How To Build A Faux Fireplace With Electric Insert

A cozy living room setup featuring a faux fireplace with a glowing electric insert.

Have you ever dreamed of cozying up by a fireplace on a cold winter night, but don’t have the space or budget for a real one?

A faux fireplace with an electric insert could be the perfect solution for you. In this article, we will discuss what a faux fireplace is, why you should choose an electric insert, and the materials you will need to build your own.

We will also provide a step-by-step guide for building a faux fireplace, tips for maintenance and safety, and alternative ideas to customize your design. Let’s get started on creating a warm and inviting focal point in your home!

What Is a Faux Fireplace?

A faux fireplace is a decorative piece that mimics the appearance of a traditional fireplace but uses an electric insert to create realistic flames and provide a heating option. It is designed to enhance the cozy atmosphere of a room and add a touch of elegance to home decor.

Not only does a faux fireplace offer the visual charm of crackling flames and warmth of a real fire, but it also eliminates the need for maintenance like cleaning ashes or chopping wood. With its adjustable settings, you can easily control the level of heat and brightness to suit your preferences. The sleek design of a faux fireplace can complement various interior styles, serving as a focal point that elevates the overall aesthetic of a living space.

Why Choose an Electric Insert?

Choosing an electric insert for your faux fireplace offers numerous benefits, including energy efficiency, safety features, and easy installation. The electric insert provides a reliable heating option with added convenience and modern functionality.

The energy-efficient nature of the electric insert ensures that you can efficiently heat your living space without unnecessary energy wastage. The safety features integrated into these inserts provide peace of mind, as they reduce the risk of fire hazards that are often associated with traditional wood-burning fireplaces.

The straightforward installation process makes it a hassle-free solution for those looking to upgrade their fireplace without the need for extensive renovations or maintenance. Opting for an electric insert is a smart choice for those seeking a cost-effective, safe, and user-friendly heating solution.

Materials Needed for Building a Faux Fireplace with Electric Insert

To build a faux fireplace with an electric insert, you will require specific materials and tools for installation. These include plywood or MDF board, the electric fireplace insert itself, trim, moulding, paint or stain, and essential tools like a saw, drill, and hammer.

Plywood or MDF board serves as the base structure for the fireplace, providing stability and support for the insert. The electric fireplace insert is the heart of the installation, creating the realistic flame effects and customizable heat settings. Trim and moulding add a decorative touch, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the faux fireplace. Paint or stain allows you to personalize the finish to complement your existing decor.

The saw is crucial for cutting the wood to the required dimensions, while the drill and hammer are essential for assembly and securing components in place.

Plywood or MDF Board

The choice of plywood or MDF board for your faux fireplace provides a sturdy base for the structure. These materials allow for a faux finish to be applied, showcasing your woodworking skills and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the final design.

By opting for plywood or MDF, you ensure that your faux fireplace not only looks visually appealing but is also built to withstand the test of time. The smooth and consistent surface of these materials makes them ideal for achieving a seamless faux finish, whether you prefer a rustic wood appearance or a sleek modern look. With proper preparation and application techniques, plywood and MDF can transform into a canvas for your creativity, allowing you to experiment with various finishes and textures to achieve the desired effect.

Electric Fireplace Insert

The electric fireplace insert is the heart of your faux fireplace, offering adjustable heat settings, realistic logs, and the convenience of remote control operation. This component ensures a cozy ambiance with modern functionality in your living space.

With its various heat settings, you can easily adjust the temperature to suit your comfort level, whether you want a gentle warmth or a more intense heat.

The realistic logs create a lifelike appearance, adding a touch of natural charm to your room.

The remote control feature allows you to conveniently operate the fireplace from anywhere in the room, making it even easier to create the perfect atmosphere for relaxation or entertainment.

Trim and Moulding

Adding trim and moulding to your faux fireplace provides a polished look and enhances the overall design. These elements play a crucial role in the surround design of the fireplace, offering finishing touches that elevate the visual impact of the installation.

Trim and moulding not only serve as decorative elements but also help in defining the boundaries of the fireplace, creating a focal point in the room. The intricate details and designs in the trim add an extra layer of sophistication and charm, making the faux fireplace a standout feature in any space. The combination of different trim profiles and moulding styles allows for customization, enabling you to match the surround design to the existing decor of your home.

Paint or Stain

Applying the right paint or stain to your faux fireplace is essential for achieving the desired aesthetic appeal and complementing your interior design style. The choice of color and finish can transform the fireplace into a focal point of the room.

The color of the paint or stain you choose plays a crucial role in setting the tone of the room. A light, neutral shade can create a sense of airiness and openness, while a darker hue adds depth and coziness. The finish of the paint or stain, whether matte, glossy, or textured, can further impact the overall aesthetic. It’s important to consider the existing color scheme and style of your space to ensure that the fireplace integrates seamlessly and enhances the overall design.


Having the right tools, including a saw, drill, and hammer, is crucial for the step-by-step assembly process of building your faux fireplace. These tools ensure precision and efficiency in completing each stage of the installation.

In the initial stages, the saw plays a vital role in cutting the materials to the required dimensions for the frame and mantel of the fireplace.

The drill assists in making holes for screws and anchors, securing the structure in place.

Meanwhile, the hammer is indispensable for nailing and assembling the various components together.

Each tool contributes uniquely to the assembly process, ensuring that the faux fireplace is constructed with accuracy and durability. As you progress through each step, these tools will prove indispensable in achieving a professional-looking end result.

Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Faux Fireplace with Electric Insert

Creating a faux fireplace with an electric insert involves a meticulous design process and following a detailed step-by-step guide. Each stage of the construction contributes to the final design, ensuring a functional and visually appealing result.

The initial step in the process centers around selecting the ideal location for your faux fireplace. Consider aspects like room layout, heating efficiency, and aesthetic appeal when finalizing the design.

Next, gather the necessary materials such as faux stone panels, wood for framing, and the electric insert. Following the step-by-step guide, begin by framing the structure and securing it in place. Carefully install the support elements, ensuring stability.

As you progress, pay attention to details like mantel design, placement of the insert, and finishing touches to complete the stylish transformation of your space.

Remember, Dreifuss Fireplaces has all of your answers for installation, repair, maintenance, and inspection. Contact Dreifuss to schedule your service today!

Step 1: Measure and Plan

The initial step in building a faux fireplace is to measure and plan the installation, considering the room transformation and the creative aspects of the project. Accurate measurements and detailed planning are essential for a successful outcome.

This meticulous approach ensures that the faux fireplace fits seamlessly into the room’s layout, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.

By thoroughly planning out the project, you can explore various design options and materials, allowing you to unleash your creativity and personalize the fireplace to suit your style.

The process of measuring and planning not only sets the foundation for a structurally sound installation but also sets the stage for a truly unique and inspiring room transformation.

Step 2: Cut and Assemble the Frame

Cutting and assembling the frame of your faux fireplace allows for a custom-made design and the incorporation of unique features. This step is pivotal in shaping the structure and ensuring a personalized touch to the installation.

By meticulously measuring and cutting the wood or chosen material to fit the dimensions of your space, you lay the foundation for a fireplace that perfectly complements your décor. Assembling the frame with precision ensures stability and durability, key factors in the longevity of your faux fireplace. This process presents an ideal opportunity to infuse personal touches, such as intricate carvings, decorative moldings, or specific finishes, reflecting your style and individuality in every detail.

Step 3: Attach the Plywood or MDF Board

Attaching the plywood or MDF board forms the structure of the faux fireplace, offering versatility in design and a customized look. This step sets the foundation for the overall appearance and functionality of the installation.

By securely affixing the boards, you create a blank canvas to bring your design vision to life. Whether you opt for sleek modern lines or a more traditional style, the choice is yours. The flexibility in material allows for intricate detailing or minimalist elegance, catering to your preferred aesthetic.

The precision in attaching the boards ensures a sturdy base for any finishing touches you wish to add, such as paint, tiles, or mantel decor. This pivotal stage in the construction process truly gives you the freedom to personalize your faux fireplace according to your unique taste.

Step 4: Install the Electric Fireplace Insert

Installing the electric fireplace insert is a key step in creating a faux fireplace with a minimalist style and significant visual impact. This component enhances the ambiance of the room and serves as a focal point in the design.

Once the electric fireplace insert is secured into place, it effortlessly transforms the space, radiating warmth and charm. The sleek design of the insert complements the room’s aesthetic, making it an eye-catching feature that draws attention and admiration.

The soft glow emanating from the flames creates a cozy atmosphere, perfect for relaxing or entertaining guests. Its seamless integration into the existing decor adds a touch of modern sophistication, elevating the overall appeal of the room. With its easy installation process, the electric fireplace insert offers not just heat, but also style and substance to the room.

Step 5: Add Trim and Moulding

Incorporating trim and moulding around the faux fireplace creates a cozy nook or corner within the room, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and cozy atmosphere. These finishing touches complete the design and add a unique feature to the space.

The addition of trim and moulding to the faux fireplace installation not only defines the boundaries of the fireplace but also elevates the overall look of the room. The intricate details and ornate designs of the trim can bring a touch of elegance and sophistication to the space. The moulding can create visual interest and depth, making the fireplace stand out as a focal point. Together, these elements contribute to a warm and inviting ambiance, transforming the area into a charming haven perfect for relaxation and unwinding.

Step 6: Paint or Stain the Faux Fireplace

Applying the chosen paint or stain to the faux fireplace provides an elegant touch and creates a captivating display in the room. The color selection and finish contribute to the overall aesthetic and appeal of the fireplace design.

It is essential to carefully consider the color and finish options when painting or staining a faux fireplace as they play a significant role in enhancing the space’s visual appeal.

A bold color choice can make a statement, drawing attention to the fireplace as a focal point in the room, while a softer hue can create a more calming and inviting atmosphere.

The choice of finish, whether matte, glossy, or textured, can add depth and sophistication to the design, further elevating its overall look.

Tips for Maintenance and Safety

Ensuring the maintenance and safety of your faux fireplace with an electric insert is essential for home improvement and peace of mind. Regular cleaning, safety checks, and following manufacturer’s instructions are key to maintaining a safe and functional heating option.

To start, make it a habit to clean the fireplace regularly to prevent any buildup of dust or debris that could pose a fire hazard. Clearing out the inside of the insert and wiping down the exterior can help ensure proper functioning. Schedule routine safety checks to inspect the wiring, heating elements, and overall condition of the fireplace. By staying proactive and attentive to these maintenance tasks, you can enjoy a cozy and safe ambiance in your home.

Clean the Electric Insert Regularly

Regular cleaning of the electric insert in your faux fireplace not only maintains energy efficiency but also ensures optimal heat distribution throughout the room. This simple maintenance task enhances the longevity and performance of the heating source.

Cleaning the electric insert helps prevent dust and debris buildup, which can obstruct airflow and reduce the fireplace’s ability to generate heat effectively. By clearing out any accumulated dirt, you can maximize the unit’s efficiency, leading to lower energy consumption and cost savings.

A clean insert promotes even heat distribution, preventing cold spots in the room and ensuring consistent warmth. This regular upkeep is essential to keep your faux fireplace functioning at its best, extending its lifespan and providing reliable warmth during colder months.

Keep the Area Around the Faux Fireplace Clear

Maintaining a clear area around the faux fireplace ensures both safety and aesthetic appeal. Consider the placement of decor accessories and wall positioning to enhance the overall design while preventing any obstructions to the heat source.

Decor accessories such as framed artwork, candles, or decorative vases can complement the faux fireplace without overcrowding the space. By strategically positioning these items on nearby shelves or mantels, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing ambiance. Ensuring that furniture and other objects are placed at a safe distance from the heat source not only prevents potential fire hazards but also allows for efficient heat distribution throughout the room.

Check for Loose or Damaged Parts

Regularly inspecting the faux fireplace for loose or damaged parts allows for timely repairs and maintenance. Consider an innovative upcycling approach to repurpose any materials and ensure the continued functionality of the installation.

Carefully examining the different components of the faux fireplace, such as the mantle, surround, and inserts, can help identify any issues that may arise over time. Loose screws or cracked panels should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.

By incorporating an upcycling strategy, you can transform old or worn-out parts into new, creative elements for your fireplace. This sustainable method not only extends the life of your installation but also adds a unique touch to your home décor.

Embracing this eco-friendly practice promotes resourcefulness and reduces waste, making your faux fireplace both functional and environmentally conscious.

Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions for Use

Adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of your faux fireplace ensures proper installation and operation. Consequently, this prioritizes safety features and electrical safety. Following these guidelines is essential for enjoying a safe and efficient heating option.

By carefully following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, individuals can guarantee that their faux fireplace is set up correctly, thereby reducing the risk of potential hazards.

Whether it is ensuring that the unit is placed at a safe distance from flammable materials or understanding how to operate the safety features effectively, these guidelines play a crucial role in creating a secure environment for enjoying the warmth and ambiance of the fireplace.

Observing the recommended electrical safety measures outlined by the manufacturer is key in preventing any electrical issues, making sure that the fireplace operates smoothly and efficiently.

Alternative Ideas for Building a Faux Fireplace with Electric Insert

Exploring alternative ideas for constructing a faux fireplace with an electric insert allows for room enhancement and versatile design options. Consider incorporating pre-made mantels, built-in designs, shelves, or decorative elements to customize and elevate the project.

Adding a touch of elegance to the faux fireplace project could involve choosing a pre-made mantel featuring intricate carvings or a sleek modern design.

Built-in designs offer a seamless look, blending the fireplace seamlessly into the room’s architecture. Shelves provide both functionality and aesthetic appeal, allowing for the display of personal items or décor accents.

Introducing unique decorative elements can further enhance the visual appeal and create a focal point in the space. Decorative elements include ornate trims, stones, or faux brick

Use a Pre-made Mantel

Incorporating a pre-made mantel in your faux fireplace design offers convenience and quick installation. As a result, it is complemented by ambient lighting and hearth accessories. This alternative approach provides an elegant touch and simplifies the project.

The pre-made mantel’s convenient design saves you time and effort. This allows for a hassle-free setup without the need for complex carpentry work.

The ambient lighting feature adds a cozy, inviting atmosphere to your space. This creates a warm and welcoming ambiance.

The mantel’s compatibility with various hearth accessories enhances its functionality. It allows you to personalize and decorate your faux fireplace according to your preferences.

This all-in-one solution not only elevates the aesthetic appeal of your room. It also ensures a seamless and efficient installation process.

Create a Built-in Faux Fireplace

Opting for a built-in faux fireplace transforms the project into a retrofit opportunity. This is ideal for home renovation and adding a decorative feature. This approach seamlessly integrates the design with existing elements for a cohesive and stylish upgrade.

Rather than opting for a traditional fireplace installation, a built-in faux fireplace offers a cost-effective and efficient solution. This is perfect for those seeking to enhance the ambiance of their living space. The beauty of this retrofit project lies in its flexibility. It allows homeowners to customize the design to suit their preferences and complement the overall aesthetic of their home. By seamlessly blending with the existing elements the faux fireplace becomes a focal point. It adds warmth and character to the room. Existing elements can items like furniture, or built-in shelves.

Incorporate Shelves or Storage Space

Including shelves or storage space in your faux fireplace design adds functionality and enhances the cozy atmosphere of the room. These additions serve both practical and decorative purposes, offering a creative solution for room decor.

By incorporating shelves or storage compartments into your faux fireplace, you not only create additional space. You also enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the room. Shelves and compartments allow for displaying cherished décor pieces or storing essential items

The shelves can be utilized to showcase family photos, art pieces, or even plants. This adds a personalized touch to the space.

The storage space within the faux fireplace allows for tidying up clutter. It allows for maintaining a neat and organized environment while maximizing the room’s functionality.

Add Decorative Elements (e.g. faux stone, tiles, etc.)

Enhancing your faux fireplace with decorative elements provides a transformative effect and contributes to a room makeover. Decorative elements include faux stone or brick. These additions create visual interest and elevate the design with a touch of sophistication.

The incorporation of faux stone or brick can completely alter the ambiance of a space. They infuse it with a sense of warmth and character. By mimicking the look of traditional masonry, these elements add depth and texture to your faux fireplace. This makes it a focal point that commands attention. The versatility of these decorative elements allows you to tailor the aesthetic to suit your personal style and desired atmosphere. This is true whether you opt for a rustic stone finish or a modern brick facade,

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a faux fireplace?

A faux fireplace is a decorative piece that mimics a real fireplace. It uses an electric insert for realistic flames and heat, enhancing room decor without maintenance like cleaning ashes.

2. Why choose an electric insert?

An electric insert is energy-efficient, safe, and easy to install. It provides reliable heating with modern features like adjustable heat and brightness, making it a convenient choice.

3. What materials are needed for building a faux fireplace with an electric insert?

You need plywood or MDF board, and an electric fireplace insert. You also need trim, moulding, paint or stain, and tools like a saw, drill, and hammer. These materials help create the structure and design of the fireplace.

4. How do you build a faux fireplace with an electric insert?

First, measure and plan your design. Next, cut and assemble the frame. Then, attach plywood or MDF board for structure. Install the electric insert. Finally, add trim and moulding for detail, and finish with paint or stain.

5. What are some tips for maintaining and ensuring the safety of a faux fireplace?

Clean the electric insert regularly, and keep the area around the fireplace clear. Also, check for loose or damaged parts, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. These steps ensure efficient and safe operation.

6. Can you provide alternative ideas for building a faux fireplace?

Consider using a pre-made mantel for ease, or creating a built-in design for a seamless look. Think about incorporating shelves for functionality, or adding decorative elements like faux stone or tiles for style.

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