How To Build An Electric Fireplace Frame Insert?

A fireplace not only adds comfort to your room but also enhances the aesthetic of the whole place.

There are varying designs, styles, and sizes of an electric fireplace and its frames in contemporary society.

It is, therefore, easy to find one that will suit your needs, or you can even customize your own frame.

Framing an electric fireplace requires the use of proper tools and a lot of patience. It is neither a difficult nor a complex process; hence, you can do it yourself.

Making a DIY home fireplace

Below are procedures to follow when making a frame for your electric fireplace insert.

  1. Take Measurements of the fireplace frame

To begin with, measure the available wall space to place your fireplace. These are the necessary measurements:

  • The height of the fireplace.
  • The depth of the fireplace.
  • The frontal width of the fireplace.
  • The back width of the fireplace.
  1. Cut the Frames

With the correct measurements, cut wood in line with the dimensions from step one. Cut the following sides from wood: two base lengths from one end to the other, two top pieces for the length, or alternatively, one large piece to cover both the bottom and top.

Cut four small pieces for the depth of the fireplace where the base and top length sit. Finally, cut 4 pieces of wood for the height. This makes the general basic square frame.

For the exact positioning of the fireplace insert, which is the center frame, cut a horizontal wood for positioning a little above the base wood, with small vertical woods joining the two horizontal woods to support the fireplace.

On the sides, cut vertical wood for placement on the second horizontal wood to hold the fireplace.

  1. Put the fireplace frame together

Place the horizontal piece of wood on the floor. For a floor with a carpet, remove the carpet in that particular space. Using a screw gun, install the wood onto the subfloor.

For a tiled or hardwood floor, drill the wood into the hardwood or tile and use anchors for support. Remove any molding in advance to avoid interference with the installation process.

Place the vertical pieces of wood on the horizontal piece. Place the upper horizontal wood on the vertical pieces.

Join the small pieces of wood for the depth of the frame. To finalize, join the pieces of the center frame as explained in step 2.

  1. Glue and screw the woods for support

Using glue and screw connect the frame so that it may stand and support itself.

  1. Lay the Fireplace

Try your newly purchased fireplace, place it in the center of the frame, and ensure that it perfectly fits. If not, mark the points where you need to make such adjustments to ensure that the frame is a perfect fit for your fireplace insert.

After finishing with your frame, clean the working area and remove all the garbage before you proceed to the installation process.

How to measure for electric fireplace insert

The dimensions of an electric fireplace insert vary based on your preference. There are different sizes of electric fireplaces on the market. However, standard measurements are set in place for safety purposes and are necessary as a clearance requirement.

These measurements comprise a one-inch gap on the back and sides of the fireplace from the wall. Moreover, it requires a gap of two inches between the mantel board and the frame top.

There should also be at least a 3/8-inch gap from the top of the frame to the combustible or a non-combustible material. For the floor, there is no minimum clearance.

You can use a measuring tape to take the measurements to ensure the correct positioning of the firebox. If the measurements are inaccurate, you will have the fireplace tilted.

How to install an electric fireplace insert?

This is the most critical and technical part of fixing the fireplace. The process requires a bit of skill, and one can only do it themselves if they have some skills and knowledge of carpentry.

Nonetheless, in most situations, you will require a qualified electrician for the installation of a power outlet inside the fireplace.

Installation varies from the brand of electric insert you want to install. Always refer to your manual for directions.

Before you begin the installation process, ensure the proper functioning of the insert. Plug it in to confirm if the lights and heat are in good working condition, and then proceed to installation.

Below is the step-by-step installation process.

  1. Before installing an electric insert, place a cover plate on the chimney. This is if the chimney has no rain cap. The cover plate is an alternative to prevent the entry of water.
  2. To avoid heat loss and drafts, it is advisable to shut and seal the damper of the stone fireplace.
  3. The next step is to install a fire outlet. It is obvious that for an electric fireplace to work, it requires electricity. That means plugging the electrical fireplace inserts into the regular household power outlets. To keep the fireplace from hanging cords, install an outlet in the present fireplace. At this point, it is prudent to indulge an authorized electrician to do the job.
  4. After that, place the firebox into the fireplace. It is simple; just slide the firebox into the fireplace opening. Ensure it is well fitted and leveled inside. If need be, you can alter the leveling screws if they come with the brand of your electric insert. Alternatively, others have tie-down brackets that you can attach to both the rear sides of the insert and the ground. This is to safeguard the insert from tipping.
  5. The final step is to attach the trim/ frame. Inserts can either come with glass or metal material, or you can custom make your own. Attaching the frame or trim helps cover the holes between the walls of the fireplace openings and the insert.

How to make an electric fireplace look real?

With the development of technology, most fireplace clients embrace electric fireplaces because of their design, flexibility in heating, and easy installation.

Even though an electric fireplace does not produce real fire, it always looks like the other traditional types of fireplaces. This piece discusses how you can make your electric fireplace look real.

This is achievable through;

  • Installation
  • Quality
  • Wall design
  • Flame technology


Having an electric fireplace on the floor or the wall surface with its cords exposed can make one believe it’s a real fireplace.

With electric fireplaces meant for surface-mounting, either have the cords closely together for hard-wiring or hide the cords if the electric outlet is existent.

Insert fits inside the opening of an electric fireplace and around the insert cover all the gaps. Directly surround the electric firebox with a stone to give a real impression of the fire.

During the installation process, paying attention to the small derails goes a long way in ensuring you achieve your electric fireplace looking real.


Quality matters in every purchase, including the purchase of an electric fireplace. Sometimes, going for the cheap options in the market can cost you a lot.

Cheap products are usually made of low-quality components that constantly wear out and are irreplaceable. Moreover, the cheap components produce a noisy flame that will make it obvious that the fireplace is not real.

To avoid such problems, go for the best quality fireplace on the market. There are a lot of reputable brands out there. No matter the cost, you will surely get worth for your money.

Wall design

The key thing to giving your fireplace an illusion that it is real is by putting in some creativity into the design of your fireplace.

Make it the center of attention in your home, considering its positioning. Adding wall covers, a fireplace screen, a stone hearth, and other design features to your wall creates that attention. This makes it easy for one to believe it’s a real fireplace.

Flame technology

The typical flame from an electric fireplace is created by LED lights and a flicker rod that rotates through the lights to mimic the real shape of a flame.

The shape of the flame may vary from brand to brand, depending on the manufacturers. The flames keep on advancing with the growth of technology to ensure they look as real as possible.

How to make an electric fireplace look built-in?

How you install your electric fireplace is what determines whether it looks built-in or mounted.

The following are tips to guide you on how you can install your electric fireplace to make it look built-in.

  1. Lay out your design with painter’s tape. This enables flexibility as you can adjust parts of your design till it is perfect.
  2. Measure for corbels. If the wall studs did not match your design, you could use wall anchor screws to ensure that the mantel corbels were in a good position and secure.
  3. After the corbels are up in position, measure and cut the mantel board.
  4. Measure the lengths and cuts. The cuts have varying angles; some will be at 90 degrees, and others will be 45 degrees. This is for the corners that meet at an angle.
  5. To attach the trim board to the wall, use a hammer, nails, or a nail gun.
  6. Measure and cut the remaining pieces of wood as you put them up. Ensure you take the correct measurements to avoid gaps; a tilted fireplace will make it obvious it’s mounted.
  7. After installing the trim, you can decorate the surrounding walls to complement other features in the room and make it appealing.

How to build an electric fireplace surround?

How you build and design your fireplace surround will make it eye-catching as a feature in your room. Building a fireplace surround is a simple process that you can do yourself.

Here are some of the helpful tips on how you can go about the process.

  1. Start by creating your frame, guided by the measurements of your electric fireplace. For instance, if the fireplace is 40 inches, make your frame bigger by a few more inches.
  2. Inside the frame, leave out the fireplace opening with a strong base and top support system to hold it in place. Fix it on the walls and the ceiling if your frame is big enough using a nail gun.
  3. Place the electric fireplace insert in the frame opening and ensure it perfectly fits the frame. If not, always leave some room for adjustments to fit the size of your fireplace.
  4. The next step is to drywall or wallboard. The process involves facing the interior walls of buildings or structures using large sheets of finishing materials. Drill the material on the wooden frame but leave out the fireplace opening. To make it easier, cut the material according to the dimensions of your frame. For the corners, you can use a metal corner bead or tape.
  5. You can, after that, paint the board according to the color of your choice. Design it with wallpapers or any other decor you’d prefer.

What size electric fireplace insert do I need?

The size of an electric fireplace insert one requires may vary from person to person, depending on their needs.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the accurate size of an electric fireplace for your home.

One of the major aspects to look at is the size of your room compared to the size of the fireplace.

For example, a small electric fireplace will not warm up a large room; in this case, you should opt for a bigger fireplace.

If the intention of the fireplace is to warm the whole house, a big electric fireplace insert will be suitable for the job. On the other hand, for a smaller room, a small fireplace is sufficient.

Also, it is important to look at the available space in your room. Measure the opening width, depth, and height of your fireplace, both on the bottom and top, and the frontal depth and the back width. These measurements will guide you on what’s the best fit for you.