Build a fireplace surround

We have recently looked at how you can frame or makeover a built-in fireplace, but now look at building a fireplace surround for a freestanding electric or gas heater. Just like a built-in fireplace, an electric or gas heater can also be used to create a unique focal point or feature in a room.

If you love to visit salvage yards, this is a great place to pick up vintage or reproduction fireplace surrounds that can be stripped, sanded and painted to fit in with your home decor.

Even if the fit isn't perfect, you can easily add a few wood or board panels inside the framework to accommodate your electric or gas heater.

If you don't find a vintage or reproduction fireplace surround, or prefer to make your own, you can make the frame of plywood or MDF and then build up layers of detail using pine or MDF moulding and trim. Visit your local Builders Warehouse to check out the range of skirtings, cornice and moulding styles available.

This freestanding fireplace surround sits on a basic plywood box that has been topped off with ceramic floor tiles. The tiles are glued onto the box using Pattex No More Nails or construction adhesive before being grouted as usual.

You can create a fireplace surround that is simple or intricate, depending on your level of DIY skill and the tools that you have in your workshop. The design shown here, for example, can be designed using a combination of pine or MDF skirting, moulding and trim on top of a plywood or MDF box frame.

Ideas for freestanding fireplace surround