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Old 01-08-2019, 08:36 AM   #1
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DIY Faux Fireplace???


Good evening, everyone!

I want to know if you have any advice regarding the wall heaters I have in my house. They are kinda old-fashioned, attached to the wall with pipe going into the floor, and...well, I am adding the picture here. You will get the idea!

I want to ask if it is possible to DIY a faux fireplace for this kind of heater. It does not have to be a fancy fireplace...perhaps a simple mantel over it...I tried Pinterest and Google to see if anyone else tried it. They did, but not with this kind of heater, unfortunately. Most of them were quite newer models. I cannot replace these heaters because, obviously, it is a rental.

I would truly appreciate any suggestions or ideas to incorporate this heater into my house decor. Thank you. I am ok leaving it bare, but I would like to see if there is any possibility to "update" the look.

Thank you,
Stephanie
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


I'd be worried about building like a box around that because it could block heat, burn, etc.

How about a floating shelf over top of it? You can make thin ones on the cheap and easy buying a couple boards and a used hollow door of craigslist. 2x4s and some plywood to make any size you want. And if you want to fancy it up you can tack some molding and/or corbels to the bottom so it'd have more visual weight (look bigger/more built in)

Ooo search "Floating Shelf Mantle" on youtube lots of timber looking ones that would match with the walls.

Else, search "DIY floating shelf" for how to make videos - I think a white floating shelf with some "cut out" corbels ( like these https://www.homedepot.com/p/American...0588/204619349 ) would look pretty nice.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


That is gas. I don't think you want to do anything with that.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


Thank you for your quick reply! Yeah, I tried Pinterest, but most of them are boxed in. I wasn't risking putting that so close to gas! I was thinking minimal decor around it...how to include it, etc instead of a huge bare spot for the heater. I love your idea, floating shelf! My only concern...I do not want to put nails in these walls. I know it may be silly to be concerned, but is it possible to use command??? I was thinking velcro strips, one per couple of inches...Or perhaps put a mirror up top and frame the bottom to look like it is sitting on a mantel...my mind is racing haha.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


Welcome to the DIY chat room forums. I see that you're in Alabama... anywhere near Birmingham?

Anyway....

First thoughts... the position of the heater close to the doorway creates a challenge in my mind). Also, anything built around it will have to meet current fire codes.

My own recent experience... I just built a faux fireplace (from scratch) in our dining room last fall, but it was not built to host a gas burning heater. It could have been, and it might actually hold up to it given that I used concrete backer board behind veneer brick inside the fire box (neither were fire rated), but mine simply was not built to that purpose at all.

Here is the link to my album where you can see progressive construction pictures of the project.
https://www.diychatroom.com/members/...e-living-room/

Here is a link to the thread I discussed the project.
https://www.diychatroom.com/f49/cust...g-room-642635/

Perhaps the pictures or thread may inspire some additional ides for you.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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Originally Posted by Stephaniefay View Post
Thank you for your quick reply! Yeah, I tried Pinterest, but most of them are boxed in. I wasn't risking putting that so close to gas! I was thinking minimal decor around it...how to include it, etc instead of a huge bare spot for the heater. I love your idea, floating shelf! My only concern...I do not want to put nails in these walls. I know it may be silly to be concerned, but is it possible to use command??? I was thinking velcro strips, one per couple of inches...Or perhaps put a mirror up top and frame the bottom to look like it is sitting on a mantel...my mind is racing haha.
If you're willing to not put anything very heavy on it, and be careful about falling into it, you could make it out of styrofoam/rigid foam insulation that'd be super light so you should be able to command hook it on the wall. You'd want to see how the insulation painted though (I've never done it before and I don't have any handy to see how the edges soak paint up) - you might have to contact paper instead.


Just recalled that I've tried painting styrofoam that comes inside packing boxes, like from ordering breakables, it does not paint. Rigid foam insulation is a different animal though so I'm not sure about it.

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Old 01-08-2019, 11:18 AM   #7
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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If you're willing to not put anything very heavy on it, and be careful about falling into it, you could make it out of styrofoam/rigid foam insulation that'd be super light so you should be able to command hook it on the wall. You'd want to see how the insulation painted though (I've never done it before and I don't have any handy to see how the edges soak paint up) - you might have to contact paper instead.


Just recalled that I've tried painting styrofoam that comes inside packing boxes, like from ordering breakables, it does not paint. Rigid foam insulation is a different animal though so I'm not sure about it.
That is something I did not think of! I will check into it. Thank you!
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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Originally Posted by Stephaniefay View Post
That is something I did not think of! I will check into it. Thank you!

A couple more light weight construction material ideas; card board box(es) or the thicker plastic poster boards. Cardboard spray paints okay, but the corners would be icky so I'd contact paper both of these materials.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


If what you want to put in is going to stay in place long term, I wouldn't worry at all about nail holes in that T&G pine. If, on the other hand, this is a short term stop-gap effort, nail holes can still easily be puttied up to hide them or make them blend in with the surrounding wood. What really needs to drive the mounting issue is how much weight it will have to support.

Any adhesive you put on the surface of the pine (Command, Velcro strips, etc.) is going to leave it's mark just as much as a nail will, but the mark will be much larger, and you may end up with more trouble having to repair the finish on the pine as compared to puttying up a few very small nail holes.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


Boxing in that existing heater is a bad idea. They usually have clearance requirements around them. If you trap the heat near it, the heater will be operating in a temperature range it wasn't designed for.

Attempting to do it with foam insulation board is crazy. Exact temperatures vary, but some foams start softening at about 160f. Melting temps can be as low as 200 degrees.

The fumes released by rigid foams that are melting or burning are noxious.

If you want a gas fireplace or stove, buy one. Trying to diy one is a tremendous safety hazard.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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Boxing in that existing heater is a bad idea. They usually have clearance requirements around them. If you trap the heat near it, the heater will be operating in a temperature range it wasn't designed for.

Attempting to do it with foam insulation board is crazy. Exact temperatures vary, but some foams start softening at about 160f. Melting temps can be as low as 200 degrees.

The fumes released by rigid foams that are melting or burning are noxious.

If you want a gas fireplace or stove, buy one. Trying to diy one is a tremendous safety hazard.

(We're just talking about a faux mantle not a box around the heater.)
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:55 AM   #12
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


Should probably check on what @F250 said about command on the pine boards. I am trying to recall, but I'm not sure if I've ever commanded on wood before. It'd be a disaster to have the wall panels wrecked, who knows what your landlord would make you pay to replace them >.<
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:30 PM   #13
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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Should probably check on what @F250 said about command on the pine boards. I am trying to recall, but I'm not sure if I've ever commanded on wood before. It'd be a disaster to have the wall panels wrecked, who knows what your landlord would make you pay to replace them >.<
My grandparents had the same walls. Once my parents moved in after they passed away, my mom used command strips everywhere. I never noticed a problem with the finish after she took them off. Admittedly, she never bought other brands besides Command. Not Scotch or others that may be cheaper. I use command strips and hooks a lot, both at work and home. I will look for more information about this just in case. Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


That! I was never going to box in the heater! No-no. My dad will kill me for even considering this.

However, you did make a good point. Heat will come up from the heater so that might not be a good idea in the long run.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:37 PM   #15
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Re: DIY Faux Fireplace???


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Originally Posted by F250 View Post
If what you want to put in is going to stay in place long term, I wouldn't worry at all about nail holes in that T&G pine. If, on the other hand, this is a short term stop-gap effort, nail holes can still easily be puttied up to hide them or make them blend in with the surrounding wood. What really needs to drive the mounting issue is how much weight it will have to support.

Any adhesive you put on the surface of the pine (Command, Velcro strips, etc.) is going to leave it's mark just as much as a nail will, but the mark will be much larger, and you may end up with more trouble having to repair the finish on the pine as compared to puttying up a few very small nail holes.
You do make a good point. I plan to stay there for at least a couple of years.

About command adhesive, I recall that one of my coworkers did rent the same place before me so I asked her if she used command strips. She did and did not see any problems taking them off after around 2 years. It did not damage the pine.
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