Family Room Makeover Part 2: Framing Out the Fireplace

So 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.  The bookcases needed to be installed first 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.  I also found that Layla from The Lettered Cottage did an amazing fireplace makeover for a friend that 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 not extend 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 since my wall was so larger.  I also added a chunky wood mantel like Layla’s, but without the corbels. And we both use the same AirStone for the fireplace but mine extended from the bottom all the way to the top of the ceiling while Layla did some planking above the mantel.

So here is the process.

Step 1:  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.

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 hearth metal

tile fireplace hearth

The first issue was that the fireplace hearth wasn’t wide enough.  I needed to do something to widen it or else it would look strange with the fireplace extending beyond that.  I debated finding some sort of tile border but in the end I decided to add wood instead.  I am so glad I did.  It looks awesome and picks up on the wood in the mantel.  So the first thing we had to do was the 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: Cut out wood to extend the fireplace hearth.

wood fireplace hearth

I used 1” x 4” pine wood around the tile and mitered it in the corners.  I did have to run the wood through my table saw to thin it out just a hair so that it was the same thickness as the tile.

fireplace hearth wood

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

wood fireplace hearth DIY

Step 4: 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 since 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 about the DIY Wood Mantel.

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

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  1. Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says:

    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!

    • 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?

    • BeckieFarrant says:

      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.

  3. Fabulous redo. Love the watching the transformation take shape.

  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.?

    • 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.

  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!!


    • 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.

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

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