buildingafireplacesurroundinstone2 thumb

Today is Fireplace Framing time. Yesterday I left you with some Billy Bookcases from IKEA built, and secured to the wall. Now we are able to start the fireplace makeover preparations.

We had to install the bookcases first (see picture below). So that we could get an accurate measurement for how wide the fireplace would be.

ikea built-in shelves

Yesterday I showed you my inspiration picture for my makeover. Then found that Layla from The Lettered Cottage did an amazing fireplace makeover for a friend. That one also became my inspiration.

I ended up using the same stone as Layla as well the same BILLY bookcases from IKEA. Although I used two more than she did.

Rustic Modern Contemporary Living Room

I decided to bump out the fireplace surround a bit like Layla. But without extending it all the way to the fireplace like she did.

I wanted to leave a little bit because I was afraid the fireplace would look lost if I didn’t. The living room is so larger. I also added a chunky fireplace mantel made of wood like Layla’s, but without the corbels.

And we both use the same AirStone for the fireplace. Mine extended from the bottom all the way to the top of the ceiling. Layla’s did some planking above the mantel.

How to Frame Out the Fireplace : Full Tutorial

So here is the installation process.

Step 1 – Remove the Old Stuff

Remove the existing tiles and mantel from the wall. Although the picture above shows them gone already I wanted to show you the process. Basically a lot of tugging, and prying but not instructions needed.

reomoving fireplace tile
getting rid of fireplace tile

This tore up the wall pretty good but the nice thing about the AirStone product is that you can adhere them right to the wall. Bonus!

Step 2 – Remove the Fireplace Metal

Remove the fireplace hearth metal.

tile fireplace hearth

The first issue was that the fireplace hearth wasn’t wide enough. I needed to do something to widen the dimensions or else it would look strange with the fireplace extending beyond that.

We debated finding some sort of tile border but in the end we added wood instead. I am so glad we did! It looks awesome and picks up on the wood in the mantel.

So the first thing we had to do was to remove the existing metal piece around the tile. This proved challenging.

In the end we just cut it off with my Rockwell Sonic Crafter tool with the metal blade. It worked like a charm.

rockwell sonic crafter

Step 3 – Fireplace Hearth

Cut out wood to extend the fireplace base.

I used 1″ x 4″ pine wood around the tile and mitered it in the corners.

We did have to run the wood through my table saw to thin it out just a hair. This way, it was the same thickness as the tile.

Note: The PVC pipe sticking out to the left houses all our TV cords.

wood fireplace hearth
fireplace hearth wood
wood fireplace hearth DIY

Step 4 – Side Boxes

Build boxes to build out the fireplace surround.

We ended up using 2 x 2″s, 1/2″ plywood and wood screws to build the boxes.

Actually they are just two sided boxes. We didn’t need to add plywood to the side or back because that would have been waste.

We made them 45″ tall and 13″ wide.

To attach them we screwed a 2″ x 2″ into the wall. And then air nailed another 2″ x 2″ into the bookcase.

Then we added the plywood halfbox front to that with wood screws.

building out the fireplace surround

Here is a close up so you can see what we did. The mantel will sit on top of these boxes.

fireplace surround DIY

So here is where we are at this point. I removed the hearth to stain it using Minwax Special Walnut .

fireplace surround stone
building a fireplace surround in stone

After the stain and Minwax Wipe-On Poly dried I air nailed the wood hearth in place.

wood hearth fireplace
built in stone fireplace

And now it is time to build the mantel and then add the stone to the fireplace surround.

Click here to continue reading the next chapter about the DIY Wood Mantel.

Can you frame around a fireplace?

As you can see with ours, yes, it is possible to frame around a fireplace. As a generic basic guide for eveybody, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the fireplace opening to determine the size of the frame that you will need to build.
  2. Cut the lumber to the appropriate length and width for the frame.
  3. Assemble the frame using nails or screws. Make sure that the frame is square and level.
  4. Install the frame around the fireplace opening, making sure that it is properly secured to the wall.
  5. Finish the framing as desired, such as by adding trim or drywall.

It is important to follow all safety precautions when framing around a fireplace.  You need to wear protective gear and take care not to damage any existing pipes or electrical wires.

It is also recommended to consult with a professional if you are unsure about any aspect of the process.

Can you use wood framing around a fireplace?

Yes, wood can be used as a framing material around a fireplace as we’ve done. Some common types of wood that are used for framing include lumber, such as pine, fir, or spruce. Or engineered wood products, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).

When using wood to frame around a fireplace, it is important to choose a wood that is suitable for the application.

For example, pine is a soft wood that may not be as strong or durable as other types of wood, while fir and spruce are stronger and more suitable for framing. Engineered wood products are also a good choice for framing because they are more stable and less likely to warp than solid wood.

It is also important to follow proper construction techniques. This includes using the correct size and type of fasteners, such as nails or screws. And also ensuring that the frame is square and level.

Overall, wood is a common and effective material for framing around a fireplace. But it has to be used properly and according to building codes and regulations.

How close can wood be to a fireplace?

The distance that wood can be placed near a fireplace depends on several factors. Such as the type of fireplace, the material of the wood, and the installation and use of safety measures.

In general, it is generally recommended to keep wood at least 36 inches away from a fireplace to prevent the risk of fire. Although again, there are other factors. For example, a traditional wood-burning fireplace may require a greater distance between the wood and the fireplace than a gas fireplace.

It is also important to consider the type of wood being used. Some types of wood, such as pine, are more flammable than others, such as oak or other hardwoods. As a result, it may be necessary to keep softer woods farther away from the fireplace. This to reduce the risk of fire.

Finally, it is important to use safety measures, such as a screen or glass doors in order to protect against stray sparks or embers from the fireplace.

Overall, it is important to follow building codes and manufacturer’s recommendations for any installation in general. Moreover when flames are involved to ensure the safety of your home and family.

And here are all the posts in this series for easy reference:

Family Room Makeover Part 1: Installing the IKEA Billy Bookcase Built-Ins

Family Room Makeover Part 2: Framing out the Fireplace

Family Room Makeover Part 3: Building a Hollow Rustic Mantel

Family Room Makeover Part 4: AirStone Fireplace Makeover

Family Room Makeover Part 5: Finishing Touches

Family Room Makeover Part 6: Styling the Built-ins

Similar Posts


  1. I love watching this transformation! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. Please explain the PVC pipe housing your tv cords! We are in the process of updating our 1970’s brick fireplace and are desperate for ideas on how to mount the tv above the fireplace without seeing all those ugly cords! Love your blog and your ideas – thanks!

  3. Well I wasn’t going to do a post on it since everyones is different. I have a basement with a drop down ceiling under the family room. So I mounted my TV with the Mantel Mount. Then I cut a hole in the wall and ran PVC pipe into the basement and threaded all the TV cords in that. I had to order a couple of 25 foot cables from Amazon. Then I ran more PVC pipe up through the floor in our family room. So the DVD player, direct tv and our amp sits on an end table. But the only way this was possible was because we were covering the wall with the brick (or else we would have a lot of drywalling to do) and then fact that we had a basement below. Since the fireplace was on an exterior wall we had to run it down. I hate cords but love the idea of the TV mounted because it doesn’t take up space in the room. What is your current set up?

  4. So what will you do with the cords if you ever replace your TV? Can you easily run them thru the PVC pipe again without messing up the new rock.?

  5. Thank you for posting this! We are about to put in a fireplace and any information I can find is very helpful! Are you going to post the rest of the installations? Please!!


  6. Hi Eileen, Sounds like an exciting project! I just posted how I built the mantel and will be sharing how to add the stone soon. Stay tuned! And please let me know if I can be of any other help.

  7. Hey, Girl! Yes, all the cords can be threaded through the PVC pipe. I left a washer tied to a string so we can fish new cords through it. Then there is a break in the pipe in the drop down ceiling in our basement. Then we run it up a new PVC pipe to the floor of our living room.

  8. Can you advise what depth your surrounds are? You mentioned 45″ tall 13″ wide but didn’t specify the depth. Thanks.

  9. Do you have a basement to drop them into? We literally have 2 I think 3″ PVC pipes that run behind our wall into our basement. We have a drop down ceiling up down there so we then brought them back up my drilling a hole in the floor under out touch and running it over to a side table.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *