5 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Fireplace Wall Units

A fireplace wall unit, with a fire lit.

Fireplace wall units are pre-fabricated fireplace fixtures. To install one, you'll simply need to fix the wall unit in place and make sure it's properly sealed and connected to any gas and electrical lines that are required. Read on for a few of the most common and potentially hazardous mistakes that people often make when installing fireplace wall units.

Mistake 1 — Size Problems

One of the simplest mistakes that you can make when installing a fireplace wall unit is to select a unit that is too large or small for the space that you have. If the unit is too small, that's less of a concern, because you can oftentimes build around it. However, if the unit is too large, you may have little recourse but to return the unit and continue your search.

Mistake 2 — Not Disconnecting the Gas and Electric

If you're installing a fireplace wall unit that makes use of either gas or electricity, be very careful to properly disconnect and disable the gas and electric lines before you begin. Failing to do so will leave you and anyone else in your home at risk of injury. In most cases, it's best to hire a professional to disconnect and reconnect the gas or electric lines in order to be sure that everything is done safely and properly.

Mistake 3 — Not Properly Reconnecting the Gas and Electric

If you opt to install either a gas- or electric-powered fireplace wall unit, one of the most important things to do at the end of the installation is to make sure the gas or electric lines are properly reconnected. Failing to do so will keep your fireplace from working properly.

Mistake 4 — Leaving Air Spaces

The fireplace wall unit that you install must be properly attached to all surrounding parts of the wall. If it is not, you may end up with smoke damage or a fire hazard. Follow all instructions for installing the fireplace wall unit and securing it entirely before you attempt to use the fireplace.

Mistake 5 — Installing a Unit in an Inactive Fireplace

In more modern homes, especially, fireplaces are built as a decorative installation, not with the proper insulation and design to be used for their original purpose. Be sure to verify that your home has the exhaust capacity appropriate for an actual fireplace that you'll use. If it doesn't, a fireplace wall unit poses a serious fire hazard for the home.