Fireplaces are a timeless home comfort that are just as welcome in an inner-city apartment as a charming old Victorian residence. They create a focal point and central hub on winter nights; they can even add value to your property. Lucky are those who have this romantic design feature in their home, but just because your place wasn’t built with a fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t install an alternative that’s almost as good as the real thing! Keep scrolling to get step-by-step DIY fireplace installation instructions for:
▶️ Wall-mounted electric fireplace
▶️ Electric insert fireplace with mantel
▶️ Electric fireplace in an existing fireplace cavity
As electric fireplaces are operated by remote control, the heat and flames can be easily adjusted, and as they don’t produce any fumes or emissions, they’re better for the environment and cleaner for your home.
Just like hanging a flatscreen TV, installing a wall-mounted fireplace is easy. You’ll need: Phillips screwdriver; stud finder and level (both can be downloaded as apps); tape measure; electric drill; 1/4” wood drill bit, hammer. (Please note: wall-mounted fireplaces can’t be recessed as the vents need to be clear.)
Step 1 Decide where you’d like to mount your fireplace on your plaster wall, taking into consideration the location of your power outlet. Allow a minimum clearance of 50–100cm around the unit to avoid any fire dangers (refer to your unit’s installation sheet for exact measurements for your specific fireplace model), and ensure the power point isn’t above the unit to avoid direct heat on the power outlet.
Step 2 Locate the wall studs using an electronic stud-finder. Mark the hole locations with a pencil (your unit’s installation sheet will outline how many holes are required and how far apart they should be). At least two screws should be screwed directly to the wall stud. If additional screws are required, ensure they are screwed into drywall anchors (also known as hollow wall anchors).
Step 3 Drill a pilot hole into each mark. Ensure you attach a drywall anchor for any screws that aren’t being screwed directly into the stud and gently tap them in until they are flush with the wall.
Step 4 Align the holes in the wall bracket with the pilot holes and drywall anchors. Thread the screws through the washers and holes in the wall bracket, then directly into the wall studs and/or drywall anchors. Make sure the bracket is level. Tighten all screws securely with a screwdriver.
Step 5 With the help of a second person, lift the fireplace and align the hooks on the back of the fireplace with the slots on the wall bracket. Carefully set the hooks into the slots.
Step 6 Secure the fireplace to the wall bracket with the screws provided, one on each side. Thread the screws through the fireplace and into the wall bracket side tabs. Tighten both screws with a Phillips screwdriver.
Step 7 Plug in, turn on and enjoy!
Electric fireplaces are also available in insert designs, which can be paired with a mantel to get a traditional fireplace aesthetic (that you can install yourself!). It’s perfect for those who love the Victorian look of a classic open fireplace, yet don’t want the maintenance that goes with it.
The Rochdale Electric Fireplace Insert can be paired with the Rochdale or Prescott mantels and doesn’t require a recess in the wall. The fireplace and mantel unit simply sit flush against the wall and are screwed into place. If you have an old wood-burning fireplace cavity that you want to convert to electric, the Rochdale can also be used in this existing feature as an insert.
▶️ Step 1 Decide where you’d like to position your fireplace and mantel, taking into consideration the location of your power outlet. You may need to hire an electrician to install a new power point behind your unit. Allow a minimum clearance of at 50–100cm around the unit to avoid any fire dangers (refer to your unit’s installation sheet for exact measurements specific to your fireplace model).
▶️ Step 2 Unbox your packages and set the heater insert unit aside for now. Carefully lay out all pieces for the mantel and all the screws and dowels.
▶️ Step 3 Follow the manufacturer’s step-by-step instructions provided for building the timber mantelpiece. This can be done solo if required and will take around an hour to complete but is very straightforward.
▶️ Step 4 Once you’ve finished assembling your mantel, ensure it’s standing upright and slide the electric fireplace insert into the mantel opening.
▶️ Step 5 Plug the unit into the power outlet and then carefully slide the now-assembled fireplace and mantel into its permanent position against the wall. As the unit is heavy, it’s advisable to have a second person assist. Screw it into place against the wall (following the installation instructions supplied).
▶️ Step 6 Turn on your new fireplace and enjoy!
The Regent Electric Fireplace requires a recess in the wall. It’s perfect for inserting into an existing wood-burning fireplace cavity that is unused or that you want to convert to electric. You’ll need an electrician to install a power outlet in the rear of the cavity if you don’t want your cord to be visible.
▶️ Step 1 Start by cleaning out your existing fireplace and ensuring the damper is closed. If you don’t want your power cord to be visible, engage an electrician to install a power outlet in the rear of your fireplace cavity.
▶️ Step 2 Unbox your Regent fireplace. Stand the cast iron piece upright and then move the fireplace insert into the back of it, aligning the 6 screw holes.
▶️ Step 3 Use a screwdriver to fix the small washer head screws together with the gaskets in the cast. Ensure all screws are in place and tight.
▶️ Step 4 Plug in the unit.
▶️ Step 5 Slide the fireplace and cast into the recess and mantel of your existing fireplace. (If your fireplace doesn’t have a mantel or it’s in need of an update, the Montreux can be purchased separately to pair with your Regent.)
▶️ Step 6 Turn on your new fireplace and enjoy!
Visit us in-store or online at Early Settler to browse our fireplace range and talk to our friendly staff in person about how to install a fireplace yourself at home. If you’d like to learn about the pros and cons of wood-burning, gas and electric fireplaces, check out how to find the perfect fireplace.
Great article! I’ve been considering installing a fireplace, and your blog post has answered so many of my questions. The information on choosing the right type of fireplace, preparing the area, and ensuring proper ventilation is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing your expertise!