How to Convert an Open-Faced Fireplace Into a Closed One

An open-faced fireplace consists of a firebox and hearth with a flue and chimney for diverting smoke and other hot gasses out of the building. Converting to a closed fireplace adds value and aesthetic appeal to a house by installing a fireplace insert over the opening. Inserts are available in a variety of styles and materials, from cast iron to highly polished brass with glass or metal doors. You need to measure the fireplace opening before purchasing an enclosure.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Dust pan and whisk broom
  • Pliers


    • 1

      Measure the height, width and depth of the fireplace with the tape measure. Write down these measurements to purchase a fireplace enclosure to fit the space. Most enclosures include a range of adjustments. Also measure the distance of the hearth as it extends into a room. The insert enclosure fits over the fireplace opening and cannot be of a thickness greater than the hearth itself.

    • 2

      Remove any log grate in the fireplace and sweep out the interior with the whisk broom and dust pan.

    • 3

      Place the fireplace insert face-down on a flat surface and swing out the two bars that will extend into the fireplace on the left and right side. Lock the bars in the extended position by tightening the bolt in each with pliers.

    • 4

      Slide the two bars into the fireplace until the back of the insert is flush with the front of the fireplace.

    • 5

      Open the insert doors to tighten the tension bolt on the leftand right sides of the back of the insert. Each bolt screws clockwise into the side wall of the fireplace to hold the insert in place.

    • 6

      Rotate the three-sided clamp at the top inside of the fireplace insert so it is over the metal plate inside the fireplace at the top. This plate is known as the lintel. Turn the bolt on the clamp clockwise to lock the top of the insert onto the lintel. Tighten the bolt with pliers.

    • 7

      Replace the log grate and shut the doors on your new insert.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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