A beautiful fireplace is able to bring zest and a certain amount of coziness to any home interior. And under the warmth emanating from it, it is always comfortable to spend an evening after a busy day. But in a city apartment, installing a fireplace is associated with several insoluble problems:
- no chimneys – ordinary ventilation in an apartment building is not designed to remove smoke from burning firewood;
- floors and walls are not adapted for high temperatures, they may not withstand the mass of a fireplace portal made of natural stone, brick or artificial materials;
- it is impossible to obtain permission for the construction of such a complex structure from utilities.
But there is an opportunity to use a falshkamin, which is free from the listed problems. This option is also suitable for a country house, if you do not want to spend money on redevelopment, expensive materials and the work of a stove-maker..
A false fireplace in the house is a heat source decorated with various materials: electric, gas or from central heating. Of course, such warmth will not replace an open flame and the smell of wood fire, but a high-quality imitation can create a very cozy atmosphere. You can purchase ready-made models of electric false fireplaces or make the arrangement to your liking..
There are a large number of electric fireplaces on sale that are easily transported and installed in the house, they do not need anything other than a 220 V supply from the mains. But it is better to make a structure with finishing according to your own project. There are several types of materials and decor.
It is very easy to make imitation of a fireplace made of ordinary cardboard. For the frame, only cardboard boxes are required, for example, from large household appliances: TVs, refrigerators, washing machines. Their corrugated structure will provide structural strength with low weight. To give the desired shape, only a stationery knife, a pencil and a ruler are used. You can fasten the elements of a cardboard false fireplace with tape or paper glue. The work can be carried out together with children, for them it will be a very exciting and developing lesson.
After creating the shape of a cardboard fireplace, you need to decorate it. Finishing can be done with acrylic, oil or spray paint, colored cardboard, foam, wood-textured self-adhesive paper or decorative stone. Lightweight souvenirs can be put on the portal of such a fireplace. The advantages of cardboard structures are that they can be given any shape and made from scrap materials a beautiful interior detail in a few hours. But such fireplaces cannot be placed in a real source of heat, they break easily, especially if there are small children in the family..
Fireplaces made of polystyrene also cannot have a heat source inside due to the special sensitivity of this material to high temperatures. It is possible to arrange only decoration in the apartment. But on the other hand, the foam is easily cut, and with the help of clerical glue, decorative materials can be fixed on its sheets. In hardware stores, figured elements of this material are sold in various shapes. Having bought them, it is possible to make a stucco decoration on a false fireplace, which will look very elegant in a city apartment.
False fireplaces made of natural wood are presented in many original projects. After processing and varnishing, this material can fit into any interior style, both classic and modern. Corner and wall models with different sizes are made from bog oak, aspen, conifers. A heat source or simulated flame can be placed inside. The tree tolerates high temperatures well, but is not immune from open fire. To protect against heat, the surface is treated with a special heat-resistant varnish.
The frame of such a fireplace can be made of boards or beams with a profile of 50×50. This design can be fastened with nails or wood screws. Its strength will allow you to decorate the facade with heavy finishing materials, for example, ceramic tiles or plaster. The cobbled frame for a false fireplace is remarkable in that you can make any shapes and sizes using a regular saw, jigsaw, wood saw or grinder. In general, wood materials are the most harmless and environmentally friendly.
Chipboard – boards made of wood chips, which are obtained by pressing at a high temperature with the addition of formaldehyde resins for gluing the fibers. These materials can be either rough, requiring external finishing, or laminated or with an external layer of natural veneer. There are many options for textures and colors. Chipboard panels are easily sawn with an ordinary hacksaw, have a low cost compared to natural wood. A fireplace made of such building materials is a good choice for an apartment or summer cottage..
Polyurethane is a synthetic material that is highly resistant to wear, oxidation and decay. With the help of additives, you can give it any color. A false fireplace made of polyurethane can be made by cutting with an ordinary knife, and the parts are fastened with glue or screws. The result is a sturdy structure that resists deformation at high temperatures and will last for many years..
Plywood fireplaces, due to the cheapness and availability of the material, will cost quite inexpensively. For manufacturing with subsequent finishing, you can use multi-layer unpolished sheets with a thickness of 5-10 mm, and without finishing – laminated grades.
Structures of decorative fireplaces made of chipboard are close in their properties to the options from chipboard, only they require additional finishing. The advantages of the material are that it is cheaper than laminated plates, and the decor can be chosen to your taste.
Durable and beautiful false fireplaces can be made of gypsum casings with a metal profile frame. Inside the portal, it is possible to install a heat source or simulate an open fire using candles. The main thing is to use fire-resistant drywall for this purpose, it is easy to distinguish it – sheets of pinkish color. The material is easily cut with a clerical knife, it can even be given complex rounded shapes and create a fireplace with an arch. A metal frame made of angular or U-shaped profiles is fastened with self-tapping screws, gypsum plasterboard sheets are also fixed on them. The fireplace can be decorated with ceramic tiles, plaster or artificial stone.
PVC panels, like drywall sheets, are best mounted on a metal profile frame. This material is durable and not subject to any adverse effects. It is unpretentious in maintenance; to clean it from dust and dirt, you just have to walk over the surface with a damp cloth. For the manufacture of a fireplace, it is best to purchase heat-resistant varieties of this material. The advantage is that there are a large number of PVC panel colors on sale – you can choose according to your taste. These sheets are cut with an ordinary clerical knife..
A step-by-step instruction for creating a false fireplace in a house in general consists of the following steps:
- selection of the type of device, size and location, materials for the frame and exterior decoration;
- creation of a construction drawing with dimensions;
- preparation of tools and materials;
- frame installation;
- installation of additional elements (shelves, niches, countertops, etc.), if provided;
- decoration with decorative materials;
- connection of heat sources or artificial lighting.
Projects made from lightweight materials such as cardboard or polystyrene practically do not need complex drawings or step-by-step plans. But if you plan to create a fireplace with a serious electric or gas heating with a solid frame, then it is simply necessary to think over all the details in advance. Sometimes, before installation at the installation site, it is required to carry out communications – heating pipes or an electric cable and only then make a frame.
Fire for artificial fireplace
To create the illusion of a flame in a fake fireplace, many ways have been invented. They differ in technology, cost and the resulting effect..
Steam simulation is the most difficult, but impressive. It requires LED lights, ultrasonic fog generators and a fan. Connecting the system is possible only with certain electrical skills, and the cost of the equipment is high.
Theatrical imitation is so named because it is often used in performances. It is constructed of lightweight fabric that is blown away by a powerful fan. For lighting, 3 halogen lamps with reflectors and color filters are used.
A simple version of a falshkamin with “live” fire is made from a New Year’s garland. For decoration, you need to use a small amount of cut tree branches. They are wrapped in foil and lace, then placed in a hearth of stones folded in a circle. A garland is placed inside a ball of branches and connected to the network. The result is an image of a burning brushwood surrounded by stones, like a fire.
If you don’t want to be smart about making decorations and electricity, then you can use ordinary wax, polymer or scented candles. They are simply placed in a decorative fireplace insert on a candlestick and set on fire. A romantic atmosphere and a beautiful image of a burning hearth will be guaranteed.
Salt lamps not only create a bizarre image of a flame in the fireplace, but also have a beneficial effect on the body by neutralizing harmful radiation from household appliances. So in a room where TVs, home theaters and speakers are present, this option is very preferable. Their work is based on conventional electric illumination of raw salt crystals. You can use different forms of these translucent minerals, and for the illusion of flickering, lamps of different wattage are connected to a relay, something like that used for New Year’s garlands..
The simplest, but not the cheapest option for the illusion of natural fire is to use a monitor. It is only required to select a fake fireplace or LCD panel suitable for the size of the firebox, connect it to the power supply and set the desired picture. But using a full-featured display for just one image is somehow irrational. There are special holographic systems on sale that display a flame image on their screen, moreover, three-dimensional and very realistic. Their price may exceed the cost of a monitor of the same size..
Simulating coals is possible in a very easy way. Shallow holes with a diameter of 3-5 cm are cut in a strong log from any tree you like. Candles are placed in them, shortened so that they are drowned in the holes to their full height. The fire is ignited and the feeling is created that the log is really burning. This method must be used very carefully, best of all in fireplace portals made of non-combustible materials..
And finally, the most budgetary, but quite cute way to simulate a flame in a decorative fireplace is a hand-drawn image. You can order a picture from a professional artist. Fire can be depicted not only with the help of canvas and paints, but also made in the form of chasing, carving or burning on wood, colored applique or holography..
Decoration and decor
A decorative fireplace should in its appearance be combined with the surrounding interior in the room. If it has straight lines without roundness and high-tech stucco molding, then the surrounding furniture, the decoration of the room should be as modern and functional as possible. It is convenient to install a large plasma TV on the tabletop of such a fireplace, and a music center in a niche.
A classic model or a false fireplace in the Provence style with smooth curves and antique patterns requires in its environment appropriate furniture, antique chairs and rocking chairs, elegant tables, sculptures and paintings in figured frames.
If the hearth is made in a folk or rural style, then it is worth surrounding it with rustic furniture, souvenir utensils, wall decoration made of natural stone or rounded timber.
Anything can be placed in the niche of a decorative fireplace. Some use this space for a flower garden with their favorite plants, others put a narrow coffee table there, and others build shelves there with souvenirs, books or CDs. You can put a vacuum cleaner, sports equipment or children’s toys in the portal.
Interesting interior solutions
- A very interesting image has a fireplace made of fake white plastic bricks. It blends harmoniously with soft blue walls and elegant white shelving with a variety of paintings and souvenirs. Lots of burning candles create a lucky illusion of burning wood..
- The stylish laminated wood panel fireplace fits perfectly into the ultra-modern design of the room. The soft, delicate colors of the fireplace facade in combination with the shades of the walls are conducive to a relaxed atmosphere. And simulating a burning flame using the display produces a stunning effect.
- For dark gray monotone walls, a white polyurethane fireplace will look contrasting. It is made in a classic style with strict lines and a minimum of decor. A high portal allows you to place many shelves or a home theater in it.