Get the look of a real fireplace at a fraction of the cost by using a decorative fake fireplace. Faux fireplaces are versatile and come in a variety of shapes, materials and sizes. You have the option to order a premade model that fits your decorative style, or you can make one yourself for even bigger savings.
Your faux fireplace will have one of two designs: a freestanding unit that you can take with you to your next home or a fireplace base that is added to the wall. Freestanding units are readily available for purchase online or at your local home improvement store. You will also have the added benefit of taking the piece with you when you move. A built-in unit looks more natural and will probably not be identified as a faux fireplace until it is more closely scrutinized. Fake fireplaces come in a variety of shapes, such as square units, rectangular units or corner units. Some can also be hung directly on the wall.
Decorative faux fireplaces are made with a variety of materials. Wood and medium density fiberboard (MDF) are common materials for DIY faux fireplaces. After the wooden base is built, other materials can be added on top of the base, such as ceramic tile, glass tile, decorative plastic and molding. Another common option is to make the fireplace out of a cast that resembles marble. This technique gives the appearance of marble but does not use the expensive stone. Faux stone products are also available to achieve the look of a fireplace with masonry without the use of real stones. A wooden mantle is common for faux fireplaces.
Fake fireplaces are often capable of supplying just as much heat as a traditional fireplace. Electric or gas models are available that look like a fireplace but heat like a furnace. Other fireplaces come with a decorative gel that appears like it is a lit fireplace, but it does not emit any heat.
Faux fireplaces allow you more artistic freedom than traditional fireplaces. Paint the fireplace in the color of your choice, or create your own marbleized look by making streaks through paint after spraying the surface with water. Make your fireplace look distressed by painting it and then scraping portions of the paint off of the surface. Add accessories to the fireplace to make it look real. A large mirror is an ideal accessory for a decorative fireplace. Top the mantle with pictures and candlesticks.
Although you cannot burn natural logs in your faux fireplace, you can still add a decorative or functional aspect to the fireplace. Electric logs are available that will give off heat similar to natural logs but will need to be plugged in. A candle stand placed in the middle of your centerpiece provides an elegant decorative touch to your fireplace.