Build a Decorative Wood Fireplace in 7 Steps

A decorative wood fireplace is a fireplace that contrary to appearances, cannot actually burn wood. As such, their purpose is purely aesthetic. That said, building a decorative fireplace is cheaper than trying to install a functional one.  


In decorative fireplaces, the basic structure is made using plywood. The plywood can then be lined with tiles and cast stone, or concrete designed to imitate various brick and stone textures. You can also add trim and decorations, or simply leave it as is and paint over it.

Step 1 - Preparing the Site

Find the place where you want to put the decorative fireplace. Measure the area and make sure that isn’t smaller then the area of the fireplace. Mark the locations of every wall using masking tape or marker. Then, use the studfinder to check the adjacent walls for wall studs. 

Step 2 - Preparing Plywood

Use the tape measure to see how much plywood you would need for the back board and two side walls.

Step 3 - Building the Walls

Cut the top panel, two side panels, and a back panel out of the plywood.

Step 4 - Assembly

Place the back panel against the wall and drill the pilot holes along the sides, spacing them eight inches apart. Secure the back panel using three-inch screws. Attach the sides to the top panel using the melting plates, then attach the resulting combination to the back panel using the same method.

Step 5 - Smooth out the Edges

Smooth out the edges by applying narrow pieces of poplar where the panels meet. Use wood glue and nails to hold them in place.

Step 6 - Install the Mantle

Attach the mantle of your chose to the front of the fireplace using wood glue and nails. You may want to install a firebox beforehand and add some artificial logs if you are so inclined

Step 7 - Personalize

Add any surface decorations and lining you desire using the methods appropriate for the material in question.