Our Fireplace Renovation Part 3: Framing and Shiplap

  • The up-side to installing a Fireplace Insert was that it came with framing instructions. This was going to be Rob's first time ever framing but we figured if he can build furniture, he can build a wall!
  • Framing was as we expected. Pretty easy when we had specs for exactly where to build the wall studs.
  • Rob did it like a pro and saved us quite a bit. It was so exciting to see it start to take form again. 
  • After framing, the fireplace company came in to install the gas fireplace, which included the plumbing and electrical. We leave the skilled stuff to the professionals! 
  • The studs were covered in plywood at the top and with hardy backer at the bottom. The hardy backer is non-combustible material (the same stuff you use under tile) and was required around the fireplace opening.

  • Next it was time to install our new fireplace surround material onto the wall. Surprise surprise, I wanted SHIPLAP!
  • If you don't know, shiplap is, it's basically tongue and groove wood that locks into place. Its easy to install and looks great! 
  • Maybe its a fad but I wanted a clean bright look and this was going to do it for us. Plus it was a great price. 
  • Shopping Tip: Did you know that Lowes sells shiplap? We didn't until we stumbled upon it. Typically we go to wood speciality store to buy it and its not cheap. Lowes even had Douglas Fir shiplap, which in California is one of the cheapest wood you can get from the hardware store.

  • We found them in 8 foot sections. I liked the slightly thicker shiplap. It was about 7 inches wide and 8 feet long. 
  • It was just enough to cover the front of the fireplace and the side (where the wall outlet goes to turn on and off the fireplace). 
  • We installed the shiplap in no time at all. It was the easiest part of the project using the compound miter saw to cut each piece of shiplap to size and the brad nailer to nail in boards after we locked it in. 
  • After it was all installed, we painted the shiplap white. Although staining it would of been pretty too, I decided I wanted something bright to contrast our plans for the mantel. (See Part 4 of this post for more information on that 💁)
  • We decided not to use any trim next to the fireplace insert. The boards literally go right up to the edge of the fireplace trim. We painted the shiplap there before we nailed it in so we didn't get white paint on the black edge.
  • Once we finished painting, we installed trim on the sides, top and bottom. We could of gotten away with just caulking it because Rob's cuts were spot on, but I wanted a framed out look. 
  • It looked so good! It's so much lighter in the room compared to the dated rock fireplace. Having the hearth gone too allowed us to have a few more feet of space making the room feel even bigger. 
  • Now it was time for our final touch. The icing on the cake. A mantel. Not just any mantel, a black walnut mantel that Rob milled himself. 
Check out the final post, Our Fireplace Renovation Part 4: The Mantel of All Mantels.