How to build an indoor brick fireplace

Updated April 17, 2017

Brick fireplaces complement any home's interior decor, and create a cosy, inviting atmosphere in any room. Building your own fireplace will save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a professional, and the task is easier than you might expect. With just a weekend's worth of hard work, you can build a wonderful brick fireplace that will be a crowning centrepiece for your home. A do-it-yourself project like building your own fireplace is a satisfying and you might say fun task.

Mark the dimensions of the fireplace against the wall and the footprint of the fireplace on the floor, using painter's tape.

Cut the metal lath with a utility knife to fit inside the painter's tape, so the dimensions of the fireplace are covered both against the wall and on the floor. Remove the painter's tape.

Nail the metal lath into the wall and floor using common or drywall nails.

Mix the mortar according to the package directions, as each brand of mortar differs.

Apply a layer of mortar (1/2 to 1 inch thick) with a trowel to each brick before you lay it. Build a base layer, so the footprint of the fireplace is covered, laying bricks about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Use your hand to smooth the mortar between the bricks if necessary.

Continue mortaring and laying bricks in layers, so that you are slowly building upward. Continue building until the fireplace is built to the dimensions you desire. Fireplaces are generally 2 to 4 feet high, depending on their aesthetic relation to the height of the ceiling.

Wipe away excess mortar.

If the metal lath is visible in any spot on the edges of the fireplace, cover with a layer of grout. Allow the fireplace to dry completely, about 48 to 72 hours, depending on the brand, before lighting a fire.

Things You'll Need

  • Bricks
  • Metal lath
  • Mortar
  • Mortar pan or bucket
  • Painter's tape
  • Trowel
  • Hammer
  • Nails (common or drywall)
  • Grout
  • Utility knife
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About the Author

Based in Chicago, Annie Wang has been writing since 2008. Her work has appeared in World Architecture News and other online publications. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and art history from the University of California, Davis.