How To Build A Fireplace Surround For An Electric Fireplace

A modern electric fireplace with a custom wood surround.

Looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your electric fireplace?

A fireplace surround could be the perfect solution!

We will discuss what a fireplace surround is, why you would want to build one, the materials and tools needed, how to measure and plan for your surround, and a step-by-step guide to building it.

Whether you prefer a wood, stone, tile, or metal surround, we have tips and tricks for a successful build. Let’s get started!

What Is a Fireplace Surround?

A fireplace surround is a decorative element that enhances the aesthetics and ambiance of a room, whether in a modern or traditional design.

It serves as a frame for the fireplace, adding a focal point that draws the eye and anchors the space.

The design of the surround can greatly impact the overall look and feel of the room, with options ranging from sleek and contemporary to ornate and classic.

By choosing the right materials like marble, wood, tile, or stone, you can create a cohesive style that complements the room’s decor.

Incorporating mantels, shelves, or intricate carvings into the surround can add personality and charm to the fireplace area, making it a standout feature in your home.

Why Would You Want to Build a Fireplace Surround?

Building a fireplace surround offers a rewarding DIY project that can significantly enhance your home’s aesthetics and cozy living room ambiance.

By adding a fireplace surround, you not only create a focal point in your living space but also upgrade the overall look and feel of the room.

The process allows for personalization, as you can choose materials, colors, and designs that match your style preferences.

It’s a project that not only adds value to your home but also provides an opportunity to showcase your creativity and craftsmanship.

With a well-designed fireplace surround, you can transform a plain fireplace into a statement piece that exudes warmth and character, making your home a more inviting and stylish place to relax and entertain.

What Materials Do You Need to Build a Fireplace Surround?

To build a fireplace surround, you may need materials such as wood, stone, tile, brick, or concrete, depending on the desired finish and style, be it custom, sleek, or minimalist.

Wood, with its warm and traditional appeal, is a popular choice for a cozy and inviting fireplace surround.

Stone offers a rustic and earthy look, perfect for a natural ambiance.

Tile provides a wide range of patterns and colors, allowing for intricate designs and personalization.

Brick brings a classic charm to the space, while concrete offers a contemporary and industrial aesthetic.

Each material can be tailored to achieve the desired aesthetic, whether it’s a sleek modern design or a more minimalistic style.


A wood material is a popular choice for fireplace surrounds, offering a traditional look and sturdy construction that complements the warmth of the hearth as a natural heat source.

These fireplace surrounds have a timeless allure that blends seamlessly with various interior styles, from rustic to modern, adding a touch of warmth and character to any room.

The durability of wood makes it a reliable option for long-term use, ensuring that your fireplace surround maintains its beauty and functionality over time.

The versatility of wood allows for customization in terms of finish and design, enabling homeowners to tailor the surround to their specific aesthetic preferences while enhancing the overall ambiance of the space.

Stone or Brick

Stone or brick fireplace surrounds create a modern and stylish focal point, enhancing the overall construction of the fireplace with their durable and eye-catching design.

Their sleek and contemporary aesthetic seamlessly integrates into various interior styles, from industrial lofts to minimalist spaces, adding a touch of warmth and character.

The natural textures and colors of stone or brick further enhance the visual appeal of the fireplace, making it a standout feature in any room.

The longevity and low maintenance of these materials make them a practical choice for homeowners looking to invest in a timeless yet modern fireplace surround.


Tile fireplace surrounds offer a decorative and stylish option for enhancing the fireplace construction, allowing for versatile styles and intricate assembly designs.

They are a popular choice for homeowners seeking to elevate the look of their fireplace with a touch of sophistication and customization.

The variety of tile options available, such as ceramic, glass, or natural stone, allows for endless design possibilities to suit any aesthetic preference.

From intricate mosaic patterns to sleek subway tiles, homeowners can create a unique focal point in their living space.

The assembly techniques for tile fireplace surrounds vary, including stacked, herringbone, or brick lay patterns, providing flexibility in achieving the desired visual impact.


Metal fireplace surrounds provide a sleek and custom look to the fireplace construction, offering efficiency in design and a modern aesthetic appeal.

These contemporary fire features not only elevate the ambiance of a space but also offer endless customization possibilities to suit individual preferences.

With clean lines and minimalist designs, metal fireplace surrounds effortlessly blend with various interior styles, whether it’s a chic urban loft or a cozy countryside retreat.

The versatility of metal allows for unique finishes like brushed stainless steel or matte black, catering to a wide range of personalized styles.

This modern approach to fireplace design adds a touch of sophistication and luxury to any home, making it a standout feature in the room.

What Tools Do You Need to Build a Fireplace Surround?

Building a fireplace surround requires essential tools such as measuring tape, saw, drill, level, and safety precautions to ensure accurate measurements and secure assembly.

Precise measurements are crucial in ensuring that all components fit seamlessly together.

When using the measuring tape, make sure to double-check your measurements to avoid any mistakes in cutting materials.

The saw and drill play a fundamental role in shaping the wood or stone elements that will form the surround.

Using a level during assembly is vital to guarantee the fireplace surround is perfectly straight.

Safety precautions, such as wearing proper eye protection and keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, are imperative to maintain a secure and efficient building process.

Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is an essential tool for accurately determining the dimensions required in the construction of a fireplace surround, ensuring precision and alignment.

It plays a crucial role in ensuring that every cut, angle, and joint is measured with precision, thereby reducing the margin for error during the construction process.

By using a measuring tape effectively, the builder can ensure that the fireplace surround fits perfectly within the designated space and aligns seamlessly with other elements of the room.

Precise measurements obtained through the use of a measuring tape contribute to the overall aesthetics and functionality of the fireplace surround, enhancing the final result and ensuring customer satisfaction.


A saw is a crucial tool for cutting materials during the construction of a fireplace surround, enabling precise cuts and shaping for the project.

It plays a vital role in ensuring that the pieces fit together seamlessly, whether it’s cutting the wooden mantel or shaping decorative trims for a polished finish.

The accuracy and versatility of a saw are essential for achieving the desired design and dimensions of the surround.

By using the right type of saw and following proper cutting techniques, builders can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the fireplace while maintaining structural integrity.

Proper handling and maintenance of the saw are crucial to ensure safety and optimum performance throughout the construction process.


A drill is essential for the assembly and installation of components in a fireplace surround, facilitating secure construction and efficient installation.

It plays a crucial role in ensuring that each piece fits together seamlessly, allowing for a precise and sturdy framework.

By using the drill to create pilot holes and secure screws or bolts, the various sections of the surround can be securely fastened together with ease.

This tool enables builders to adjust the positioning of components as needed before finalizing the installation, making the construction process more flexible and error-proof.

The drill aids in attaching embellishments or trim pieces to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the fireplace surround, creating a polished and professional finish.


A level is crucial for maintaining proper alignment and ensuring precision in the construction of a fireplace surround, guaranteeing a stable and visually appealing final product.

By utilizing a level, builders can ensure that each component of the fireplace surround is perfectly aligned, leading to a seamless construction process.

It plays a significant role in upholding the structural integrity of the surround, ensuring that it withstands the test of time.

The use of a level enhances the overall quality of the project, reflecting attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Without this tool, inconsistencies may arise, jeopardizing the final outcome.

Therefore, incorporating a level from the outset is essential for achieving professional results and creating a captivating focal point in any living space.

Hammer and Nails

Hammer and nails are essential tools for securing components during the assembly and construction of a fireplace surround, ensuring stability and durability.

The hammer is utilized to drive the nails into the wood or other materials, providing a strong bond between the different parts of the surround.

By firmly fastening these elements together, the structure gains integrity and robustness, reducing the risk of loosening over time.

The use of nails, strategically placed with precision by the hammer, also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the fireplace surround, giving it a professional finish.

This combination of functionality and visual appeal contributes to the long-term durability and stability of the fireplace surround.

How to Measure and Plan for Your Fireplace Surround

Measuring and planning for your fireplace surround involves several key steps.

First, take precise measurements. This ensures the surround fits perfectly within the designated space.

Consider dimensions, style preferences, and the final design during this phase.

Accurate measurements are crucial. They help avoid unnecessary modifications during the construction phase.

Detailed planning streamlines the process. It also helps identify potential challenges beforehand.

Incorporating solutions seamlessly becomes easier with proper planning.

By visualizing the final design, homeowners can see how different elements will come together.

This helps create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing fireplace surround.

This foresight aids in making informed decisions regarding materials, finishes, and overall style to achieve the desired outcome.

Measure the Dimensions of Your Fireplace

Measuring the dimensions of your fireplace is a critical step in the planning process for constructing a fireplace surround, ensuring accurate and tailored design for the project.

Taking precise measurements allows for a custom-fit fireplace surround that seamlessly integrates with the existing structure.

The accuracy of these dimensions is crucial in determining the materials needed and ensuring a smooth installation process.

By carefully assessing the width, height, and depth of the fireplace, you can create a surround that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the room but also functions efficiently.

Considering these measurements during the planning stage helps avoid costly mistakes and ensures a well-fitted, visually appealing fireplace surround.

Decide on the Style and Design of Your Surround

Choosing the style and design of your fireplace surround allows you to customize the aesthetics, finish, and overall look of the project.

This ensures it suits your preferences and home decor.

By selecting the right style, you can enhance the focal point of your living space.

This creates a welcoming ambiance.

Whether you opt for a sleek modern design, a rustic traditional look, or a timeless classic style, your choice will play a significant role.

It sets the tone for the entire room.

The finish you choose is also important.

Whether it’s polished marble, natural stone, or rustic brick, the finish can further enhance the fireplace’s appeal.

It ties in with the existing elements of your home.

Every home is unique.

Your fireplace surround should be a reflection of your personal style and taste.

This makes it a customized piece that adds character and charm to your living space.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Fireplace Surround

First, gather the necessary materials such as plywood, wood boards, screws, nails, and paint or stain.

Measure and cut the plywood according to the dimensions of your fireplace.

Next, construct the frame by assembling the plywood pieces to form the base structure.

Secure the frame using screws and reinforce the corners for stability.

Then, attach the surround materials like brick veneer, stone tiles, or wood paneling to the frame using adhesive or fasteners, ensuring they are evenly placed.

Add the finishing touches by caulking any gaps, painting or staining the surround to your desired color, and decorating with mantel accessories.

Prepare the Materials and Tools

Preparing the materials and tools is the initial step in building a fireplace surround, ensuring that all necessary components are ready for construction and assembly.

This crucial phase sets the foundation for a successful project execution.

Organized setup of materials such as bricks, mortar, wood panels, and tools like saws, levels, and drills is key to a seamless construction process.

Efficient project management ensures timely completion and avoids unnecessary delays.

Having everything in place before starting ensures a smooth workflow and minimizes interruptions.

Proper readiness of construction materials and tools also enhances safety on-site, allowing for a focused and productive work environment.

Build the Frame

Constructing the frame is a foundational step in building a fireplace surround.

This step requires precision, stability, and effective assembly techniques for a strong base structure.

The frame serves as the backbone of the entire fireplace surround project.

It ensures structural integrity and stability for the final installation.

Proper assembly techniques are crucial in creating a durable foundation.

These techniques include using accurate measurements and securely fastening the frame components together.

By meticulously constructing the frame, builders can guarantee correct alignment for the rest of the surround components.

This alignment ensures that all components function harmoniously to create a visually appealing and functional centerpiece in any living space.

Attention to detail in frame construction also facilitates the seamless integration of finishing materials.

This integration enhances the overall aesthetics of the fireplace surround.

Attach the Surround Materials

Attaching the surround materials is a crucial step in fireplace surround construction.

This step requires attention to detail, proper alignment, and skillful assembly for a polished finish.

Craftsmanship plays a vital role in the process.

Each piece of material needs to be precisely placed and secured.

This ensures a seamless integration with the overall design.

Meticulous attention is given to the edges and corners.

Joints are made flawless and transitions smooth.

Achieving a refined finish involves the physical attachment of materials.

It also involves finesse in blending different textures and colors harmoniously.

The final result is a fireplace surround that exudes elegance.

This enhances the aesthetic appeal of the space.

Finishing Touches and Installation of the Electric Fireplace

Completing the finishing touches and installing the electric fireplace are the final steps in fireplace surround construction.

These steps enhance the overall decor and functionality of the space.

By adding elements such as decorative molding, a mantel shelf, and intricate tile work around the electric fireplace, the space can truly come to life.

These additions create a focal point in the room that exudes warmth and charm.

Integrating the fireplace seamlessly into the surround enhances the aesthetic appeal.

It also ensures that the functionality of the unit is optimized.

These final touches play a crucial role in finalizing the project.

They allow for optimal decor and ambiance to be achieved in the space.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Fireplace Surround Build

For a successful fireplace surround build, incorporating tips and tricks such as efficient construction techniques and adequate ventilation can enhance the overall project quality and functionality.

Efficiency in construction can be achieved by using high-quality materials and precise measurements during the building process.

Proper ventilation is crucial to not only ensure optimal performance of the fireplace but also to maintain indoor air quality.

When designing the surround, consider the layout of the room to allow for proper airflow around the fireplace.

Following safety guidelines for clearances around the fireplace and chimney can prevent any potential hazards.

By paying attention to these details, you can make sure that your fireplace surround build is not only aesthetically pleasing but also efficient and safe for use.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a fireplace surround?

A fireplace surround is a decorative frame that enhances the look of a room by adding style and character. It serves as a focal point and can be made from various materials such as wood, stone, tile, or metal. As a result, it fits modern or traditional designs.

2. Why would you want to build a fireplace surround?

Building a fireplace surround can significantly improve the aesthetic appeal of your living space. It allows for customization to match your decor style and adds a cozy, inviting ambiance to the room. This DIY project can also increase the value of your home.

3. What materials do you need to build a fireplace surround?

To build a fireplace surround, you may need materials like wood, stone, tile, or metal. Material depends on the style you want to achieve. Each material offers different aesthetic and functional benefits, such as durability and ease of maintenance.

4. What tools are necessary to build a fireplace surround?

Essential tools for building a fireplace surround include a measuring tape, saw, drill, level, hammer, and nails. These tools help ensure that the measurements are accurate and the materials are securely assembled.

5. How do you measure and plan for your fireplace surround?

Start by measuring the dimensions of your fireplace to ensure the surround fits correctly. Decide on the design and style that best complements your room’s decor. Planning involves sketching the design, choosing materials, and determining the necessary tools and steps for the build.

6. What are some tips and tricks for a successful fireplace surround build?

For a successful build, use high-quality materials and follow precise measurements. Ensure proper ventilation around the fireplace to maintain safety and air quality. Utilize efficient construction techniques and adhere to safety guidelines to achieve a professional and durable result.

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