Check out this DIY faux fireplace with an electric insert. We had a contractor remove the exterior double doors and install a faux electric fireplace.
This project has been a long time coming. When we first purchased the house in 2018 we always knew we wanted to remove the double doors in the living room and add a real fireplace. The question was, should it be a fake fireplace or a real one?
What we really wanted was a large wood burning fireplace, but we didn’t have 15K-20K to spare. And yes, a real wood-burning fireplace (not an insert) will be a huge extra cost. We figured the next best thing would be a real looking stone fireplace with an electric fireplace insert (gas inserts weren’t an option because our home is all electric). So after the poor double doors began to rot, I knew it was time to pull the trigger and get my very own fireplace. I couldn’t wait to remove the double doors and create a blank wall for our electric fireplace.
These double doors served a purpose for a handful of years until they began to rot out. Our little town endured a very strong hurricane in 2020 and we had quite a bit of water come in through the door. Needless to say it caused a wee bit of wood rot years later. I knew replacing the double doors was a great way to repurpose this space with something I always wanted.
This DIY fireplace project wasn’t completed all on my own. I did hire out most of it (Lance Wilder Renovations), but I of course took pictures along the way. I can’t wait to show you how the fireplace really creates a focal point to the room now. Since this isn’t my DIY I won’t be sharing step-by-step instructions but rather simple steps with pictures of how we transformed this room with a cozy look.
Below are the doors that we had removed. Here is an inside shot.
Now here’s a few pictures from the outside looking in. Sorry about the lighting, it was a sunny day and we have loads of trees.
Like I said, we hired out the removal of the doors. I love to DIY, but I know my limits, LOL.
They moved really quickly and closed up this space within a few days. He did have to install an electrical outlet too.
Removing the double doors and closing the wall in
They started by taking the trim off of the inside of the doors.
Can you see the old garage doors that they cut to create this double door opening? Lovely, LOL.
The Electric Fireplace Mantle Insert
I looked high and low for a top rated and affordable fireplace insert box. I chose the PuraFlame Klaus Electric Fireplace Insert from Amazon. It got amazing reviews, came with a remote, had faux logs, and even crackling sounds too. It has such a cozy feel too.
You can see more awesome and high rated electric fireplace inserts here too.
If you notice we did have durock installed because I knew I wanted to install regular rock on the fireplace. I looked long and hard for faux brick that would look like real brick, but I didn’t find any faux fireplace ideas I liked as much as the real stone or real brick.
Since the front piece of the fireplace with durock wasn’t recessed at all, I had to look for a rock or brick that didn’t stick out too much. I found an awesome deal on Facebook Marketplace for some stacked stone that I liked that fit what I needed.
There are tons of different options when it comes to stone or brick, you just need to find what works for your space. The trouble I ran into when searching for stone is most places required a minimum purchase. Normally the minimum was waaaaaayyy more money and product that I needed. That’s why finding the stone of FB marketplace really worked out. It was just enough for our little DIY idea. After all, I only needed to cover half of the fireplace wall, not the entire fireplace wall.
I also looked around at fireplace mantels and found one that fit what I wanted on Urbandi. I ordered the distressed mantel in the color provincial. It’s a faux mantel that floats in front of the fireplace and above the insert. When I was looking for a mantel, I looked for something with much character that would match our other exposed beams and the rest of the room. This was a perfect fit.
By the way, if you are looking for more DIY fireplace ideas, check out some more below;
Now let’s discuss the stone. Like I said I got it on facebook marketplace but it came from a stone store called Acme Brick. It’s from the manufacturer Horizon Stone from their Ledgestone line in the color Hickory.
I did have our contractor apply the stone as well. He started by making a template of the space around the faux fireplace with a cardboard box on a flat surface. Then we worked on filling it in with the pattern of rock that fit the best. We figured this was an easy way to get a good idea what it would look like. I could finally see this cozy space coming together!
You can see we laid it out to make sure we were happy with the placement. Next our contractor used a grout mix to apply it to the durock. You can see he installed the mantel first and then cut the stone and applied it around the mantel.
I was OK with the way it looked, but because I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to tweak it a bit. I didn’t love how the stones were stacked straight on each side of the fireplace insert. So I removed a few of them and replaced them with two stones to create variety.
You can see where I started experimenting with the grout in certain places (and making some mistakes). I took a hammer to a few of the stones too, LOL. I ended up using a crow bar to remove a few of the stones to replace them with other stones I thought looked better.
I also wanted to fill in the grout. Once I was happy with the stone placement, I bought some grout. So here goes another project!
I’m not going to lie, this was such a messy project and I went in blindly not knowing what I was doing.
I started with a grout float tool and tried to apply lots of grout over the stones hoping to pack it into the crevices. Because the stones aren’t flat, it just didn’t work. Next I took a small plastic putty knife to see if this worked better….maybe a little but not much.
Finally I put on gloves and got my hands dirty. I quickly found that using my fingers worked the best to push grout in between the stones because of the tiny little crevices and spaces. Once I placed the grout where I wanted it, I quickly took a large damp sponge and sponged the surface to not only “whitewash” the face of the stones, but to also smooth out the grout in between.
I could finally see my vision coming to life! Check out the video to see all the over-grouted details!
Now for the finishing touches for this faux fireplace mantel. I’ve been kicking around some ideas for the faux fireplace surround. Ideally I would love to put some bookshelves on this wall, but I’m going to put that on hold for right now.
I love how it looks! I never intended on changing the look of the original stone, but I do think it blends better with the tones of our rustic beach cottage.
You can see more of our living room with our hanging swing chair here.
I love how real this electric fireplace looks!
Thanks for following along with my fun DIY projects. This one was more of a hire-it-out project but ended up taking a DIY twist at the end.