A DIY Shiplap Electric Fireplace

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For years I have wanted a floor to ceiling fireplace. When we moved into our new house it had a large, empty wall. It was perfect for my dream fireplace DIY project! Except for one thing. The angled ceiling. I found a few fireplace builds that I loved, like this one. But I couldn’t find any that had angled ceilings. I was afraid it was going to be a little more complicated than I was ready for. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it’d be!

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Taping off the Fireplace

The first thing you want to do is prep and design your space for the fireplace. Everyone has a different room structure. You don’t want the fireplace to take up too much space on the wall, but you also don’t want it to look dinky either. We also used the dimensions of the electric fireplace insert we bought to determine the dimensions of the build. We purchased the PuraFlame 32 inch electric fireplace insert. I have been so happy with this fireplace. We have another electric fireplace downstairs that was part of our TV console, but is looked horribly fake and stopped blowing air within a year. I would definitely buy another puraflame. I mean, it’s not going to fool anyone that it is real, but it’s the most realistic electric fireplace I’ve seen.

So with the width of the fireplace insert being 32″ we decided on a total fireplace width of about 5 feet wide.

Taping off the fireplace

At this point you’ll also want to decide how deep you want the fireplace. The electric fireplace we used was about 8 inches deep. I decided to give it about 7 inches of extra space behind it to give it some room to breathe, so my total depth was 15 inches.

Set up your Base

You likely won’t have studs where you need them to screw your framing into the wall. Neither did we. So we screwed some 1×6 boards into the studs to use as anchors for the framing.

Anchor boards screwed to studs

Framing the sides with an angled ceiling

To get the angle of the ceiling I held a 2×4 flush with the ceiling, perpendicular to the wall. I held another 2×4 against the first 2×4 and drew a line to mark the angle it formed. It was not at all mathematical, but it did the job! I cut two 2x4s at one end with that angle and framed up a box. I added braces in the middle and voila! Not at all as complicated as I expected. I screwed the two sides to the 1×6 boards on the wall and the sides of the fireplace was framed!

Side framing
The two sides are framed and ready to go! My brother helped us wire another outlet that would eventually be installed behind the TV.

Framing the base of the electric fireplace insert

The next step was to build the base that the fireplace insert would sit on. I didn’t have a photo of just the base, but hopefully you can get the idea from the photo below. The base was just another framed box, similar to the sides. I measure the distance between the two side studs and fit the box to those measurements. You can see a second box in the back, secured to the primary base. I wanted it doubled up so there was a firm base for the insert. I debated for a long time, but eventually I chose to have the insert sit about 14 inches off the ground.

The frame for the base that the insert will sit on.

Framing the fireplace insert

To frame the fireplace insert I built the side and top studs to fit the insert snug around the insert.

Framing in the fireplace insert

Add Final Studs

Adding the final studs was a little tricky. First I had to match the pitch of the ceiling. I brought in a stud, held it up to the ceiling and marked the lines to get the width and angles all in one. Sorry it’s not more academic, but that was the easiest way I could do it. I built the frame on the ground. Because I had 4 studs hanging from one top plate, it made bringing it in the house and setting it up super awkward. But we made it work after a try or two (I have no idea how it happened but I ended up with one stud shorter than the rest and somehow I didn’t notice until we got it in the room. What can I say? Mom of small children who distract me).

Final framing

Next we added some 2x6s we had laying around (you could use scrap 2x4s) between the center studs so that no matter what kind of tv mount we ended up purchasing we would have something to screw it into without having to worry about where the studs are. It just makes mounting the tv later so much easier!

Adding the Shiplap

It’s that exciting time when the fireplace starts to take on a finished look. Adding the shiplap! I started at the bottom on the front of the fireplace. Make sure your first board is level! You don’t want everything crooked all the way up! And keep making sure you’re level all the way up. It’s amazing how all of a sudden you can realize that you’re somehow not level anymore!

Adding shiplap to the fireplace
Adding shiplap to the fireplace
Getting closer!!!

Add the trim

I based a lot of the bones of this build off of what I learned from Micheala Diane Designs. For some reason she recommended a wood board for the top trim. I thought there must have been a reason for it (and maybe there still is) so I added wood boards as the top trim. If I was to do it over again I would just use the same MDF trim I used for the rest of the fireplace. The last step before the mantel was fill the holes with putty, sand and paint!

Adding trim to the Fireplace

Building the Mantel

The fireplace mantel was a pretty quick project. First I cut an 8 foot 1×6 board in half. Then I nailed them to a 1×8 board that I also cut to 4 feet. I added the end piece to form a box. This box would slid onto an anchor that was screwed to the studs behind the shiplap. To make the anchor I used what I already had. I’m a big fan of using up scrap pieces where I can! I cut a 2×4 stud to fit just inside the box. Then I screwed in three 2×6 scraps from the back of the stud. I decided how high I wanted the mantel to sit and screwed the anchor into the studs. After staining the mantel I was able to slide it right onto the anchor. At that point you would want to screw the mantel to the boards.

Mantel box with anchor snugly fit inside
Anchoring for a mantel box

Step back and enjoy your work!

Once I got the mantel on it was so satisfying to stand back and appreciate what I had just done. If I’m totally honest this DIY project was in the top 3 of my all time favorite builds, right along there with the playhouse I built (which I will hopefully be able to post soon!) and the puzzle table I designed, which you can find here.

Halloween decorated fireplace mantel
My favorite part about having a fireplace with a mantel is decorating it!!

I hope you have been inspired to get out there and build something. I’d love to know what you think!

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  1. Jan | 5th Sep 22

    What a great use of the empty wall. I love the shiplap and the mantle.

    • cayles | 5th Sep 22

      Thank you so much!

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