How to Build a DIY Stone Fireplace

4 Materials
$1100
4 Days
Medium
From a blank wall…to a beautiful focal point

Have you ever looked at a blank space and thought that it needed something more? That was this wall. It was somewhat small with two windows and was the only place for the television to go in the room. So, naturally it seemed like the perfect place to add a fireplace.

The wall before…

The thought of building a fireplace might be intimidating, but if you can build a box, you can build this fireplace!


To get started, you will need:
Materials:
  • (1) 2″ x 12″ x 10′ for the hearth
  • (11) 2″ x 4″ x 10′ for framing
  • 1.5 sheets of 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ plywood
  • Tile (enough to cover your size surface)
  • (9) tubes of Liquid Mortar
  • Oak beam for the mantle
  • Salvaged wood for the hearth
  • Electric Fireplace Insert

Tools:
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Speed Square
  • Circular Saw
  • Tile Saw
  • Caulk Gun for Liquid Mortar

Directions:
Building the base:

To begin, we figured out how much space we wanted between the windows and the new fireplace. In our case, we wanted our fireplace to be 74″ wide (this will vary depending on your space and insert). We subtracted seven inches for the sides to be build out of 2x4s as well as 2 inches for the substrate and tile.


First, we cut two 2x4s down to 64″ long. Then we attached one board horizontally to the wall studs making sure it was level and was at the height that we wanted the mantel to sit on. Next, we attached the second board to the base of the wall making sure it was in line with the first board.

We had mounted our first 2x4s to the wall

Then, we used 2x4s to create two identical rectangles for the sides. We made sure that they were exactly the height of our mounted board. Also, we made sure that the fireplace insert had enough clearance per the instructions. Then, the rectangle boxes were attached to wall and the existing boards to create the sides.

The sides are just rectangles made out of 2x4s

We then built another square out of 2x4s to fit inbetween the sides as a front. Make sure it is square before attaching it.

You should have 3 boxes attached together to form the base frame.
Building the Upper Frame:

The homeowners wanted their fireplace to go all the way to the ceiling. So, we created another box using 2x4s making sure it was securely attached in the ceiling and to the wall studs.

The upper frame

Next, we added some extra supports to make hanging the television easy and solid.

Supports for the television
Framing the Insert:

Finally, it was time to frame in the fireplace insert. Be sure to follow your instructions for your fireplace. We simply attached some 2x4s to create the width we needed. Next, we added cross pieces for the insert to sit on top of.

We added 2x4s to support the fireplace insert on all sides.
Building the Hearth:

We were able to use just one 2×12 to create the hearth. One piece was attached on each end and then the front piece was attached.

The hearth was constructed out of a 2×12

Once the framing was done, it was finally starting to look like a fireplace.

Finished Framing
Finishing:

Now, the next steps really depend on what you want your finished fireplace to look like. At this point you could add shiplap, paneling, etc.


We had to add a backer board since we were using tile. Our particular tile allowed plywood as a substrate. Make sure to follow the recommendations for whichever product you use.

Plywood Wrapped Fireplace

Note: We did not wrap the hearth with plywood since the stone could adhere directly to the 2×12 frame.


We used a tile saw to cut the tile to the lengths we needed and used the caulk gun to apply the liquid mortar to the backs of the tile. This process was faster, cleaner and easier than having to use traditional mortar.

The stone tile going up

We sat an old barn beam on the base frame to create a mantle and the hearth top was some reclaimed barnwood that we sanded and stained. They were attached with glue and screws.

Finished Fireplace
Reclaimed Hearth
Before and After

I love the transformation!!! I hope this gives you the confidence to try it too!

Becky | Boxwood Design Co
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 12, 2021

    Could this be done, but put in a natural gas fireplace? When we built our house we had it piped into the corner of our living room. Just haven’t gotten around to putting it in 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • David David on Feb 16, 2021

    You did a wonderful, beautiful job...This is something I want to do as well, but the wall that I will be using has no windows, so I am going to flank it on each side with floor to ceiling bookcases...What is the size and the price of the fireplace unit you selected, and are you happy with it's performance? Does it actually produce/blow heat into the room?

Comments

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4 of 29 comments
  • Beth Beth on Mar 07, 2021

    Beautiful....something I would definitely do!!!!

  • Jenny Jenny on Mar 14, 2021

    I built something similar in 1979 while pregnant with my middle child. Husband let me get on with it as usual😂 Only difference was above fire I fitted a cocktail cabinet hidden behind a hinged painting. Nice to see its coming back into fashion at last!!!!! Very nicely done by the way.

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