Last Monday I shared that we were going to add an electric fireplace to our small front room. I kept saying “I hope it works out”! And folks, it totally worked out! I had big dreams of having a fireplace. A painted white brick fireplace to be exact. And seeing as our home was built in the 1950’s it just felt like a fireplace was supposed to be in this 1100 square foot home of ours. Are you ready to see how it looks? Today I will share the full reveal, how much the total price was for us to add this electric fireplace, how long it took and the why behind the choices we made.
Painted Brick Electrical Fireplace Reveal-
We absolutely LOVE it! I can’t even stand it. It is for sure, “better than before”! Better use of the space. Because that is the goal.
Fireplace Wall BEFORE-
Never really liked what we had on this wall. It changed many times in the three years living here. THAT is how you know it isn’t right. You keep wanting to change it!
Painted Brick Electric Fireplace NOW-
The fireplace was completed on Friday and Kevin finished painting it on Saturday. Many times since Friday Lola has asked “Can I go turn on the fireplace and read by it”. Put a big smile on my face. If you set the mood, they will come. (Read below for links to everything).
Electric Fireplace Heat-
When THIS fireplace insert is on, it is not hot to the touch. The hot air blows out of the top vent, kind of like a small space heater. It does warm up the area around the fireplace, not like a regular fireplace, but if it is left on long enough it does the job. It also doesn’t cost much to run it (I don’t know exact amount but that was the review on Amazon). You can just turn on the faux flames without turning on any heat. (Find exact fireplace insert we used HERE).
I want to talk about the mantel. I was not going to even mention this. But I thought someone else might bring it up here and it might help one of you. I received two messages the other day when we shared a sneak peek of the fireplace on instagram. One said “Before you grout, just wondering if you think the mantle is too high?” I did not mind this question at all and welcome questions like that. Then I received a message right after saying “Your mantel is too high and does not look good with your fireplace.” I did mind that statement (I blocked her and didn’t reply, because if I had a friend say that to my face, they probably wouldn’t be invited back). I am not going to lie, the message did get in my head, making me feel stupid for hanging the mantel where I did. But after talking to Kevin we determined we still like where we decided to put it. I had done research before hanging the mantle and did what was best for us.
I wanted the mantel higher than maybe what you might consider “normal” for these reasons-
- If the mantel was lower it felt like it would cut the wall in half.
- A lower mantel would make it easier for Finn to try to hang from! (because let’s face it, he is WILD! And I love him for it.)
- Every time we tried it lower it felt wrong to me. The energy was just off. Like it was too much “in your face” for our small space.
- I wanted to be able to hang stockings, garland or a droopy plant and not have them cut into the view of the fireplace.
- Raising the mantel makes the walls appear taller! And it is about at eye level.
Would it look better a little lower, possibly! But this is what we went with and we are happy with it. I thought I would share incase you are planning a project like this and want to consider all your options. And to remember- do your research and go with your gut!
You can find the exact mantel we used HERE. You can build your own mantel. My friend did on THIS post. But after talking to him, it took him hours to make it. We determined it really wasn’t worth our limited time (and skills) to attempt to make one. You can order a mantel in a lot of colors and sizes HERE.
I just used a piece of art that I already had. I am a firm believer in taking time to select artwork, I did not want to run to my local Home Goods and just grab something because I was doing a blog post or had people coming over. I will change it up soon for Christmas and winter. Can’t wait to add some stockings! I also love that the chairs on either side are swivel, making it so you can turn into the fireplace or face the piano or sofa.
Above is what the electric fireplace looks like off.
Find Beach Art HERE. Find Swivel Chairs HERE. Similar Candle HERE in Volcano scent. White Dipped Stool HERE.
Electric Fireplace Cost-
We did hire someone to build our electric fireplace (Marcin) and we are very happy we did. It took him about 10-12 hours to complete the fireplace. Granted it was his first time doing something like this and first time installing brick. But he is very talented and figured it out. Marcin has done a lot of projects in our home including building our banquette.
- Electric Fireplace (26″ wide) $225
- Mantel Shelf $110
- Thin Brick $325
- Thin Brick Corners $205
- Wood for framing, sheet rock, glue, grout, etc $200
- Paint $50 (this can be cheaper too depending on your brand. We used one gallon)
- Labor $1000 (obviously you can save on this if you do the labor yourself. Or if you don’t use brick, that took the majority of the labor)
- Electric Fireplace Total- $2115
Fireplace Install Process in photos-
I took pictures along the way. But as I said we did hire someone so it was hard for me to break down the entire process. But hopefully this will help if you are interested in completing a project like this. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will find out the answer for you!
Tape off the area or draft out a plan. I should have had the brick BEFORE he started to determine the exact size to frame. I was worried about getting too much or not enough. You can find it at Lowes and Home Depot, but neither of the stocked it in my area. We had to order and it was about a week or two out. I ended up getting it from a local tile/masonry shop. And they charge a 20% restocking fee per box to return. You can average how much you will need, there is minimum in a box. We figured out our square footage then estimated the amount. Keep in mind you will want to purchase corners and those cost about double or triple to a flat brick.
After figuring out the size we placed the brick on the floor to determine how much space to leave between each brick. We ended up with six bricks across the front, then the next row was staggered. He did have to cut brick as he went. Also we did recess the fireplace into the wall so the depth could be the size of a brick, about 8″ deep. You could do it flush to the wall if you don’t have any heat vents in your wall (like e did). I feel like having it stick out a little makes it feel more real.
He did frame all the way up and then he added the sheet rock. I just didn’t get a photo.
He did not attach the electric fireplace into the wall at this point. He waited until the very end to install it then he grouted around the electric fireplace after.
You can see that he installed the fireplace mantel onto the sheetrock rather than onto the brick. The wood mantel came with a mounting system.
And one thing to mention is that the cord from the electrical outlet was on the right and the plug was on the left, we made sure we had space for the cord to reach the other side. Also our plug was older and only had two prongs so he did have to switch out the plug to a three prong and made sure to attach it to the wall.
The messiest part was when he grouted the fireplace. Highly recommend a tarp!
Painting Brick White-
We ended up painting our brick fireplace in Pure White from Sherwin Williams in a flat finish. I did try Bright White from Sherwin Williams and it felt too stark white (I like Bright White for wood trim). Love how the Pure White turned out. We used Emerald paint from Sherwin Williams that is a paint and primer in one and with low VOC, also leaves a very smooth finish. Kevin rolled it on with a 1/4 inch nap roller. Then he had to cut in with a paint brush to fill in the grout lines. We used a little less than one gallon of the paint for this project. Painting the fireplace took him about three hours.
As for now I haven’t decided if I am going to hang anything on either side of the fireplace. The bookcase is pretty busy so I kind of like it simple (for now).
Electric Fireplace Inspiration-
Two readers sent me photos of their electric fireplaces and they happen to have the same one we just installed! I thought it would be fun to show you another look!
From reader @caseybrach
From reader @thevannamast
Fireplace Mantel Inspiration-
It is so important to find inspiration before you start. It will keep you headed in the right direction and be a source to turn to when questions come up or naysayers.
I LOVE this deco tile. It just felt like too much with the tile we have in our kitchen. But notice the mantel height. Inspiration- Deco Tile Fireplace (source)
White Brick Fireplace source
My favorite comment this week from reader, Rae was-“Being fortunate enough to install something that brings your family joy and warmth is never something to be nervous about sharing with others.”
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