In the modern world, people are trying to equip their home as beautifully as possible, to create in it a kind of island of comfort, where it is so pleasant to take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle. Fireplaces have recently enjoyed great love in interior decoration. A huge variety of types and models of fireplaces allows you to place them even in small urban apartments. However, in order to achieve perfect harmony between the fireplace and the design of the room, it is necessary to build a portal for it - an external decorative box in which the fireplace is installed.
Portals differ in style as follows:
- Classic style. The most common type of portals. Their distinctive feature is the rigor of design. As a rule, they do not require any additional decorations;
- Country style. Most often, this type of portal is intended for wood-burning fireplaces and is made of stone (brick);
- High-tech style. Made of steel and glass;
- Art Nouveau style. A distinctive feature of this type of portals is the mixture of classic and modern research. Such portals are suitable for almost any interior.
Varieties of fireplace portals, depending on the type of hearth:
- With an open wood-burning firebox;
- With a closed wood-burning firebox;
- For electric fireplaces;
- For false fireplaces.
If you decide to build a portal for a fireplace with your own hands, then you need to be very careful about the choice of material from which you plan to design it. Its choice depends on the type of fireplace for which it is intended. So remember:
- For electric and decorative fireplaces when building a portal, you can use drywall, plastic, polyurethane, wood;
- For wood-burning fireplaces, marble, sandstone, granite, brick, natural and artificial stone are used. Drywall and wood can also be used, but additional thermal protection must be installed.
Hearth simulation options
It is clear that it is impossible to install a real wood-burning fireplace in a city apartment. However, do not rush to get upset - there is a great alternative. Depending on your preferences, you can choose one of the three offered options:
- Electric fireplace. Such a fireplace is good in that it does not require the installation of a special ventilation system, there is no need to purchase materials for the firebox - it works from a regular electrical outlet. It can be easily installed with your own hands, installation (and dismantling) does not require any special knowledge and skills. Simulation of a flame is achieved using a built-in 3D screen or a steam generator with illumination from below. Do not forget that, in addition to decorative, an electric fireplace can also perform a heating function - the heating area of such a fireplace is about 20 square meters.
- Bio fireplace. In recent years, the so-called biofireplace has become the most fashionable trend - a fireplace with a real burning fire, but does not require a hood, since smoke, soot and an unpleasant smell are simply absent! This is a real miracle of technology, which is ultramodern, economical and completely safe. What is the secret of his work? The hearth of this fireplace is equipped with a built-in stainless steel block, into which a special biofuel is poured, made on the basis of pure ethyl alcohol. In the process of combustion, such fuel forms carbon dioxide, water vapor and gives off heat - all these combustion products are safe and do not have a harmful environmental impact on others. The fire from such a fuel turns out to be bright, beautiful, even, not generating sparks, soot and smoke.
- Decorative (fake) fireplace. This option is perfect for those who want to see a fireplace in their interior, but for some reason are not going to spend a lot of money on it. A false fireplace can be easily assembled by yourself. In fact, it will be just an empty fireplace portal, additionally decorated with an imitation of flame, coals, wood, etc. Almost any materials are suitable for its construction - if desired, it can be made even from unnecessary boxes!
- Made of wood. Making portals from natural wood is considered more difficult than using other materials. The fact is that wood deforms under the influence of temperature and humidity changes, so such a portal is not suitable for every fireplace. In order to minimize the detrimental effect of the above factors, it is necessary to use only well-dried wooden boards and bars; for work, take a synthetic-based glue that does not contain water; on the surface of such a portal, on all sides, there should be a high-quality coating made with heat-protective acrylic varnish. It is possible to use old furniture (wardrobes, wardrobes, bedside tables) to save money.
- Polyurethane. This material is often used in the manufacture of fireplace portals. It has a significant degree of wear resistance, does not crumble, does not crack, and is not prone to chipping. It is also quite heat-resistant, so the polyurethane portal can be used when installing an electric fireplace. Another plus is the variety of options for the final design: it can be painted, covered with gilding or patina. Such a portal will serve for a long time, and it also has a very low weight.
- Made of MDF. MDF or fine wood fraction is also a very popular material in the manufacture of fireplace portals. MDF is made from small sawdust bonded with paraffin and lignin, therefore it is an environmentally friendly material; in addition, it is very malleable, it is easy to handle, it tolerates high humidity well and is not too prone to deformation.
- From chipboard. Most often, when designing a fireplace portal, a type of chipboard is used - chipboard (laminated chipboard). This material is cheap, has a high degree of resistance to high temperatures and various mechanical influences, looks like natural wood. However, it is not suitable for creating the original relief, because fine processing of this material is excluded.
- Made of plywood. When choosing plywood sheets for assembling a fireplace portal, it must be borne in mind that only plywood for interior decoration of the room is suitable for this purpose. It has a specific marking - from 1 to 4, where 1 means the highest surface quality. With the help of such plywood, you can make a rather elegant portal for the fireplace, and if the plywood sheets are fastened with a wooden beam, you get a lightweight mobile structure that, if desired, can be moved from wall to wall. Of course, with all its indisputable advantages, plywood has a significant disadvantage - even taking into account the waterproof treatment of the surface of its sheets, moisture will still sooner or later penetrate inside and deformation will occur.
- From drywall. This option is probably the simplest and cheapest. But when designing it, you need to take into account the following nuance - this structure is created at the stage of planning the premises, further movements and adjustments are not allowed. Therefore, careful coordination of dimensions and other necessary attributes is necessary, for example, the presence of ventilation holes and space for electrical wiring. The advantage of drywall is its plasticity, with its help the fireplace portal can be given any shape.
- Natural stone. The most expensive and, perhaps, the most beautiful material for making a fireplace portal. Due to the heterogeneous structure of the stone, each portal collected from it will be unique. The process of making it from it is quite time consuming, but the stone portal will delight you for many years and will give the interior a rich and elegant look.
- From a parquet board. Most often, such portals become false fireplaces, but it is possible to build in a shallow electric fireplace there. This design looks quite original, especially if it is made of pieces of different color and texture. To acquire a beautiful shade, boards, at the preparation stage, are recommended to be covered with a stain.
So, you have decided on the choice of the type of fireplace, decided in which part of the apartment it will be installed and now you plan to make a portal for it. To begin with, we prepare detailed drawings, on which we indicate the dimensions of all elements of the portal, we calculate the amount of materials required for construction. Take into account all the nuances and double-check the received data several times - it is much easier than redoing something already in the design process.
Step-by-step instructions for making a portal for a fireplace with your own hands. Let's analyze an example of constructing a drywall portal for an electric fireplace
- In the chosen location of the fireplace, transfer a drawing of its main elements to the walls and floor;
- Build a frame from a metal profile (it is recommended to use a guide and a rack profile), attach it to the wall;
- Next, build a so-called "podium" from the profile - the bottom of the portal, after which you can form the frame of the portal itself with a firebox. The frame must be reinforced, for this, every 15-20 cm over its entire area, we fix the transverse beams from the rack-mount profile;
- We insert our electric fireplace into the prepared box. Such a preliminary "fitting" is very important, because at this stage of construction there is still an opportunity to correct possible flaws, for example, if the fireplace comes in tightly, then you need to increase the size of the firebox - unscrew the profile, move it to the desired distance and screw it again;
- Before sheathing the frame with sheets of drywall, you yourself have to make holes in them from the inside of the portal opposite the exhaust ducts in the body of the electric fireplace;
- The next stage is the sheathing of the box with drywall sheets. Use self-tapping screws, no more than 2.5 cm long and fine threads, preferably black. It can be sheathed in either one or two layers - it depends on the choice of materials for decoration. A simple decor can be made with a single-layer cladding, while a complex one (for example, decorating a portal with artificial stone, plaster molding) will require a double layer;
- We take a deep penetration primer and thoroughly saturate the entire surface of drywall;
- Before applying decorative elements, the surface of the portal must be covered with a layer of putty; to protect the corners, choose a perforated corner profile;
- Your further actions depend on the chosen decoration method. If you are going to paint your portal, sand the surface to achieve perfect smoothness, then paint it. If your goal is to cover the portal with tiles or other decorative elements, then simply glue them to the prepared surface using special glue;
- On top of the portal, a so-called mantel is being built from a double layer of drywall - it is on it that you will put your frames with photographs and other trinkets. Since a certain load will fall on it, it is necessary to strengthen it with an additional profile and attach it to the wall. Visually, the shelf should look like one piece with the overall structure of the portal;
- For a more spectacular look, you can complement the portal structure with sidewalls and a foot, which are made using plaster, stone or other decoration materials.
The above plan for the step-by-step installation of a portal for an electric fireplace is also suitable for making a false fireplace, but it will require additional decoration in the form of a mirror on the back wall, imitation of fire, firewood beautifully laid in the hearth, etc. Your imagination will be the best assistant at this stage of finishing.