireplace, which you can make yourself.


  • 1 Electric fireplace: device and principle of operation

    1.1 Photo gallery: types of electric fireplaces

  • 2 Materials and tools

    • 2.1 Required materials
    • 2.2 Tools
  • 3 Preparatory phase

    • 3.1 Site selection
    • 3.2 Power supply
  • 4 Calculation of parameters and design

    4.1 Blueprint

  • 5 Making an electric fireplace: step by step instructions

    • 5.1 Making a pedestal
    • 5.2 Assembling the portal frame

      5.2.1 Video: making the portal of the electric fireplace

    • 5.3 Assembling the chimney frame
    • 5.4 Sheathing the frame with plasterboard
    • 5.5 Fireplace decoration
  • 6 Decorating an electric fireplace

Electric fireplace: device and principle of operation

Electric or false fireplace is an imitation of a real fireplace. This product consists of two parts:

  1. The portal is a hollow structure that looks like masonry, that is, the body of the fireplace. Most often it is a frame sheathed with sheet material.

    Electric fireplace portal
    Electric fireplace portal

    The design of the portal usually echoes the style of the interior of the room where it is located

  2. A hearth or firebox is, in fact, an electric fireplace.

    The hearth of the electric fireplace
    The hearth of the electric fireplace

    Imitation of live fire gives the room a cosiness

The hearth is installed in the portal and performs three functions:

  • lighting;
  • heating;
  • imitation in any way of live fire.

The hearths are available in a wide variety of designs. First of all, they differ in the way they create the illusion of a burning fire. Here are the main options:

  1. The simplest and cheapest: several strips of red silk are attached to the plastic pseudo-logs, and a backlight and a fan are installed below. The light from the lamp resembles the heat of coals, while the silk strips flutter in the air flow blown by the fan, imitating the flames. Along the way, the air blows the heating element, which is available in the upper part of the hearth, and thus distributes heat.

    Imitation of live fire
    Imitation of live fire

    With the help of scarlet patches and a fan, you can create a "live" fire in the hearth of an electric fireplace

  2. An improved version: a rotating reflector is installed under the imitation of firewood. The light from the lamp becomes flickering, fluctuating, which makes the hearth more like a real one.
  3. A more expensive solution: there is an ultrasonic steam generator, the same as in air humidifiers (it produces cold steam or fog), and under it there is a backlight from multi-colored LEDs that throw flickering glare on the fog. Additionally, for greater similarity, an audio reproduction system is installed, broadcasting a characteristic sound scale - hissing and crackling of firewood.

    Imitation of live fire with the participation of a steam generator
    Imitation of live fire with the participation of a steam generator

    The combination of water vapor and lighting creates the effect of living fire

  4. Latest technologies: hologram and 3D image. This imitation looks very impressive.

    Imitation of live fire using a 3D image
    Imitation of live fire using a 3D image

    Flames look very natural in 3D

Also, electric fireplaces may differ in the presence of all kinds of options. Some of them, for example, are equipped with thermostats (independently maintain the temperature in the room at a user-specified level) and a remote control.

Photo gallery: types of electric fireplaces

Hinged electric fireplace
Hinged electric fireplace

Suspended electric fireplace saves room space

Electric fireplace built into the wall
Electric fireplace built into the wall

Wall-mounted electric fireplace suitable for modern interiors

Electric fireplace, finished with artificial wood and stone
Electric fireplace, finished with artificial wood and stone

The base of the falshkamin can be finished with artificial stone

Electric fireplace with chimney
Electric fireplace with chimney

Imitation of a chimney makes a fake fireplace look like a real one

Materials and tools

When they talk about making an electric fireplace with their own hands, they first of all mean the independent design and assembly of the portal by the user. The hearth in most cases is purchased in a store.

Necessary materials

As stated, a portal is just a box with decorative cladding. It is not exposed to high temperatures, even if the electric fireplace is equipped with heaters, therefore, almost any sheet material can be used as frame cladding:

  • drywall;
  • plastic;
  • aluminum panels;
  • steel sheets in polymer sheathing or powder-coated;
  • glass;
  • chipboard and fiber boards: chipboard, fiberboard, OSB, MDF (can be produced in laminated form);
  • plywood;
  • board: solid or parquet (multilayer).

The portal can also be laid out from piece materials - brick or stone, but due to their massiveness and high cost, these options have not gained popularity. Usually, a frame is built, and in most cases drywall is used for sheathing. This is a rather tough material, it keeps its shape well, at the same time it is easy to process, has a low weight and, most importantly, allows you to use a rather spectacular-looking cladding.

Fireplace portal lined with decorative stone
Fireplace portal lined with decorative stone

Decorative plaster stone for facing the portal can also be made at home

Another useful feature: if you make a perforation in cardboard with a needle and moisten a gypsum core through it, then a curved surface, for example, an arched vault, can be made from a rigid flat sheet.

For plywood and solid boards, these materials should be used with caution. The constantly circulating warm air can cause them to dry out with subsequent deformation. This also applies to the frame if it is made of bars and slats.

Factory production is not the only option. In a simple version, you can reproduce it yourself, although, of course, a homemade product will look less attractive.

Hearth of an electric fireplace with candles
Hearth of an electric fireplace with candles

Using candles in the fireplace, you can create a real living fire

Instead of an electric fireplace, you can install in the portal:

  1. Electronic photo frame with a picture of a flame. A more interesting option is a photo frame with the ability to play primitive animation, into which you need to load a "cartoon" with dancing tongues of fire.
  2. If the costs do not scare you, you can go even further: install a small TV in the portal that plays video from a flash card, and record a video for it with a real fire.
  3. The image of fire together with a system of mirrors, thanks to which the observer sees the volumetric illusion of a flame.


What tools need to be prepared:

  • plumb line and building level (for installation without distortions);
  • scissors for metal or a grinder with a thin cutting disc;
  • stationery knife;
  • spatulas;
  • sandpaper;
  • screwdriver or screwdriver.

Preparatory stage

Before you start making a false fireplace, you need to think over its installation location and power supply.

Seat selection

Work on the creation of a homemade electric fireplace must begin with choosing a place for it, since the shape of the portal will depend on this. Options to consider include:

  1. Wall-mounted location: this is the preferred option - it is the wall-mounted electric fireplace that is most similar to the real one. But such an installation is possible only under one condition: the room must be quite spacious. In the wall-mounted version, the electric fireplace is made rectangular.
  2. Corner: this method is used if the room is of modest size. The corner is usually the least demanded area, so installing a false fireplace here has almost no effect on the amount of free space. The corner portal will no longer have a rectangular, but a triangular base.

    Corner location of the electric fireplace
    Corner location of the electric fireplace

    A corner electric fireplace will not take away the useful area from the room

  3. Hinged version: as you know, a floor-standing fireplace is considered a classic. But the mounted version will look good, provided that the space in front of it, at least a few steps away, is not cluttered with anything.
  4. Built-in fireplace. This option will significantly save space.

    Built-in electric fireplace
    Built-in electric fireplace

    An electric fireplace built into the wall is ideal for small rooms.

If the problem of lack of space is so critical that none of the above options are suitable, the electric fireplace can be built into the partition or furniture. Especially for such tasks, "ultra-thin" hearths with a depth of only 7 cm are produced. By the way, it is worth considering, perhaps such an almost flat fireplace can be made wall-mounted.

Some users face a problem: wherever you put the fireplace, it always ends up close to one or another piece of furniture - a table, sofa, pouf, etc. The way out of this situation is to create a wall-mounted fireplace located at a certain height. In this form, it will not lose its decorative qualities. Moreover, at any distance from the wall and even under the fireplace itself, it will be possible to put a low piece of furniture.

Hanging electric fireplace
Hanging electric fireplace

Suspended electric fireplace saves space

Power supply

An important point: at the preparation stage, you should think about the power supply of the hearth. So that the impression of the decoration is not spoiled by an extension cord stretched across the room, an electrical outlet must be fixed on the wall next to the installation site of the portal. At the same time, it is useful to heed the following recommendations:

  1. You should not install the socket so that it is inside the portal, although this option seems to be the most successful from the point of view of aesthetics. A false fireplace, like any other electrical appliance, is potentially dangerous and the user must be able to quickly unplug the power cord in case of need.
  2. It is better to install a socket with a switch. After installing the hearth in the portal, the standard power button will most likely be difficult to access, and it will be inconvenient to constantly pull out and insert the plug into the outlet to turn off and on the device.

Calculation of parameters and design

At the design stage of the portal, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  1. Dimensions. The portal must have such dimensions that it and the hearth look proportional. Usually, the body is made twice as wide as the hearth, and 1.5 times higher in height. Thus, if the width and height of the hearth are 50 and 70 cm, then for the portal the same parameters will be equal to 100 and 105 cm.If you intend to install the hearth not near the floor itself, but at a certain height, you should choose a wider model - with this placing the fireplace will look better. In this case, the width of the portal should not be doubled, but somewhat smaller.
  2. Dimensions of the combustion hole. This hole should be such that its edges do not obstruct the own framing of the hearth. This rule should be followed regardless of whether the framing is neutral or made in any genre. If the electric fireplace is stylized, then the design of the portal will have to be done accordingly. If you want to maintain creative freedom, look for an inset hearth - a model with no framing at all.
  3. Constructive elements. The main structural element of the portal is the air vents that provide air circulation. In the absence of these, the heating element of the electric hearth may overheat.

It is also advisable to provide the portal from the inside with a shelf or hooks to fix the power cable.


Although it is difficult to imagine a more primitive design than an electric fireplace portal, it is better not to limit yourself to abstract design and sketch a detailed drawing of the product.

Electric fireplace drawing
Electric fireplace drawing

When designing, the drawing indicates all the executive dimensions of the future structure

Firstly, it will be easier to develop a specification - a list and quantity of all the necessary materials up to the last screw. Secondly, the drawing will immediately show minor mistakes and shortcomings that were overlooked when designing in the mind.

Making an electric fireplace: step by step instructions

After all the preparatory work has been done, you can start making the electric fireplace itself.

Making a pedestal

The pedestal is a table top, laid on a frame made of a metal profile with a height of about 50 mm. The table top can be made from various materials:

  • thick plywood or several thin plywood sheets glued together;
  • solid wood or shield knocked down from several boards;
  • chipboard.

The most attractive are the worktops made of laminated MDF (the board is enclosed in a plastic sheath). Such a product can be easily found on the market.

Pedestal for electric fireplace
Pedestal for electric fireplace

A pedestal for an electric fireplace can be made from chipboard

The worktop for the wall fireplace has the shape of a rectangle, for the corner fireplace it is a pentagon. In size, it should exceed the dimensions of the portal by several centimeters. As side walls around the pedestal, a plinth of the same color as the top is installed.

Assembling the portal frame

As already mentioned, the frame is best made from a metal profile specially designed for the installation of plasterboard structures. It is of two types:

  • rack-mount (for the portal, you will need a variety with a cross-sectional size of 50x50 mm);
  • guide (usable size 50x40 mm).

To fasten the sections of the profile to each other, you should use special short self-tapping screws 11-13 mm long, which are popularly called "bugs" or "seeds".

The installation of the frame is carried out in the following sequence:

  1. The section of the wall, which will be closed by the portal, is sheathed with a fire-resistant screen. In this capacity, it is better to use a sheet of tin with a lining of basalt cardboard, a less successful option is a layer of asbestos (it has carcinogenic properties).
  2. According to the drawing, markings are applied to the wall and countertop, while the vertical / horizontal lines are controlled by the plumb line and level.
  3. Using dowels (to the wall) and wood screws (to the tabletop), a guide profile 50x40 mm in size is attached according to the marking.
  4. A rack profile 50x50 mm is screwed to the guide profile using self-tapping seeds, so that the result is a parallelepiped.

    Electric fireplace frame
    Electric fireplace frame

    The frame of the electric fireplace is best mounted from a metal profile intended for drywall

  5. The frame is reinforced by installing braces from the same rack-mount profile in each side face with a step of 20-25 cm.

On the front side, sections of the profile are attached that limit the opening, and inside there is a frame on which the hearth will be installed (if such is provided for by the project).

Video: making a portal of an electric fireplace

Chimney frame assembly

The false fireplace will look much more realistic if a box is laid from the portal to the ceiling, simulating a chimney. The frame of this box should be constructed from a profile with dimensions of 100x50 and 100x40 mm, then it will be enough to attach it with only one side to the wall. You need to act like this:

  1. A profile 100x40 mm is attached to the wall according to the previously applied markings using dowels with the side part.
  2. In parallel, ribs from a profile measuring 100x50 mm are brought out to the ceiling.

    Electric fireplace frame with chimney
    Electric fireplace frame with chimney

    To make the fake fireplace look believable, you can make an imitation of a chimney

The frame is reinforced by installing cross-beams from a profile of 100x50 mm in each facet with a step of 50 cm.

Sheathing the frame with plasterboard

We cut drywall sheets using a clerical knife according to the project. Remember that the parts must be sized so that the seams between them fall on the frame elements. The drywall is screwed on with self-tapping screws for metal 25x3.5 mm in size, having a black color. The screw must be tightened so that the upper edge of its head is 1 mm deeper into the skin.

Sheathing the frame with plasterboard
Sheathing the frame with plasterboard

Drywall is screwed to the frame with self-tapping screws for metal

After checking whether all air vents have been cut out, you can proceed to puttying work. They include the following steps:

  1. First, the seams between the trim parts and the caps of the screws sunk into the cardboard are putty.
  2. A perforated corner is planted on the putty solution, with which the sheathing is framed in the corners.
  3. Then the entire surface of the portal is putty.

    Portal putty
    Portal putty

    Before finishing the portal, it should be putty

  4. After the putty has dried, it is treated with sandpaper, which will eliminate all irregularities.

Finally, the entire portal is primed and allowed to dry completely.

Fireplace decoration

A false fireplace can be pasted over with tiles or artificial stone, and the bottom, for example, can be laid out with bricks. Decorative plaster also looks very impressive. You should use a gypsum composition, for example, brands "Vetonit" or "Rotband". Having made it a little thicker than the recipe on the package requires, it will be possible, using your fingers or a special tool, to create a decorative relief that imitates:

  • brickwork;
  • clay modeling;
  • a natural stone;
  • wood.
Finishing the electric fireplace with decorative plaster
Finishing the electric fireplace with decorative plaster

Venetian plaster on the electric fireplace portal looks exquisite

From above, the portal can be sheathed with plasterboard, but it will be much more interesting to look at the tabletop of the same type as that installed as a pedestal.

Decorating an electric fireplace

You can decorate the false fireplace portal with stucco, which is fixed with glue. If the frame and cladding are strong enough, use real plaster decor. It is better not to overload the drywall structure - use a lightweight imitation of polyurethane stucco molding.

A strong impression is made by the entourage created with the help of objects usually accompanying the fireplace. Tongs, a poker, a scoop for removing ash, a broom, etc. are hung on the portal or on the rack next to it. Some of these objects, for example, a scoop and a poker, can be placed next to the hearth - as if they had just been used.

Torch-shaped lamps can be hung on the wall on either side of the portal.

Another trick from the same opera is to install a woodpile next to the fireplace. It is a box, rather high, but shallow - the bottom is cut almost at the very top. Several real logs or dummies made of plastic or ceramics (sold in stores) are placed on it.

Decorative woodpile
Decorative woodpile

Woodpile entourage makes the false fireplace more realistic

A fairly naturalistic dummy can be made by yourself, using corrugated cardboard as a material. Here's how it's done:

  1. Parts are cut out of cardboard, which are then twisted into cylinders of various lengths and diameters. Large cylinders will play the role of logs, with smaller ones - knots.
  2. Using wide adhesive tape and glue, we attach the "knots" to the "logs".

    Artificial cardboard firewood
    Artificial cardboard firewood

    Logs can be made from corrugated cardboard, very similar to real ones

  3. Ready-made dummies need to be painted and put in a woodpile.

    Artificial firewood for electric fireplace
    Artificial firewood for electric fireplace

    To make cardboard firewood look realistic, they need to be painted

A fireplace, even a fake one, significantly enriches the interior, brings into it the enchanting atmosphere of ancient romance from the times of chivalry. But such a decoration will be exclusive only if the user makes it himself. We hope our ideas and tips will help you with this.

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