I know you all have been waiting with bated breath for the next thrilling installment in our home transformation saga, and boy, do I have something special to share today! Remember the razzle-dazzle of our main floor fireplace, the one that had my ever-articulate mother lost for words and my father-in-law clicking away like a star-struck paparazzo? Well, it’s time for another fireplace to step into the limelight, but this one’s hiding away in an unexpected spot – our basement!
This isn’t just a repetition of the spectacle we created upstairs. Oh no, our basement fireplace marches to its own beat. It might not boast the built-ins or flaunt the grandeur of its main floor sibling, but believe me when I say it’s got a charm all of its own. With a simple yet chic mantel, a perfectly positioned wall-mounted TV, and a roman clay accent wall dressed in a serene lighter concrete color, it creates a uniquely inviting ambiance.
So buckle up, folks, because we’re about to dive into another exhilarating home transformation adventure! While it might not be on the grand scale of our main floor fireplace extravaganza, I can assure you, it’s every bit as thrilling. Ready to see just how lovely a little basement coziness can be? Follow along, and prepare to be inspired!
The Built-in Fireplace
Since the installation of our fireplace on the main floor, we’ve made a few enlightening discoveries that also apply to the basement counterpart:
- It radiates warmth like nobody’s business! It was our loyal companion throughout winter, making the chilliest days cozy and creating an irresistible ambiance during the festive season.
- Despite Little Man’s enthusiasm for drumming on the glass, it’s withstood the test admirably. If you’re worried about durability, trust me, this fireplace can handle even the most exuberant toddler antics.
- It never fails to attract attention and compliments, with visitors frequently curious about its origin.
The Basement Fireplace and Why We Chose Dimplex
Our choice of Dimplex was driven by the practicality of DIY installation and the appealing prospect of having a dependable heat source during a power outage (cue a round of applause for solar energy and backup batteries). And with a wide range of options from Dimplex, we zeroed in on the perfect fit for our basement, the Dimplex IgniteXL Bold Built-in Linear Electric Fireplace.
While our basement didn’t demand the grandeur of linking multiple Ignite Bold units together, we can imagine the spectacular result for larger spaces. In the brief span of 9 months, we’ve become absolute fans of the IgniteXL for the following reasons:
- The Dimplex Flame Connect App allows for complete control from your smartphone! Not a tech fan? No worries, there are touch controls on the fireplace and a handy remote included.
- The glass remains cool to touch, an impressive feature when you have little ones around.
- The freedom to choose the flame style and colors is an added bonus.
- The temperature can be adjusted to your preference, including the option to have no heat at all, which adds to its versatile charm.
With these insights in mind, let’s dive into the tale of our basement fireplace’s journey!
We’re going to dive into a brief overview of our basement fireplace installation journey. For those of you wanting to take on this challenge, we recommend reading our original, detailed fireplace DIY installation blog post. Here’s the condensed version:
The first order of business was framing out the fireplace box, a task that might seem familiar if you’ve ever done work like framing a basement or a shed. We created a space for the fireplace that ended up being just under 8 feet tall, 36 inches deep, and about 90 inches wide.
The framing process consisted of four main parts:
- Bottom Plate: The bottom plate was cut to the correct length and nailed to the subfloor.
- Top Plate: Using a laser level, we marked where the ends of the bottom plates on the ceiling would go. We then nailed the top plate into the ceiling joists.
- Studs: We marked and installed the studs at regular intervals. The fireplace bay area was left for the last.
- Built-in Fireplace Bay: Framing out the fireplace bay was the final step, which involved installing two king studs on the edge and two jack studs for support.
After framing came the electrical work. We relocated outlets to accommodate the new TV placement and added new ones for gaming systems and the direct console. We also extended ethernet and TV cables.
The fireplace wiring was the final step in the electrical process. We chose a hardwired 220v circuit for a higher heat output, which necessitated the addition of an extra breaker to our electrical panel.
Once the framing and wiring were in place, it was time to install the fireplace. It fit perfectly into the framed bay and was wired according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We made sure to verify that everything was working correctly before proceeding with the rest of the installation process.
This time we left drywall to the professionals. There was a lot of drywall that needed to be done and cost and time wise it didn’t make a lot of sense to do it ourselves. In fact, the cost to install drywall professionally was the same as us buying the materials.
That’s the brief version! To get the full scoop, head over to our original DIY fireplace install blog post for a step-by-step walkthrough.
For our basement fireplace project, we also chose to give an artistic touch to the wall with Roman Clay in the color ‘Jacket’. Roman Clay application is pretty straightforward. You need to prime your drywall first to ensure the color consistency. Apply the clay using any flat blade, like a putty or drywall knife, making sure you work swiftly to maintain a wet edge. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t complete the edges first and also, it’s crucial to finish the application in one sitting.
Once the Roman Clay is in place, it’s time to move back to the fireplace installation. Here, you need to fit the mirrored glass at the back of the fireplace, then arrange the media bed and driftwood – begin with small crystals, add the driftwood, and finish with larger crystals.
Finish Installing the Fireplace
Before installing the front glass, do a final clean to ensure no fingerprints or debris are left on the fireplace. I’d also recommend connecting your phone to the fireplace via the app at this point, using the QR code on the hidden display, as it will be covered once the front glass is installed. Lift the glass into place with the suction cup, secure it with brackets, and voila! Your fireplace is nearly set.
The last step in our project was to install the mantel and mount the television above the fireplace. Locate the studs, use your outlet as a guide, and fix your wall mount bracket, ensuring it’s centered and level. This process is both the same for the mantel and the TV. Attach the supports to the back of your TV, lift it onto the wall mount, and secure. Connect your TV to the newly installed outlets, and pass the HDMI cables through the conduit.
And there we have it! A cozy, captivating, and functional fireplace gracing our basement, transforming it into a warm and inviting retreat. The journey of its installation, while detailed, has been rewarding. We hope our shared experience offers clarity and helpful insights for anyone considering a similar undertaking.
From planning and framing to wiring, and installing the unit, each step had its unique challenges and triumphs. Not to mention, the wonderful addition of the Roman Clay feature wall that adds an artistic touch to the entire setting.