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Install an Electric Fireplace With Custom-Built Mantel and Hearth

Add instant warmth to your home by installing an electric fireplace then build a mantel on top and hearth with storage underneath.

Tools and Materials:

table saw
finish nail gun with finish nai and anchor nails
edge banding and an iron (for applying edge banding)
paint rollers, paintbrushes and pans
screw gun
hammer
tape measure and level
birch plywood
wood glue
paint and primer

Steps:

1. Measure the area where you will be installing the electric fireplace. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for space requirements.

2. Determine the size of your mantle and hearth/storage unit and create a cut list. Our mantle is more of a floating shelf and our hearth is like a bench with storage cubbies.

3. On a table saw, cut the needed birch plywood. Use wood glue and a finish nailer to assemble the pieces. Apply edge banding or wood trim to the seams and rough edges.

4. Prime and paint or stain all the pieces.

5. Use a cleat system to secure the mantle to the wall. To make the cleat, cut two long strips of plywood at least three inches wide. Cut a 45-degree angle lengthwise on one edge of each piece. Make sure both pieces interlock at the angle. Measure both the mantel and the wall cleat to verify it will attach and hang at the proper height. Attach the first piece of the cleat to the wall with the bevel on the top facing the wall. Be sure to use the proper fasteners for your surface you’re attaching to and use a level to check evenness. Attach the other piece of the cleat to the back of the mantel with the bevel facing down and out. Slide the mantel piece onto the wall cleat.

6. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions as to how to properly hang the electric fireplace.

7. Place the hearth/storage unit under the fireplace.

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