How to Fire Proof the Walls around an Electric Fireplace

Flames in a fireplace
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Scrubbing brush
Dust cloth

If you are placing an electric fireplace in a room, then you may be concerned with fireproofing it. Unlike a wood-burning stove, the electric fireplace does not need to have a well-fitting fireproof liner, although you will still need to do some work on the surround of the fireplace. The best thing that you can do is to install a fireback, as this will help to protect against the heat around the back of the fireplace. These firebacks are fireproof, and can ensure that heat does not pass into the back of the room. These fireplace inserts can be bought from fireplace stores, and also purchased online, and can be easily fitted behind a fireplace to protect it.

Step 1 - Prepare the Fireplace

You will need to clean the fireplace before you begin. Take the electric heater, and wipe it over with a duster. You should take the opportunity to clean the back of the heater at this time, as this will help you to get rid of any dirt. Remove everything inside the fireplace, and sweep this free of dust, and then scrub down the bricks with your brush. You may need to use a dustpan to carry the dust away, or you can use a vacuum cleaner.

Step 2 - Put in the Fireback

You will need to measure the fireplace, to get a fireback which is the right size. When you are ready, lift the fireback into position. You will need to get a friend to assist you in large areas, as the item can sometimes weigh as much as 300 pounds. Once the fireback is in position, lean it against the wall, and then examine it to make sure that it fits well behind the fireplace. You may need to prop it up on bricks in order to make it the right height, but if you measured correctly, then there should be no problem.

Step 3 - Install the Fireback

You will now need to screw the fireback into the fireplace. You can use nails to position this, or use screws, but positioning them in the right place is vital. Screw in all the nails loosely at first, and then go around and tighten them into the wall. The fireback will need to be secure in the wall, and depending upon the material, you should take care that the fireback can expand with heat moving up and down.

Step 4 - Finish

In order to properly protect the fireplace against heat, you will now need to place a heat-resistant caulking around the fireback. This will help to prevent the heat from traveling through other parts of the fireplace, and keep the fireback in the right place. Leave this caulk to dry, and then reinstall the electric fireplace into the wall.